2:00PM Water Cooler 7/12/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, here is a brief Water Cooler, so I can finish up my latest post on migrants. More later. –lambert UPDATE 5:15PM All done… So much more, but that is all for today!


“Senate Sends Trump Message to Slow Down on Tariff Escalation” [Industry Week]. “The U.S. Senate took President Donald Trump to task on trade but fell short of curtailing his power to impose tariffs. In an 88-11 vote on Wednesday, the Senate approved a symbolic motion backing a role for Congress in requiring tariffs based on national security, such as those Trump imposed on steel and aluminum imports and is contemplating on autos…. The Senate often takes such test votes as a way to build momentum for eventual binding legislation. Corker said the vote suggests “strong support” for giving Congress a bigger role on tariffs and that he will seek a binding vote.”

“The best way to win a trade war: refuse to fight” [Dani Rodrik, Financial News]. “[B]efore we get too carried away with doomsday scenarios on trade, we need to consider other countries’ incentives as well. Trump may well want a trade war, but he cannot have it on his own. A trade war requires other economies to retaliate and escalate. And there are compelling reasons why they should not do so… If Europe, China, and other trade partners were to retaliate in response to Trump’s tariffs they would simply reduce their own gains from trade without reaping any of the advantages of protectionism. And they would be doing Trump a favor by lending surface plausibility to his complaints about the “unfairness” of other countries’ trade policies vis-à-vis the US….. Besides, if Europe and China want to uphold a rules-based multilateral trade regime, as they say they do, they cannot mirror Trump’s unilateralism and take matters into their own hands. They need to go through the World Trade Organization and wait for formal authorization to reciprocate, without expecting a quick resolution or that Trump will have much respect for the eventual ruling…. In short, both self-interest and principle counsel restraint and no (immediate) retaliation. This is the time for Europe and China to stand tall.” • Given the EU’s “democratic deficit,” China may need to play to its domestic audience more than they do (though probably less than Trump needs to).



“Trump claims a big win over Big Pharma, forcing Pfizer to walk back drug price hikes” [Endpoint]. “Trump says he’s been in direct contact with Ian Read — along with HHS Secretary Alex Azar — and the Pfizer CEO has backed down, agreeing to delay the hikes by some months…. Pfizer is backing it up, saying that it will defer any price increases that went into effect at the beginning of the month until the end of this year or until the president’s drug pricing blueprint goes into effect – whichever is sooner. It plans to roll back prices as soon as it can — and any price cuts it instituted will remain in effect…. Pfizer, though, isn’t the only big company raising prices. We’ll see if Trump can keep a lid on the rest of the drug prices out there, and just how far his reach can extend. In the meantime, Read says Pfizer will rely on innovation to create the value it needs — something that has eluded the company for some years now.” • Ah, innovation.


“With Obama’s Help, Redistricting Group Targets State Legislative Races” [Governing]. “Barack Obama says all the voter registration drives and first-time candidates running for office this year are ‘inspiring’— but that in the existential battle for America he’s been warning about, it’s not enough. ‘That’s all vital to protecting this democracy of ours,’ Obama says in a new video being released by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee on Wednesday. ‘So is something else — and that’s rethinking the way we draw our congressional districts.” • Idea: Make voter registration a core Democrat party function too. And I really hate that “our democracy” locution when liberal Democrats use it, because after the shenanigans in 2016, I know they mean their democracy.

“Registering by Party: Where the Democrats and Republicans Are Ahead” [Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball]. “Altogether, there are 31 states (plus the District of Columbia) with party registration; in the others, such as Virginia, voters register without reference to party…. Among the party registration states are some of the nation’s most populous: California, New York, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, and Massachusetts…. In 19 states and the District, there are more registered Democrats than Republicans. In 12 states, there are more registered Republicans than Democrats. In aggregate, 40% of all voters in party registration states are Democrats, 29% are Republicans, and 28% are independents. Nationally, the Democratic advantage in the party registration states approaches 12 million…. Still, Republican Donald Trump found a route to victory in 2016 that went through the party registration states. He scored a near sweep of those where there were more Republicans than Democrats, winning 11 of the 12, while also taking six of the 19 states where there were more Democrats than Republicans….”

“First look: Dems crush GOP in party registration” [Axios]. • This is Axios’s version of Sabato’s post. What I’m having a hard time getting — triggered by the word “crush” — is why this is a variable for 2018 rather than a constant across elections. If the story were about new registrations, I’d be more excited. But it isn’t.

“Voter Turnout Is Up, Especially Among Democrats. What Does That Mean for November?” [Governing]. “More than half the states have held primary contests this year, representing nearly two-thirds of the country’s population. Nearly 14 million people have cast votes in Democratic primaries so far — an increase of nearly 60 percent from four years ago. On the Republican side, 12.3 million people have cast votes, which is an increase of just under 20 percent…. Still, [Seth Masket, a political scientist at the University of Denver] and other political scientists think it’s too soon for Democrats to celebrate. Increased primary turnout, he says, ‘doesn’t necessarily match up that well for general elections.’ Studies show that people choose to vote in primaries for different reasons than in general elections. One older study found that the increased numbers of presidential primaries in the 1970s and 1980s actually lowered turnout in the fall by 5 percentage points.”

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“Ocasio-Cortez Highlights How Third-Party Quirks Can Muddle Elections” [New York TImes]. “In Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s district, the Working Families Party line was won by Mr. Crowley, who had secured that party’s endorsement. Bill Lipton, state director of the Working Families Party, said he immediately reached out to Mr. Crowley’s campaign to request that he vacate the line. To Mr. Lipton’s chagrin, his campaign declined; Mr. Crowley will remain on the ballot in November. ‘You’d think that given the moment we’re in,’ said Mr. Lipton, ‘that Democratic leaders would want to help progressive forces to unite.'” • The New York Working Families Party endorsed Cuomo over Teachout, too. What’s with these guys, anyhow?



He said, airing a grievance on Twitter. Couldn’t he at least have spent some time in the woods?

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CA: “California Stands to Suffer if US-China Trade War Worsens” [Industry Week]. “Billions of dollars and many jobs are at risk in the richest and most populous state — a world-class economy and bastion of opposition to President Donald Trump. ‘If there’s one region in the United States that will be most impacted by the trade war, it’s going to be LA,’ said Stephen Cheung, former director of international trade at the Port of Los Angeles and now chairman of an NGO called World Trade Center Los Angeles.”

MO Senate: Thread:

NC-09: “Poll: Dem leads in red-leaning NC House district” [The Hill]. “The new poll by the Civitas Institute, a conservative nonprofit in the state, found 43 percent of likely voters said they would vote for McCready while 36 percent said they would vote for Harris in the district that has long been held by Republicans. The libertarian candidate in the race, Jeff Scott, was supported by 3 percent of the poll’s respondents….. ‘This race has all the indications of being a nail-biter into November, but Republicans should be concerned with a negative 7-point spread in a district that has an R+7 rating,’ Civitas President Donald Bryson said in a statement with the poll’s release.” • Stirring the fund-raising pot?

Realignment and Legitimacy

“The Politics of Forward and Backward Infiltration: Towards a Dynamic Theory of Civil Society” (PDF) [Steven Klein, Cheol-Sung Lee]. From the abstract: “We criticize the prevailing Weberian and Tocquevillian concepts of civil society, and then, drawing on research in social movements and comparative political economy, propose a new framework: the politics of forward and backward infiltration. Under each form of infiltration, we delineate three sub-modes: the politics of influence, the politics of substitution, and the politics of occupation, which correspond to strategies for discursive influence, functional replacement, and institutional take-over, respectively. We challenge the exclusive focus on ‘the politics of influence’ as inadequate for analyzing these processes, while highlighting the other two modes as necessary additions.”

“A left turn could be a dead end for the Democrats” [Janan Ganesh, Financial Times]. For example: “Next week, Jon Favreau, President Barack Obama’s former speech writer, launches a 15-episode podcast epic on the Democrats’ electoral predicament. Informed by testimonies from across this shaken party, The Wilderness should be the most substantial account of the American left since 2016.” • There has to be a word for what it is when clever people shuffle categories about with no real knowledge of how the real-world entities for which the categories are proxies fit together. The only thing Favreau knows about the left is how to co-opt or erase it. I may have to listen to this 15-episode monstrosity just to debunk it; I’m sure it’s a vile mixture of smugness, misdirection, and unintentional moments of hilarity. Still, or rather naturally, creatures like Ganesh will listen to Favreau assiduously….

“America’s new revolutionaries show how the left can win” [George Monbiot, Guardian]. “Remarkable as she is, there are others like her. Cori Bush in Missouri, Jess King in Pennsylvania and Kerri Evelyn Harris in Delaware are just a few of those now fighting for Democratic nominations or seats while renouncing big money, relying instead on the enthusiasm of the communities they hope to serve. The Justice Democrats are not expecting all these candidates to win, but hope for a few spectacular victories at the congressional elections in 2018 and 2020, not only replacing corporate, money-tainted Democrats, but flipping a couple of Republican districts as well (look out, for example, for the campaigns by Brent Welder and James Thompson in Kansas). As soon as such people take their seats in Congress, Saikat Chakrabarti, one of the core organisers, tells me the aim is to ‘legislate the hell out of everything, like the Republicans do … proposing the boldest, biggest ideas on day one.'” • It’s hard to separate reporting from triumphalism here. But, yes, copy the Republicans: Why not learn from the winners?

“Democrats ignore the left at their peril. Midwesterners aren’t scared of socialism — they’re hungry for it” [Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, NBC (!)]. “Midwestern cities and towns such as Dayton, Ohio, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Flint, Michigan, all have proud socialist backgrounds. “Appeal to Reason,” the most widely read socialist publication in U.S. history, was published out on the plains of Girard, Kansas; Oklahoma was a national hotbed for Socialist Party organizing for much of the 20th century’s first half….. This isn’t all ancient history, either. In the most recent Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders — for whom I was a proud delegate to the Democratic National Convention — ran an unapologetically left-wing campaign, proudly fighting for popular policies like Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage and free public college, all while proclaiming himself a ‘democratic socialist.’ Were Midwesterners scared off by his clear embrace of socialist ideas? Far from it. Sanders won primaries throughout the Midwest, in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana and barely lost in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.”

Stats Watch

Consumer Price Index, June 2018: “Subdued but still inching higher” [Econoday]. “Yesterday’s producer price report did show signs of acceleration including for trade services and tariff-related metals, but pressure here isn’t leading to, at least yet, pass through to the consumer. Today’s report is very positive for Federal Reserve policy makers who are now trying to hold inflation steady.” And: “Energy prices and services were the main driver for year-over-year inflation. Core inflation is now above 2.0 % year-over-year” [Econintersect]. • A punchbowl the size of a thimble….

Jobless Claims, week of July 7, 2018: After edging higher in the prior two weeks, initial jobless claims fell” [Econoday]. “These are very healthy results that offer the first hint of strength for the July employment report.” And: “This marks 170 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970” [Econintersect].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, July 8, 2018: “Capping a 4-week run, the consumer comfort index is back near its April peak” [Econoday].

Commodities: “A new frac sand giant is born amid an industry shift” [Freight Waves]. “Last month, a new frac sand giant was born out of a merger of Unimin and Fairmount Santrol called Covia Holdings, with a market cap of $2.27B…. Sand itself has been commodified in an entirely new way. First, vast mines in Wisconsin were the source for high-crush ‘white sand’ that would be brought south by rail to terminals in shale plays, and frac sand became a major category of freight for railroads. Union Pacific has hauled 14.4% more crushed stone, sand, and gravel in 2018 so far than it did by this time last year; BNSF’s stone, sand, and gravel volumes are up 11.8% year-to-date; Canadian Pacific grew its crushed stone, sand, and gravel volumes 20.8% in 2018 so far. Now, sand mining is shifting to locally sourced ‘brown sand’ located closer to oil production sites, and railroads like Union Pacific are giving guidance for reduced frac sand volumes in the back half of 2018…. There are essentially three categories of companies that supply sand: turnkey oilfield operators like Halliburton, Schlumberger, and Mammoth Energy Services that include frac sand as part of their offerings; privately held sand companies including Vista Sand, Atlas Sand, Black Mountain Sand, Preferred Sands, and Alpine Silica; and then there are the publicly traded sand companies… ‘Finally, I believe local sand is going to spur higher-intensity wells,’ [Taylor Robinson from PLG Consulting] concluded. ‘ So as there’s cheap local sand available later this year and next year, folks will put more sand down because the payback is quite good.'”

Manufacturing: “FDI was Down 32% in 2017, But Manufacturing Top of List for Investment” [Industry Week]. “[Total FDI] was $259.6 billion in 2017, down 32% from $379.7 billion in 2016, according to the Department of Commerce… However, manufacturing was at the top of the list of expenditures at $103.7 billion, accounted for 40% of total expenditures, the largest share among major industries. Within manufacturing, expenditures were largest in food manufacturing ($34.0 billion). There were also large expenditures in information ($25.7 billion) and in real estate, rental, and leasing ($17.0 billion)…. And the states which received the largest expenditures were in California ($41.6 billion), Texas ($39.7 billion), and Illinois ($26.0 billion).”

The Bezzle: “Ex-Goldman Banker Caught In A Billion Dollar Fraud Scandal” [Safe Haven]. “Every so often, embarrassing and alarming exposés unravel the extent of dodgy financial dealings and moral vacuum that exist in the banking sector. Big investment banks in particular seem to enjoy living down their reputations as greedy and avaricious institutions that will readily conjure up all manner of schemes to enrich themselves…. a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker could face criminal charges for attempting to steal from the Malaysian government. Tim Leissner, a one-time Goldman partner and Southeast Asia chairman, is alleged to have hatched a scheme to defraud billions of dollars from Malaysia’s 1MDB (1 Malaysia Development Berhad) a Malaysian state investment fund that’s wholly owned by the country’s Ministry of Finance. Leissner has not been charged yet…. Ultimately, it might turn out that Leissner was merely a pawn in a much bigger scheme. And it looks like none other than Goldman Sachs itself is in the thick of a giant scandal that has been billed as one of the world’s biggest cases of white collar crime–one revolving around disgraced former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and at least 10 other countries.” • Hoo boy.

Five Horsemen: “Once again juggernaut Amazon has blown the top off our chart, forcing an expansion of the y-axis. Microsoft and Facebook also are at record highs in mid-morning trade” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen July 12 2018

NakedCap Mania-Panic Index: “Yesterday’s 0.7 percent drop in the S&P 500 lowered the mania-panic index to 50 (complacency)” [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 July 11 2018


“SCOTUS and water contamination: Some important history” [Medium]. “This is a story about the warp and weft of industry and government corruption that is literally killing people every single day. One of the biggest things no one has time to talk about amidst the continuing wildfire burning through lives of vulnerable human beings at the hands of our government is the epic DOD contamination which Trump and Pruitt attempted to suppress…. But as with all nightmarish policies harming people today, clearly this did not start with the current cabal in power…. In an environmental contamination case heard by the Supreme Court on April 23, 2014, Waldburger v. CTS Corporation, President Obama filed an amicus brief specifically designed to prevent Marines and their families from recovering damages for the disease and death caused by decades of exposure to toxic chemicals in their drinking water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina — the most massive groundwater contamination in U.S.history. The Supreme Court sided with Obama’s • Worth a read, especially if you live near a military base.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“‘New information’ prompts US to reopen Emmett Till case” [Associated Press]. “But the 2017 book ‘The Blood of Emmett Till’ by Timothy B. Tyson quotes a white woman, Carolyn Donham, as saying during a 2008 interview that she wasn’t truthful when she testified that Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances at a Mississippi store in 1955… Paula Johnson, co-director of an academic group that reviews unsolved civil rights slayings, said she can’t think of anything other than Tyson’s book that could have prompted the Justice Department to reopen the Till investigation… The Justice Department declined to comment on the status of the investigation. Relatives of Till pushed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reopen the case last year after publication of the book.”

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“Walmart patents surveillance tool that can eavesdrop on workers” [Engadget]. “The audio surveillance system Walmart designed is composed of several sensors that can collect all kinds of audio data, including beeps and the rustling of paper bags. Any data it gathers can be used to assess an employee’s performance — for instance, the sounds items make when they’re placed inside a bag can tell the company how efficient someone is at bagging purchases. Customers’ voices can also indicate how long a line is and how quickly a cashier can get through all of them.”


I hope AOC is paying attention:

“Why do some in the tech community support universal basic income? They’re ‘terrified’ about the future.” [Recode]. “‘Culturally, we are not even close to something like this where we say, ‘You know what? We’re okay paying taxes for somebody to get money for free, for nothing back,” Lowrey said of the U.S. as a whole. ‘So I think it would be a big cultural change, and I think that that would have to come through something like, you know, robots taking all our jobs.'” • MMT to Recode editorial offices, stat!

Neoliberal Epidemics

“DNA marks in adults tracked back to changes in earliest days of life” [MedicalXpress]. “The genes we inherit from our parents are overlaid by a complex set of instructions that govern how they are expressed. These so-called ‘epigenetic’ marks come in a range of different forms and control many vital processes within cells…. The researchers studied specialised regions of the genome (known as metastable epialleles or MEs) where the epigenetic (methylation) marks are laid down in the first few days following conception…. The researchers say that these regions could have evolved to sense the nutritional environment, record the information on DNA and adapt the baby to be best suited to its circumstances.” • Important! Since class has a geographical/environmental component — they didn’t put the landfill on Cape Elizabeth! — class also creates epigenetic effects. It’s not all “breeding”….

Class Warfare

All in the framing:

Despair is our most important product:

“It’s Open War Against Unions on All Fronts Now” [Splinter News]. ” While the Janus ruling will allow public union members to decide not to pay their fair share of fees for the services that the union provides to them, there is now an effort to push the ruling even further: Some (hand-selected) teachers are suing to be refunded for fees they already paid to their union in the past. This would have the effect of making the financial damage of Janus to public unions even more critical. It is an indication of the right wing’s ultimate desire to fully cripple public unions once and for all.” • Well, of course that’s their desire. When was it ever not? Conservatives get stuff done, even if it’s bad. Idea: Copy that?

News of The Wired

“How Postcards Solved The Problem Of Disappearing Rice” [NPR]. “[The Indonesian government] was spending $1.5 billion a year on the [rice distribution] program but less than half the rice was actually reaching the intended recipients…. [I]t turned out that there was a really simple way to make the program far more efficient…. The solution lay in giving recipients written proof of what they were entitled to under the program. [MIT’s Abhijit Banerjee] and his colleagues sent hundreds of thousands of postcards to the intended beneficiaries of Raskin in more than 500 villages. The cards stated explicitly that you, Joe or Jane Citizen, are eligible for this program, this is exactly how much rice you’re supposed to get each month and this is how much you’re supposed to pay…. Once villagers have an eligibility card with their name on it, they’re in a much better position to demand their full ration.” • I wonder if ObamaCare does this. Should be easy, since buying insurance on the exchanges was going to be like buying a flat-screen TV. Too cynical?

“The open-plan office is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea” [David Heinemeier Hansson, Medium]. “A new study shows that the number one argument for the open office, increased collaboration, is bullshit. Converting traditional offices with walls and doors and separation into open-plan offices causes face-to-face interaction to plummet, not rise. People try to shield their attention (and sanity!) by retreating into headphone-clad cocoons, and instead rely on instant messaging or email to interact. D’oh!”

“A New Type of Museum for an Age of Migration” [New York Times]. How might you reorganize a universal museum for the 21st century, an age of migration and of perpetual exchange? One of the boldest answers yet is to be found in “Mobile Worlds,” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, an applied arts museum in the northern German city of Hamburg that has a similar standing to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London or the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris…. Upstairs at the Hamburg museum, the old 19th-century taxonomy still holds, with exquisite artifacts arranged by type and origin. But downstairs, in ‘Mobile Worlds,’ a whole new order is proposed, one that does not care about an artwork’s uniqueness, a dress’s elegance, or an artifact’s fine condition. What matters here is movement — how objects and forms circulate through time and across the globe.”

“Cambodian Dancers, Auguste Rodin, and the Imperial Imagination” [The Appendix]. “Rodin’s drawings, despite the beauty of their execution, are symptomatic of European engagement with foreign cultures at the turn of the century. Rodin pulls the dancers out of context, stripped of costume, storyline, and individual identity. In transcribing the Cambodian Royal Ballet to paper, Rodin prioritizes the study of form and motion, denying the significance of Khmer dance and stagecraft as an art form in itself. The Cambodian Royal Ballet becomes simply source material….”

And the cat:

I hope this isn’t too dark; I like shadows…

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (TH):

TH: “White-crowned Sparrow with a House Sparrow, in a garden of sage and agave at the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrance California.” Certainly nicer than my sage, which I just realized I confused with basil (been doing it for years).

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Carla

    Lambert: The New York Working Families Party endorsed Cuomo over Teachout, too. What’s with these guys, anyhow?

    Gee, you think maybe they coulda been co-opted by the Dems?


    1. diptherio

      I have reason to believe that a lot of the WFP people just don’t get how politicians operate. I had a conversation with one WFP guy who seriously thought that Cuomo would work with them after he got their ballot-line, in a quid-pro-quo kinda way. Hilarious. Why would he work with you after he’s already gotten the only thing of value you have to offer? You gotta get the goods up front, or your never getting them at all.

    2. flora

      heh. Looks like the DNC and the DCCC still have the “Joe Lieberman: independent democrat” play in their game plan. The machine supports its own candidates, not necessarily any candidate with D after their name.

    3. Pat

      It is a rather schizo organization. But the whole Cuomo/WFP history is like that of an abusive marriage and it started early.




      We’ll see how the whole Cynthia Nixon endorsement plays out, but considering he was barely able to strong arm the second nomination against Teachout and then went *family blog* you – including to his usual captured union supporters, who knows if it was remotely possible to get on their ballot line again.

    4. Charles Leseau

      It would be funny if all the money dems switch to WFP and then the press stops reporting on the Democratic Party altogether and starts advancing WFP all day & night, Dems start getting shut out of debates between Republicans and Working Family Party, etc. Okay, maybe not funny exactly…

    5. John Dowd

      Hey all,
      FYI just went to the The New York Working Families Party 2018 endorsement list , Says it’s backing Nixon, and Ocasio-Cortez?

      1. BDB

        And has paid a heavy price for the Nixon endorsement. Has lost funders (unions and other orgs) because Cuomo theatened retaliation. Here’s the thing, from everything I’ve read, Cuomo is a particularly vindictive SOB. Any union or group that doesn’t back him can basically forget about state contracts and grants as long as he is governor. This is what so many endorsements are about – fear. And given what an uphill battle it is to beat him, it’s hard to blame those afraid to cross him.

        The Dig podcast this week has an entire series of interviews using the AOC win and NY politics more broadly as a way of looking at leftish challenges. The Monday episode had a long interview with AOC herself and is well worth a listen. She is a rock star already for a reason. There are also interviews with Cynthia Nixon, Bernie Sanders, and Julia Salazar up so far this week. One of the best lefty podcasts around in terms of substance, IMO, and a great series this week (also worth checking out Dan moderating a panel in Philly on criminal justice with Krasner, Bernie, and Keegan-Taylor). AOC by the way is all about getting and exercising power, which was super interesting since most Dems are about getting campaign money.

  2. Polar Donkey

    I was born at the hospital on Camp Lejune. My dad served in Vietnam, got exposed to agent orange, and worked on Camp Lejune for years. He died from leukemia. My brother-in-law grew up on base housing on Camp Lejeune. Had a sibling die at an early age and he recently got a brain tumor. It was successfully treated but doctors said probably linked to contaminated water and he may get more tumors. I never trust officers in the military and the DoD.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Lejeune is just one horror story. I and a lot of others got that Agent Orange (there were many different “colors,” different formulations and corporate courses) exposure from flyovers by operation Ranch Hand and others, silly looking C-123s spewing a mist of “stuff.
      “ it was also used for weed and vegetation control around our company areas and along the “green line,” the perimeter of US military sovereignty, to make it harder for the “gooks” to infiltrate during those Lin breathless hot nights. So we got it from different directions. Especially the aircrews who had to man-handle and connect up the spray rigs.

      So vets with these exposures have cardiac ischemias, prostate and other reproductive cancers, peripheral neuropathy and a number of other diseases and problems caused by Dow and Monsanto and the other charming chemical purveyors and the forking generals and their idiot strategies of defoliating Vietnam and killing their food crops. All so there can now be “investment opportunities” advertised in banner ads in web sites, even just recently here in NC (not your fault, site owners! I get it!) and I can buy “made in Vietnam” clothing at Walmart and other fine stores… And maybe 4 million ‘gooks” died as a result of that Imperial venture, more still dying from unrecovered unexploded ordnance and the effects of millions of pounds of toxic sh!t being sprayed Willy-nilly over the countryside.

      And many of us apparently have passed on the chromosomal damage that 2,3,7,8-dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans, passed it along to our children, like my daughter who has a Chiari malformation resulting from incomplete formation of the spinal bone and nerve structures. A mild form, but other kids got spina bifida of various degrees, many quite horrible, and long term disabilities. It was only fairly recently that the VA was forced to acknowledge the effects of the herbicides, and only after litigation and actual legislation made them do it, and the “compensation” side of VA still fights hard to DENY recognition of such “service-connected” problems to vets and their kids.

      So Lejeune is one problem, but Air Force and Navy maintenance crews were required to do stuff like cleaning landing gears on flight lie aircraft with solvents like benzene (very well known carcinogen) and various chlorinated nasties. And mope GIs had to fill and light up the “burn pits” where these and other nasty wastes were dumped into holes and ignited in the open. Without any protective gear on any of them. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/15/court-determines-military-burn-pits-caused-lung-disease-in-service-members.html

      It’s just the extension of the great capitalist neoliberal imperial game across the whole spectrum of the Imperium and under our new military doctrines, the whole planet. We are one Fokked up rotten bunch, at least way too many of us are, here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, and the places where we invade now and, as Michel Moore pointed out, “next.”

      There’s a huge literature on the forking arrogance and unconcern of the upper echelons and the huge civilian bureaucracy that “supports’ Our Sacred Troops after they have shot their bolts “in service to the Homeland, Protecting our Sacred Freedoms and Democracy.” There’s a lot understandably bitter ex-GIs out there, many of them still sadly confused about who the enemy really is…

  3. Jim Haygood

    Well there it went again — the New York Fed’s underlying inflation gauge, which just rose again (as it’s done every month this year) to 3.33%.


    This gauge is unique in that it incorporates macroeconomic variables, including asset prices, in discerning the inflation trend. Whereas the standard CPI, which reached 2.9% today, includes only goods and services prices.

    With their preferred core PCE inflation measure resting comfortably at an on-target 2.0%, the Fed’s stance is “We’re alright, Jack.” But the rest of us are feeling the heat.

    1. ambrit

      “We’re alright Jack.”
      I would have loved to see a film with Peter Sellers playing the Board of the Federal Reserve. All of them.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The more inflation measures they have, they seem to have a lot, the more options they have to pick one that fits the narrative, no?

      Or is inflation an elusive thing, like Scarlet Pimpernel?

      1. fresno dan

        July 12, 2018 at 4:01 pm

        People didn’t like this in the morning links, so I’ll try it again:
        fresno dan
        July 12, 2018 at 9:45 am
        if I could only eat TV’s…..
        eat TV’s, and your cost of living is going DOWN….and TV’s are filled with all your rare nutrients like cadmium, berylium, etc.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Jim, you are well versed in the minutiae of financial stuff, stock moves and options strategies and commodities and all that, as seen here and in a couple of stock-talk sites your name turned up in, and you provide some great graphics for us to be impressed by.

      But I am having a hard time trying to figure out where you are coming from, a lot of the time. Latest example is the Cramer-level reporting on interest rate moves by the Fed. Are we supposed to think these are a good or a bad thing? Maybe bad for “investors,” which I take from your many comments you are one of. But I ran across this article, which seems to indicate that for mopes like me, interest rates going up are mostly a good thing: https://www.bankrate.com/banking/federal-reserve/7-surprising-benefits-of-higher-interest-rates-from-the-federal-reserve/

      Now if one is under a variable rate mortgage, or other loan linked to the Fed funds rate, maybe not so good, I get that. But the people most “hurt” by interest rate rises, I understand, are the ones who already have 80 or 90 percent of all the wealth. The remainder of “all the wealth” being split up between the 90 percent ‘rest of us.”

      I’m sure there’s a nice cogent coherent explanation for how this is all supposed to work, in our political economy. Maybe from the depth of your knowledge, you can point to one. Because it sure does not look like what is operating is “working’ except to beggar the most of us for the benefit of the few (including smart investors who know how to dance between the elephant’s toes, avoiding the “brown stuff” that accumulates there — which according to the old elephant joke, consists of “slow natives.” And please forgive me if I can’t accurately parse your inclinations and viewpoints from your enthusiastic, often inside-baseball prose.

        1. Darthbobber

          Though all these “onerous” rate hikes still don’t have them back up to historical postwar norms. Perhaps the stock market and the developers can now function at all in the artificially maintained ZIRP environment?

        2. Procopius

          It’s also supposed to make unemployment go up, which will increase the size of “the reserve army of the unemployed,” who are absolutely essential for profits under capitalism. There’s also a belief that it reduces construction of houses and apartments, so the prices of those go up and make more profits for the vulture funds. I do not have any idea what Mr. Haygood’s reasons are. Oh, almost forgot: interest rates going up makes bond prices go down, which is thought, by some, to make stock prices go up. It’s complicated, but the main reason the Fed gives is that they are frightened that wages might start going up. Full disclosure: I am not an economist.

  4. JTMcPhee

    Strzok is up today, pulling an Ollie North in front of a this time “conservative” House Committee: “F.B.I. Agent Defends Actions in Russia Probe in Contentious House Testimony,” – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/12/us/politics/fbi-agent-house-republicans.html. Strzok is putting up a spirited smokescreen whitewash defense of his and the Fibbees’ honor — NEVER let his personal politics EVER cloud any investigation, never did any kind of collusion ‘cuz only the Bad Guys collude, and all that jazz. Not to worry, folks, nothing’s at any risk of becoming more “constitutional.”

    While looking all FBI-ish, he offers without a hint of irony the following:

    I understand we are living in a political era in which insults and insinuation often drown out honesty and integrity,” Mr. Strzok said, continuing: “I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”

    He concluded: “As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in.”

    The fiery hearing, convened by House Judiciary and Oversight committees, devolved into a spectacle almost as soon as it began, as pent-up rage between House Republicans and the F.B.I. broke into the open in spectacular fashion. Republicans were intent on painting Mr. Strzok as seething with contempt for President Trump and his supporters — and by implication, painting the agency’s investigation of the president as motivated by animus.

    To a surprising extent, Mr. Strzok appeared just as intent on defending the F.B.I.’s actions, the integrity of the Russia investigation and his own behavior.

    “At every step, at every investigative decision, there were multiple layers of people above me, assistant director, deputy director, director of the F.B.I., and multiple layers of people below me, section chiefs, unit chiefs and analysts, all of whom were involved in all of these decisions,” he told Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, after the chairman of the House Oversight Committee grilled him. “They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me any more than I would tolerate it in them.”

    “The suggestion that I, in some dark chamber in the F.B.I., would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards and do this is astounding to me,” he said. “It couldn’t happen.”

    You gotta hand it to these guys who can at the same time weep tears of patriotic fervor and project steely-eyed, square-jawed arrogance. What a wonderful country we live in!

    A little snippet on Ollie North, who spent as I recall about 6 months resisting Congressional subpoenas while he got schooled and coached in acting lessons and drilled on exactly what to say to those less than diligent Congresscritters, who didn’t really seem to want to know all the stuff that happened and was going on: http://articles.latimes.com/1989-04-07/news/mn-1359_1_contra-aid

    No mention of North’s secretary, Fawn Hall, that so very attractive and loyal lady who helped him shred incriminating files on the Iran-Contra Drugs-for-weapons-for-regime-change “constitutional crisis,” who also stuffed documents in her knickers to get them past the guards at the office — https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fawn_Hall Oh, and also stuffed more incriminating documents intended for destruction into her Nancy Sinatra “These boots were made for walking” footwear. We are supposed to feel sorry for the ancillary women in these dramas, I believe — “I was just standing by my man…”

    These events are not “testimony,” except maybe in the sense that people in the African American Methodist Churches and High Baptists use the word. Theater, pure performance, with the goal of validating the Narrative. And of course getting us mopes to once more suspend disbelief, or just turn away shaking our heads at the futility of it all…

    1. Jim Haygood

      The system worked, claims Peter Strzok. Thanks to all the checks and balances, he couldn’t have biased an investigation even if he’d wanted to, Strzok would have us believe.

      This from the same guy who plotted to encounter a FISA judge at a cocktail party, to grease the skids for a secret FISA warrant. Any good boy scout would have done the same. /sarc

      Have to admit that Trey Gowdy had me in stitches with his goofy long face and masterful comic delivery, as he repeatedly confronted Strzok about his [… pause …] “colleague” Lisa Page. Brutal. But funny.

  5. Pat

    There aren’t too many shadows for me. Your cat, even as you try to keep your distance it is yours, is beautiful and the greenery is such a lush color. It is lovely.

    The birds in the wild garden is also lovely.


    Here’s my theory on Crowley: politicians like him want to hold on to their power. Now, I’m sure he knows he has zero chance of winning the district as the WFP candidate, not even spoil it for the Republican candidate who’s done pretty much nothing in terms of organizing and seeking donations. However, the WFP can transfer him onto the line for a different office. An assembly member or state senate seat would be a step down for him, so the only thing that would be a step up, or at least sideways, for him would be a statewide position. And there’s only one open position the WFP hasn’t made an endorsement on yet: Attorney General. Methinks he’s playing hardball with the WFP, trying to get them to make him their candidate for AG as to avoid the bad optics of him still being on the ballot for the 14th district.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Crowley was basically appointed to a safe seat and accrued power through virtue of not having to actually run in November. Any money he raised he could use to make it rain for other politicians. My suspicion is he thought there might be a groundswell of support as I’m sure he has brown nosers and Republican-lite donors who want him back.

      This isn’t a knock on AOC, but Crowley lost a primary contest while he was measuring his fantasy House Speaker’s office. For this to happen, Crowley had to have been woefully out of touch given the lack of scandal. I would suggest he simply doesn’t have a grasp on electoral politics and thought he could really run as the “independent” candidate. After all, Team Blue has been shedding support to “independents,” and since elite Democrats seem to operate under the notion all politics amounts to a liberal-center-right linear paradigm and nothing else (independents must be centrists and “swing voters”), my suspicion is Crowley thought he would find an audience.

    2. Balakirev

      I’m thinking that the wealthy and powerful folks that control both parties hate the idea of an important candidate–who repeatedly stated she wouldn’t take a single corporate dollar–who just might get into federal office. To be sure, she’ll be hemmed in (if she gets elected) on all sides by corporate-owned puppets. But the notion that someone can run a successful campaign for major office without kowtowing to the powers that be for their dollars, influence, and ideas just can’t be allowed.

      Those same powers typically proclaim a horror of third parties. But running an old client of theirs in a third party challenge suddenly becomes a useful tool to slap down a threat to their supremacy. I have a feeling Crowley is going to receive an enormous influx of funds for this race. And the mainstream media will get into the act, too. Just now I read an opinion piece in the Gray Lady that pretended to be news, and shows again (as if it were needed) how you can sell a slant through the headline, alone: Ocasio-Cortez Highlights How Third-Party Quirks Can Muddle Elections:


      1. PKMKII

        Yes, it’s true a lot of machine Dems hold that view. But there’s also plenty that are just plain opportunistic (Gillibrand, for example). If Crowley was just taking a “I’d rather see the GOP win than a leftist win” approach, he wouldn’t be denying so loudly that he’s not running.This not running but not dropping off the WFP line by taking some judgeship nom for a deep red district somewhere upstate suggests he’s trying to leverage something out of someone for his own benefit. I suspect the AG spot, although it could also be something out of the Ocasio-Cortez campaign.

      2. Zachary Smith

        “I have a feeling Crowley is going to receive an enormous influx of funds for this race. ”

        Despite knowing next to nothing about the situation, I’ve the “feeling” you’re right. The upstart little ***** needs to be taken down, and if he can do it himself, fine. If he splits the Democratic vote and lets the Republican win, that’s also fine.

        The only remaining way for Crowley to do the right thing is to switch his residency to Virginia, where his family resides and his children already go to school. It would fix the problem he created in an instant.

        In other words Crowley can clear the ballot if he wants to do so. It begins to look like he doesn’t want to do that.


        1. Darthbobber

          My bet is on “this doesn’t happen.” Crowley isn’t running, just being a bit of an ass. Stupid of WFP to endorse him in the first place.

          1. ambrit

            You are not being cynical enough. Look at who Crowley represents. Now see who Ocasio-Cortez represents. If Crowley can act as a spoiler and deny Ocasio-Cortez the seat, then he will have served his masters well and beat back the hordes of Godless Socialists from the gates of the Temple.

  7. JerryB

    SCOTUS and water contamination: Some important history- This is still ongoing??? Wow. In the late 1990’s I worked on a project where we were interviewing people to determine the effects of exposure to toxic chemicals in the groundwater and drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Not sure if this is the same issue/incident but seems like it. A lot of sad stories.

    It reminds me of the Hanford Nuclear Waste Iodine Release where the plutonium separation process resulted in the release of radioactive isotopes into the air, which were carried by the wind throughout southeastern Washington and into parts of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and British Columbia. Downwinders were exposed to radionuclides, particularly iodine-131, with the heaviest releases during the period from 1945 to 1951. I talked to people who had young and old generations of the families affected.

    As the post mentions “the warp and weft of industry and government corruption that is literally killing people every single day”. Industry and government corruption – as the two incidents above show it is the toxic “gift” i.e. sever consequences that keeps on giving for years, decades, and for generations of humans and all living things.

    1. JTMcPhee

      A line from Frank Herbert in “Dune,” out of the mouth of I think Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, the archetypical evil kleptocrat: “A certain amount of killing has always been an arm of business.”

  8. Jim Haygood

    Today four of the Five Horsemen (all but Apple) launched skyward in breakouts to record highs.

    With the S&P 500 index only 2.6% below its last record high of 2,873 on Jan 26th, an attempt at a new record is likely this summer.

    Market commentator Kevin Muir, writing before yesterday’s open, nailed it:

    Although every bone in my body wants to sell this market, I … (and I can’t believe I am writing this) … am petrified this [bearish] trade is so obvious, it can’t be right.

    I cannot recall a recent time when there has been such a consensus about the near-term outlook for risk assets. Everyone is bearish.

    I hate myself for saying this, but I don’t think the Market Gods will allow this many to catch the top. Markets don’t roll over with the vast majority of market participants calling for a correction. No, they top with buyers being absolutely convinced the only way is up. And I just don’t see that sort exuberance.

    During the summer of 1987, the stock market rallied 17.5%. It wouldn’t surprise me if this summer ends up looking like 1987. Markets often go where they will hurt the most and make the majority look foolish. That path is higher — not lower. [via email distribution]

    Classic contrarian doctrine, word for word.

    *bows in homage*

    1. HotFlash

      Still a long way from ‘mania’, but how does one calibrate so early in the system?

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘Calibrate’ implies precision.

        At best, this process is like hitting the side of a barn, instead of firing the wrong direction in the dark and blowing a hole in the farm house.

        Just getting the direction right is a significant achievement.

    2. a different chris

      >Everyone is bearish

      Well if “everyone” is bearish, who is driving the stock market up? Mr. Muir apparently needs to expand his set of acquaintances.

      This is not to say I don’t agree with his sentiments otherwise. Just too much of an echo of “everybody voted for Clinton?” disconnect.

  9. fresno dan


    Made worse, by the way, by this pitiful statement from the cops this morning. The career stripper/porn star, who’s been famous for doing this long enough that it brought her face to face with a future president more than 10 years ago, is now involved in “human trafficking”?
    Michael Avenatti claims that the cops asked her to do it, which if true sounds like entrapment. (By their own admission, the cops approached the stage after Daniels had started dancing and touched another patron, putting them in position to be touched by her.) More importantly, this particular law is almost never enforced: The county sheriff told the Columbus Dispatch that, dating back to 2007, the number of charges filed under it is exactly … zero. They broke it in on a woman who happens to be in a months-long legal fight with the president of the United States.
    Uh, this site IS called Naked Capitalism……so it seemed particularly pertinent…..

    Police Captain Louis Renault: I am shocked- shocked – to find that motorboating is going on in here!

  10. dcblogger

    lambert should rename this the 5 PM Happy Hour. The schedule of putting this up at 2 PM is too punishing. It really is a great run down of trade, financial statistics, and politics.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And stock market chatter. Don’t forget that bit. Though that’s in the comments, as a rule.

  11. flora

    Thomas Frank in today’s Guardian:

    It’s not wage rises that are a problem for the economy – it’s the lack of them

    “The textbook solution to the labour shortage problem – paying workers more – rarely merits more than a line or two, if it’s mentioned at all. So unwilling are business leaders to talk about or consider this obvious answer that Neel Kashkari, the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, scolded them last year: “If you’re not raising wages, then it just sounds like whining.”

    “When the necessity of higher wages is acknowledged, however, it only seems to crank the whining to a higher pitch….”


    1. fresno dan

      July 12, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      Funny…no its not….how COMPENSATION for CEO’s always has to go up, but wages going up is some kind of disaster and has to be combated with immigrants…..

      1. JTMcPhee

        But there are so few CEOs and “stockholders” (people who own bits of 401k mutual funds and hedge funds do not qualify as “stockholders,” I believe, so there’s a limited number of those entities compared to the number of nominal ‘citizens’ here) that hey, how big can the mordida be, flowing to those lofty C-suite-ers in their bespoke suits and shoes and #50,000 “personal wrist timepieces”?

    2. AbateMagicThinking but Not Money

      Reluctance to give wage rises* is like:

      The reluctance of politicians to acknowledge that their policies are wrong. Their arrogance will convince them that their communication of policy is at fault instead.


      *which can lead to “they pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work”.

  12. diptherio

    Paging Richard Smith. It’s Hollywood calling:

    The imposter works by using a combination of deceit, charm and intimidation to manipulate her marks. The victims travel to Indonesia on a promise of work and, once there, are asked to hand over relatively modest amounts of money at a time, up to $3,000 in some cases, to help cover expenses for things like car travel, translation, tour guides and fixers. A designated Indonesian “moneyman” arrives on a moped to collect the funds. Needless to say, the promised reimbursements never arrive. Over time, these small sums add up. All told, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been collectively stolen this way. “Even if they’re bringing in $300,000 a year, that’s a huge amount of money in Indonesia,” says Kotsianas, who believes the same group is behind all of the cases.

    At the center of the organization is the impersonator — a woman whose sophisti­cated research, skill with accents and deft psychological and emotional manipulation have earned her the begrudging respect of her victims and trackers. K2 investigators believe the woman is the “talent” of an operation that, while relatively small, may have legs on at least three continents, including the U.S., Asia and Europe. The victims come from all over — the U.K., Europe and the U.S. primarily — and represent a wide swath of creative industries: hairstylists, stuntmen, military advisers, photographers and cinematographers.

  13. fresno dan


    “You should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” the man, identified as 62-year-old Timothy Trybus shouts.

    “Are you a citizen? Are you a United States citizen?”
    I only wish the woman had responded that, yes, yes she was a United States citizen and had every right under the US constitution to wear any T shirt she wanted. It wouldn’t have shut up the as*hole yelling, but it would have demonstrated how ignorant some of these people are EVEN BETTER.

  14. Lupemax

    He’s a beautiful cat. Looks like the first cat I had – Adam a beautiful tuxedo. Enjoy! Has he adopted you or you him?
    also am in awe of your garden!

    1. fresno dan

      July 12, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      With the help of an icebound detector situated a mile beneath the South Pole,…
      The observation, made by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station,
      Soooo….you put your neutrino catcher at the South Pole and you call it, “Ice Cube”…..ok than. Maybe they will soon rename it as “melting ice cube”

  15. ChrisAtRU


    “Alexandria, the race is over and Democrats need to come together.”

    But in reality … ?

    "Be reasonable, we need unity" is just a shitty attempt at re-branding "Stonger together."— Devin Grainger [Dissident] (@5D_MkG) July 12, 2018

  16. Lunker Walleye

    Cambodian Dancers, Auguste Rodin

    The water color drawings by Rodin are charming. They have an “agitated” quality reminiscent of his sculpture. Not sure what Rodin could have/should have/would have done to be less “Colonialist”. Maybe someone can educate me.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Oh! If only Obama were still President! He’d take a pitchfork for this man!

      Will Trump do as much? I guess we’ll see.

  17. Summer

    Re: Open office spaces….AAAHHHHARRGGG!!!!

    The article had points, but much of it has to do with the hyper-surveillance of the workplace.

    And the “tyranny of the extroverts”. There is a good deal of writing about this concept.

    I’ve hated the open office space my entire life. A deep, hatred. A pox on all the open office spaces.

  18. fresno dan

    July 12, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    A 46-year-old homeless man with no arms was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, for stabbing another man with a pair of scissors using his feet, police said on Wednesday.
    Crenshaw, a local fixture known for painting colorful works of art with his feet, according to local media reports,….

    Florida native Jonathan Crenshaw stabbed a 22-year-old Chicago man twice with the scissors before running away, according to the Miami Beach Police Department report on Crenshaw’s arrest early on Tuesday.
    Those are some versatile feet….soooo…..if they cuffed the feet, how did the perp walk to the squad car?

    1. ewmayer

      “if they cuffed the feet, how did the perp walk to the squad car?”

      I believe “mincingly” is the word you are looking for here. But maybe the arresting cops instead cuffed the scissors and released the feet on their own recognizance.

    2. polecat

      Ah, running with scissors … humm, now where have I heard that before ..
      Is the perp also an author ?

  19. BobWhite

    Some potential good news in Delaware…
    A real progressive challenging the POS Carper in the primary.

    Kerri Evelyn Harris
    Check her “Issues” page… she may be left of Bernie!
    Is getting help from AOC of NY, so fingers crossed…

    I actually met Carper once, had the softest, clammiest handshake ever.
    I told him he should just switch to R since he votes that way anyway.
    In contrast; Biden, Roth, Coons, and even Castle(R) were/are better than him.
    (easy to meet pols in DE, the state is so small)

    Will post updates as I find them…

  20. ewmayer

    Wolf Richter on the MSM trade war hysteria:

    Stock Markets See the US Winning the Trade War, Defying Corporate Lobby & Media Propaganda | Wolf Street

    The trade war talk has been going on since the presidential campaign but markets just brushed it off and rallied. In 2018, the trade war verbiage moved to the foreground. But until June 14, the administration vacillated between thinking about tariffs and putting the trade war “on hold,” depending on who was doing the talking or tweeting.

    This vacillation ended on June 14 (Thursday) evening, when it was reported that Trump had approved to hit an initial list of $50 billion in goods (1,300 products) from China with tariffs of 25%. At the time, the administration was also preparing a second list of products, accounting for another $100 billion in imports from China.

    On the evening of June 19 (Monday), Trump threatened to hit another $200 billion of imports from China with tariffs of 10%. And on Tuesday, the Shanghai stock market plunged. Markets were taking it seriously.

    Since then, Corporate America’s propaganda machine – the same that for the past two decades had extolled the unrivalled virtues of offshoring production to cheap countries – fired up the mainstream media, which launched into incessant, deafening, repetitive, and manipulative coverage of how these tariffs would hurt US jobs more than anything.

    Two glorious examples are Harley-Davidson and GM, which had been laying off workers and shutting plants in the US for years as they were offshoring production to cheap countries. For example, in July 2017, Harley-Davidson announced layoffs in the US as it was building a factory in Thailand. GM has been laying off workers in the US since 2016, even as it opted to produce more models in Mexico

    Now they had a fig leaf – the threat of future tariffs – behind which to hide their long-planned offshoring strategies. You couldn’t get on the internet or turn on the radio without being bombarded by how it was tariffs that were driving these noble companies, which had been offshoring production for years, to offshore more of their production.

    But beyond the propaganda of Corporate America whose margins would be squeezed by tariffs and who’d have to invest in the US to rejigger their supply chains back to the US, how did markets see it?

    Chief Economist at Moody’s Capital Markets Research, John Lonski, had the good idea to check on it, and found in his current “Credit Markets Review and Outlook” that markets had distinctly different ideas…

    The cognitive dissonance betwixt the MSM and the markets can be seen around here, in form of near-daily contrasting “trade war doom” and “markets hit/remain-near all-time highs” posts from our own Jim Haygood.

    Whether the markets are right about this is of course an entirely separate issue, but whereas the MSM are clearly doing their usual corporate-master bidding in proclaiming The End Is Nigh, the casino gamblers of the markets at least have a clear self-interest in getting the call right.

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