2:00PM Water Cooler 5/24/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Very patient readers, today’s Water Cooler must truly be an Open Thread; my life temporarily and unexpectedly became overly dynamic. I will be back tomorrow, and not in any lazy and overscheduled fashion. Be excellent to each other. Here at least are the charts, and the plant. –lambert

Stats Watch

Five Horsemen: “All of the Fab Five are down in late morning trade after the North Korean summit is cancelled” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen May 24 2018

NakedCap Mania-Panic Index: “The mania-panic index eased to 64 (complacency) as new 52-week lows exceeded new highs for the second day running” [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 23 2018

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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 (Andrea):

Andrea writes: “Patch of Solomon’s Seal in Wellfleet MA. Some stems almost 3 feet tall!” Several readers have sent in pictures of plants they took on their walks. I applaud walks.

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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.

87 comments

  1. Big River Bandido

    my life temporarily and unexpectedly became overly dynamic

    Ruh roh. Hope everything’s okay!

    Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        Thanks for that, its a fascinating map.

        It reminds me of reading an account of a medieval meal in a Priory in Dublin in the 14th Century given in honour of a visiting Bishop. On the menu was rice in almond milk. Figs and walnuts were also available. One can only imagine the sort of trade routes necessary for a dish like that to appear so far north and west of the Mediterranean.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Walnuts would grow in Ireland; they grow extremely well here, with a northern Mediterranean climate. So do figs. Walnuts weather below zero (uh-oh: that’s Fahrenheit; it’s minus 18 Centigrade) temperatures; figs freeze to the ground in that, but grow back quickly. Almonds are technically possible but I haven’t tried – like peaches, they don’t like our wet.

          By sea, Spain isn’t so far away. The Vikings certainly managed the voyage. OTOH, I don’t know when walnuts reached Western Europe – they’re from the east. But I would think by Roman times.

          Reply
          1. PlutoniumKun

            Unfortunately, its very unlikely they grew any of them in medieval Ireland – Irish summers are simply too cool for fruits or nuts like that to ripen correctly (there are modern cultivars that will provide fruit/nuts). The south of England is very much an end-of-range for many crops. In the 18th Century the aristocracy built heated walled gardens to get their exotic fruit and nuts to ripen, I doubt they were doing that in medieval times.

            Reply
        2. Eustache De Saint Pierre

          Glad you like it – the first thing I noticed was that England’s road system was one of those ” What have the Romans ever done for us “. The second was the emptiness ( In European eyes ) of the periphery.

          Reply
          1. PlutoniumKun

            I was wondering about the relative emptiness of the periphery, as there was a very lively Viking trade all along the Atlantic fringe – Dublin, York and the Isle of Man were very important trading ports for the Vikings, and they linked by river from the Mediterranean to deep into Russia. I wonder if the source for that map has something of a bias for land based trade routes.

            Reply
            1. Eustache De Saint Pierre

              I suppose that they are easier to trace as they leave large marks & are likely to still be in use – I did notice that they spelt Wexford incorrectly, unless it is I that is mistaken.

              Reply
  2. Wukchumni

    Going on a walk through groves of Sequoias of all ages today out of the most southern trailhead in the National Park: the Ladybug Trail. I’ll encounter Sequoias that are 150 years old and relics from the Dennison Ridge snowslide event of 1867, to groves where the average age is 1,000 to 1,500 years old, with trees as big as a dozen feet wide @ eye level. The largest and lowest altitude Sequoia in the park is 2 miles in @ 4300 feet. We call it Low Rider, and what makes it also special, is in 30 minutes walk further up on the trail, you’ll be equidistant with the top of it, about 1/2 a mile away as the crow flies.

    No doubt i’ll run into some Sierra Newts, and i’ll be careful not to eat them as:

    “Like other genus Taricha members, the glands in the skin of Taricha sierrae secrete the potent neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, which is hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide. This is the same toxin found in pufferfish and harlequin frogs.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_newt

    The first mile or so has Torreya Californica trees, or as it’s also called: California Nutmeg. They only grow in a few places in the state, this being one of them. The Indians used the wood to make bows. The tallest trees are about 30 feet or so.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torreya_californica

    Reply
    1. Punxsutawney

      Must be the same poison as in Rough Skinned Newts here in NW Oregon. A favorite of my son…uh though not for eating.

      Reply
    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      When will we be replacing these trees with more efficient robots?

      You’ve got me thinking Musk and Bezos could terraform the Sahara while they wait for economies of scale to overcome the Kessler Syndrome.

      Reply
  3. Lee

    In case you’ve not encountered this, or you did and forgot.

    Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder: This Is How It Goes

    This is a good one!

    Fran

    I decide to wash the car; I start toward the garage and notice the mail on the table. OK, I’m going to wash the car, but first I’m going to go through the mail. I lay the car keys down on the desk, discard the junk mail and I notice the trash can is full. OK, I’ll just put the bills on my desk and take the trash can out, but since I’m going to be near the mailbox anyway, I’ll pay these few bills first. Now, where is my check book? OOPS, there’s only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk. Oh, there’s the coke I was drinking. I’m going to look for those checks. But first I need to put my coke further away from the computer, or maybe I’ll pop it into the fridge to keep it cold for a while. I head towards the kitchen and my flowers catch my eye; they need some water. I set the coke on the counter and ooh, oh! There are my glasses. I was looking for them all morning! I’d better put them away first. I fill the container with water and head for the flower pots —aaaaagh! Someone left theTV remote in the kitchen. We will never think to look in the kitchen tonight when we want to watch television so I’d better put it back in the family room where it belongs. I splash some water into the pots and onto the floor. I throw the remote onto a soft cushion on the sofa and I head back down the hall trying to figure out what it was I was going to do.

    END OF DAY:The car isn’t washed, the bills are unpaid, the coke is sitting on the kitchen counter, the flowers are half watered, the check book still only has one check in it and I can’t seem to find my car keys! When I try to figure out how come nothing got done today, I’m baffled because I KNOW I WAS BUSY ALL DAY LONG!!!

    I realize this is a serious condition and I’ll get help, BUT FIRST, I think I’ll check my e-mail. Please send this to everyone you know because I DON’T REMEMBER WHO I’VE SENT THIS TO! But please don’t send it back to me or I might send it to you again!!!!!!!!

    [ As Read on Car Talk ] https://www.cartalk.com/content/age-activated-attention-deficit-disorder-how-it-goes

    Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          All gardening tools should be brightly colored in some part – and not green. Not that some of my favorites actually obey this rule. But that means I have to keep a very close eye on them, or they sneak off.

          Reply
      1. polecat

        I differ to beg guilty on the gardening count … however, the machine is I. And some how, things get done in spite of all of Gaia’s distractions !

        Reply
    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Our Gatherer Hunter ancestors only had to devote twenty percent of their waking time to keeping themselves alive. Dithering is probably a survival skill akin to sleeping.

      Reply
  4. Darius

    Friday fun. USA = Christian State in North America. As opposed to followers of Jesus.

    Also Corrupt State in North America. Same thing.

    Reply
  5. Jim Haygood

    Ed Yardeni’s fundamental indicator lost ground this week, as initial employment claims hit a 7-week high, and their four-week average rose to 219,750 — still one of the lower numbers of past decades. Chart:

    https://ibb.co/cBPCgT

    Helping the indicator were small bounces in Bloomberg Consumer Comfort and industrial materials prices. These were not sufficient to offset the deterioration in unemployment claims, however.

    Meanwhile the Atlanta Fed’s GDP Nowcast, whose record has been spotty recently, forecasts an improbably robust 4.1% GDP growth in the second quarter. Most of the errors of the Atlanta Fed model have been to the upside, so one might expect a more modest 2 to 3 percent growth rate when the first GDP estimate is released near the end of July.

    Reply
    1. divadab

      unemployment is a trailing indicator. I suspect this movement is noise.

      No way a recession will be permitted in an election year.

      Unless the idiots waving war flags manage to get oil prices up above $100 bbl.

      How much is show, how much is real? I’m watching Putin/Macron news conference on RT – it’s sort of like pro sports – a slick show, but real at the same time.

      Reply
      1. Jim Haygood

        Unemployment (the monthly report) is indeed a lagging indicator. But weekly initial claims are compiled and reported promptly, making them more of a coincident indicator.

        As you say, a recession is highly unlikely this midterm election year, although they’ve happened frequently in past midterm years such as 1974, 1982, 1990, and (my opinion) 2002, though NBER claims that recession ended in Nov 2001. But election year 2008 was huge fail for not permitting a meltdown in a presidential election year.

        Reply
        1. divadab

          @JIm – re: 2008 huge fail – I’d say rather that they pulled all the levers that they could during the entire Bush II presidency to keep everything inflated – the 2007-8 crash was all the worse because it was delayed.

          Also I think the effect of $160 bbl oil, thanks to the global chaos creators aka “WOT”, has never been given enough credit for the 2008 crash. It wasn’t just mortgage bankers passing off all the risk of bad loans to investors through fraudulent packaging.

          Reply
          1. hamstak

            The way I look at it, high oil prices proved the pin (or at least a pin) which burst the mortgage balloon — the balloon would have burst eventually, but expensive petro products hastened the disaster.

            Reply
          2. tegnost

            I agree, the $4 plus fuel changed behavior which was apparently a surprise to the MoU. Greenspan might deserve more credit for the details but the electeds (bush II et.al.) have the blame assigned to them for allowing it to go on. And on…

            Reply
  6. Swamp Yankee

    Scrolling through Zuck’s Panopticon (Facebook), I see one of my usual suspect liberal Democrat goodthinker college classmates sharing proven perjurer James Clapper’s assertion that Russia turned the election for Trump. He greeted this with “duh.”

    Mind you, this particular goodthinker has for years bragged about how his investments are doing, comes from an affluent professional-managerial family, etc. In other words, is the kind of utterly clueless bourgeois liberal who actually brought us Trump.

    Quick search brings me over to the BezosPost’s Plum Line, with Greg Sargent, who argues that of course Clapper must know more than just us peons.

    It really is remarkable. Outside agitators, not the internal dynamics and conditions of the United States, made the key difference in the 2016 election. There was a time when these bien pensants would have laughed this off (remember when the GOP line was that it was malign Iranian influence, not the US occupation, that was causing those pesky Iraqis to rise up? I guess that doesn’t count as #Resistance….) as the absurdity it is. But now it’s gospel truth for them.

    Yanis Varoufakis said what I have been thinking very well: these people have all forgotten Occam’s Razor. Either a) a massive information operation by RUSSIA (it has to be in all caps, Morning Joe style) caused the otherwise content peasants of the Heartland to suddenly turn on the Rightful Heir to the White House and thereby throw the election to Trump; or b) deteriorating economic and social conditions in the US were expressed at the ballot box.

    I think with a base like this, with its total #Resistance to minimal self-awareness and accountability, there’s a good chance Trump is re-elected. They still can’t figure out why they lost, and as Upton Sinclair said, they won’t.

    The only way I see the Ds winning is if, against their will, we can get Sanders the Dem nomination….

    Reply
    1. Sid Finster

      “Outside agitators are stirring up Our Negroes!”

      Even if Sanders were to be nominated tomorrow, hell, even if he were to be made President this afternoon, unless and until the Deep State is eradicated root and branch, it matters not who the titular president is.

      For that matter, if Sanders or anyone were made president against the will of the party nomenklatura, that person would quickly find themselves marginalized and without ability to get an agenda through. The 1976-1980 presidency of a one James Carter provides an instructive example.

      The problem is not the people in office, although many are bad and exacerbate the problem. Still, the people in high office are but a symptom of the problem.

      Rather, the problem is the institutions that hold power and that institutionalize oligarchy and rent-seeking on behalf of their public and non-public clients.

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        About that deep state. I may be mistaken, but I don’t believe the FBI was created by an act of Congress, but by executive fiat. I think that was discussed here not too long ago.

        Not a constitutional lawyer and just spitballing here, but why couldn’t a person run for president with abolishing the FBI as a platform plank? What is brought to life by executive fiat certainly could be undone by the same, no? If that president followed through, that would send a pretty strong message to the rest of the spooks who might be a little tougher to get rid of. The CIA did start with an act of Congress, not sure about the No Such Agency.

        Considering Chuckie Schumer’s recent comments about what the spooks can do to those who don’t toe the line, I can’t imagine that Congresspeople, even as corrupt as most of them are, really enjoy the constant surveillance and threat of blackmail. Maybe it would be easier than one might think to get Congress behind booting the deep state.

        And perhaps that’s the reason we see in this election cycle the Dems in particular recruiting ex-spooks and military. If Congress becomes just another branch of the CIA then they will never be gotten rid of, at least not peacefully.

        Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        When Truman lost to Eisenhower back in ’53, he was musing in his office about how it was going to be for Eisenhower. He reflected that Eisenhower, being a soldier, will give orders but in the White House when you give orders – often nothing will happen…just nothing. He thought that Eisenhower would have a hard time coping with that.

        Reply
    2. Geo

      The other day I saw a “Hillary 2016” bumper sticker. Didn’t see many during the election and was surprised someone still had that on their car.

      It was a white Mercedes SUV with a Beverly Hills dealership license plate frame, of course.

      Wonder if they realize how they are perpetuating the bad optics of the establishment or are, as you said, lacking self awareness and think they’re helping the cause?

      Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        I see similar cars in Tucson. And, yes, the drivers of these Hillarymobiles are just as clueless as the one that Geo just spotted.

        Reply
      2. Daryl

        Used to see lots of “Bush / Cheney” stickers for years in Texas, well past the point where the dynamic duo’s approval was in the dumpster everywhere except Utah.

        Reply
      3. Daryl

        I also have an alternate explanation for this:

        > Wonder if they realize how they are perpetuating the bad optics of the establishment

        Perhaps they are part of the establishment, and advertising it…

        Reply
      4. Jen

        In my neck of the woods the Bernie 2016 signs are starting to reappear on lawns like the first flowers of spring. I live on the VT/NH border and see almost as many on the NH side as in VT.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          my Bernie sticker is still on my tailgate. Only one I’ve ever seen outside Austin or Houston proper.
          But it still induces various and sundry rednecks and country people to ask about it.
          He could win the Texas Hill Country if he played his cards right.

          Reply
          1. Jen

            I suspect the Northeast Kingdom in VT has a lot in common with Texas Hill Country, if the jokes made about its inhabitants are any guide.

            Reply
        2. perpetualWAR

          From my 3 Bernie stickers sent to me after Hillary stole the nomination, I made “Bernie would have won” on the back of my car, where it remains. I was worried about the message, as I am moving to the red part of Washington (over the mountains near Idaho). Yet, during the time I spent over in E. Washington, two people told me they liked my message, which has been the same amount as I have received in Seattle, even though I’ve lived here far longer. I have been surprised at my new city & future home….in a good way! :)

          Reply
    3. divadab

      I agree Trump may well be re-elected – and I’ll raise you – I suspect the Dems will gain much less than they think in the House this year. Perhaps not gain a majority.

      Dem Dementia brought to you by the cartels.

      Reply
    4. Jim Haygood

      The only way I see the Ds winning is if, against their will, we can get Sanders the Dem nomination….

      Our current economic recovery turns nine years old next month. It doesn’t HAVE to die of old age. But evidence abounds — including oil prices ratcheting higher, just as they did in 2008 — that this recovery won’t make it to 2020.

      In a down economy, Trump’s posturing and blustering will no longer ring true to his pauperized base. Bernie Sanders is the ideal opponent to capitalize on the coming abject failure of flake-o-nomics, an expression which I will gladly license to his campaign at no charge. :-)

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        Maybe the economy ( for some definition) is “recovering” for a special few and their smart money plays. Not so much for the rest of us, maybe.

        Reply
    5. TroyMcClure

      The “it’s hard to find good help” crowd in the managerial/FIRE sectors have been living fat off of socialism aimed entirely at their industry for decades. Their desperate grasping to rationalize their largesse with the larger deterioration of so many American’s lives demands this sort of mental gymnastics.

      Reply
    6. drumlin woodchuckles

      If we can force a Nominee Sanders upon an unwilling Clintobamacrat party elite, the “Clintobams” and all their millions of followers will vote against Sanders to MAKE him lose, out of spite for his having dared to challenge the Clinton for nomination 2016.

      But I would vote for Sanders anyway, even knowing the Clintonites will conspire to defeat him in 2020. Let the Clintonites show themselves for what they are, then.

      Reply
  7. Andrew Watts

    Trump scraps summit with North Korea -The Hill

    Or not?

    But he also left the door open for the talks to take place if Kim takes “constructive” steps toward peace.

    “It’s possible that the existing summit could take place, or a summit at some later date,” Trump said during a bill signing ceremony.

    The South Koreans weren’t tipped off the summit was cancelled apparently even though Moon met with Trump. It was also nothing short of astounding to discover that Pompeo couldn’t answer the question if North Korea would be permitted a civilian nuclear program when he was in front of Congress today.


    Livin’ the SNAFU lifestyle in ‘MERICA!!! !@#$ YEAH!

    Reply
    1. Geo

      Trump has a long history of scamming and breaking deals. So does America’s foreign policy… and domestic policy. He’s kind of the perfect mascot reflecting our real national persona instead of the presidential mascots we’ve had before that put forward a “compassionate” persona on these issues.

      Will be interesting to see who – if anyone – is gullible enough to sign any agreements with the US after the Iran and Cuba deals, and now this.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        Trump has a long history of scamming and breaking deals. So does America’s foreign policy… and domestic policy.

        Tangentially related: Just heard a snippet on NPR referring to an old murder case that could end up with more than half the state of Oklahoma reverting to Native American control. The case is described in the following link, posted in March: https://newrepublic.com/article/147472/grisly-murder-case-turn-half-oklahoma-back-tribal-lands

        Evidently, the case will go to the Supreme Court at which time one might reasonably expect that the Native Americans will once again get supremely screwed.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Let’s say you want to bring a suit challenging that the Supreme Court itself is not Constitutional, where do you go to file that?

          Reply
          1. Punxsutawney

            Well “Judicial Review” , see Marbury vs, Madison certainly isn’t in the Constitution.

            But good luck selling that.

            Reply
        2. Jim Haygood

          The Five Civilized Tribes taking back 40 percent of Oklahoma from the fundamentalist Baptist ayatollahs who rule it now with fire and brimstone?

          Cool … let’s rumble.

          Reply
  8. PKMKII

    From the NY Times: Centrists Are the Most Hostile to Democracy, Not Extremists

    Some of the most striking data reflect respondents’ views of elections. Support for “free and fair” elections drops at the center for every single country in the sample. The size of the centrist gap is striking. In the case of the United States, fewer than half of people in the political center view elections as essential.

    Reply
    1. JBird

      The system is working for these “Centrists” and so the system is just fine. Anyone who says otherwise is a Russian stooge, Berniebro, RINO(Republican in name only), DIMO(Democrats in name only), or just some wild eye crazy person and they should not have access, so of course there should not be free and fair elections. The proles might get ideas!

      That leaves the extremists who can see the mess. A big problem is that some extremists want to fix it while others want to see it burn. The longer the “right” people are in charge the greater the chance that the burners will get their wish.

      Reply
  9. Fair rate

    Hi all

    What is your opinion about the following proposal for legislation? What are your ideas of fair interest rate and mortgage payment period?

    Legislation: Banks have to chose between charging interest on the loan or being able to take your house as security, not both.

    Currently, mortgage loans are given on the basis of head, the bank wins, tail, you lose.

    Banks both charge an interest fee and can take your house if you don’t pay.

    The interest is meant to cover the risk of the loan.
    Taking your house is also meant to cover the risk of the loan.

    This also violates the principle of balanced contracts.

    How about restricting the interest fee to 2% and mortgage period to 20 years.

    Expected advantages: lower housing prices, higher ownership. More money for consumption = keeping the economy up. Definancialization.

    What are the advantages? What addendums are needed?

    Reply
    1. Wombat

      2%? That’s less than the risk free rate. Shouldn’t the lender be able to charge the risk free rate plus a percentage? I think “fair” should be risk free rate + a 1% or 2. NO ballooning interest or variable rate mortgages.

      Also without the house as security do we have a home mortgage or just a really large personal loan?

      Reply
    2. lyman alpha blob

      If the Fed rate were fixed, you might have a better argument for 2% maximum interest. But it’s not. So if the banks have to borrow money at 4% but can only loan at 2%, they won’t be in business very long.

      If banks had to choose between charging interest or taking your house, they would all take the house. Otherwise if they could charge interest but not take the house on default, who in their right mind who pay the bank back? Especially as the money they lent you was basically conjured out of thin air. But then you’re right back to the problem discussed above – banks have to borrow with interest but aren’t allowed to collect it.

      Since mortgages are backstopped by quasi-government agencies already, Freddie and Fannie, I say if we’re going to continue with mortgages at all, then nationalize the whole industry. But there is no simple solution here – lots of moving parts that all need to be considered.

      Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I remember watching that one.

      He went to Turkey as well. The people in Tehran loved him, and he went to some countryside, with very ancient rock carvings, I think…the King of Kings road, something like that (or maybe from some other documentary/travel show). And some home cooked Persian food…maybe even Doogh.

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And I remember the one Bourdain show where he went to, I think, Mosel.

      I don’t think he would have done that in 2016 – that would have been extreme and edge.

      Reply
    1. allan

      Perez infuriates liberals with Cuomo endorsement [Politico]

      Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has said repeatedly that the national party shouldn’t, and won’t, endorse in primaries. But on Thursday, he stood on a Long Island stage and endorsed Andrew Cuomo, the New York governor who is facing a challenge from actress Cynthia Nixon.

      The decision to pick favorites in a primary pits the DNC chair against the DNC deputy chair, Keith Ellison. And it has re-opened an ongoing internal fight within the party, while giving critics ammunition to question Perez’s leadership. …

      Look for Perez and the DNC to recruit someone on the veal pen left to split Teachout’s support in the primary.

      [Comment on commenting: what happened to edit?]

      Reply
  10. Oregoncharles

    Pretty picture of the Solomon’s Seal. I’m interested that it’s so sparse. My patch is very dense; I was thinking of sending in a picture of the layering effect.

    It isn’t native here; the False Solomon’s Seal that is is very pretty, but evidently the deer like it, too.

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      It is apparently hardy stuff. I had some in my flower bed leftover from our house’s previous owner. Not my favorite plant, but I needed something for a shady area so transplanted it from the garden to a different part of the yard near a fence in the shade. Now it’s coming up in both places!

      Reply
    2. Swamp Yankee

      I think it’s probably so sparse because of the poor soil that Cape Cod — especially the outer Cape — has. It’s all sand. The pine barrens of SE Mass. are a globally rare ecosystem, with all kids of rare species, including some endemic. But it’s not a nutrient-rich environment, for the most part.

      Interestingly enough, Thoreau, the first modern “tourist” to visit the Cape, thought the sand made the corn particularly sweet in places like Wellfleet and Truro.

      Reply
  11. marym

    Trump donor to cut off GOP contributions over DACA

    A Chicago-area businessman who has donated more than $1 million to President Donald Trump is threatening to deny contributions to Republican candidates unless they act on an immigration bill before Congress.

    David MacNeil, who employs more than 1,100 people through his Bolingbrook-based WeatherTech automotive company, told POLITICO in an interview that the issue has grown deeply personal, given that a top employee in his company could face deportation if a deal isn’t reached…

    Three Texans are the only Democratic holdouts in push to force DACA vote

    Three Texas Democrats are the only members of their party who haven’t signed a petition that would force a vote on legislation intended to protect young immigrants living in the country illegally.

    So far, 190 Democrats and 23 Republicans have signed on to the rarely used procedure known as a “discharge petition” to force consideration of a measure that House Speaker Paul Ryan and his team refuse to schedule for a vote.

    With the three Texas Democrats on the sidelines, the petition needs five more Republican signatures to reach the required 218.

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  12. The Rev Kev

    You guys heard this one? Musk is floating the idea of founding a crowdsourced site called Pravda (no really, that is the name), which would let the public rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication.
    He has even registered the Pravda name last year. I suppose so he can have squashed all those mean stories about his Tesla cars. Can you imagine what 4chan will do with this? It would be hilarious. Story on this at-

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/24/17390208/elon-musk-pravda-journalism-truth

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  13. Darthbobber

    I. Just. Cannot.
    Josh Marshall pulling out all stops on the Wurlitzer of Hyperbole.
    Piece headlined, “Don’t Lose the Thread, Folks” opens thusly:
    “With so many bewildering things happening in the news, it’s important not to lose the thread. The FBI’s counter-intelligence division was confronted with evidence that the Trump campaign was riddled with operatives colluding with a hostile foreign government to throw the 2016 election. Those fears have now all been amply confirmed.”

    Seems pretty clear that Mueller’s people don’t really think that this is a thing they can establish. Clear that if there WAS a memo for the Dem machine to try to pivot towards economics the good folks over at TPM never got it. The folk over at DK are even more hysterical than this. Good Lord. “Where there’s smoke, there’s a smoke machine.”

    Not that there isn’t plenty of evidence of plenty of malfeasance by plenty of Trumpies, but I have yet to see ANYTHING that rises to a level that merits such purple prose.

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