2:00PM Water Cooler 5/23/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Trade

Moar sorghum:

In each case, it’s not the the elites are old; it’s that they’re fools:

“Senate panel overwhelmingly approves amendment blocking Trump on ZTE” [The Hill]. “The Senate Banking Committee approved an amendment in an overwhelming and bipartisan 23-2 vote that would block Trump from easing sanctions on ZTE without first certifying to Congress that the company is complying with U.S. law.” So the Republicans can, er, resist Trump. If they want to.

Politics

Reiterating my call:

And so, dear readers, I turn to you: What sourcing would you suggest for tracking electoral work on the left? Especially sourcing that isn’t liberal Democrat?[4] And sourcing that doesn’t make stuff up, no matter how important “the cause”? Is everything — heaven forfend — on Facebook or YouTube or podcasts? Maybe dedicated State House reporters doing round-ups, if there are any left? Are there still political blogs, just low-circulation ones I don’t know about? Help!

2020

“Bernie Sanders to Seek Reelection to U.S. Senate” [Seven Days]. “According to campaign spokesperson Arianna Jones, Sanders plans to seek the Democratic nomination in Vermont’s August primary. If he wins, she said, he would ‘respectfully’ decline the nomination and run as an independent in the general election. Sanders would, however, accept the endorsement of the Vermont Democratic Party. ‘That is what he has done in the past, and that is what he looks forward to happening in 2018,” Jones said, referring to Sanders’ 2006 and 2012 Senate runs.” Which drives Democrats nuts, because it sucks all the oxygen out of their race.

“Clinton To Keynote State Democratic Convention” [State of Politics]. “Clinton, a former U.S. senator representing New York, will also endorse Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a third term as he faces a Democratic primary challenge from actress and education advocate Cynthia Nixon.” Please kill me now.

2018

NY: “President Trump, Gov. Cuomo have had ‘tremendous’ amount of donors in common” [New York Daily News]. “Anthony Scaramucci, who was briefly Trump’s communications director, in 2010 was the finance chairman of “Republicans For Cuomo” while former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is on Trump’s current legal team, co-chaired Cuomo’s transition committee on public safety in 2010. Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has given Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaigns $15,000. He also gave another nearly $13,000 to Cuomo’s attorney general campaigns, records show.Among the other joint donors are hedge fund manager John Paulson, billionaire businessman Nelson Peltz, and businessman Ronald Perelman.”

CA: “Bad news for Dems: Trump’s rating is rising where it counts in California” [San Francisco Chronicle]. “All that talk of a Democratic blue wave sweeping congressional races in California could be for naught if a new poll is on target: It shows President Trump’s approval rating surging to 50 percent in Orange County, site of four tight races that could determine if Republicans hold the House…. One reason for the Trump uptick in the OC is that the number of voters who believe the country is on the right track has grown 10 percentage points over the past two months, [Republican pollster John Thomas] said.” So, a Republican state poll. One…

GA: “Stacey Abrams Wins Big in Georgia and Now Has a Shot at Becoming 1st African-American Female Governor in U.S. History” [The Root]. “‘We needed to show that we can turn out low-propensity voters’ said a local activist who works in voter turnout. ;We targeted counties and precincts that usually had 2 or 3 percent African-American turnout, and we jumped it up to 10 or 12 percent. That’s good news [true!*] and donors need to hear our efforts are working.'” Wait, what? “The donors”? Are the donors running the Democrat Party? NOTE * And not done before now why?

CT: “How a Stunning Upset at a Congressional Convention Led to Calls for a Vote-Tampering Investigation” [The Intercept]. Wait, what? Connecticut is run by liberal Democrats. How can this be? Very good from The Intercept.

Our Famously Free Press

From the Department of Then We’d Actually Have to Do Real Reporting:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Feds Seized a Fortune From #Resistance Icons Accused of Boosting Online ‘Ponzi Schemes'” [Daily Beast]. Ed and Brian Krassenstein. And speaking of scams:

“Since gullibility is unobservable, the best strategy is to get those who possess this quality to self-identify. An email with tales of fabulous amounts of money and West African corruption will strike all but the most gullible as bizarre,” says Cormac Herley, principal researcher with Microsoft Research.

“It will be figured out by anyone savvy enough to use a search engine…. It won’t be pursued by anyone who consults sensible family or friends, or who reads any of the advice banks and money transfer agencies make available. Those who remain are the scammers’ ideal targets.”

Now, I know that people do they best they can where they are, so it’s unfair of me to generalize about every #Resistance member. That said, I would urge that much of #Resistance twitter has self-identified for gullibility, and the Krassensteins, though not Nigerian prices, have spotted this, and capitalized on it.

“Two-Party Problems” (podcast) [Slate]. Interview with the author.

Stats Watch

Purchasing Managers’ Index Composite Flash, May 2018: “The PMI’s service sample popped back up to its prior highs while the manufacturing sample inched up to yet new highs” [Econoday]. “Price pressures in both samples are evident with input costs rising at the fastest rate in nearly five years in pressure the report attributes in part to metal and especially steel prices. Positives in today’s report are gains in the 6-month outlooks which, together with the overall results, hint at acceleration underway for the second-quarter economy.”

Architectural Billings: “Architecture firm billings strengthen in April” [American Institute of Architects]. “Overall, the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for April was 52.0 (any score over 50 is billings growth), which indicates the business environment continues to be healthy for architecture firms despite continued labor shortages, growing inflation in building materials costs and rising interest rates. The ABI also revealed that business conditions remained strong at firms located in the West, while billings softened slightly at Midwest firms…. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity.”

New Home Sales, April 2018: “Month after month the new home sales report shows its volatility behind which, however, slight strength is evident” [Econoday]. “Until supply begins to build at a better pace, sales of new home homes will lack acceleration. Residential investment, where new home sales are a major piece, proved flat in the first quarter though improvement in the second quarter, however limited, does look like it’s underway.” And: “New home sales for April were reported at 662,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR). This was below the consensus forecast, and the three previous months were revised down” [Calculated Risk]. “This is on track to be close to my forecast for 2018 of 650 thousand new home sales for the year; an increase of about 6% over 2017. There are downside risks to that forecast, such as higher mortgage rates, higher costs (labor and material), and possible policy errors.” And but: “This month was better than last month – and the rolling averages improved. The seasonally adjusted data underwent its annual revision” [Econintersect]. “This data series is suffering from methodology issues which manifest as significant backward revision. Home sales move in spurts and jumps – so this is why we view this series using a three month rolling average.”

Shipping: “Inflation is coming to the US economy on an 18-wheel flatbed” [CNBC]. “Freight marketplace DAT keeps track of supply and demand in the freight industry through a bulletin board that matches companies with loads to be delivered to the vehicles that will take the goods to the marketplace. The measures are in the spot market, where vendors that don’t contract their deliveries find drivers for their products. Recent readings show demand for vehicles skyrocketing, a sign that generally points to inflationary pressures building up in the supply chain.”

Shipping: “Truck Driver Shortage: Is it Self-Inflicted?” [Trucks.com]. “There’s more to driver shortage numbers than meets the eye…. Nationwide, the median hourly wage for U.S. heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is $19.36, or about $40,260 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics…. At those levels, average hourly pay for truck driver jobs falls below the national average for March 2016, which is $21.37 for production and nonsupervisory employees in private, nonfarm jobs, according to the BLS.” Start there. Read the story for the wage structure and the working conditions, whcih are both awful.

The Bezzle: “Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct” [Gizmodo]. About time.

The Bezzle: “There are 143 tech billionaires around the world, and half of them live in Silicon Valley” [Recode]. “One difference between Silicon Valley and other sectors, though, is that some of the wealth in tech is in illiquid startup stock. For instance, there’s a legitimate debate as to whether someone like Uber founder Travis Kalanick should’ve been called a real-life billionaire before that money was actually accessible when he sold some of his shares.”

The Bezzle: “Tesla isn’t shipping its $35,000 Model 3. That’s a problem if Elon Musk wants the company to appeal to a mass market.” [Recode]. “Two years ago, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s first mass-market vehicle — the Model 3, starting at $35,000 — inspiring hundreds of thousands to deposit $1,000 to get on the waiting list. But the company still isn’t shipping those entry-level, $35,000 models en masse. Over the weekend, Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla will be shipping a more expensive version of its Model 3 starting at $78,000 before it ships the affordable mass-market car the public was promised.” So Elon took the deposits and then didn’t build any cars?

The Bezzle: “Why the U.K. Is Making Bank Bosses Pay for Mistakes” [Bloomberg]. “The U.K.’s effort to hold top bank officials personally accountable when things go wrong on their watch is turning out to have some teeth. Just ask Barclays Plc boss Jes Staley. Regulators in mid-May ripped a chunk out of his wallet — and left his reputation in tatters — for attempting to find out the identity of a whistle-blower. Staley is the first top manager to be ensnared by new rules known as the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. They will soon be applied to the rest of the financial-services industry, putting thousands of managers on notice that they, too, could see a bite taken out of their bank accounts and their careers damaged.” Why the parallel structure? Something wrong with the criminal justice system?

Five Horsemen: “Facebook and Microsoft sport modest gains in late morning trade” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen May 23 2018

NakedCap Mania-Panic Index: “The mania-panic index gained a tick to 66 as the put-call ratio hovered at a relatively low 0.83” [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 May 22 2018

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“Potential Spy Devices Which Track Cellphones, Intercept Calls Found All Over D.C., Md., Va.” [News4]. “The News4 I-Team found dozens of potential spy devices while driving around Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia….. The device, sometimes referred to by the brand name StingRay, is designed to mimic a cell tower and can trick your phone into connecting to it instead….. [T]he I-Team found them in high-profile areas like outside the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue and while driving across the 14th Street bridge into Crystal City. The I-Team got picked up twice while driving along K Street — the corridor popular with lobbyists…… Every cellphone has a unique identifying number. The phone catcher technology can harness thousands of them at a time.”

Dear Old Blighty

“Here are seven new uses for Britain’s defunct pacer trains” [City Metric]. See picture, note caption: “Editor’s note: This article originally failed to note that all the pictures were of model trains, because the editor is an idiot. Anyway, we’ve now corrected it [due to Twitter]. Enjoy.” The model railroader: “For me this one tweet has lead to so much joy. Thank you very very much for asking.” Model railroaders so rarely get to p0wn anyone…

Gaia

“Sperm can pass trauma symptoms through generations, study finds” [The Verge]. “A group of European researchers have discovered that early life traumatic events can alter a non-genetic mechanism governing gene expression in the sperm cells of adult mice. And they think that this finding, published today in Nature Neuroscience, explains why the offspring of these mice exhibit the same depressive-like behaviors that their parents do…. People who experience early childhood trauma, like abuse or war, often exhibit a number of hormonal imbalances. The mechanisms involved are poorly understood, but most scientists agree that traumatic events alter gene expression, which then causes misregulations in a number of biological processes. But whether these changes can actually be passed down to offspring is a controversial question, because it would imply that acquired traits — traits that aren’t actually encoded in DNA, but rather arise following certain experiences — are somehow being passed down through generations.” In other words, Lamarckism has something to be said for it.

Class Warfare

“McDonald’s workers file sex harassment claims” [AP]. “The legal effort was organized by Fight for $15, which campaigns to raise pay for low-wage workers. The legal costs are being covered by the TIMES UP Legal Defense Fund, which was launched in January by the National Women’s Law Center to provide attorneys for women who cannot afford to bring cases on their own…. In addition to New Orleans and St. Louis, charges were filed by workers in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami; Orlando, Florida; Durham, North Carolina, and Kansas City, Missouri.”

Life’s little ironies:

I don’t think Elon Musk’s new candy business will be unionized:

“The 7 biggest BS jobs in America” [David Graeber, New York Post]. “Almost every large corporation seems to be full of managers managing managers, flunkies, box tickers, data analysts, strategic-vision coordinators or people who are paid to answer the phone once or twice a day but spend the rest of the time playing fruit mahjong or updating their Facebook profiles. Government is hardly better. But trying to make government more like the private sector actually seems to make this worse. Yet no one wants to talk about it. If all these people were just allowed to go home and learn knitting, or how to play the mandolin, the world would be a far happier place.” The Jobs Guarantee would help here: We could pay college deans, for example, to knit, allowing them to retain their dignity, while making this a better world.

“Britain’s royal wedding: Recasting the monarchy in the age of identity politics” [WSWS] (JN). “Recent surveys by polling agency YouGov show that, despite the wall-to-wall coverage, about half of the UK’s 66 million people are wholly indifferent to today’s wedding.”

News of The Wired

“What’s in a food truck?” [WaPo]. Excellent reporting from WaPo, amazingly enough: “Start-up costs for a food truck average about $100,000, far lower than the several hundred thousand required for even a tiny brick-and-mortar place in the D.C. area, Tipton said. Some trucks get on the road for far less.” Cheaper than a taxi medallion? But subject to “disruptive innovation” in the same way?

“Using APIs to get economic data with Python — list of Jupyter notebooks” [BD Economics]. This looks pretty neat. I did a little work in Python, a decade or so ago, before the PHP brain damage set in with Drupal….

The original tweet:

The responses are still going strong:

It’s a galaxy brain-level visual pun*:

*

* * *

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 (TH):

TH writes: “Rose Mallow (Hibiscus lasiocarpus). The 43 acre Madrona Marsh Preserve, in Torrance, California, maintains a Garden behind their visitor center (across the road from the Marsh Preserve) where the focus is plants that grow on the nearby Channel Islands, of which this is one.”

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So do feel free 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!


To give more, click on the arrow heads to the right of the amount.

Donate

If you hate PayPal — even though you can use a credit card or debit card on PayPal — you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, 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.

132 comments

  1. Jim Haygood

    Clinton, a former U.S. senator representing New York, will endorse Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a third term.

    She would just as happily endorse Cuomo for a seventh term, since New York has no term limits.

    Cuomo 2034!

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wonder why Cuomo failed to secure a good-for-lifetime endorsement from her a few elections back.

      Reply
  2. Altandmain

    File this one under class warfare.

    http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/22/pf/emergency-expenses-household-finances/index.html

    Yet another study confirming that 40 percent of Americans are incapable of coming up with 400 dollars in the event of an unwelcome and unexpected expense.

    It shows that Americans are likely living paycheck to paycheck.

    The brutal reality is that outside of the top 10 percent there has been no real recovery from the 2008 recession. Many of the jobs pay low wages, are precarious, and have no benefits.

    I cannot imagine that the 2 percent inflation rate is actually correct. In many cities, the rent alone often goes over 10 percent up year over year on average. Food prices go up, fuel is going up as oil creeps up, and for Americans, I see massive amounts of insurance price increases. Meanwhile, employers often fight hard to avoid a 2 percent pay increase. Even with a miserly 2 percent annual pay rise, that does not cover the cost of living going up.

    Reply
      1. sd

        Now if only we could encourage all workers to become shoemakers, they could pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Silly peasants! Boots are for your betters. You get stuck with sabots! Oh. That might not work out as planned.

          Reply
          1. polecat

            Well, to hell with straps !
            The lumpins are to be pulled down endlessly by their 0wned cobble r ..stones .. ??

            Reply
        2. paulmeli

          Everyone knows that “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” is physically impossible.

          Common use of the phrase implies it is possible (that we should do it).

          Does that make it an oxymoron?

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            I always took the phrase to mean a somewhat brutal way of hanging yourself, bootstraps being long enough to do the trick.

            Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      “It shows that Americans are likely living paycheck to paycheck.” Most are.

      “The brutal reality is that outside of the top 10 percent there has been no real recovery from the 2008 recession. Many of the jobs pay low wages, are precarious, and have no benefits.” All true.

      “I cannot imagine that the 2 percent inflation rate is actually correct. In many cities, the rent alone often goes over 10 percent up year over year on average. Food prices go up, fuel is going up as oil creeps up, and for Americans, I see massive amounts of insurance price increases. Meanwhile, employers often fight hard to avoid a 2 percent pay increase. Even with a miserly 2 percent annual pay rise, that does not cover the cost of living going up.” Also true, and not even close.

      Sanders 2020

      Reply
      1. Ed Miller

        CPI has been fudged so that it reflects actual inflation for the 5%. For years I was at the edge of the 10% and even to me the numbers did not reflect the realities that I faced. The problem is that inflation in essentials is understated by estimating that we spend less on essentials than we really do. The upper middle class and wealthy spend so much more on non-essentials which I consider “toys”, which are almost deflating in price, that the numbers hide the reality for ordinary people trying to survive financially. Housing and health”care”, for example, are so understated as percent of expenses it is ridiculous. I think I am stating the obvious to NC readers but I feel that the “I cannot imagine that the 2 percent inflation rate is actually correct” can’t be left unchallenged.

        Reply
        1. Clive

          Here in the U.K. it’s got so bad that I’ve taken to looking at the changes being made to “the basket” in order to work out what’s about to undergo significant price hikes. ATM fees, for example, have just been taken out. You’ll be shocked — shocked, I tell you — to learn that the financial services industry is planning “reform” to the ATM interchange fee model to “better reflect costs and consumers’ changes in their behaviour”.

          I wonder (not!) what this all might mean for ATM fees…

          Related, that particularly British delicacy the pork pie has also been removed from the basket. I won’t even try to explain what it is to US readers. This fresh chilled foodstuff is almost exclusively made in the EU (Eastern Europe EU27 countries, Poland mostly) from pork or other meats sourced from the low countries. It is the perfect storm, therefore, of an imported good which will be significantly affected in terms of availability and price in any hard or crash out Brexit. Just pure coincidence, then, that it’s been removed…

          Reply
        2. vlade

          This is an important observation – the inflation depends very much on income. Arguably, the inflation hit the most both tails of the population (you’d not believe what a poor millionaire has to pay for art these days, pretty much all of impressionists are becoming out of reach of your average bloke with a few millions ;) ), but given that the rich tail had real income going up too, in real terms it was still a win for them.

          IMO, the inflation should be calculated on the basket of what a minimum-income/living wage person must spend on. They don’t care for the new 52 inch tv or private school fees.. but care much about rent, transport, energy and food.

          Reply
    2. albrt

      I believe the low inflation rate is almost entirely an artifact of the immense value we all receive from Microsoft, Google, and Apple updating our devices (whether we want them to or not). Computer updates allow our oligarchic overlords to deliver whatever amount of hedonic value is needed to offset the actual price increases in literally everything else. Even if nobody buys a computer this year.

      This truly is the best of all possible worlds.

      Reply
      1. Scott

        It must have been a few years ago now, but I remember seeing the CPI broken into categories to show what was driving the inflation and what was holding it back. Rent, higher education and healthcare all continued their upward march; however cell phones made a major impact on the decline because they are so much faster/more powerful than they were ten years ago. These improvements while keeping it at the same price, are counted as having a deflationary impact, although people really don’t seem to get hte same benefit and continue to buy phones as often as ever.

        Reply
        1. LifelongLib

          50 years ago the minimum wage got you a bare little room of your own. Now it gets you a huge flat screen tv in your parents’ basement — if they’re lucky enough to still have a basement…

          Reply
    3. mini

      2% vs 10% rent increase – I experienced the massive hikes when I push really hard for cheap rent. It was explained to me two different ways over the years. 1) I was getting a ‘first year’ discount every month…for the first year that was removed for the renewal. 2) They discounted the space lower than the other apartment units in the complex, and were ‘bringing it back up to pace’.

      Once I moved into a larger apartment complex, I haven’t suffered from that anymore. But I think it’s because the larger place just wouldn’t offer me as-steep a discount on their normal cost. It just so happens that the volume of units they rent allows them to rent within my budget.

      Reply
    4. jrs

      I kind of doubt those studies though, as when people actually need to come up with $400 or a lot more they do (or really noone would survive a job loss). I agree that the recovery is not all it’s been touted as.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        or else they go to jail for nonpayment of fines or whatever, or suffer through a tooth abcess.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          A root canal and crown is a LOT more than $400. That might pay for an extraction, then you do without.

          Reply
    5. Summer

      If everybody on their 20s and 30s pinched pennies for retirement, and most would have to because that investment advice doesn’t match the reality of employment precarity, the global economy would collapse. And I’m only joking a little.
      So much of the economy is about convincing or conning people to spend more than they have on things they don’t actually need – especially approval seeking young people.

      Reply
  3. barefoot charley

    Help (off any topic). Is there a San Francisco meetup in mid-July? Or is my alzheimers gaining on me? I can’t find it by searching. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      I haven’t seen any mention on the site. So, why don’t you organize one?

      I’m working on the second Tucson NC meetup, and have all kinds of advice for others wishing to organize similar gatherings in their locales. Sample: Don’t overthink your meetup. Find a simpatico venue, and then just let events unfold. And don’t forget to have fun!

      Reply
      1. barefoot charley

        Thanks Slim. I live a couple hundred miles away and am planning an expedition, but I’m no local, and the only other NC-lovers hereabouts are bees and butterflies. I love your Tucson updates btw, maybe I should spread my wings and fly!

        Reply
      2. Elizabeth

        Barefoot Charley – I believe the SF meetup is scheduled for July 18. I searched the archives because I remember reading about it. Good news – you don’t have Alzheimer’s!

        Reply
      3. Code Name D

        Hmmm… Any one intreting in orgnizing on for the central planes? We could all pich in for a rocket to bring down Yess’ plane as she flies over us. … Or maybe we will just send a letter.

        Reply
    2. Freddie

      Yes, from 5/18 links:
      Yves is planning to have a West Coast run in July, with meetups as follows:

      San Francisco, CA Sat July 14
      Portland, OR Wed July 18
      Seattle, WA Thurs July 19

      She could use help with getting venues in both Portland and Seattle + hotel recommendations.

      Reply
      1. economicator

        Yes! Looking forward to the Bastille Day meetup in SF.

        Will it be in downtown SF? How about meeting somewhere closer to Palo Alto/Mountain View area instead? SF is very time consuming to get in and out of and traverse. South Bay along the Caltrain line is my preference.

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        Yay, Portland.
        An actual Portlander suggested the Kennedy School McMenamin’s establishment, which I believe is both, and from 80 miles away I can’t come up with anything better. Lots of room, decent food and drink (McMenamin’s started as brewers), and I believe hotel rooms. On the east side, not terribly far from the airport. It would help to know what time she has in mind – flying in for the evening, perhaps? Then on to Seattle in the morning? If she had business in Portland she would have visited there before. We’re grateful that she’s coming.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          We need an Irish pub. McMenamin is clearly the sort of place you have to pay to rent the space and order everything. Due to ad revenues being off this year, I’m already budget strained on meetups and separate from that, we’ve never gone the room rental route. Way too pricey. We’ve been able to find pubs or lounges that we’ve been able to take over or book a room for not too much. The problem is for cities where I’ve never done a meetup, I have no idea re turnout. For instance, in Dallas, we got more people than in Boston, the opposite of what I would have anticipated.

          Reply
      3. readerOfTeaLeaves

        Any general requirements in Seattle?
        Affordability, location….distance from downtown?
        Number of people…?

        I have ideas burbling — I’ll check back here tomorrow.
        Definitely looking forward to it ;-)

        Is someone else already organizing Seattle? (Otherwise, sign me up!)

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          Reader Alison L has volunteered too. Getting a hotel is brutal. I prefer boring chains because you know what services you will be getting, but I am now booked at the Ace Hotel, 2423
          First Avenue. Not far is better but not essential.

          I have no idea what the turnout will be. We get 40-50 people reliably in SF. I would guesstimate 30 to 45. We start at 5:00, which helps re persuading places in letting us book an area or room unless it’s right in the central business area.

          Irish pubs have worked well. We don’t want a place that is too twee. A place where people can mingle more easily is better. I would rather not make a deposit and if I have to make one, it is better if not too large since again I have no idea what turnout would be. It might be only 20 or 25. Boston was only 25 and its population is similar to Seattle.

          Reply
  4. Jim Haygood

    With this subheading today, the NYT enters the competition for a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction:

    If Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, finds evidence that President Trump broke the law, he will have decisions to make about how to proceed.

    HA HA HA HA. Two small fish which Mueller did indict on the jaywalking-equivalent charge of lying to the FBI have had their sentencings repeatedly postponed. Normally during this period they would be spilling the beans to prosecutors about higher-ups in exchange for leniency. But these clueless low-level foot soldiers have got nothing on POTUS.

    At this point, Mueller’s prospects of nailing Trump for lawbreaking are infinitesimal. Yet, in much the same vein as its daily serial during 2016 about Inevitable Hillary’s cabinet choices and decoating plans, the NYT soldiers on with serious speculation about an entirely fictional premise.

    Give the five ink-stained wretches on the byline their eminently merited fiction award, say I, on the express condition that the NYT close its doors forever as a blessing upon humanity and the Truth.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Closing doors…

      I think if you stop their users from consuming too soon, it will damage severely that portion of humanity. I believe this to be the truth.

      So, for humanity’s sake, do it slowly, or at least monitor potential patients closely.

      Reply
  5. Big River Bandido

    As a native Hawkeye, I have sporadically followed Bleeding Heartland, despite despising that lame metaphor for the Midwest. I stopped following it for awhile after the 2016 Hillary Clinton fiasco because…well, the entire blogosphere on the left (whether “liberal” or actual “left”) seemed to go bonkers. Lately they seem to have found their senses again. It’s a decent source for following Iowa politics…

    https://www.bleedingheartland.com/

    Reply
  6. WheresOurTeddy

    Thanks for that tweet about having twice your salary in savings by 35.

    Best laugh I’ve had in a while.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      The responses are pure gold. Those investment shamers at Marketplace are going to have to try a lot harder.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        So when does it become the burning Marketplace.. ? I’ll buy That Newz for a quatloo .. the gall of these financial ‘writers’ .. I mean, Really !

        Reply
    1. L

      Interesting. I found this little quote in it kind of cute:

      “The governor’s focus has always been on what’s best for Arizonans and for public safety, not for any one company,”

      Given his active sucking up and the way in which he secretly undercut safety to make it happen that comment definitely wins the Newspeak award for the day.

      Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        Funny you should mention that, L.

        Back in April, I went to Cyclovia Tucson’s spring edition. Among the thousands of cyclists and friends-of-cyclists was one of our gubernatorial challengers, Steve Farley.

        I’ve known Steve for, like, ever, so we had to catch up. On the topic of Uber, his comments were quite similar to L’s.

        Reply
    2. Carolinian

      Quitting after they’ve been fired. Meanwhile the unappealingly named Waymo is still in AZ.

      As Uber continues to reel from a fatal self-driving accident in Arizona, Waymo has confidently pushed forward — landing a deal to build 20,000 self-driving luxury sport utility vehicles with Jaguar Land Rover on top of its plan for thousands of Chrysler hybrid minivans. Within two years, it plans to have thousands of fully autonomous taxis — with no backup drivers behind the wheel — on the roads, starting in Phoenix, where it is already giving test rides. The company predicts it will give 1 million robot-taxi rides a day by 2020.

      Waymo, the industry pioneer, logged millions of autonomous miles as it perfected self-driving technology. But over the years, engineers defected out of frustration that it was not finding commercial uses for the technology. Now, with former auto executive John Krafcik at the helm, Waymo appears ready to create a self-driving taxi service that could conceivably dominate that field, at least early on, the way Uber does now with human-driven cars.

      https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Waymo-starts-to-eclipse-Uber-in-race-to-12794353.php

      Another story says Google/Alphabet/Waymo has been operating the driverless cars in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. One of them was struck by a human driver in early May.

      Reply
  7. L

    “Clinton To Keynote State Democratic Convention” [State of Politics]. “Clinton, a former U.S. senator representing New York, will also endorse Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a third term as he faces a Democratic primary challenge from actress and education advocate Cynthia Nixon.” Please kill me now.

    I struggle to see how this is a bad thing for Cynthia Nixon. So far as I can tell anyone who is waiting for HRC to tell them how to vote was never going to vote for someone who actually believes in what she says anyway. And tying Cuomo further to the neoliberal/neocon/`centrist’ fixer wing of the Democratic party only further cements his character. Indeed the fact that he is turning to Clinton at all may be a sign of desperation as much as anything else.

    Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Clinton endorsing Cuomo for Gov gives me hope in that her endorsement can be used against him if he runs for president.

      Reply
      1. lambert strether

        Or vice versa. Eh?

        Remember, many of Clinton’s supporters regard her as the legitimate President, and Clinton herself has never accepted her loss. She’s surrounded by sycophants. I think it’s more likely that she’ll try to play king- or queenmaker rather than run herself, but I wouldn’t completely rule it out. Maybe she’ll get herself on the Veep committee and then select herself, like Dick Cheney. “Healing the divisions in the party,” donchya know. Kidding! I think….

        Reply
  8. L

    With respect to the Young Envoys vs. Old Envoys meme it is worth noting that the actual decisionmaking power in the PRC does not rest with these young people. It all rests with the, significantly older, Xi Jinping and the central party cadre. The fact that these people are so young may be a sign of disrespect by Xi as much as anything else since the heavyweights did not come.

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      Some high frequency tweeters concealed in the ceiling could quickly undermine China’s young turks:

      To address the Japanese fear of loitering and vandalism by young riders, some train stations deploy ultrasonic deterrents—small, unobtrusive devices that emit a high-frequency tone. The particular frequency used—17 kilohertz—can generally only be heard by those under the age of 25. (Older people can’t detect such frequencies, thanks to the age-related hearing loss known as presbycusis.) These devices—the brainchild of a Welsh inventor and also used to fend off loitering teens in the U.S. and Europe—have been enthusiastically adopted in Japan.

      Standing outside one of Tokyo Station’s numerous exits on a recent summer day, it was easy to see the effectiveness of this deterrent in action. Weary salarymen and aged obaachan passed under the sonic deterrent without changing pace. Among uniform-clad students, however, the reactions were evident—a suddenly quickened pace, a look of confusion or discomfort, and often a cry of urusai! (Loud!) None appeared to connect the noise to the deterrents placed almost flush in the ceiling panels above.

      https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/05/the-amazing-psychology-of-japanese-train-stations/560822/

      Hear America’s decrepit dog whistle … and obey.

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      At least they did not send over an Army of Young Beauties.

      Not sure how our old negotiators could have defeated them.

      Reply
  9. allan

    The rich are different from you and me: they think that nanny-state government should protect them from water fowl:

    Billionaire Tom Golisano wants assessment cut in half on Canandaigua lake property [Rochester D&C]

    Billionaire Paychex founder Tom Golisano is continuing his battle against property taxes. He went before the Board of Assessment Review for the Town of South Bristol Tuesday to challenge the assessment on his Canandaigua Lake property.

    The third Tuesday in May in most communities in New York state is known as Grievance Day. Tentative assessment rolls may be challenged by property owners.

    Golisano has withheld $145,000 in property taxes, school taxes and penalties on the home, located in the Town of South Bristol, after receiving what he says is no assistance from the town in resolving a significant geese problem.

    His 2,900 square-foot home in South Bristol has 850 feet of lake frontage. Golisano has owned the property since 1999 and his annual taxes are $132,000. At its current state, Golisano said his property is unusable with the amount of waste produced by the birds. He has tried to work with the town to no avail, he said. …

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      At that local level, taxes should reflect government services.

      Question: How much does it cost to resolve his significant geese problem? Can their meat be a good source of extra income?

      Reply
      1. Randy

        He could resolve his geese problems with a $500 12-gauge and a $20 box of #4 shotshells. It might not be quite legal but kill a couple of geese and the rest learn very quickly learn to go elsewhere. Geese and wild turkeys are very smart.

        An 11 pound Canada goose has about 4 pounds of meat which tastes like tough, awful liver. No help there.

        Reply
    2. L

      Fun fact, Canandagua was until about 20 years ago a dull part of NY State that mostly grew some wine and a lot of grapes for Welch’s juice. Now it is where squillionaires want their weekend property in the vinyards and the local communities (until recently mostly working class) are being priced out of their own homes by beamer drivers who treat it as a tourism spot.

      Yes geese are a problem there but I suspect that the lack of “assistance” has something to do with differences in priorities for the money and that his tantrum (not an option for most of the actual residents of the town) is not doing him any favors.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        Perhaps the town of South Bristol should put a lien on his property, with say, 21% interest accrued therein .. until he pays up, or gets frogmarched of the manor by the sheriff !

        THAT’S how it would go down, if it were thee, or ye !

        Reply
  10. Carolinian

    That NY Post story is droll. BS job #2–Writing Student Papers

    I’ve found that I’m largely writing countless papers about business and marketing,” wrote one. “After some consideration, this makes a lot of sense to me. It’s hard for me to imagine many folks are studying to get a BA in business administration because it’s their passion. So why not hire someone else to do the work? After all, isn’t that exactly what a business major is supposed to be learning how to do?

    or #5—Corporate Lawyers

    “I am a corporate lawyer (tax litigator to be specific),” wrote one. “I contribute nothing to this world and am utterly miserable all of the time.” Particularly indignant are the lower-ranking minions in large law firms or paralegals whose entire job is to adjust commas and do endless detailed grammatical reviews of documents no one will read or, alternately, know that their firm is being paid by the minute and are therefore encouraged by their superiors to be as inefficient as possible.

    Reply
  11. Code Name D

    The joke is, I don’t have to outrun the panther, I just have to outrun you.

    Trump dosn’t need to be popular to win. He just needs to be more populat than the Democrats.

    Reply
    1. crittermom

      “Trump doesn’t need to be popular to win. He just needs to be more popular than the Democrats.”
      Well stated.

      May I put it another way? “Trump just needs the Dems to once again prevent the most popular (Bernie) from receiving the nomination.”

      Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      The “major” parties alternate in the Presidency, 2 full terms at a time. Break the mold or Trump gets a second term. That’s the deal, and they’ll cheat wholesale, if necessary, to make it happen.

      Reply
  12. neo-realist

    Re the Stacy Abrams primary victory in GA, doesn’t Georgia use touch screen voting machines w/o a paper trail? If so, I put her chances at winning the general election to be slim and none in spite of a potentially large turnout of AA voters.

    And the gentleman wearing watches on his head, an attempt at Sun Ra cosplay?

    Reply
    1. Martin Finnucane

      Yes indeed. I voted in the primary yesterday: fill out a form, show your id, get a card with a chip, stick the card in the machine, touch-select your “ballot,” review, touch-select ok, “congratulations you just made democracy happen,” pull the card, give the card to the poll worker, go home. Absolutely no assurance that anything actually happened. I’m reminded of when small kids go to the arcade and plant themselves in front of the first person shooter games, thinking they’re playing them when they’re not.

      Reply
      1. Utah

        we have machines like that here, but on the side there is a paper receipt that you can also check before you submit your ballot. It’s weird to me that other states don’t have that receipt tracker.
        I do vote-by-mail, though (yay!). Those are hand counted by the county clerk. Sometimes they don’t certify the elections for a couple of weeks after voting day, but I do like that it’s hand counted.

        Reply
  13. Wukchumni

    Elon worries his war chest like a clown
    He calls his company Tesla ’cause he likes the name
    And he sells cars to the finest knaves in town

    Elon, Elon likes when they give him money
    He loses a lot they say
    Spends his days counting
    Deposits on Model 3’s yet to hit the motorway

    He was born a future computer geek
    In South Africa one day
    When the New York Times
    Digital webpage had not yet begun
    His mommy said she had a prodigy today
    And he shall be Elon
    And he shall be a good man
    And he shall be Elon
    In tradition with the family plan
    And he shall be Elon
    And he shall be a good man
    He shall be Elon

    Elon sells electric cars in town
    His non profit business thrives
    Tesla blows up losses all day
    Not to mention bad reviews, who will buy?
    And Elon, he wants to go to Mars
    Leave Tesla far behind
    Take a rocket and go sailing,
    While Tesla, Tesla slowly dies

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhBsYZ5QOJo

    Reply
  14. a different chris

    >e could pay college deans, for example, to knit, allowing them to retain their dignity,

    e could pay college deans, for example, to knit, allowing them to reclaim their dignity,

    Fixed it for ya

    Reply
  15. UserFriendly

    I literally had no idea Megan Markle was an actress or black until I read that WWSW article. Ignorance is bliss.

    Reply
      1. J Sterling

        For the purpose of scolding white people, she’s black. For the purpose of scolding white people who say she’s black, she’s not.

        Reply
  16. JerryB

    Lambert- In Illinois there is a political blog named Capitol Fax by Rich Miller. It is an excellent blog on Illinois politics. It is by no means a “left” blog as Rich has issues with both parties in Illinois and its leaders, Madigan (Dems) and Rauner (Repub). I think Capitol Fax does a decent job of trying to be neutral. However, IMO it is a slightly left of center blog.

    Reply
  17. pete

    I am happy to see the articles here discussing trucking and the nonsense about the shortages. The thing that really drive me up a wall is how the BLS just assumes everyone works a 40 hour work week and then gives an hourly wage. I think the vast majority of truckers work 60 plus hours a week.

    Of course whenever I try to figure out what I could do professionally everyone says research it as if there is any good info on the internet but yet they wont tell you about their own experiences. If I am not mistaken I think he flat earth folks sure do a lot of research…

    Reply
    1. crittermom

      I’ve worked in the ofc of the two largest trucking firms in the US (in a former life).
      I don’t see how anyone can relate a 40 hr work week to any OTR truckers. Especially independent owner/operators (those who own their own rigs), which many do.

      Unless the industry has completely changed over the years (which I doubt), owner/operators are paid by the mile or load when hauling but receive no compensation for ‘deadhead’ miles (miles running empty to pick up their next load). No benefits, either.

      They must also pay ‘lumpers’ (those at the destination who help unload when necessary) out of their own pockets, in addition to permits, fuel, any truck repairs, & general maintenance such as tires.
      All those ‘extras’ add to their ’40 hr workweek’, in addition to deleting their wallets.

      Even those driving company trucks work more than a 40 hr week, no doubt, when you factor in all that’s required.

      A good dispatcher (one who understands the trucker’s plight & tries their hardest not to give them deadheads) is cherished by the drivers.

      It’s really more of a 24-hr job, & not an easy one.
      “…the work is hard and people aren’t paid for all their time” sums it up pretty well.

      Remember, trucking firms NEVER CLOSE. They’re open 24/7, 365.

      In reference to the part about JB Hunt paying more for a while & seeing accident rates decrease, I would suspect that was because the drivers could then afford to take the required (by law) time off driving each day & still make a living.
      More sleep = less accidents.
      I knew of many drivers who falsified their logs in order to make a living, since ‘down time’ had no earnings.

      Should I mention that even tho’ I worked in the ofc, I had to join the Teamsters?
      The pay was very good. I had a set schedule & all in all, probably made as much or more than drivers if you compare pay to hours spent on the job.

      I have a great respect for truckers, especially considering the many idiots they must deal with on the hwys. (I frequently see many trucks being cut off by cars whose drivers fail to understand that stopping a loaded rig is like trying to stop a freight train).

      Reply
  18. TroyMcClure

    Love Graeber’s stuff on the pointlessness of most jobs these days. What’s key is that so many jobs actively make other’s lives WORSE for both the worker and those affected by the job itself, like working at criminal enterprise Wells Fargo. In this case showing up bright and early and working hard actually leaves us all worse off.

    Can’t recall where I read it now, but apparently 94% of all jobs created under Obama were part time. If my math is right if you got a full time job during that time it’s a virtual certainty you were replacing someone else. You only get that gig if you’re working for less or the prior worker voluntarily left. So where is the 6% of new jobs from 2009 -2017? It’s in the Graeber article. Nonsense middle management jobs handed out as patronage to a select few. Jobs as status symbols. Jobs as a marker of social capital. “You’re lucky to have a job at all!”

    Graeber has mentioned that so much of the animosity towards teachers is that they have 1) full time work that is 2) meaningful. This drives resentment from those without enough work and/or BS jobs that they know are BS.

    Reply
    1. J Sterling

      Graeber identifies Data Analyst as a BS job, but good data analysis is useful and satisfying. In my experience, jobs with the title “Data Analyst” are often BS jobs because they give the worker that title, then set them to doing something else.

      Because it’s useful and satisfying, bosses prefer to do it themselves, so invariably they make their so-called “analysts” do intellectual guard work (check through forms to see they are filled in correctly) or act as a sort of fleshy Alexa (“Analyst, prepare and send me a spreadsheet containing the following data.”).

      Reply
    2. Pespi

      A good portion of those part time jobs exist due to healthcare laws. Call them part time in name only. They carry the roles responsibilities of what would have previously been full time jobs. People will actively avoid becoming full timers to evade the nasty mandatory insurance plans that their employers provide.

      Obama was a great con man, medicaid expansion has helped millions of people, but in the classic neoliberal way, they had to punish everyone else, because the economy is like a house, or something.

      Reply
  19. marym

    The Whitening

    Toronto Star Washington Bureau Chief Daniel Dale (@ddale8)’s live tweet (18 tweets) of Trump’s hate-filled, rabble rousing, propaganda at a “round table” today on MS-13, with some real-time fact checking (Link)

    Additional thread from @atrupar (Think Progress ) with embedded video and detail about some of the fear-mongering about undocumented minors, praise for harsh police tactics, doubling down on “animals,” saying people can’t go outside on LI because it’s so horrible, floating the idea of deducting aid money any time “somebody comes in from a certain country.” (Link)

    We are in a dark place.

    Dale has been keeping careful track of Trump’s false claims, number of times repeated, and fact check documentation, with filters by topic and source. (Link)

    Reply
  20. clarky90

    “Wearing watches on top of your head seems to be counterproductive”

    He is wearing a tiara, inspired by Queen Mary’s tiara. The Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) borrowed and wore it at her recent wedding.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      My favorite watch endorsers are pro tennis & golf players that pimp Rolexes in advertisements-which is odd, as nobody keeps time in either sport.

      Reply
      1. Angie Neer

        True that. Those watches are to signal that you have more money than you know what to with, not to keep time.

        Reply
  21. Summer

    “So Elon took the deposits and then didn’t build any cars?”

    I’m making cars now and building spaceships to travel to Uranus.
    Donations please….

    Reply
  22. The Rev Kev

    “Potential Spy Devices Which Track Cellphones, Intercept Calls Found All Over D.C., Md., Va.”

    I am going to go with the idea that there will be 16 types of these devices established around the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia area. Why that specific number? Because that is how many intelligence agencies there are who are all probably based in this area. Spy vs Spy.

    Reply
    1. Byron the Light Bulb

      Today’s DC contestants will receive the home game version, so the whole family can say, “That’s Espionage!” Game includes DVB-T dongle and a register-transfer level, software-defined radio. Impress your friends! Sniff the GSM! Catch the IMSI! All from the comfort of you own home or family war wagon. Get yours today!

      Reply
  23. Plenue

    “US fought War of Independence to get *rid* of a 2 class system!”

    I’m starting to suspect Musk just isn’t very smart…

    Reply
  24. The Rev Kev

    “Sperm can pass trauma symptoms through generations”

    I have read this idea before and I always wonder. What effect would this have had on the generation born to those who went through the trauma of the Second World War? That would be the baby-boomer generation and in some countries it has been noted the fear in people’s lives that make them support all sorts of bad laws and practices over the past coupla decades. Even Michael Moore called America the United States of Boo because of this characteristic.

    Reply
    1. Chris

      In other words, Lamarckism has something to be said for it.

      There seemed to be a general view at the time that the Nobel-winning work on DNA by Watson and Crick[‘s female colleague] was game over for research into genetics and heritability. Everything was down to DNA, front to back, wall to wall. That consensus view probably had a role in suppressing scientific curiosity about how characteristics were inherited.

      More recent work on mitochondrial DNA (which is largely transmitted through the maternal line) and epigenetics (which controls gene expression, and may have a heritable component) have opened up the field somewhat. We may be getting a ringside seat at a minor Kuhnian revolution.

      Lamarck’s (and Lysenko’s) suggested mechanisms may have been off, but there may be something in the underlying principles.

      Reply
      1. Liam

        A compelling detectives tale on Lamarckism is “The Case of the Midwife Toad” by Arthur Koestler.

        Reply
  25. Grebo

    Jupyter is a kind of markdown on steroids. It’s great for creating web documents that combine maths, code and its results. Grabbing data straight from the source is icing on the cake.
    Check out this example: Misunderheard. Incidentally, that is a great blog for anyone interested in getting into economic modelling.

    Reply
  26. Darthbobber

    Ran into this over at the NYT. RUns pretty counter to the usual line and the various narratives about evil “populism” passing current at the moment.
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/23/opinion/international-world/centrists-democracy.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region
    (Hmm. Mouthful of an url. Guessing it could be truncated a lot, but not gonna play with that at the moment.)

    Lots of nice bar charts from the data in something called the world values survey, and the european values survey, of which the upshot is that the self-styled centrists have a nighty negative view of democracy pretty much across the board. (Which anecdotally we saw with all the love that supremely idiotic New Yorker cartoon about the plane’s passengers voting got in such circles.)

    WHich may explain why the branded version of the resistance seems so bloody authoritarian. Not your imagination.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      Everything after the question mark is tracking garbage.

      Gilens & Page, authors of a massive study that found votes don’t really matter, would agree with the thesis.

      Reply
      1. Darthbobber

        Thanks. Wasn’t sure if it was mainly tracking or unneeded stylesheet calls. Since I was already late to pickup time at the vet it seemed an inopportune time to try again.

        Reply
  27. J Sterling

    “Truck Driver shortage self–inflicted by awful wage structure and working conditions”

    It’s what I keep saying, there is no such thing as a labor shortage.

    Or, to put it another way, “labor shortages” are ubiquitous and inevitable, because if they were vetting piles of applications, that would be a sign they were paying too much for too little, and they would lower the wage and worsen the conditions until an equilibrium “shortage” was achieved. And then complain that they had no more room to keep lowering the wage.

    Reply
  28. Stillfeelinthebern

    Political reporting out of Wisconsin

    http://www.wisconsineye.org. This is the Wisconsin equivalent of cspan. The weekly program rewind is excellent. They usually have party conventions live. Dems is coming up June 1and 2. Great interest with many candidates including one independent outsider (Mike McCabe) running as a Dem. That has the party loyals agitated.

    Wispolitics.com. This is a subscription site with some free articles on the website. Their election blog is quite good.

    Thewheelerreport.com. This is mostly reporting of everything legislative so is active when it is in session. Does summaries of important court cases. You can subscribe by email.

    http://www.jakehasablog.blogspot.com. Very good detailed writing on Wisconsin economic numbers and politics with a definite left bent. He always reviews all of the important employment numbers and tax collection numbers. Also comments on polls. Essential reading.

    Reply
  29. JanJ

    For what it’s worth, here’s the group that gets the lion’s share of my energy:

    http://www.wethepeoplemass.org

    Our ultimate goal is a US constitutional amendment which essentially stipulates that 1) only natural persons are entitled to constitutional rights and 2) political spending is not protected free speech and shall be regulated.

    Leadership is from the bottom up. Chapters can initiate their own projects. Chapters send representatives to state committees which come up with projects to be voluntarily implemented by chapters. We are currently moving a bill through the MA state legislature, with the ultimate goal of getting our amendment proposed at the national level. We have put the amendment question on ballots of 1/3 of the towns in the state, and it has won by a landslide (>65%) every time.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *