2:00PM Water Cooler 6/15/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Trump announces tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods” [CNN]. “The United States will impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion of Chinese exports, the president said early Friday. China vowed to retaliate immediately and said the United States had ‘launched a trade war.’ The US penalty is designed to punish China for stealing American technology and trade secrets. It will apply to roughly 1,100 exports and will target the Chinese aerospace, robotics, manufacturing and auto industries…. US customs agents will begin collecting the duties on July 6, the administration said… China also said it would scrap promises to purchase more US goods. Those pledges came during negotiations with US trade officials last month…. American companies will be allowed to apply for an exemption from the tariff. The administration will outline the exemption process in coming weeks, a senior administration official told reporters…. The president gave the green light after a meeting Thursday with top economic officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.”

“China MOC spokesperson’s remarks on U.S. tariff announcement” [Xinhua]. Statement from China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC): “We will immediately take tariff measures of the same scale and intensity. All economic and trade outcomes of previous talks will now lose effect.”

“On Eve of China Tariff List Release, Does Trump Administration Have a Coherent Strategy to Deal With China Trade Deficit?” (PDF) [Lori Wallach, Public Citizen]. “What the American public needs to know is whether this administration has a coherent strategy to address our long-term and massive structural trade deficits with China that have wiped out 3.4 million American jobs since 2001 and how these tariffs fit into that strategy” [***cough*** industrial policy ***cough***]…. It remains to be seen if the administration even will follow through on this enforcement action, given that the administration already caved in once, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross are pursuing a tactic – which has failed repeatedly in the past – of seeking promises of short-term deals for China to buy more U.S. goods instead of addressing the underlying unfair Chinese trade policies…. President Trump’s endless and outrageous insults and histrionics cannot distract from the reality that to date he has miserably failed to deliver on his China trade promises. Our trade deficit with China has grown considerably since Trump was elected, and American job outsourcing continues and will intensify given that his tax scam was packed with incentives to relocate U.S. production offshore. It would be great if Trump had lined up the rest of the world to take on Beijing for its litany of unfair trade practices and suppression of democracy and independent unions*, but that’s the stuff of wishful thinking. Now the question is whether the tariffs being announced will even be enacted and, after 3.4 million American jobs have been lost to unfair China trade since 2001, the tariffs are part of a coherent strategy to address the underlying Chinese policies causing the massive structural trade deficit.” NOTE * If, when the neoliberals moved our industrial base to China, they had simultaneously boosted China’s unions, we might be looking at a different and better world.

“Tariffs present different global supply chain situations for shippers” [Logistics Management]. “For more than a while now, there has been a general consensus of ‘we will see what happens’ among global supply chain, logistics and freight transportation stakeholders, when it comes to what actually happens, or what the eventual fall out will or would be as a result of the tariffs the United States planned to place on Chinese imports to the United States. Well, that time is now officially here… And Panjiva research director Chris Rogers noted that despite the back and forth between the U.S. and China regarding tariffs and related protectionist measures, things overall are in a pretty decent place, as it relates to global trade. ‘One could argue that the mixture of nervousness, coupled with sensible supply chain strategies, could lead to less growth,’ he said. ‘But things are a long ways from not growing as much as in the past, as opposed to [shipment levels] actually falling. It is possibly a sign of more to come, with signs of a summer slowdown, much like what has occurred over the past two years.’ It’s a brave new trade world now, and it looks like it will be quite the ride.”

“Stock market sees China tariffs as a ‘buzzkill’ and falling as if a genuine trade war just erupted” [MarketWatch]. Mr. Market has a sad. “[T]he threat of tariffs has been a major bugaboo for investors because it introduces an element of uncertainty that typically rattles investors. It also can dent economic expansion, even if Friday’s levies were relatively tiny in the scheme of the economic powers at loggerheads.”



“Swarens: Here’s why Donald Trump may win a second term” [Indianapolis Star]. “The factors that drove middle of America voters to back an unpredictable, often erratic billionaire from Manhattan are explored in a new book by journalist Salena Zito and Republican advertising executive [!!] Brad Todd…. Zito was a Pittsburgh-based political reporter in July 2016 when she set out to visit every county in Pennsylvania…. ‘People are still scratching their heads about why people voted for Donald Trump,’ Jonathan Kochie, a bar and restaurant owner in Freeland, Pa., said in the book. ‘Well, here is the thing: we voted for ourselves, and that is the thing they missed. That is the thing they still miss. I turn on the television and they talk about how he brags, or this or that about him, and they still don’t talk to us. They still don’t hear us. They still don’t get us. We are a part of America too, and we are a part of America that wants to be part of something that takes everyone forward. Takes us all together.'” That word “we” is always so tricky, isn’t it?

“How Bernie Sanders Evolved on Criminal Justice Reform” [The Intercept]. This is well worth a read, especially for how Sanders interacted with the activists.


“Dems’ Fate in November May Ride on Female Turnout” [RealClearPolitics]. “Party strategists are convinced, once again, that female voters will turn out to the polls because of the record number of women running for office. More than 300 Democratic women have thrown their hats in the ring to run for Congress. In a recent NBC/WSJ poll conducted by Democratic pollster Peter Hart, voters were asked how a woman on the ballot might influence their vote. About one-fourth of the respondents said it made them more enthusiastic to vote for that person if the candidate is a woman, while 44 percent stated it made no difference. This suggests that it’s simply not enough to put a woman on the ticket to win. “Party always beats gender,” said Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.”

Senate: “Big Stakes and Small Margins in Battle for the Senate” [Charles Cook, Cook Political Report]. “But looking at the assortment of lightly populated states with very competitive Senate races—like Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and West Virginia—we could easily see control of the Senate turn on fewer than 100,000 votes…. The bottom line is that elections are complicated. How much governing responsibility will Democrats have in 2020, and whom do they nominate? How is the economy doing? What will come of these Trump investigations? No single one of these questions, but all of them combined, will dictate the results.” The future lies ahead!

WV Senate: “Manchin Touts Border Wall Vote in Bid for Trump Fans” [Bloomberg]. Attaboy.

VA Senate: “Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity to sit out Virginia Senate race” [Daily Progress]. “But [Americans for Prosperity’s] decision to withhold that support is the latest sign that the powerful network of wealthy donors and well-connected conservative activists is seeking to strike a more independent tone this election, after years of being closely intertwined with Republican campaigns and causes.” Well, the Kochs did fund the DLC. So maybe they’re going to flip!

TX-32: “TX-32: Sessions Moves from Lean Republican to Toss Up” [Cook Political Report] (TX-32 is on our worksheet.) “Multiple Republican operatives familiar with Texas polling data are convinced GOP Rep. Pete Sessions (TX-32) is, at the moment, the most vulnerable incumbent in the Lone Star State. The powerful House Rules Committee chair’s rapidly moderating Dallas district voted for Hillary Clinton 48 percent to 47 percent in 2016. … Moreover, Democrats’ nominee offers a stark contrast to Sessions. In late May, civil rights attorney Colin Allred won the Democratic runoff with 70 percent of the vote. Allred was a star linebacker at Dallas’s Hillcrest High School and went on to play for Baylor University and four seasons on special teams for the Tennessee Titans. Allred, a 35 year old African-American, is 28 years younger than the 11-term incumbent. Allred raised $1 million for the primary phase and will highlight his life story… Democrats view Allred’s profile as symbolic of this highly professional, suburban district that is almost 50 percent non-white…. Sessions had $1.5 million on hand at the end of March and as a former NRCC chair, he won’t lack for money.” Allred is DCCC-backed, supports Medicare buy-in, worked for Perkins Coie.

ME: “Waiting game drags on as Maine adjusts to ranked-choice voting” [Bangor Daily News]. “Drip. Drip. Drip. That’s the sound of election results trickling in from far-off corners in Maine. This was one of the toughest elections in recent memory to get election results from cities and towns, some of which were delayed by ranked-choice voting.” Didn’t I say the political class would start whinging about this? So Ranked Choice Voting makes it harder to file “first past the post” horserace stories. I’m playing the world’s smallest violin.

2016 Post Mortem

Forgotten nothing, learned nothing:

But your server, half of which you erased before turning it over to the FBI.

UPDATE “Did Comey Cost Clinton the Election? Why We’ll Never Know” [New York Times]. “Mr. Comey’s letter came about one week after the third presidential debate and less than two weeks before Election Day. At that time, most polling averages showed Mrs. Clinton ahead by around six percentage points in national polls. A week later, her lead had declined to three points… It’s a plausible case, but there’s a problem: Mrs. Clinton’s support was probably already in decline before the Comey letter. This decline makes it harder to claim definitively that Mr. Comey’s letter was responsible for any subsequent decline. The trends leading to Mrs. Clinton’s defeat — in particular, Mr. Trump’s consolidation of hesitant Republican support — may have already been underway. The ABC/Washington Post tracking poll, for instance, showed Mrs. Clinton’s lead dwindling to just two points in its last poll before the letter, down from a double-digit lead after the third debate. One of our own polls — a collaboration with Siena College — showed Mr. Trump leading in Florida in the days before the letter. No live interview poll had shown Mr. Trump with such a large lead in Florida since early July. Some polling analysis has treated these two surveys as evidence of a Comey effect, because they showed Mrs. Clinton’s lead slipping, and they were released after the letter. But all of the survey interviews were completed before the letter was public, even if the results were released after. The letter could not have affected either result.” Absent some form of political quantum entanglement — and granted, in the 2016 election, anything was possible — cause precedes effect. So perhaps ClintonWorld needs a collective look in the mirror before they attain “psychic relief.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Seizing Children From Parents at the Border Is Immoral. Here’s What We Can Do About It.” [Editorial Board, New York Times]. “The proposed Fair Day in Court for Kids Act would require the government to appoint counsel to unaccompanied children, and it’s important to ask Congress to support its passage. Until then, there are several nonprofits providing vital free legal aid that need financial support.” So that is the policy proposal and not, say, abolishing ICE. Alrighty then.

Meanwhile, far away from “the border,” in the interior:

UPDATE Who kidnapped Peter Daou?!

What a strange year…

UPDATE “Is Durham a union town? Labor groups hope so.” [Herald-Sun]. “Union and labor groups in Durham are calling for a Worker’s Rights Commission, and think they have a city council who supports it. ‘Durham probably has the most progressive city council in North Carolina,” said Aiden Graham, campaign manager for the North Carolina State AFL-CIO. He thinks the city can be a leader in the state and the South. But he also said Durham has a low union density.'” And a tweet on this topic:

Interesting that there is a thing called the “Durham Worker’s Assembly,” which is why I’m filing this here.

UPDATE Interesting:


OCASIO-CORTEZ: It’s not vote for me I’m xyz. To use that as the sole basis for voting for someone is incorrect and is flawed. There are a lot of Trojan horses…. It’s not the fact that I”m a Hispanic woman that allows me to better represent this district. It is the fact that it a lens that I have to help me better organize and communicate with the people who live here…. Our identities…are a lens. We can never take that lens off. And the whole point of congress is that when we have multiple lenses together we can achieve effective legislation that champions all of us…. It’s not just because of the color of my skin or my gender, but its the lenses through which we [see] things that I think are an important factor. It’s not THE factor. “At the end of the day I’m a candidate that doesn’t take corporate money, that champions medicare for all, a federal jobs guarantee, the abolishment of ice, and a green New Deal. But I approach those issues with the lenses of the community I live in.

I see this as what intersectionality should be: Treating identities as both/and, and as a way to reach out and communicate; the lens metaphor works for me. Needless to say, the either/or “identity politics” approach favored by liberal Democrat apparatchiks does not do this.

UPDATE “Why Aren’t Top Democrats Acknowledging the Black Women Running for Office?” [The Atlantic]. “Democratic leaders have repeatedly declared that African American women are “the backbone” of the party. But when some of those same women run and win their primary bids for Congress, they haven’t had so much as a phone call from establishment leaders. In interviews with The Atlantic, five black women candidates who won their primaries said they still haven’t heard from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the body that works to elect Democrats to the House.” Oh? They want to spend four hours a day on the phone servicing donors? Miss me with that.

Stats Watch

Quadruple Witching.

Industrial Production, May 2018: “A big drop in autos skewed industrial production lower in May, slipping 0.1 percent and missing what was an already soft consensus by 2 tenths” [Econoday]. “Yet readings outside autos are also soft with hi-tech production up only 0.2 percent and production of business equipment down 1.1 percent. Excluding autos, manufacturing production fell 0.2 percent in the month. The manufacturing component of this report never really has shown the kind of strength being posted by factory shipments or factory orders.” And: “The pullback in factory output largely reflects a disruption in truck assemblies due to a major fire at a parts supplier, the Fed said in the report. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing production fell just 0.2% following a 0.8% gain the prior month” [Industry Week]. And: “There was significant upward revision to the existing data over the last 6 months. So industrial production is pretty much at the same level as we thought it was last month. The best way to view this is the 3 month rolling averages which insignificantly declined. Industrial production is in a long term upward trend” [Econoday]. “Manufacturing employment rate of growth is accelerating year-over-year.” And: “This is 23% above the recession low, and 2% above the pre-recession peak” [Calculated Risk].

Empire State Manufacturing Survey, June 2018: “Enormous strength is Empire State’s indication for the June factory sector” [Econoday]. “The factory sector, where orders are rising at a roughly double-digit pace, is the economy’s hottest sector.” And: I am not a fan of surveys – and this survey jumps around erratically – but has been relatively steady for the last year. Key internals in the report improved” [Econintersect]. “This survey has a lot extra bells and whistles which take attention away from the core questions: (1) are orders and (2) are unfilled orders (backlog) improving? – and the answer is yes for this month.” And: “This was above the consensus forecast and a strong reading” [Calculated Risk]. Once again the surveys and the data diverge. And so, “The Empire State reading was at odds with the data released Friday showing a downturn in industrial production. Besides the Empire State survey referencing June instead of May, the New York region doesn’t produce many automobiles, which was the main source of the national downturn” [MarketWatch].

Consumer Sentiment, June 2018 (Preliminary): “Tariffs and talk of trade wars may be pulling down expectations but they aren’t affecting the consumer’s immediate view” [Econoday]. And: “The general trend in the Michigan Sentiment Index since the Financial Crisis lows was one of slow improvement. The survey findings saw a jump in late 2016 with improvements that have continued through the present” [Econintersect].

ECRI’s WLI Growth Index: “Even with the general downward trend in this index over the last 6 months, the forecast is for modest growth six months from today” [Econintersect].

Jobless Claims: “Just a reminder (from 2015) as to why claims are this low:” [quoting the Sun-Sentinel]: “Fewer than one in eight unemployed workers in Florida receives jobless benefits, the result of a burdensome system that is ‘virtually inaccessible’ for the average person out of work, a new report concludes” [Mosler Economics]. “We haven’t yet to recover from the last recession, in my opinion due to an ongoing lack of demand.” Chart:

This is Mosler’s story and he’s sticking to it, but my anecdotal data says he’s right, and I think the readership would agree.

Employment Situation: “130,000 US Teens Found Summer Jobs in May” [247 Wall Street]. “The summer hiring season for teenage workers got off to a much better start this year than last. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reported Friday morning that 130,000 teens found a job in May, an increase of 73% compared to the 75,000 who found jobs in May of last year.”

Real Estate: “America’s New Factory Building Frenzy” [Industry Week]. “[V]acancy rates for U.S. manufacturing have dropped to 3.8%, ‘well below the 10-year average of 7.3%,’ wrote Jason Tolliver in a recent column for Area Development. Tolliver, who is vice president and head of industrial research, Americas, for real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, also pointed out that manufacturing construction has rebounded. ‘The current average of 12.5 million square feet of new manufacturing product added per year is close to the pre-recession average of 12.6 million square feet,’ he wrote. ‘Since 2010, 62.5 million square feet of manufacturing space has come online in the United States.’ That’s a lot of new manufacturing space in play, with a significant number of “expectant” manufacturers likely to add to U.S. square footage soon.” Good for rentiers. And if the plants are filled with robots?

Fodder for the Bulls: “Is the cycle about to be over, or is it just getting started?” [FreightWaves]. “The financial world seems to be fixated on “How far into this economic cycle are we? Our outlook on the economic cycle is relatively straightforward. We are still early in the economic cycle. In order to properly dissect and understand the U.S. economy, it has to be first divided into the industrial and consumer economies, without ignoring the technology economy (of which the U.S. is the undisputed world leader). The Industrial Economy – The 2009 through 2014 period was the first industrial-led economic recovery in the U.S. since 1961. The advent of fracking technology as advanced by the U.S. oil and gas exploration companies drove a massive buildup in domestic industrial activity… The Consumer Economy – The 2009 through 2016 period was a period of extremely slow growth to no growth for the U.S. consumer… There are more Millennials than Baby Boomers and as they have finally begun to marry in sizable numbers there has been a steady increase in new household formation. Nothing spurs household formation and the acquisition of household goods like getting a spouse, and Millennials have started that process in earnest in the last 18 months…. Low unemployment is driving steady growth in consumer income and nothing drives consumer spending stronger than growth in consumer income and growth in new household formation. Bottom line: we are still in the first 18 months of the consumer recovery and the size of the Millennial demographic could drive the consumer economy for several years without interruption.” Big if true!

UPDATE The Fed: “Fed sets limits on biggest banks’ loans to each other” [Associated Press]. “At a meeting Thursday, the Fed governors adopted a new rule that caps a big bank’s credit exposure to another bank. The rule is close to a proposal the central bank floated two years ago, but it makes revisions for the credit limits to be tailored to the size of the bank. That’s in line with the Fed’s current approach to regulation under new leaders appointed by President Donald Trump. The aim of the rule, applied to banks with assets of $250 billion or more, is to help bolster the stability of the financial system. The hope is to prevent a repeat of the crisis that engulfed the financial system in September 2008 when the collapse of Wall Street powerhouse Lehman Brothers raised fears over the stability of banks that had made loans to Lehman.”

Five Horsemen: “The Fab Five are wilting in late morning action as trade war with China sizzles on the front burner” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen June 15 2018

NakedCap Mania-Panic Index: “Despite yesterday’s mild market gain, the mania-panic index eased a tick to 67 (complacency) as the put-call ratio spiked higher and the margin of new highs over new lows deteriorated” [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 June 14 2018

Health Care

“CMS star rating system has been wrong for two years, health system finds” [Modern Healthcare]. “The CMS has miscalculated hospitals star ratings since they were first released in 2016, according to leaders at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Rush’s quality leaders found that instead of evenly weighting the eight measures in the safety of care group, the CMS’ star ratings formula relied heavily on one measure—PSI-90—for the first four releases of the ratings and then complication rates from hip and knee replacements for the latest release. The single measure accounted for about 98% of a hospital’s performance in the safety group, according to Rush’s analysis. Star ratings are used by payers to negotiate contracts and help consumers decide where to go for care.”

“Court: Federal government doesn’t owe insurers Obamacare payments” [Politico]. “A divided three-judge panel rejected claims from two Obamacare insurers that the federal government was required to make good on payments from a program meant to protect insurers who attracted customers who were sicker and more expensive than anticipated. The two insurers were seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in payments from Obamacare’s risk corridor program, and at least three dozen other insurers have filed similar lawsuits. In all, insurers say they’re owed more than $12 billion from the risk corridor program… The court, siding with the Trump administration, said the federal government didn’t have to make the payments because Congress had taken action — after Obamacare’s passage — requiring the program to be budget neutral year after year.”

Class Warfare

“Nashville Painters Aim To Build Immigrant Base” [Labor Notes]. “How can building trades unions organize workers in an area where they don’t have much of a foothold? You’ve got to become a fixture in the community, and be in it for the long haul. That’s the commitment the Painters are making in Nashville, Tennessee, where they just launched the Alianza Laboral (Spanish for “labor alliance”) Worker Resource Center…. The Marriott aside, most construction work in Nashville is being done nonunion, overwhelmingly by Latino immigrants. To raise standards in the industry, the union will have to organize these workers…. ‘Right now, we don’t have the power to initiate a fight against anyone,” she said. “What’s most important to us is the way we establish ourselves within the Latino community, to one day be ready to take on those fights.'”

“CFPB Enforcement Paralyzed” [Credit Slips]. “Only two new enforcement orders have been entered under Mr. Mulvaney to date. In contrast, from the CFPB’s inception through November 2017 (when Mr. Mulvaney took office), the Bureau brought a total of 200 public enforcement actions… CFPB leadership has floated proposals to make the agency reveal sensitive details about ongoing investigations to targets, curtail the length or scope of CFPB investigations, limit the documents CFPB enforcement can seek, and restrict cooperation between CFPB enforcement and state attorneys general. In the recent Wells Fargo enforcement order, Mr. Mulvaney even allowed the bank of Pony Express fame to decide how much to pay the consumers it injured…. Surely everyone can agree–Democrat or Republican, consumer or industry–that dishonest business practices must not be tolerated.”

“Former Google Exec Announces $1 Billion Wage Gain Challenge” [IndustryWeek]. “According to the Pew Research Center, the share of national income held by middle-class households has decreased to 43%—its lowest level since the center began publishing income-share data in 1967—while middle-class wages have grown just 6% and low-wage workers’ wages have decreased by 5% 1979. In an effort to close this gap, on June 13, Jobs for the Future (JFF) and Schmidt Futures – led by former Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt – announced a new innovative competition called the $1 Billion Wage Gain Challenge to raise the wages of at least 100,000 workers by $10,000 or more by 2021…. JFFLabs is now accepting applications for a cohort of tech-enabled startups looking to create and scale career advancement opportunities for retail and adjacent sector workers through work-based learning strategies.”

“Ask HN: How to survive as a homeless engineer?” [Hacker News]. “TL;DR I’m about to get evicted because I ran out of money and can’t seem to land a job. I’m also in a bit of a rush, so i apologize for any grammatical errors. I have been a web developer / software engineer for 15 years (fullstack, 5 languages)…. The questions I have for HN are: what are my best options for survival? any pro tips on how to live on the streets and still land an engineering job?” See, STEM is the answer….

“Counties Where the American Dream Is Dead” [247 Wall Street]. “While opportunities and upward income mobility exist in some areas, they are close to zero in others and have been falling sharply in recent decades…. The [Equality of Opportunity Project] researchers found that neighborhood environments have substantial effects on children’s long-term economic outcomes. The probability of earning in adulthood more than $26,090 — the average annual income for the bottom quartile nationally — goes down every year of childhood spent in nearly 1,000 counties. To highlight the substantial geographic variation of this pattern, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 50 counties where the average income losses are greatest. Children growing up in counties with less concentrated poverty, less income inequality, better schools, a larger share of two-parent families, and lower crime rates are significantly more likely to surpass their parents later in life.” Class, as an analytical tool, has a hard time giving an account of these intergenerational effects. I’m reading up on caste — “deplorable” does have the same sort of tone that “untouchable” does, no? — not as a theoretical construct, since obviously America does not have caste in the same way that India does, but to get into the mindset where intergenerational inequality is not only made explicit as ascriptive identity but celebrated (and contested). One can imagine meritocracy congealing into caste over several generations, with legacy admission after legacy admission after legacy admission. Just a random thought and a summer reading project.

“How to Use Minimum Wage Laws to Improve Local Schools” [Benjamin Studebaker]. “What kills American towns are low income residents. Low income residents lower the amount of tax revenue local schools have per student, damaging school performance. As the schools decline, the affluent residents dry up, and that hits land values and median income, eroding tax revenue and further damaging the schools. Towns get into death spirals, where declining schools and collapsing prosperity feed off each other…. If minimum wage jobs pay better, then the people who move to the town won’t hurt the tax base and the school budget so much. Stronger incomes means stronger families, which means more domestic stability for the children of low income people, better test scores, and stronger schools. When a town has a higher minimum wage than surrounding areas, employers get their pick of the best workers in the region, which means better job performance and better customer service. Well-run businesses make towns even more attractive to affluent residents. Low-wage workers will spend a lot of their enlarged paychecks locally at the very businesses that pay them.”

News of The Wired

“The khipu code: the knotty mystery of the Inkas’ 3D records [Aeon (DK)]. Fascinating, culturally and as a data structure. “[T]he Inkas’ 3D records are intimidating because they are so radically outside the comfort zone of modern society and communications technologies. The Inkas managed to centralise and collapse mathematics, language, accounting and history into a durable and portable recording device. Their khipus are a perfect example of why it is dangerous to judge the past through the lens of the present. If ancient peoples were ‘primitive’, then we must be as well – the Inkas and the narrative khipus have, after all, managed to baffle us so far.”

“Better Genderless Pronouns in English” [Richard Stallman (PM)]. Stallman is a fan of Marge Piercy’s wonderful Woman on the Edge of Time, and advocates her solution on pronouns. (I try to use “they.” Stallman: “Some chose ‘they’ as the least bad, but that doesn’t make it a good solution.”

* * *

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:

Purple sage.

My garden is sadly disheveled but at least has shade:

* * *

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.


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.


  1. Jim Haygood

    California’s Tres Amigos plan hits the ballot box for real:

    An initiative that would divide California into three separate states qualified Tuesday to appear on the ballot in November’s general election.

    Californians will vote whether to separate into three states: California, Northern California and Southern California — subject to approval by US Congress.

    The proposal by venture capitalist Tim Draper to break up California in a campaign called “Cal 3” received more than 402,468 valid signatures — surpassing the amount [sic] required by state law.

    California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will certify the initiative as qualified for the November 6th ballot on June 28.


    The plan would leave the nascent State of Jefferson governed from Sacramento, while much of the Central Valley likely would end up (oddly) with San Diego as its capital. In other words, approval of this plan would prompt a fresh round of pre-emptive mitoses to split the three new entities into a fresh six-pack o’ trouble.

    So adios to California
    Nothin’ to do but turn around
    Always thought the feds were comin’ for ya
    Only way you’d split this town

    — John Hiatt

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      If California splits, the Republican strongholds will as well. Watch Texas split into 3 or 4 states, maybe more, Mississippi, Alabama, Arizona. The number of senate seats will surge. Eventually, someone will figure out that each state gets a minimum of 1 house member leading inexorably to a truly bizarre end game. Mitch McConnell will finally figure out how to isolate Louisville and remove it from his reelection considerations.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Unlike any other state, Texas explicitly reserved the right to split into as many as five statelets when it forfeited its national sovereignty in 1845.

        But Texas, in my biased judgment, possesses the strongest sense of identity of any state. Splitting it would be very unpopular except in Austin, which would dearly love to have its own progressive city-state carved out of the state’s red sea of deplorables.

        Likewise Arizona would be hard to split since its two liberal towns — Tucson and Flagstaff — are at opposite ends of the state. Tucson might be viable on its own, but Flagstaff is too small.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Do you think ANY anti-gerrymandering provisions of the VRA (or SCOTUS constitutional interpretation) apply at the “new state” level?

          I suspect not. This is one really big hole. Talk about a nuclear option.

        2. pretzelattack

          dallas would like to split from houston, and may want to divorce ft worth, but who would get custody of arlington?

        3. Synapsid

          Jim Haygood,

          Did Texas maintain the right to split after being on the South side in the Civil War?

          I don’t know, myself.

        4. Amfortas the Hippie

          It’s not as monolithic as all that.
          “West Texas”…which, weirdly, is thought of either as anything west of I35, or more historically as west of a line from Austin to Ft Worth…is a whole other world from East Texas(which I feel like is east of roughly the Brazos). East Texas is where a lot(if not most) of the Crazy comes from that all Texans are then tarred with; a sodden, idiot infested land of pine trees and white sheets and that ol’time religion…
          Central and West is more pragmatic and tolerant, in my experience…as well as more cosmopolitan and educated(cowpokes with books)
          There has been internal migration, of course, muddying such distinctions(I am always surprised and dismayed to learn of newcomers from the East, as if I am still being pursued by those people after all these years(i escaped the Pine Curtain around 1993))
          I have less experience with South Texas…it being far out of my normal range(Texas is Huge, after all. from my current perch in the geographical center, it takes at least 7 hours to even approach a border with Not-Texas)…but familia and friends indicate that “The Valley” is near enough to Atzlan…confirming the picture provided by the Census Bureau and the worst fears of the monstrous League of the South, (Kemah, Texas Branch)..
          I wouldn’t mind an at least three-state solution: Let East Texas rejoin Dixie…the loss of Houston will be sorrowful, but it might have a mollifying, even civilising, effect on that benighted region.
          And if I were in charge of the transition, I’d likely build a wall around Dallas and it’s exurbs…
          That metropolis, excluding the saner Ft Worth, is like a rich colony of East Texas, covering their tribal animosities with oil wealth and gold paint.

    2. RUKidding

      It’s unlikely to pass.

      There were a bunch of State of Jefferson people demonstrating outside the Federal District Courthouse in Sacramento yesterday. No one driving past was enthusiastic or supportive.

      The Northern CA/Jefferson citizens whine constantly about high taxes. If CA is split, they’d have a very rude awakening as they see all of their many and numerous benefits go bye-bye. For better or worse, N. CA is pretty poor overall. Not much in the way of jobs or industry. Most of the main jobs up there are Fed, State or local gov’t jobs.

      Sadly a ton of meth/opiod addictions, plus a lot of older, out of shape (believe me, I see it) retirees on fixed incomes.

      If they lose all of the sweet sweet state and fed money that supports them, they’re going to be in for a bigger world of hurt than they ever imagined.

      The stupidity, it burnz.

      1. fresno dan

        June 15, 2018 at 3:02 pm

        I lived in Redding, CA until about a year ago. Now, I don’t want to say that EVERY Jefferson supporter is a marijuana rancher who lives in a shoddy trailer….some of the trailers are well kept….

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        Remember the Golgafrinchams!

        The Golgafrinchams could remember themselves themselves except for certain unfortunate decisions that looked perfectly obvious at the time.

        Can I be a Schrodinger’s Burkean Conservative?

      3. Octopii

        Northern CA is (was?) almost entirely completely stoned. My visit to Eureka while camping up the coast was like stepping into the twilight zone. They can have their state all to themselves, just let me visit the Redwoods once a decade or so.

    3. marku52

      The Senate will never allow it, no matter how CA votes. No senator is going to allow his power to be diluted.

      1. Jim Haygood

        No senator is going to allow his her power campaign contributions to be diluted.

        This message was not paid for with Feinstein or Harris campaign funds.

      2. PKMKII

        More to the point, the Republican ones realize that it’s an automatic adding of 3-4 Democratic senators. They’ve been at the game of rigging the electoral systems to their favor for too long to not see the plan for what it is. Of course, the “consensus” Democrats would vote against it because norms.

      3. Adam Eran

        The Senate is the problem. What’s wrong with unicameral government, apportioned by population?

        1. ambrit

          Too much like the system that arch commie Comrade Ben Franklin wanted for Massachusetts.

          1. Swamp Yankee

            I think you mean Pennsylvania. John Adams, who wrote the Massachusetts Constitution, was big on an Upper House.

            By contrast, the Pennsylvania Constitution from the Revolutionary period had a unicameral legislature and a multi-person executive.

        2. Mo's Bike Shop

          Needs about 3000 Representatives, Members of Congress is what I’m saying. If implemented as such, I don’t see that as a problem personally.

      4. Big Tap

        I’m not so sure about that. If Northern California produces two Republican senators and the other two ‘Californias’ go Democratic status quo is maintained – Democrat plus two. That could pass Congress as no party benefits with this change. The real question is would Northern California go Republican. Has any polling been done regarding voter party preference in this new alignment?

    4. Lost in OR

      Can you spell entropy? The center cannot hold.

      First the USSR. CA next? Who cares?

      Welcome to the age of volatility.

      Who’s next? USA? PRC?

      Got popcorn?

    5. Wukchumni

      Checking in from the Redwood Empire, amidst tall timber in the far north reaches of Treeifornia.

  2. diptherio

    Calls for a public bank in NYC:

    What would students in debt, worker coops, and entrepreneurs stand to gain from a public bank in the financial capital of the world? This week, putting communities over commodities with leading figures in the fight for a new economy for working people.

    Is a Public Bank in the financial capital of the world possible? And how will that public bank help worker co-ops, students, entrepreneurs, and more? Deyanira del Río from the New Economy Project, Linda Levy of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union and Enlace’s Cindy Martinez on why it’s more needed than ever – and what they’re doing to make it happen. Then, a look at the Public Bank NYC’s recent launch action with New York City organizations, including New York Public Interest Research Group; NY Communities for Change; and The Working World.


    1. Jim Haygood

      Two people I know, both with current checking accounts at other banks, recently applied for checking accounts at two different local credit unions and were turned down. One of the credit union branches is located inside a Walmart.

      Normally banks do an inquiry to ChexSystems to screen out serial check kiters. But both these applicants were turned down based on insufficient credit score, though neither was seeking a credit card or overdraft line, just a transaction account for deposits and payments.

      As credit unions get uppity about catering to a silk-stocking clientele, it would be highly entertaining to watch a public bank eat their lunch by performing the mission credit unions increasingly decline to do.

      1. crittermom

        *moan* Credit Unions now require good credit to even open a checking acct?
        I’d thought that was only the playbook of the bigger banks. Seems they’re no longer the ‘good guys’ & have chosen to follow the ‘league of greed’.

        I want to switch to a credit union but there isn’t one within more than 80 miles from me, so I continue to bank with a smaller bank in my previous state I’ve been with for years. (By mail, since I don’t have a ‘smartphone’). I fear I ‘wouldn’t be allowed’ to open one elsewhere anymore.

        As I’ve said many times before, this is not the America I grew up in…

    2. Clive

      Further to Jim’s tale of woe above…

      Time (and space) limits preclude giving this the detail it does deserve and this is an important topic / question. A short and necessarily inadequate response is: it is, unfortunately, difficult to make money from people who don’t have it. Even if you’re running a genuinely not-for-profit, you still have to somehow avoid making a loss. Tricky when your customer base is the kind that’s most likely to not want to pay out on fee-heavy products and / or be prone to defaults and you then need to incur charge-offs.

      I wish, sincerely, I could offer better news on this one.

    3. makedoanmend

      Hi Diptherio,

      Some individual Credit Unions have had problems in Ireland but the majority are healthy institutions that offer basic financial services to a broad array of clients. The better ones keep their business model simple. Other than normal banking regulations regarding proof of residential status, there are no impediments to opening an account. The annual reports are printed and freely available. Credit unions were a significant local source of credit in years past probably because Ireland wasn’t overly financialised back in the day. Since they appealed to broad spectrum of society, across different classes, they still have a broad base of customers today.

      It’s often a matter of cultural practice, practicality, and the lack of a hostile government attitude that insures the success of CUs. The several CUs I dealt with in Monaghan and Cavan were all financially healthy and easily accessible for services. One builds a modest relationship with the CU by regularly depositing small amounts of cash on a c. weekly basis.

      I’m not sure who regulates the Scottish CUs, but I suspect it’s done from a central UK authority. The CU has been forced to collect an up front “fee” when you open an account which negates any dividends you might receive. Also, you cannot directly deposit cash into the CUs in the local town but must first have a “normal” bank and they can then transfer money to the CU.

      One would be forgiven for thinking that government really is making it hard for CUs to compete with the big banks whose shares can be bought and hoarded by the investment class.

  3. Bugs Bunny

    Re: “Seizing Children From Parents at the Border Is Immoral. Here’s What We Can Do About It.” NYT

    This change to the NYT style guide where they refer to their readers as “We” is, well, sickening. It reeks of 1930’s style propaganda.

    1. Big River Bandido

      Well, the editors at the Times *do* know their audience, and it’s narrow enough — and overlaps enough with the staff at the paper — that it is competent to speak on its behalf.

    2. JTMcPhee

      The regular “we,” the editorial “we,” the royal “we,” and the Bernaysian “we.”

      “We shall overcome,
      We shall overcome,
      We shall overcome some da-a-a-ay,,,”

    3. Jean

      I am outraged that a cousin cannot take his children into his local jail with him while he awaits trial.
      Even if he did bring them into the house in which he was squatting. It’s cruel and breaks up families.

  4. Louis Fyne

    ‘“Party strategists are convinced, once again, that female voters will turn out to the polls because of the record number of women running for office.’

    this is not a winning strategy. just wanted to throw that plebian thought out there.

    Now where’s my campaign strategist retainer? I’ll work for free. Just cover my food and bar tab.

    1. Synoia

      “Dems’ Fate in November May Ride on Female Turnout: ”Leaving no non-policy stone unturned.“

      I’ve come the the conclusion Democrats do not want to win. The want to enjoy their sinecures without having to do anything, and thus avoid all blame.

      All “fighting” and no “winning.” aka: Smoke and Mirrors.

      1. Anon

        Never want to win, want to swap their electorate for moderate-Rs, fighting for x eternally…

        There are a great many things one can place at the feet of Democrats, but what you said and what I said kinda sums them up.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think gerrymandered districts have simply removed too many sitting Democrats from actual elections. Republicans in their districts who need the auspices of safe Democrats for their business interests are going to protect their interests and inflate egos of Democrats. Its really easy to see how a narcissist is going to come up with stupid ideas based on their own experience in a safe district. Their staff gets promoted with seniority even if they don’t have a clue how things are supposed to be run.

        They try to replicate a good ole boys network (reaching out to those “moderate suburban Republicans” is code for the Republicans who lavish attention on Democrats in one party districts because they have no where else to go) which is only possible in a one party district because it breeds incompetence over time. A Democratic Party good ole boy (even if they aren’t a white man) will simply not win or retain a seat trying to replicate the campaign strategies of “successful” politicians who don’t face credible challenges in November such as Pelosi or Schumer. Ted Kennedy was off the ballot, and a Republican won state wide in Massachusetts in the wake of 2008.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      Are you saying that Dan Quayle didn’t bring the sexy to the 88 elections?

      It’s really sad. Democarts using Republican stragetey. Who wants to tell them?

  5. Jim Haygood

    Trouble in Banksterville [excerpted from an FT article]:

    Of 39 global SIFIs [Systematically Important Financial Institutions], 16 are in bear market territory: Deutsche Bank, Nordea, ICBC, UniCredit, Crédit Agricole, ING, Santander, Société Générale, BNP Paribas, UBS, Agricultural Bank of China, AXA, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Bank of China, Credit Suisse and Prudential Financial.

    What many of the harder-hit SIFI banks have in common, said Ian Harnett of Absolute Strategy Research, is a heavy dependence on US dollar funding, putting them at risk of a squeeze if US rates continue to rise and the dollar continues to strengthen.

    Hartnett noted bullish remarks from Jamie Dimon on CNBC last week, when the JPMorgan chief celebrated strong consumer and business sentiment and said he could find “no real potholes” in the outlook.

    “The good news does not last for ever,” Hartnett said. “Those kind of comments are usually just before things start heading down.”

    Did Jamie Dimon just utter on live TV the equivalent of famed economist Irving Fisher’s pronouncement of a “permanently high plateau” just before stocks crashed in 1929?

    If so, we can watch Dimon’s reputation roasted on history’s unforgiving spit for a thousand years to come. Sweet!

    1. Clive

      DB and Santander — two I’d definitely put on 24-hr suicide watch, should they be in the unlikely position of being under my care.

      1. marku52

        I’m astonished that Santander still funds an F1 team–Ferrari. Paying good money to advertise on an F1 car is prima facie evidence of incompetent manglement.

        1. Clive

          Richard Smith has written how sponsorship is oftentimes merely a pseudonym for “slush fund”. Not that I’m implying anything specific. Some is obviously entirely above board and beyond reproach. But some isn’t.

    2. freedomny

      I really try as a human being not to hate….but after 10 years at Chase, I can honestly say I believe Dimon’s role in history was immoral. And I have no problem saying that on the internet – where I hope it will stay FOREVAH….

      Strong consumer sentiment….no potholes? Correction – immoral AND delusional.

  6. marym

    Re: NYT Re: Seizing Children From Parents at the Border

    The posts references 3 Senate bills:

    Fair Day in Court Act S2468 was introduced 2/28/2018 to require legal counsel for unaccompanied minors. It pre-dates the new Trump/Sessions policy of seizing children from parents at the border.

    Help Separated Children S2937 was introduced 5/23/2018 to provide that parents in the US seized in “any immigration enforcement action” be allowed to contact and make care arrangements for their children. Based on content, the bill does not appear to be specific to the new Trump/Sessions policy, but I don’t know the history.

    Keep Families Together S3036 was introduced 6/7/2018 to limit separation of children from parents “near the port of entry or within 100 miles of the border” to situations of child danger (e.g. suspicion of trafficking or abuse). The bill also has provisions for tracking and reuniting separated families and protecting parental rights. It includes a “presumption that detention is not in the best interests of families and children.” I don’t know what the force of that would be legally, but Trump tweets today and comments from others indicate that something like this or stronger is needed to prevent indefinite detention of families, whether separated or not. This bill appears to be a specific response to the new Trump/Sessions policy.

    There are 2 proposals circulating in the House now that supposedly address additional immigration issues. As with DACA Trump appears to have made things worse, and is now blaming the Democrats for being recalcitrant in accepting his other conditions as the reason things got worse.

    1. Roger Smith

      I don’t understand any of this. It seems like mostly screeching from both sides. One side saying “protect our borders” and the other, “stop separating families”. Both of these have general merit but neither side seems to actually be addressing the real issues. Why are we arresting and detaining illegal immigrants in the first place, during which the families are being separated? Why do minors need legal counsel? Why are they, or their parents, even going before a United States judge? How can non-citizens be tried in a Federal court of law? Wouldn’t the more simple thing to do be busing them back to the border and letting them out?

      As far as the ‘left’ is concerned, I have seen no legitimate policy calls for an actual solution to the problem (well on either side really). Immigration has been so mismanaged for so long that I am not even sure what the solution should be, but we obviously can’t let everyone in willy-nilly, while at the same time putting them in U.S. funded prisons and court houses doesn’t make any sense either, nor does keeping everyone out. I understand the theoretical functionality of a wall, but it is clear that is not physically functional.

      1. marym

        The current crisis is related to arresting and detaining asylum seekers at the border, not illegal immigrants. The reason, in my opinion, is the Trump/Sessions/Miller white supremacy agenda, but YMMV. The reason the children are being separated from their parents seems to be, from Trump tweeting today, to hold them hostage in order dictate the terms of currently developing broader legislation.*

        IANAL but the reason for legal counsel and legal proceedings would be the 14th Amendment

        “… nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

        and probably other laws as well.

        Putting people in US funded prisons is a profitable business for the donor class.

        Net immigration from Mexico, legal and illegal, has been declining since 2012 and is currently negative (Link). The purpose of the wall, again in my opinion, is to foster the politically useful idea that we need a wall.

        * There are 2 bills. It’s my understanding that one of them provides for humane resolution for the DACA recipients; and the other imposes stricter limits on legal immigration and asylum. This is what’s known as “moderate” and “conservative.” I have other words, but in any case there are probably more features to the bills than these.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > the new Trump/Sessions policy of seizing children from parents at the border.

      We can have discussion about the semantics of “new,” but I’m not buying it. From today’s Links, the Texas Observer:

      What’s not entirely new is locking up families in penal-like facilities, or even “tent cities” for immigrants, including kids. Under George W. Bush, the immigrant-incarceration complex boomed, fueled by policies that put more and more immigrants into detention and prison. ….

      In 2006, a former prison in Taylor, near Austin, gained the dubious distinction of becoming the first family detention center in the nation. Run by the Corrections Corporation of America, the prison — that’s what it was, after all — held undocumented families, including infants and toddlers, for months at a time in conditions that human rights groups characterized as “anti-family and un-American.”

      In one of the few substantive reforms to the immigrant detention system during his two terms, the Obama administration ended family detention at Hutto. But in 2014, as a large influx of asylum-seekers arrived at the Texas-Mexico border from Central America, the administration hastily reopened two new family detention centers in South Texas, one at a former oilfield “mancamp” in Dilley and another at a facility in Karnes City. Both are privately operated.

      There’s also precedent for warehousing immigrant children at military bases. In 2014, Obama temporarily held kids at an emergency shelter at Lackland AFB in San Antonio — a development that Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott were appalled by at the time. The photo at the top of this story — of Central American kids at a Border Patrol processing center — has been repeatedly mistaken as a recent, Trump-era image. In fact, it’s from 2014, during the Central American refugee surge.

      I suppose we can be thankful that the Trump administration hasn’t turned to the private sector to build the kiddo kamps. But I think it’s also worth thinking about how we got here. How in 2018, the leaders of the United States, along with a significant percentage of the citizenry, decided that locking up asylum-seekers in prison while sending their kids to live in tents at military bases was a good idea. Trump and Sessions, in their way, are uniquely awful. The family separation policy, the blanket prosecutions, the broadsides against protections for victims of domestic violence — those are new either in kind or degree. But it’s also true that the road to this fresh hell was laid, at least in part, by previous administrations. Too many people looked away when it was their side in power; too many compromises were made in which protections for immigrants were traded for draconian border security policies. Trump, in his perverse way, now has our attention. What will we do about it?

      Personally, I’d abolish ICE on civil liberties grounds alone. While it’s a good thing that liberal Democrats are arranging for asylum seekers to secure the services of credentialled professionals, the proposed solution is a mole-hill compared to the mountain emitted by the outrage machine.

      1. marym

        I’m confused. The passage you refers to “family detention” not separating kids. and the final paragraph specifically dates the separation feature as 2018. The bill for counsel for minors pre-dates the current situation, so it wasn’t meant as a response.

        Also, I don’t think it’s clear yet whether the tent cities woull be built or managed by private contractors, but I may have missed something.

        1. marym

          Adding: (no edit button this time) I agree there are many problems with immigration and the treatment of immigrants, regardless of whether one is generally pro or anti immigration, and that the Democrats and Obama failed on many counts.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Read further and you’ll see the case where Obama separated families. My point is that, as so often, if you look at Bush through Obama to Trump from a systems perspective, you’ll see many more continuities than uniquely Trumpian sharp breaks (“new”).

          The paradox here is that narrowly tailoring the solution to providing counsel is wildly disproportionate to the scale of outrage being generated. It’s also wildly incongruous that actual deaths but not at the border, in the interior, in great numbers, don’t seem to generate any outrage at all. Feature, I guess, not bug. (Interestingly, the “lost children” talking point had a brief moment in the sun and disappeared, since it was just wrong. Dry run?)

          1. marym

            Do you mean the Lackland reference? That was unaccompanied minors, per the mysanantonio link. In any case, I’m not denying Obama had policies that separated families, particularly deporting illegal immigrants who had citizen or legal resident children or parents; or that the Democrats never held him accountable, or fought a convincing fight on the side of pro-immigrant policy.

            But the particular policy at issue this week was announced by Sessions and started in May.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            The decision to be ignoramuses for the Obama Administration and before that too (the proposed 2006 Kennedy/Shrub bipartisan slave labor…”immigration reform” was a miserable bill championed by the librul lion) leaves too many Democrats exposed to accusations of being complicit. Of course, there are well meaning citizens groups and donors demanding action. In the end, the average Democrat will seek the course that won’t bring out multi-year systemic problems which addresses their job performance and force the Republicans to counter with “where were you just over 500 days* ago?” The “moderate suburban Republicans” Team Blue elites are the worst kind of people. If they throw in a few feel good stories, they will loudly support teaching poor kids lessons about bootstraps.

            As “Geo” notes below, the Democratic hypocrisy is alarming, and most of them lack the character for any kind of self reflection or improvement.

      2. Geo

        Hillary Clinton said that deporting the children, many of whom are seeking asylum, would send a “responsible message” that would deter Central American families from sending their children to the United States.

        “Specifically with respect to children on the border, if you remember, we had an emergency, and it was very important to send a message to families in Central America: Do not let your children take this very dangerous journey,” Clinton said.


        These were kids fleeing he violence from the Honduran coup she supported.

        1. ambrit

          I’m almost dreading the time when the Clinton foundation volunteers to handle the underage deportations with the help of their friend Epstieins’ jet fleet.

          1. tegnost

            the clinton foundation? I thought they went (morally) bankrupt, what have they got to sell?

      3. Carolinian

        One should also bear in mind that the abuse migrants face once they get here can pale compared to what they face before they get here. There are several movies about this but a good one is Sin Nombre which shows teenagers riding on top of the freight train that comes up from Central America–“the Beast”–and being exploited by drug gangs and coyotes. Whether Trump’s policies on this side of the border are more draconian, the foreign policy meddling in these Latin American countries is very much bipartisan and a major source of the misery that sends them here.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        What would you replace ICE with to prevent and block many illegal immigrants coming over the ICE-less border? ( And overstaying all kinds of visas all over America too, by the way?) Because you would need something else to prevent illegal immigration and keep it prevented in the event of abolishing ICE.

        Unless you are really hoping to have unlimited immigration. One hopes that isn’t the real reason for suggesting the abolition of ICE.

        1. marym

          CBP is at the border. ICE is domestic enforcement. ICE does stuff like this. Both were started in 2003, replacing other agencies like INS.

      5. Amfortas the Hippie

        the blame goes back further: Nafta killed the Mexican Campesino’s ability to subsist and sent him northward…similarly, the machinations in Central and South America throughout the 20th century, but acutely during the 80’s, sent many folks fleeing northwards.
        much like al quaeda, we are expert in creating our own problems.
        when I (rarely anymore) hear my Red State neighbors complain about the “bad mexicans”, I remind them of all of this, and they are set back to think.
        If I were in charge for a day, I’d outlaw US interference south of the border, and immediately Citizenify every person now within US borders.
        (ending the idiot drugwar would likely go a long way to stabilising Latin America, as well)

    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      I think anyone who has traveled three thousand miles to pick my fruit has pretty much qualified as American, also US Citizen. Poor sods.

      I’d also like the death penalty for any Corporation, which are real people my friends, that encourages undocumented aliens to cross borders for employment.

  7. Big River Bandido

    “The proposed Fair Day in Court for Kids Act would require the government to appoint counsel to unaccompanied children…”

    “We’ll let you spend a day in court before we deport you.” And complete with the too-cute-by-half name for the bill. Another example of classic Democrat virtue-signaling.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Even better: Parentless Alien Review Act for Court Action on Childhood Arrivals … PARA CACA.

      Translate this

  8. Joel Caris

    Has anyone here read The Great Revolt, Zito and Todd’s book spoken about in the Indianapolis Star article? I have it on hold from the library and have been intrigued by some of the excerpts I’ve seen, mostly because they have all been pretty focused on interviews with actual people explaining rationally why they voted for Trump. A number of the ones I’ve seen have focused on those who crossed over from Obama to Trump, which I’m particularly interested in reading about. Just curious if anyone has checked it out and if they have any thoughts on whether it’s worth the time.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        That “Republican advertising executive” co-author is a red flag for me, but still, visiting all the PA districts is a really good idea, and presumably one can compensate for a partisan viewpoint.

  9. Arizona Slim

    Excerpt from the Indianapolis Star article about why Trump won:

    “One thing many Trump voters have in common, Zito said, is a ‘skepticism of all things big.’

    “They don’t trust the traditional news media, major corporations, the entertainment industry or the two major political parties. When Trump takes on everyone from the NFL to CNN, he’s leveraging that distrust to his advantage.”

    I didn’t vote for Trump, but I agree with his voters on the skepticism of all things big. Does that make me a backward deplorable?

    1. Synoia

      Trump: ‘skepticism of all things big.’ Hmmm…is that what he told Melina?

      They don’t trust the traditional news media, major corporations, the entertainment industry or the two major political parties

      Justifiably, too.

    2. Big River Bandido

      Irredeemably, hopelessly, utterly deplorable.

      Just kidding. I think that quote is extremely important, and I bet there are other nuggets of real substance in the book. I’m curious now to read it.

      But in some ways I hope the book does not make much impact. If they took stuff like this seriously, Catfood Democrats could eventually figure out a way to run candidates who ape Trump’s style well enough to hide their neoliberal substance. That’s the last thing this country needs.

      1. Carey

        I’m starting to think ‘Catfood Democrats’ is going to stick. A good one, I think.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I don’t think Trump’s style would work with potential Democratic voters, and Republican voters for the most part despise Democrats. The only way to win Republican votes is to already be assured of a victory when the Republicans just want to get a hold over the winner.

        The great swing voter doesn’t exist, and I would note the Obama to Trump votes came in areas heavily hit by the long term consequences of the foreclosure crisis and the wars.

        Biden tries a bit of a tough guy image, but he’s run for President twice and never placed in a single primary. He’s in a Delaware where retail politics is possible. He’s the creepy uncle of Delaware. I would say a false bleeding heart act is a greater risk, but in a way, we had Obama who would move from that extreme to decrying the lack of responsibility by parents who let their kids be raised by tvs.

        1. Carolinian

          Trump can be pretty creepy too. I still think Biden could have won last time. Perhaps that won’t be true in 2020 against Nobel Peace Prize winner Trump.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Trump was elected by Republican voters, a thoroughly different subset of individuals than potential Democratic voters. The number one policy of GOP voters is what candidate annoys the Democrats the most which is why they stuck with Roy Moore. If Rachel Maddow is annoyed or Keith Olbermann is outraged, rank and file Republicans know that generic Republican creep should keep on hanging out at malls.

            Republicans would put Democrats in camps if they could get away with it. Hillary found some support in a few high end defense spending corridors which are prime to have that money moved to different districts.

            1. Carolinian

              Some of my neighbors are Republicans and are pretty nice. Don’t think they want to put Democrats in camps. However to be on the safe side I vote third party.

              And while I never watch Maddow it sounds like she’s the one who wants to put people in camps on the charge of high treason with the blameless Russians. In the last couple of years the Dems have shown that the Repubs have no monopoly on nutty.

            2. bronco

              Yes of course , republican voters are all literally Hitler reincarnated. Now that that is established , I hate to break it to you but republican voters don’t watch MSNBC .

    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      The establishment does not understand how much they have been selling skepticism until they panic.

  10. Synoia

    Now the question is whether the tariffs being … If, when the neoliberals moved our industrial base to China, they had simultaneously boosted China’s unions, we might be looking at a different and better world.

    The maximum short term profit from a business is to liquidate, “simultaneously boosted China’s unions,” implies slightly longer term thinking.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      But that better world was exactly what the Globalonial Corporate Plantationists sought to abort and prevent by sending the jobs and factories to anti-workeritic anti-unionitic places like Mexico and China and Bangladesh and so on.

  11. Mark Gisleson

    Daou’s tweet is just him ripping Obama without saying Obama’s name. Hillbots find this easy to do especially when they’re still in the Hill bubble and literally cannot see when their remarks apply to her equally well.

    As for the 5 black female primary winners not being contacted by the DCCC, wouldn’t their reaction have been to immediately blow the whistle on the DCCC for 1) instructing them on words they cannot say [Single Payer], 2) laying down the 4-hours a day fundraising rule, 3) how many national staff/spies they have to put on their payroll.

    The DCCC simply CAN’T talk to insurgent candidates. Their entire business model explodes on contact with honest people. Lujan has to be terrified right now and if Pelosi’s not sweating her job, she should be.

    1. Big River Bandido

      I don’t think either Lujan or Pelosi have a thing to fear; they’re the ones who are safest from harm no matter what happens. Iron Law of Institutions and all that.

      I also don’t see the left as having made much progress this cycle at the Congressional level against the “party” misleadership. (Different story at the local level, fortunately.) From what I have seen the DCCC has so far gotten absolutely everything it wants, with the sole exception of NE-02. And since they lost there, they took the next step of de-fanging the winner, Kara Eastman, who has already been “distancing herself” from single-payer and thus undermined her chances in November. And as soon as she loses in the fall, the DCCC will turn right around and say “see? It’s because she was too liberal!”

      I’m already inclined to believe the Democrats won’t gain much if anything in Congress this year. They have not changed course by a single degree since 2016, and that just won’t bring out the voters, especially in an off-year.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        It takes time and patience for an insurgent group-movement to work its way from the local to the bigger-than-local. The various kinds of evangelicals and what-not spent many years slowly organizing themselves for politics and conquering the very-most-local offices while building up their numbers, training and ability to eventually do a Long March through the Republican Party Institutions and the Republican-held offices.

        Are Sanderistas and Poor-Peoples-Campaigners and so forth patient and persistent enough to spend several decades doing the same? Using each conquest to prepare for further conquests?
        With the understanding that they don’t have to limit themselves strictly to island hopping. If they see an opportunity, they can do morale-building-for-themselves and morale-destroying-for-the-Catfood Democrats ” Doolittle Raids” against heavily defended Catfood Democrat positions.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      This tweet is why I’m open to a ceremonial monarchy and the abolishment of the Presidency (I do support this). People are simply too attached to their celebrity idols in the guise of the Presidency to make rationale decisions even when they know better. The Obama supporters simply made insane excuses for Dear Leader’s behavior.

      We can all agree Regent Billy Carter sounds great! Or we could demand Canada surrender Shatner. He played a character from Iowa after all. He’s already a cult figure. Since its phony anyway, we could let Mark Hamill live in the White House next. Followed by someone from those Marvel movies…not the guy who plays Hawkeye though. Imagine Daou’s outraged tweets about how poorly Shatner handled the affair of Janus IV. It wouldn’t hurt anything and would take the attention of those who see the Presidency through the prism of celebrity.

  12. cynician

    The “$1 Billion Wage Gain Challenge” sounds to me like a giant pile of bullshit.

    I can’t bring myself to read the article… If someone has, please comment if you see any merit in it.

    1. PKMKII

      The JFF/Wage Gain Challenge program is typical neoliberal labor-blaming propaganda, setting out to fix the problem via “workplace learning strategies,” i.e. a lot of money thrown at trying to frame the problem as workers not being qualified enough, and nothing to do with employers not offering enough well-paying jobs.

      The Alliance for the American Dream program the google guy is starting is slightly more promising, in that it’s looking for policy ideas and startups that either increase wages for “middle-class” households and/or reduce costs of living. Which could be good, but it’s also very vague with no indication of what they would consider a good policy idea (JG? UBI? Worker Co-ops? Or just more deregulation and tax cuts).

    2. Carey

      The cant contained in this single, quoted one sentence: “…JFFLabs is now accepting applications for a cohort of tech-enable startups looking to create and scale career
      advancement opportunities for retail and adjacent sector workers through work-
      based learning strategies.”

      Help, I can’t breathe

  13. dcblogger

    There is an easy test to find out if women are planning to to turn out, one well within the means of RealClearPolitics, are more women registering to vote? Are they voting in primaries? What about female volunteers? Are more women volunteering? The same applies for young people. There are things that can be objectively measured by a organization of RealClearPolitics.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      If the Democrats offer something that will tell the 45 percent of people who are not voting, that there is a reason to vote, women will be among those voters.

      Otherwise, Voters Formerly Known As Democrats, the VFKAS as it were, will remain Formerly Known as Democrats, maybe as voters.

      Welcome to realignment.

  14. marku52

    “NOTE * If, when the neoliberals moved our industrial base to China, they had simultaneously boosted China’s unions, we might be looking at a different and better world.”

    Never. Crushing unions was always a prime reason for outsourcing, along with wage arbitrage and zero working conditions protections or environmental protections.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        And to crush the indigenous agriculture and rural society of Mexico, too. That was NAFTA’s other entire “purpose”.

        1. blennylips

          And to crush their good health.

          NAFTA Largely Responsible for the Obesity
          Epidemic in Mexico

          Alana D. Siegel
          Obesity has notoriously been an American problem. 1 However, in 2013, Mexico surpassed the United States to become the most obese country in the world. 2 There are a number of suspected causes for Mexico’s rise in the ranks. On a global scale, there is an increased availability of obesogenic foods, largely as a result of globalization trends such as “McDonaldization” and “Coca-Colonization.”


  15. DJG

    “One can imagine meritocracy congealing into caste over several generations, with legacy admission after legacy admission after legacy admission. Just a random thought and a summer reading project.”

    I suggest that you rent an apartment for the summer and fall in Wilmette, Illinois, the poor part of the North Shore. I lived in Evanston for a while, which I refer to as my junior year abroad (except that I was in my forties). I also learned about the embarassment of whiteness–there really can be too many white people in one place. Who knew?

    But the biggest lesson: Among the white upper-middle-class, there are almost no consequences for bad behavior. Little Tiffany will be sent to a new university if she flunks out of Northwestern. Little Biff didn’t really mean to break into that house while he was drunk. Daddy and Mommy have loads of money, and Mommy won’t go to jail for that little scam involving the off-shore factory in the Federated States of Micronesia.

    Generation after generation: And after all that money spent at Brown University. ..

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      But it’s wrong to conflate two very different populations. The legacies and the no-consequence flunk-outs are not the meritocracy – they are the one percent. That one-third of Harvard that is legacies is not the meritocracy. The meritocracy is all those Asian kids and upper-middle and upper class white kids with unbelievable resumes. The meritocracy is a real thing. The kids work hard, the parents work hard (to advantage the kid in every way they can). The meritocracy probably has less sympathy for the working class than the 1% does. After all, that “getting ahead” that Hillary was so sure she understood requires others to get ahead of.

  16. roxy

    HRC frantically signaling she’s available: “But my emails.” Pairs well with this morning’s article from The Hill about Democrats pining for Obama which doesn’t even mention her.

    1. Jim Haygood

      The cudmudgeonly James Howard Kunstler reviews the Horowitz report … and he’s not bloody amused:

      The FBI brass must have needed hazmat suits to scrub DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on agency misconduct around the 2016 elections. The result of their mighty exertions is something like 500 pages of pasteurized tofu.

      The report managed to whitewash or evade altogether the most troubling angles of the FBI’s role around this garbage barge of institutional roguery: the Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting; $700,000 of questionable McAuliffe funds deposited in Jill McCabe’s political campaign; Bruce Ohr’s wife on the Fusion GPS payroll; deception of FISA judges with the Clinton-financed Steele dossier.

      If this is the end of all these matters, then the FBI will remain permanently tarnished and the public interest will have been very poorly served by a tractable Inspector General who is sure to be a national joke in the months ahead — the pooch screwed by his own pack.


      “One of the FBI case agents working on the Hillary Clinton email investigation, who interviewed her at the conclusion of that investigation, triumphantly referred to Clinton as “the President” four days after that interview — four months before the election.”


      Any questions?

  17. a different chris

    >the abolishment of ice

    …. puts down his glass of cool, cool water… darnit and I was so cheering for her! Oh wait, she said ICE, not ice!


    Seriously, though, Ocasio-Cortez may be something special. I don’t know if it’s possible for a 28-yr old of any description to beat a long-term incumbent of the same party. I hope so, but mostly I hope she doesn’t go away even if it doesn’t happen this round.

  18. DJG

    Better genderless pronouns in English. I agree that the use of “they” is forced and confusing. English just doesn’t have that many pronouns, and for plurals we have we, you, and they. And you is already a repeat, which people try to “fix” by saying youse, you all, yawl, and yinz (in Pittsburgh). The widest form of you plural these days in Chicago is “you guys”–even to women.

    Maybe we can go to “they” (strict singular) and they-all (plural). But that is a mouthful.

    perse, per, pers is okay. But the etymology of person is that it is Etruscan, from persu, for a mask. Hmmm.

    I say: Let’s steal from a nearby language, which is what English speakers have always done. Dutch has zie. So zie (sing. subject form), zem, zy (possessive, like my), and zine (like mine).

    As a writer and editor, I find that trying to smash the singular pronouns into one big “they” messes with antecedents and clarity. And “they” also smacks of the Royal We to me, too. So there are that many of you? Or youse?

    1. Synapsid


      “They” has been used that way since Chaucer, I believe. The usage has form.

      1. Plenue

        I was going to say exactly this.

        >Stallman: “Some chose ‘they’ as the least bad, but that doesn’t make it a good solution.”

        Singular ‘they’ is literally older than the language itself, or at least a form of it that people can easily understand. If it doesn’t have legitimacy and credibility, then I don’t know what does.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A person speaking in a room, for a group of Democrats, to a group of Republicans, may use ‘we’ to refer to the former.

      “We Democrats don’t like you Republicans.”

      When they turn to speak to reporters in the same room, after reaching an agreement, that person, or another person may use ‘we’ to refer to both groups together.

      “We are one big family now.”

      Here, the word ‘we’ obviously has two different meanings.

      I think, in some languages, the distinction is made.

    3. Robert Hahl

      I sometimes use “e” for he/she, and “er” for him/her. People seem ok with them.

    4. Boo

      This strikes me as a case of creating a problem where none exists. Stallman breazily asserts that using “he” as a pronoun in situations where it is understood to represent a genderless refererence is somehow magically endorsing sexism.

      No it is not.

      Wrong initial premise, and the rest of the article becomes mental mast_rbation.

  19. fresno dan


    I’m sure its not worth my effort, but by gum, I’m gonna do what I can to annoy, pester and po Wells Fargo.
    After I had opened a checking and saving accounts with Wells, I discovered when I had a number of overdrawn checks that Wells had simply started ANOTHER checking account and sent my retirement funds to the new checking account, while I merrily wrote checks on the OLD checking account.
    Now, Wells did pay the overdraft fees (I got myself a new bank after this was resolved)…but I never got any kind of coherent explanation of WHY would I have opened a new checking account, keep using the old checking account even when I wasn’t adding money to it. Other than, “these things happen….but we’re trying to make it right”

    I actually wrote to Senator Feinstein….which was as useless as writing to the Federal Reserve.
    AND from the Wells Fargo Settlement website: “…certain Wells Fargo credit cards, lines of credit, checking or savings accounts opened or applied for in their name without their permission, …

    “certain” and “without their permission” stand out. I remember well that when me and Wells had a discussion (well….me ranting and raving) about how it is that somebody opens TWO checking accounts and writes checks to the account that he is not funding, Wells’s excuse was that this was all implicit in my opening an account to begin with. So I am dubious as to any benefit other than me jamming than up in my own little way.

    1. crittermom

      Now that I have TeeVee for the first time in decades (it’s free here), I’m finding the commercials most entertaining. Especially the one from What the Fargo Bank admitting to problems in the past, but saying they’re ‘being good’ now (my paraphrasing).
      From your account, obviously not. Still up to their old tricks.

      1. tegnost

        Wells split a deposit I made then gave me a secured credit card with a 300 dollar balance, they took that money out of my account without my knowledge, and 6 months later sent a 300 dollar check to a previous address and had the new tenants not called repeatedly to tell me there was a 300 dollar check from wells fargo, and because I know how much money I have I know wells (supposedly) doesn’t owe me 300 dollars so I think its some kind of “cash this check and you’ve agreed to our terms ” kind of thing, but their persistence (someone I don’t even know, most people will actually be honest and helpful) got me to look into it and the check was the refund of the security that they stole from me and then rather than than put the money back in my account they send me a check? They also ripped off my boss who resides in a different economic stratosphere than I, so systemic crime. I think holder was the ag then, what did he do about it? Probably had nightmares about what might happen to poor john stumpf
        I’ll never bank with them again, but don’t expect much better from the rest…

  20. djrichard

    “Ask HN: How to survive as a homeless engineer?” [Hacker News]. See, STEM is the answer….

    I bet it would be much easier to pass a job guarantee bill if everybody had a STEM degree. Because that would be the calling card that everybody is “deserving”. In contrast to what we have now, where you just know that there are so many who are undeserving of the benefits that the Fed Gov can provide. If only we had a solution for dealing with those who are undeserving; that’s our problem in a nutshell.

    I’m being facetious in the above, but I don’t believe I’m that far off in capturing a large chunk of sentiment that’s out there.

    1. False Solace

      Nah they’d just find a different line of demarcation. Kind of like the Brits picking on gingers. We are always deserving, but you people have it coming.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Everyone would require Microsoft/Apple/Facebook/Amazon/Google and I don’t remember who other certifications — to claim any certifications for deserving.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Why Aren’t Top Democrats Acknowledging the Black Women Running for Office?”: “five black women candidates who won their primaries said they still haven’t heard from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee”.

    Of course if the DCCC had been involved in their campaigns, they may not have even won those primaries because most of the funds they raised would have been siphoned away to the DCCC.
    And that is Franklin in that image, isn’t it?

  22. crittermom

    Okay. Since no one has mentioned it yet, here’s the latest from the Trumpet Master. I heard it myself on my TeeVee from his lips. Not fake news.
    I never go to Yahoo for news (or anything), but it was one of the few links I found regarding it.

    Wow. His comment referring to Kim Jong Un has folks in an uproar as Trump blatantly reveals his true self once again (my emphasis):
    “He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

    The backlash & back peddling to follow, no doubt.

    (sorry, can’t get ‘bold’ type off now)

  23. crittermom

    I should add this:
    “Later, again talking to reporters at the White House, Trump brushed off his “my people” comment. When asked to clarify, the president waved his hand. “I’m kidding. You don’t understand sarcasm.””

    Uh, no. HE doesn’t ‘understand’.
    As president, he should not be using such ‘sarcasm’.

      1. MK

        Same people that think he was not joking with his invitation for Russia to find and release Hillary’s e-mails. Of course he was hoping someone would, but it was seen as humor by his band of deplorables. IF he is re-elected (a big IF) it will be because most folks don’t understand the connection he has with his voters. He was correct when he said he could shot someone on 5th ave and still get his votes (another case of his humor that gets those against him in a tizzy while his voters love it for what it is).

        1. Carolinian

          C.J. Hopkins:

          That famous Voltaire quote comes to mind … “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities,”

          Russiagate is absurd and looking increasingly feeble as a talking point. The Dems and the Trump haters are going to have to learn to let go. They could even, as Jon Stewart recommended, start talking about ideas.

          And I suspect many of those Trump voters have better bs detectors than, say, Rachel Maddow. They took a chance on Trump rather than the status quo under Hillary.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Way back when this whole mishegoss started, it became evident to me, in case after case when I ran the transcript down, that Trump wasn’t being quoted correctly. So at this point I’m immune to the “But Trump said ____” stories, because I don’t know that I know what he said.

      Not to defend Trump, but: I think Trump surrounds himself with verbiage like a cuttlefish squirting ink. I believe that Eisenhower used the same technique of emitting gobbledegook to assure himself degrees of freedom. I just think it doesn’t make a lot of sense to invest time in any given utterance. (Of course, that creates difficulties for the administration when they need to signal through public channels, as when Trump apparently screwed up his communication about the immigration bill today, and his staff had to straighten it out.(

  24. Alex morfesis

    Durham people’s alliance…can’t speak on the article of that workers thing…
    but if I am not mistaken they, the peoples alliance, helped push through a neighborhoods first mayor which convinced their economic development guy to bolt that week to Louisville…


    X amount of years later…We are stuck with him now in St Pete…

  25. Anonymous1

    On the 2016 Post Mortem -> But my emails.

    People still don’t get it and argue about something that didn’t happen! And HRC continues to promote that same thing over and over again knowing full well that she is taking advantage of most people’s ignorance of the workings one of the oldest IT protocols in existence.

    Her tweet was this:

    IG found that on numerous occasions, COMEY used a personal GMail account to conduct official FBI business, according to source briefed on the report.

    But that was never the issue, was it ( a declarative statement, not a rhetorical question)

    The issue was that she ran her own private email server which is not now, nor has it ever been, the same as an email client, i.e., a gmail address, for example.

    A friend of mine called me, a major HRC supporter, stating “See, Colin Powell did the same thing, he had his own email account on another computer next door to his office!”

    I tried to explain to her that running your own non-DISA approved/inspected email server in your basement, on which you are doing government business and holding classified documents and emails is not the same thing. For example, if I did that the first thing that would happen is that I would lose my Clearance, then I would be at least temporarily locked up while my life was picked apart, then I would have to put up quite a few thousand in bail money, hire a lawyer, probably lose the case, and then have most, if not all, of my assets stripped before spending a few years with an Allenwood, PA. address (one of G. Gordon Liddy’s former addresses).

    My friend didn’t get it… at all. Bing, Bang, Zoom… right over her head, Ricochet Rabbit style. I hope she intentionally didn’t get it.

    But my 50 or so Network Operations Center coworkers understood it perfectly. Not one of them voted for her.

    1. RMO

      There once was a time when if someone in power did you the favor of letting you get away with a crime that usually lands people in jail you would be thankful to that person… My word, it must be really awful to be on the Clinton enemies list if this is how they treat someone who bends the law and protocol to keep them on the open side of the prison bars.

  26. Charlie

    Good to see the tweets of the people I followed on Twitter today. That said, I received the permanent ban this morning over a tweet on the “But, my emails” thread because Twitter deems criticism of Hillary destroying Libya as “hateful conduct.”

    Oh well.

  27. Skip Intro

    The Khipu plays a crucial role as a timeline probability computer in Neal Stephenson (of Snow Crash) and Nicole Galland’s The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. A story of magic and quantum mechanics and the military-industrial complex.

  28. Groundhog


    Ann Arbor has new “luxury” apartments called The George. I found the nugget below on their website. I think the trend is to only build so-called luxury apartments because it maximizes profit. Individuals are just renting them because it’s slightly better than spending $200 less per month on a slumlord’s property.

    “There is a nationwide trend happening, where renters are foregoing traditional housing and looking instead for luxury accommodations, including at apartments for rent in Ann Arbor. Because today’s luxury apartment living is not about paying rent at a high price point, but rather it’s about living with all the necessities and comforts you desire in one apartment community. Meanwhile, between the features of a luxury apartment and the amenities on site, life in a luxury community comes with benefits that can’t be realized elsewhere.”

Comments are closed.