2:00PM Water Cooler 8/14/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“A new study shows Trump’s trade war probably won’t achieve one of its biggest goals” [Business Insider] (original study). “A new report from the New York Federal Reserve’s Liberty Street Economics blog shows that Trump is unlikely to get the targeted reduction using his favorite trade tool: tariffs. According to the New York Fed economists, while the new duties on goods coming into the US will lead to a decrease in the amount of imports — as Trump intends — the value of exports sent out of the US will also come down.”



“Dems ready to move past Michelle Obama’s ‘go high’ message” [The Hill]. “[Michael Avenatti], said former Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), is ‘tapping into a Democratic rage that Trump must be defeated and it doesn’t matter how.’ ‘They think the low blow beat the high ground in 2016,’ Israel said, adding that Trump has created ‘an electorate that is angrier, nastier and more desperate.’ That likely means more attacks and a pugnacious 2020 primary season, say Democrats. ‘We have no other choice,’ said one political strategist who has been having preliminary conversations with candidates about running for the presidency. ‘You can’t kill him with kindness. That doesn’t work. So you have to go the other way.'” • (Sanders supporters smeared by liberal Democrats as racist and sexist bros may be dubious about liberal Democrats’ professed reluctance to take the low road.) Let’s remind ourselves that Steve Israel, during his tenure at the DCCC, was the architect of the Blue Dog-centric strategy that lost the Democrats 1000 seats and all three branches of government; see Down with Tyranny for a fun post on “The Steve Israel effect.” So Israel’s a loser, and probably any strategy he recomments will be a losing one. Then, two solid years of RussiaRussiaRussia! was treating heck, not Trump, but the entire country, with kindness?

Donning my tinfoil hat: We might ask ourselves to whom this signal, if indeed it is a signal, is being sent, given the enormous investment by both the political class and the politicized factions of the intelligence community in RussiaRussiaRussia. Sounds to me if RussiaRussiaRussia is all that liberal Democrats have going for them — the donor class certainly won’t let them do anything halfway decent on policy, even if they were so inclined — then RussiaRussiaRussia will have to be intensified. Maybe, after the big reveal, we’ll be arguing about fonts, or today’s digital equivalent, all over again, for most of 2019…. A pleasing prospect, and all, if Israel is in form, for nothing. Fortunately, there aren’t any major players in the controversy with the operational capacity to fabricate evidence. Oh, wait….

“Estrich: Donald Trump numbers not as bad as some believe” [Susan Estrich, Boston Herald]. “The big problem on my side of the aisle these days is that so many people hate Trump so much that they cannot acknowledge his strengths among voters and simply cannot believe he could possibly win. And in this, they are sadly wrong. Not only could Trump win; he probably will if Democrats remain locked in a state of denial. Trump has at least three big advantages… First and foremost, it’s the economy, stupid…. Second, as my father used to say at the track, you can’t beat a horse with no horse…. That brings me to the third reason, which my friends just hate. I’m sorry, Donald Trump may be many things, but he is not stupid. He is not in over his head; he’s been swimming along just fine. He is shrewd. You don’t get to be president without being shrewd. Blame former FBI Director James Comey, but Trump took some hard hits, too. Looking forward, you might try to convince yourself that the problem was Hillary Clinton, that she lost. I don’t see it that way. Clinton fought hard. Trump won. And he could do it again.” • Estrich was Michael Dukakis’ campaign manager….


“Over 50 Democratic candidates say they would oppose Pelosi as House speaker” [NBC]. “At least 42 of the party’s nominees for House seats have declared they will not back Pelosi and nine incumbent Democratic lawmakers are on the record opposing her, bringing the total to 51.” • Assuming the opposition isn’t tactical…

“Pelosi Might Not Be A Great Leader Any Longer But Most Of The Members Who Want Her Position Are FAR Worse” [Down With Tyranny]. “There are plenty of ambitious, far less talented, far more conservative Democrats who [see] themselves as speaker.” • Hard to believe, but true. Interesting for the circumlocutions all candidates, including those on the left, must use to keep their options open. Oh, and: “We have a Republican Party controlled by conservative billionaires; we don’t need a Republican-lite party controlled by conservative billionaires on top of it.” • Billionaires as such, surely?

“Tracking the House Races to Watch in the 2018 Midterm Elections” [New York Times]. They use the Cook Political Report’s districts and ratings:

But compare the original Cook Political Report map:

The Times omits Cook’s classification of districts (“Trump Surge zones,” etc.). Perhaps the Times didn’t like those categories much, either?

MO: “Wesley Bell’s Win Surprised Everyone — Except His Campaign” [Riverfront Times]. “A generation of St. Louis County voters had returned McCulloch to office again and again, and some observers speculated that Bell’s campaign would turn those voters off with talk of bail reform and respect for protesters. In reality, though, Bell didn’t need McCulloch’s voter base. He had his own… ‘People are waking up,’ [ActionSTL leader Kayla Reed] says. ‘They always try to say that the ‘Ferguson Effect’ is a bad thing. This is the good part of the Ferguson Effect, this is what it’s all about. Making sure that we elect people that represent people’s interests, the people’s morals. Young people running for office, changing the guard in these officers that have been held by the same person for decades.'” • For anybody who remembers Ferguson, this is a big, big deal.

MO: “The historic election of Wesley Bell, movement-building, and a few essential lessons we learned in this groundbreaking race” [Medium]. “At first I didn’t quite get what [Philadelphia DA] Larry [Krasner] meant, but he unpacked it, and so did the other brilliant panelists. Electing radical reformers as district attorneys is HUGE. It’s essential. It’s a BFD. But it’s not everything — if you have a great DA, but horrible judges, you are still jammed up. If you have an amazing DA, but a horrible police chief, problems will continue. If you have an amazing DA, but the House, Senate, Presidency, Supreme Court, and most state legislatures are working against you, you simply don’t have enough. What Larry was saying is that if we turbo-charge our local, regional, and national organizing we can not just elect great district attorneys, we can change the whole game. And to have the results we really need, we have to change the whole game.” • Yep.

NY Governor: “Letitia James Has Embraced Andrew Cuomo. Is It Worth It?” [New York Times]. James: “It’s really, critically important that I not be known as the ‘Sheriff on Wall Street.'” • Oh.

New Cold War

“Meet the Indiana dad who hunts Russian trolls” [CNN]. “Russell is part of a growing network of online sleuths using public information to conduct open source investigations into Russian accounts posing as Americans. Officially, their work is called open-source intelligence, or OSINT, and it often identifies trolls before the platforms do. Russell’s work in particular has helped journalists at CNN, NBC News, The Daily Beast, and other outlets cut through the lies and disinformation.” • Never any problems with that, no no…

“The handwritten notes exposing what Fusion GPS told DOJ about Trump” [John Solomon, The Hill]. • I don’t have much to say about this, except to note that Obama’s intelligence community is treated as being a remarkably passive player in the whole RussiaRussiaRussia narrative. So it’s good to see some, er, dots connected between (Democrat vendor) Fusion and Obama’s Justice Department (plus the FBI) [hums “Moody Richard”…].

Realignment and Legitimacy

Reader Query: I’m trying to remember the name of the Kos employee who invented the business model of taking a commission on click-throughs for online petitions; this probably would have been after the Dean campaign in 2004. But I can’t. The name was well-known in the blogosphere of the time. Can any readers help out?

* * *

“Advocates Say Paper Ballots Are Safest” [Bloomberg]. And the deck: “They’re also the cheapest and fastest way to address vulnerable systems before the midterms” (!!). More: “Voting security advocates want paper ballots and scanners. ‘It’s absolutely the safest way,’ Richard DeMillo, a cybersecurity professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, says of using paper. ‘All this fancy stuff—you are talking to a computer scientist, and it breaks my heart to say this—but it just drives up the cost and doesn’t add anything.'” • Good to see this issue break through at Bloomberg. And you’ve gotta wonder why both major parties cling to the digital…

* * *

“White supremacists’ D.C. rally fizzles, drowned out by counterprotesters” [MarketWatch]. “What was promoted as a ‘white civil-rights rally’ held near the White House on Sunday appeared to be a bust, with fewer than 20 attendees, while thousands of counterprotesters gathered nearby. Jason Kessler, the white nationalist who organized the rally, told the National Park Service he expected 100 to 400 attendees… The rally marked the anniversary of last year’s mayhem in Charlottesville, Va., in which white nationalists and their supporters clashed with counterprotesters.”

Taking credit (1):

Taking credit (2):

The claim that “antifa tactics work” depends on where you think facism is to be found (and what it is). If you think that fascism in America is a Mussolini-style marriage of corporations and the state, then you might want to think about the implications of Jeff Bezos — also the owner of the Washington Post — getting a $10 billion contract from the Pentagon for data storage. Of course, the streets do involve that adrenaline rush, described vividly by David Graeber here (page 420 et seq).

Power lying in the street?

Nobody seems to remember Obama’s 17-city crackdown on Occupy. Or the National Guard in Ferguson, either. Oh, and let’s drop the fig-leaf that black bloc is just a tactic, mkay?

* * *

“A Community-Run ISP Is the Highest Rated Broadband Company in America” [Vice]. “[Consumer Reports] surveyed 176,000 readers on their experience with their pay TV and broadband providers, and found that the lion’s share of Americans remain completely disgusted with most large, incumbent operators…. One of the lone bright spots for broadband providers was Chattanooga’s EPB, a city-owned and utility operated broadband provider we profiled several years back as an example of community broadband done well. The outfit, which Comcast attempted unsuccessfully to sue into oblivion, was the only ISP included in the study that received positive ratings for value.” • If the liberal Democrats wanted to appeal to rural voters, and weren’t owned by the donor class, and had any stones, they’d run on this. Of course, none of that is true, but we can dream….

Stats Watch

Business news is quite light today, because there were so many political topics I wanted to write about. I’ll have a pantry clear-out tomorrow.

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, July 2018: “The Small Business Optimism Index rose by 0.7 points in July to 107.9, the second highest level in the survey’s 45-year history” [Econoday].

Import and Export Prices, July 2018: [Econoday].

The Bezzle: “Tesla investigates why bumper broke off two Model 3 vehicles after ‘heavy rain'” [Electrek]. • The teardowns mean that a Tesla car can be profitable. That’s not the same thing as saying Tesla can manufacture cars for profit.

Tech: “Banks and Retailers Are Tracking How You Type, Swipe and Tap [New York Times]. “The way you press, scroll and type on a phone screen or keyboard can be as unique as your fingerprints or facial features. To fight fraud, a growing number of banks and merchants are tracking visitors’ physical movements as they use websites and apps. Some use the technology only to weed out automated attacks and suspicious transactions, but others are going significantly further, amassing tens of millions of profiles that can identify customers by how they touch, hold and tap their devices.” • Because of course they are.

Health Care

“Donald Trump is making Medicare-for-all inevitable” [Matthew Yglesias, Vox]. “Medicare-for-all — a government-run insurance program that everyone is either covered by or at least eligible for — is unequivocally the future of progressive health care policy…. [W]hether the Democratic Party should pursue it is no longer in doubt [lol]. That’s in part thanks to the work of activists and organizers who’ve been working in the single-payer trenches for years.” • You’re welcome.

“Sorry, Bernie Is Right” [Matt Bruenig, Jacobin]. “But [the] initial success [of their propaganda campaign] slipped away from Mercatus because folks like myself quickly noticed that, buried in the report’s tables, the author had actually found that Sanders’s plan would save $2 trillion. That’s right: the same estimate with the scary $32.6 trillion figure they were promoting to all the journalists in the country also said that the US could insure 30 million more Americans, virtually eliminate out-of-pocket expenses, and cover dental, vision, and hearing care for everyone — all while spending $2 trillion less over the next ten years. After this was pointed out, the coverage of the report changed dramatically, and Bernie Sanders put out a video thanking the Koch brothers for their positive study…. Needless to say, Mercatus was not thrilled that its attempt to torpedo Medicare for All had become one of the leading talking points in its favor, and so it badly wanted a do-over. The preferred theater for their do-over was gullible and biased fact-checkers who they successfully coached into declaring that Bernie Sanders is lying using their inane truth-o-meter and Pinocchio-based measures.” • This is an excellent takedown of the Mercatus report, although I must say I prefer Yglesias’ “thanks to the work of activists and organizers” to “folks like myself.” Single payer has enormous intellectual capital, the result of a collective effort by many unsung heroes.

“The tale of two Medicares: Canadian and American” [STAT]. “Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not that Americans get more tests or procedures, or even enjoy the ability to exercise more freedom of choice within the health care system. They are just paying staggeringly higher prices for the exact same things.”

“Fearing ‘blue wave,’ drug, insurance companies build single-payer defense” [The Hill]. “Health insurance and drug companies, who are often at odds on policy issues, banded together to form the [Partnership for America’s Health Care Future], which lobbyists say could run advertisements against single-payer plans and promote studies to undermine the idea…. Industry groups are worried that support for single-payer is quickly becoming the default position among Democrats, and they want to push back and strengthen ties to more centrist members of the party to promote alternatives. ‘Their worry is about 2020 and it’s becoming the litmus test for Democrats,’ said one insurance industry source familiar with the plan to create the new partnership.” • Not to worry, dudes. The liberal Democrats have got you covered. The DCCC is running enough Blue Dogs to make sure that single payer “never, ever” comes to pass, for at least one election cycle. And since the “Blue Wave” is going to break on the shore and, in due course, roll back without changing a thing, remind me why it’s important?

A liberal Democrat reacts:

(For more on Slavitt, see “Andy Slavitt’s United States of Care: A Second ‘Undertaking’ (and It’s Bipartisan!)” at NC). Note the tell: “Conversation,” for which the operational definition is a bunch of “town halls” with NPR tote bag-carrying consultants using whiteboards to carefully guide a hand-picked audience to a predetermined market-based solution. And of course funding for focus groups, pollsters, strategists, video producers, as well as, these days, a troll army.

“A New Threat to Immigrants’ Health — The Public-Charge Rule” [New England Journal of Medicine]. “[T]he Trump administration is drafting a rule on “public charges” that could have important consequences for access to medical care and the health of millions of immigrants and their families… A draft rule from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would substantially expand the definition of a public charge to include any immigrant who “uses or receives one or more public benefits.” Not just cash assistance but nearly all public benefits from federal, state, or local governments would be considered in public-charge determinations…. ne estimate suggests that nearly one third of U.S.-born persons could have their use of public benefits considered in the public-charge determination of a family member… Notably, unauthorized immigrants are not the primary target of the draft rule, since they are already ineligible for most federally funded public assistance. Instead, lawfully present immigrants would bear the brunt…. We believe that the draft public-charge regulation represents a substantial threat to lawfully present immigrants’ access to public programs and health care services.” • Epidemics don’t care about whether your papers are in order…

“An analysis of out-of-network claims in large employer health plans” [Health System Tracker]. “Almost 18% of inpatient admissions by enrollees in large employer health plans include at least one claim from an out-of-network provider… Given these additional potential costs, why do enrollees receive care from out-of-network providers? In some cases, they may prefer a provider outside their network, maybe due to reputation, familiarity, or convenience. Sometimes, provider networks may have few in-network options for certain types of services, such as for mental health care. In other cases, patients may not be in a position to select a network provider, for example in emergencies or urgent care situations. Other instances of out-of-network service use may be inadvertent, such as where an enrollee encounters an out-of-network provider (maybe an anesthesiologist) in the course of treatment at an in-network hospital or surgical center, or when their in-network provider refers them to an out-of-network provider for services such as laboratory testing or radiology. These latter situations are sometimes called “surprise medical bills,” because patients may not have been aware that they were exposing themselves to the potentially large cost sharing and balance bills for out-of-network services. A 2016 KFF survey of medical debt found that among individuals who faced out-of-network bills they could not afford to pay, nearly 7 in 10 did not know the provider was out of network at the time they received care.” • Everything is fine. We have the best health care system in the world.

Class Warfare

“Austerity kills: this week’s figures show its devastating toll” [Guardian]. From last week, still germane.

“Just Released: Cleaning Up Collections” [Liberty Street Economics]. “Between June 2017 and June 2018—the time period during which the [National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP)] was implemented—the number of individuals with a collections account on their credit report fell from 33 million down to 25 million. The number of collections accounts reported also dropped substantially… All in all, the changes in credit reporting prompted by the National Consumer Assistance Plan have resulted in an $11 billion reduction in the collections accounts balances being reported on credit reports. A total of 8 million people had collections accounts completely removed from their credit report. However, collections accounts do indeed align with other negative events and the cleanup of collections accounts had the largest impact on the borrowers with the lowest scores.”

News of The Wired

“When Protomammals Ruled Earth” [Scientific American]. “[T]he Carboniferous rainforests didn’t truly collapse. These lush, swampy habitats either moved or were replaced. It was a matter of turnover rather than a last stand of forest patches separated by inhospitable land. ” • Good news!

Gary Gulman’s “Abbreviating the States”:

* * *

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 (Samuel Connor), close up:

And from farther away:

Connor writes:

Two photos of the Chamoe vine at day 43 from planting. The first photo has roughly the same scale as the original. The plant has taken over; I gave up trying to train it about a week ago when the rains started. It had been growing steadily during the preceding multi-week drought, but really took off with multi-inches of rain over a week. The first-fruit is visible toward the bottom of the photo, a yellow melon gleaming out from among the leaves.

To get a sense of the scale of the plant, a second photo is attached. It has burst out of the intended trellis/cage and is spreading aggressively in all directions. I expect that it will overwhelm the cherry tomato vine (Riesentraube) to the left; I’ll have to decide whether I want tomatos or more melons. Perhaps I can guide the vines around the tomato.

Given how aggressively this spreads, it might make a good shade cover over weedblock cloth to suppress the weed grass that is obvious at the bottom of the 2nd photo. I don’t know whether this is quack or bermuda but, whichever, it is getting the better of me. I expect that I will be digging the rest of the Summer, and into the Autumn and Winter. But at least I’ll have dug beds for timely planting in Spring 2019. And a stronger back.

My quack grass has totally gotten the better of me. There comes a point, every summer, when I simply give up (generally because I’ve started projects that are more interesting than weeding). That point has now come.

Also, I like photographs of projects. I’m running a bit short, so if you’ve got photos of a garden project, do send them in! Pollinators are good, too; so hopeful!

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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. Wukchumni


    Worders of the world, unite against sloppy group synch or swim tactics on the vulgar!

  2. Knifecatcher

    That Peter Strzok account is a parody – it actually changed names from @_peterstrzok to @notpeterstrzok, but not before plenty of people amplified this tweet. Chris Cillizza, for one.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s where I got it. I’ll take it out, after noting that parody and real life are increasingly hard to tell apart. For example, the “Indiana Dad” following….

    2. Wukchumni

      Tried to use ‘Strzok’ on a double letter score in a heated scrabble tourney last week-but was forced out, and had to eat the Z in the end.

        1. DonCoyote

          Would there be better money if we added a few more Russia’s? {link to story about Gillette going to five blades removed because this is a family blog. If you are 18+ search onion five blades}

          “RussiaRussiaRussiaRussiaRussia…” I can paste all day.


          Russia didn’t make 50% of the country poor and low income.
          Russia didn’t make 63% of the country unable to afford a $1000 emergency.
          Russia didn’t make us have unaffordable college and people buried under mountains of debt.
          Russia didn’t make the banks kick 5.1 million people out of their houses.
          Russia didn’t put us into eight wars with $700 million dollars going to our war machine at the same time we can’t get clean water in Flint.
          Russia didn’t poison our water in Flint.
          Russia didn’t frack our country.

          We’ve done all these things to ourselves.

          Russia didn’t stop Barack Obama from implementing a public option when he could have, at the snap of a finger. You know who did do that? His donors.

          We now return you to your previously scheduled fearmongering.

          1. Hepativore

            Somebody should make a song about the “neoliberal disease” set to the tune of the Industrial Disease by Dire Straits.

          2. Kokuanani

            Russia didn’t put us into eight wars with $700 million dollars going to our war machine at the same time we can’t get clean water in Flint.

            Should this perhaps be $700 BILLION dollars? $700 million seems a little low.

  3. Amfortas the Hippie

    Connor’s Quack Grass.
    Geese will eat that in a heartbeat, and leave the toms and curcurbits alone(unless they waddle over them)>
    Indeed, during a flood…when the grass is inundated, geese love to stick their heads in the mud to get at the roots of such things.
    I’ve been experimenting with somehow penning them into a given raised bed to remove the corms of the bermuda grass that came with the free city mulch(it’s either that, or learn to live with bermuda as a living mulch. sigh). I’ll report on those results when they come in.
    another option, of course, is to let chickens in there during winter, while feeding them minimally.
    I finally convinced mom to do that, and it really cuts down on the bugs and weeds, come spring.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Those are good strategies to know about, though I don’t think I would be allowed to keep poultry; perhaps if things get tougher (or the scary tick invasions get worse) the local rules will be relaxed. I’ve been digging up the deep weedgrass storage bodies, dehydrating them to death, and composting them. It seems to work really well to beat the grass back (for about a year) and the food plants seem to do a lot better in the deeply dug beds.

      1. a different chris

        > I don’t think I would be allowed to keep poultry

        You might be surprised. If the place is very old then chickens generally were allowed but people just stopped keeping them. If it is very new they probably were too busy deciding which colors you could paint your (fake) shutters and disallowing chickens didn’t even occur to them.

      2. Amfortas the Hippie

        for ticks, I hear tell you want to be nice to possums.
        They’re Tick Roombas.
        as far as HOAs and city ordinances…I feel for you. My brother and my dad live in those sorts of places. But I have determined that I belong at the end of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.
        I’ve got around 30 geese, and I rarely hafta mow.
        and I know when something’s up outside,(all that honking and carrying on).
        and I’ve seen them kill a snake, and beat up a raccoon.
        Once the vineyard is in, I intend to get an additional herd(flock?…I propose “tea party” as the term for a group of geese)

        1. The Rev Kev

          Geese are also good for security. During the Vietnam war US troops would have flocks of geese herded outside vital bases as no Vietcong saboteur could get anywhere near the perimeter without the geese kicking up a fuss.

    2. Lost in OR

      I created raised beds by digging a moat around where I wanted the beds to be and piling the dug-up soil onto the bed. Then I cleared the beds of grass. The roots of the grass surrounding moat could not grow down under the moat and back up into the bed. Once cleared of grass, the beds stayed that way.

    3. sleepy

      I remember in the 50s and 60s my uncle farmed a couple hundred acres of cotton in east Arkansas–the swampy delta part of the state–and during summer would rent flocks of geese that came with a portable fence in order to weed the cotton field. They wouldn’t eat the cotton because it tasted bad, but ate every other plant and also every bug. Another advantage was the free fertilizer from goose poop.

  4. Code Name D

    What do you mean by the Democrats “thinking” of going low? Taking the low road is ALL THEY KNOW! Unless “Bernybros” was there way of being nice. The thing with RussiaRussiaRussia is that this was never really about Russian interference in the election, this is about the growing rebellion within the ranks of the Democratic Party. They want Bernie style progressive black listed.

    1. clarky90

      Re, The 2018 “Great Blue Purge” of the Internet.

      The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin’s Russia


      “…. But one book stood out from the others. It was called Ten Years of Uzbekistan.

      Looking inside Rodchenko’s copy of Ten Years of Uzbekistan was like opening the door onto the scene of a terrible crime. A major purge of the Uzbek leadership by Stalin in 1937, three years after the book’s publication, meant that many of the official portraits of Party functionaries in the album had to be destroyed. The concept of “personal responsibility” had been forced on the whole country by the Stalinists during a vast campaign of vigilance against the regime’s enemies. The names of those who had been arrested or had “disappeared” could no longer be mentioned, nor could their pictures be kept without the greatest risk of arrest. Petty informers were everywhere. The walls really did have ears.

      Rodchenko’s response in brush and ink came close to creating a new art form, a graphic reflection of the real fate of the victims. For example, the notorious secret-police torturer Yakov Peters (page 133) had suffered an ethereal, Rothko-like extinction. The face of party functionary Akmal Ikramov, veiled in ink, had become a terrifying apparition (page 129). And there, suffering a second death, was Isaak Zelensky, his face wiped out in one great blob and his name obliterated in the caption beneath.

      This defacing, forced upon Rodchenko…..”

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      One really gets the sense that these guys can’t understand that most people never joined a Frat, and if they ever think about it, are glad they did not.

      ‘an electorate that is angrier, nastier and more desperate.’

      Neoliberal paternalism leads to blinders. No, the plurality of the country is tired of your BS. Independents find both of you creeps. If you can afford to vote you’re mostly nowhere near A,N,&M,D as a single identity. When average joes feel it’s only appropriate to smack security cameras and feed a stick of wrigleys into the ATM, then we’ll be talking about angry.

      God, I’ve got Scott v Nelson. Imagine how ‘none of the above’ would do on that ballot.

  5. JacobiteInTraining

    I would absolutely love to think I could nurse some Chamoe vines along next year in my mountain garden patch until late spring/early summer gets me to the warmer weather those things probably hanker for…but i fear the early season cold/damp would make a Chamoe very unahappy with me.

    I’ll have to give it a shot next year though – maybe I can make a cold frame or just start it out in the warmth of the apt before xferring it up to the mountain.

    In the meantime, LOVE the ongoing grow updates! Thanks!

  6. Code Name D

    Something bugs me about the Cook political report. Why isn’t KS04 shown on the map? KS03 is shown, but why not KS04?

  7. Jason Boxman

    On Trump being shrewd, it’s hilarious to note the train of thought among liberal Democrat supporters that Obama during his time in office would do great things, if only he wasn’t constantly outfoxed by those evil Republicans…

    So they can’t accept that Trump might actually not be a fool, but ascribed to Obama a failure of leadership by way of insisting it was Republican intransigence that prevented Obama from delivering the goods. So this is the reverse of failing to recognize that Obama simply didn’t plan on delivering; a failure to recognize that perhaps for his supporters, Trump actually is; and that that is what matters. Liberal Democrat supporters seem to have many blind spots.

    1. Wukchumni

      “Words calculated to catch everyone may catch no one.”

      “Every man has a right to be heard; but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal cords.”

      Adlai Stevenson

    2. dcblogger

      Not only is Trump a fool, he is a fool with dementia. It is not the first time we had a foolish president with dementia. We just cannot come to grips with the decadent nature of our political culture.

      1. MK

        Other than bare conclusions, care to offer any evidence? From the long view of judicial appointments and military funding, he is anything but a fool. Dementia is a medical diagnosis requiring more than armchair quarterbacking.

      2. Mark Pontin

        Not only is Trump a fool, he is a fool with dementia.

        Maybe so, oh mighty dcblogger.

        But if so, despite being a fool, Trump did a great job of taking down the Clinton and Bush political dynasties, and fifteen other Republican candidates.

        And despite being a fool — and a narcissistic monster, too, I will add — he was smart enough to pretend that he gave a *family blog* about the mopes in places like Wisconsin by going out and campaigning there, when Her Majesty — the other narcissistic monster — didn’t.


      3. Mo's Bike Shop

        Korea: Formal negotiations. That’s new.

        Syria: No US no-fly-zone and ensuing glow. Winding down. Indications you-know-which-state is down with that.

        Trade: Everyone is discussing the usefulness of shipping our sheetrock from China. And I think that is an excellent situation.

        NTDT: When the Democratic Party Leadership stops making hard-headed-Democrats defend Il Douche, they’ll be halfway to convincing somebody.

        HINT: Repeating your opponent’s NAME, over, and over, and over, and R!^3, over again is not best practice in publicity. –Unless you’re a Heel in a wrestling match.

      4. Carey

        If President Trump is a fool suffering from dementia, why has the Democrat Party
        leadership™ conspicuously backed off on their calls for his impeachment?

        1. Yves Smith

          Because Pence.

          And also because Trump is holding up very well in the polls in the face of ongoing terrible press, much but not all of which is on target. Impeaching him runs the risk of motivating his base to vote R in November, even if they have some buyer’s remorse.

      5. Yves Smith

        That’s the talking point of about 4 months ago. Trump invited cameras into a 1+ hour meeting, unscripted, and he handled it very well. The dementia meme disappeared after that.

    3. Louis

      By no means do I like or support Trump (quite the opposite) but I agree here on some Democrats having blind spots.

      If the Democrats want to have a chance and winning the presidency, they need to do a serious “lessons learned” on how they got it so wrong in 2016. If Russian influence actually affected the outcome, it was at the margins. The more consequential reason for losing in 2016 is nominating an incredibly flawed candidate with major liabilities and a significant disapproval rating within her own party. Top that off with the hubris that there was no way Trump could win and you have the recipe for a major upset.

  8. DonCoyote

    Thanks for the Gary Gulman bit.

    “Not a contractor, a contracter–a man who made words smaller by combining them or apostrophising them.”

    Reminded me of the Apostrocalypse, an event in Neal Stephenson’s novel Reamde, in which (almost) all the apostrophes are removed from a MMPORG because they were being used by one of the two writers as an extra character rather than to apostrophise (or, in Gulman terms, “that contractor is no contracter”)

    1. fresno dan

      August 14, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      Other than a bizarre need for self flagellation and masochism, I will admit I tried to find the documentary Abbreviating the States
      Of course I couldn’t find it…..because all traces of the documentary have been undocumented due to clues inadvertently exposed during interviews of the participants that the zip code is coordinates to be used by aliens when they invade.

  9. drumlin woodchuckles

    About Yglesias taking credit which is not his to take . . . . when typical establishment-figures like Yglesias struggle to run to the front of a parade in order to pretend they organized it and are leading it . . . you know the parade is trending.

    If we allow the Yglesii to take credit for these parades, perhaps they become emotionally invested in the success of these parades and will be less likely to double-cross these parades at certain key points in time.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      “Medicare-for-all — a government-run insurance program that everyone is either covered by or at least eligible for


      No, did not read. Because MY. This is a good lesson in the danger of dangling participles, tho.

      Can we substitute ‘Constitutionally-Obvious’ for ‘government-run’ in the future?

      I’m in the ‘no card’ category for The Insurance; because you may have plague, and I’d prefer not to get it.

  10. mle detroit

    One of the lone bright spots for broadband providers was Chattanooga’s EPB, a city-owned and utility operated broadband provider we profiled several years back as an example of community broadband done well. The outfit, which Comcast attempted unsuccessfully to sue into oblivion, was the only ISP included in the study that received positive ratings for value.” • If the liberal Democrats wanted to appeal to rural voters, and weren’t owned by the donor class, and had any stones, they’d run on this. Of course, none of that is true, but we can dream….

    Why not use the same appeal to urban voters? I’d bet it would work to increase turnout, like turn non-voters into voters.

  11. Mark Gisleson

    Can’t figure out who that Kossack was and googling didn’t help (does it ever anymore?).

    Not Dr. Drew Linzer by chance? I’m really looking forward to reading the correct answer because a chart of Original Kossacks and where they are today would be damned interesting!

    1. jo6pac

      Beginning in 2003, as his blog expanded to a community, Kos appointed four or five “guest bloggers” (also called “front page diarists,” “contributing editors,” “front-pagers,” and simply “FPers”) who are selected from the community and tasked with regular contributions on the front page (without needing to have their articles recommended or promoted).
      • 2003: Billmon; Steve Soto; Steve Gilliard; RonK, Seattle
      • 2004: Meteor Blades; DHinMI; Melanie; Trapper John; theoria; DemFromCT
      • 2005: DavidNYC; kid oakland; Hunter; Armando; a gilas girl; Plutonium Page [17]
      • 2006: georgia10; SusanG; mcjoan; DarkSyde; Superribbie (announced as a front-pager, but backed out the next day, citing time constraints) [18]
      • 2007: BarbinMD; Kagro X; Devilstower; MissLaura
      • 2008: brownsox; Scout Finch; smintheus; Jed L.
      • 2009: Steve Singiser
      • 2011: Scott Wooledge, Mark Fiore, Denise Oliver-Velez
      • 2012: Shanikka, Mother Mags, John Perr
      • 2013: V.L. Baker, Ian Reifowitz, Egberto Willies
      • 2014: Susan Grigsby, Frank Vyan Walton, Steven Payne, Shaun King, Kelly Eleveld
      • 2015: Josie Duffy, Thandisizwe Chimurenga, Vann R. Newkirk II
      Names from here.


      This all I can do due to a bad health day

  12. 3.14e-9

    So “Indiana dad” came up with that idea all by himself? FFS. The PropOrNot gang have been doing it for years:


    The only difference is that back in the day, they were hunting “jihadi trolls,” and the FBI disapproved. Around the time of the Ukraine coup, they switched to hunting “Kremlin trolls,” and now they get paid consultant work in D.C. and are invited on TV news as guest “experts.”

    And CNN just magically stumbled on the story, right? Smells to me like an Atlantic Council plant.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Well when Eliot Higgins started Bellingcat he was unemployed but now he is with the Atlantic Council with all the goodies that that entails such as consultancy work. Kaching! Maybe “Indiana Dad” wants a piece of that too.
      I wonder if based on the number of comments on Russia that I have posted whether “Indiana Dad” would target me as a Russian troll. Would he send me a snap of his gun? We have a name for people like that where I live. He would be called a f***wit.
      In talking about the now chubby Higgins, I see that he joined the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab as Senior Non-Resident Fellow in 2016. Isn’t that the mob that Facebook is partnering to determine what is fake news or not? Hmmm.

      1. 3.14e-9

        Kev, the article I linked to above is from 2003, so that dude was doing his thing a good 10 years before Higgins. There also were articles about him in WaPo in 2005 and The Atlantic in 2006. Like Higgins, he was an unemployed fat boy working from home. He is now listed (and has been for some time) as a senior fellow at the GWU Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, the advisory board of which is packed with IC and defense insiders.

        Among his colleagues at GWU is Clint Watts, who’s also a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. The two of them co-authored a piece in the Daily Beast in August 2016(!) titled, “How Russia Dominates Your Twitter Feed to Promote Lies (And, Trump, Too).”

        Yves posted a piece on May 25 that mentions their connections with PropOrNot, the Atlantic Council, and the new “partnership” with Facebook. Note that the first response to the FB announcement is none other than the dude in the 2003 article. No chance in Hades that this is coincidental. Nor do I believe it’s coincidental that hunting for Russian trolls on social media has suddenly become a popular hobby in flyover states.

    1. polecat

      Maybe she meant “hardnocks” … as one who is hurled, like dead fish, into a waiting campaign suv ….

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      No, Lambert is thinking of a Kossack. Trippi was with Dean then, but I’m convinced the first name was pretty boring like “Joe.” Someone like Howie at DWT would remember. He probably wrote about it.

      There is who I want it to be, but I know it’s not that person.

  13. Wukchumni

    Yosemite Valley opened again today, relieving the pressure on visitation here in Sequoia NP that came on account of the wildfires up north.

    Our NP’s are among the most cosmopolitan areas in the country, for sometimes it sounds as if English is a 2nd language, one of many competing for your ears. I’ve heard as many as 7 different lingua francas on a shuttle bus within the NP.

    1. Lee

      During my last stay at Curry Village cabins in Yosemite I was surrounded by what seemed to be an entire French village. As happenstance would have it, my vacation read was The Ladies Paradise by Zola. Similarly, in Yellowstone any popular venue in summer is like a United Nations conclave. Out wolf watching one dawn a large party of Japanese were with us. When the wolves howled at dawn there were gasps, excited whispering and an old man danced and wept with joy. A lovely moment.

    2. Angie Neer

      I haven’t had the privilege of visiting Yosemite in a few decades. But the last time, it seemed that everybody coming downhill on the trail was speaking German. My wife and I decided that if we got to the top, we too would go through the magical Germanification ritual. We’re both mediocre students of the German language, and were kind of looking forward to gaining fluency. Unfortunately, it turned out that Germans just get up earlier in the morning than we do. So by the time we started going up, they were already coming down.

    3. Carolinian

      It’s an exchange program where we visit their cathedrals and they visit our cathedrals.

      I’m not always Ken Burns’ biggest fan but I do agree with the title of his series: The National Parks–America’s Best Idea. The rest of the world seems to agree.

      Sadly our wilderness is getting to be a bit too popular for comfort.

      1. Wukchumni

        99% of visitors to our National Parks go to 1% of it…

        …1% of visitors to our National Parks go to 99% of it

  14. JTMcPhee

    And as a disabled Vietnam vet, I’d like to flag this little bit of investigative reporting:

    The Shadow Rulers of the VA
    How Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter and two other Mar-a-Lago cronies are secretly shaping the Trump administration’s veterans policies.


    Pretty amazing, how some little band of old nasty men who never “served their country” (well, one of them apparently served in the Israeli Defense Forces) is driving what is going to happen to me and all the other vets facing cuts and privatization and “thank you for your service, suckers!”

    1. 3.14e-9

      Mr. McPhee, Lambert had it in this morning’s links.I got it last week from a VA staff person, if you can believe that. I was much remiss in not sending the link right away to the good folks at NC. My excuse is that I was over my head in bureaucratic bungling, a good part of it by the VA (I, too, am a vet and disabled).

      In response to the ProPublica report, Democrats on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs called for an investigation and sent a letter to the VA secretary requesting documents. Their counterparts in the Senate also wrote to the secretary, but all they asked for was that he not cave to outside influences.

      The lack of media coverage is a bit perplexing. Must be that Three Guys from Mar-a-Lago isn’t as good for ratings as One Guy from Moscow.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps the MediaLords support anti-VA privatization for social upper-class-loyalty reasons.

        1. JTMcPhee

          I think it’s just all part of the seamless web labeled “Because markets,” and looking toward the withering away of the (non-corporate-benefit) state, which in the form of treatment of veterans of imperial “outreach,” could be most simply characterized as “Just die.”

          And for anyone thinking that a legislative ‘investigation’ of the outsourcing of VA policy and practice to this troika will produce any kind of positive change (for veterans, the mopes who took the emperor’s shilling and either did valiant stuff and wog murders, or sat in chairs before keyboards and managed procurements and deployments and logistics and played pre-failed war games with real people and their pink mist and body parts), “BWAHAAAHAAAHAHAAAAA…”

          Go sit through a few of these legislative investigations, if they are not closed to the public, and sense the real nature: “We have hard reports of (name your defalcation), Mr. Blahblah, and we and some of our constituents are very concerned — how do you explain yourself?” Whisper, whisper, dodge, weave, defer, promise to send a letter with support “real soon…”

          1. 3.14e-9

            Actually, I have sat through those hearings — many of them. I used to be a journalist in D.C., back when there was no live-streaming on YouTube, so you actually had to go to the hearing. You’re mostly right about them, with one noteworthy exception: Even when hearings are open, it’s all a dog-and-pony show to make it look like a public process, when in fact, all the outcomes are decided behind closed doors, sometimes before the hearing even takes place, and often as deals between congressional and agency staff and lobbyists.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Kind of like what happened here in FL. After a few big hurricanes, almost all “insurers” of residential properties just stopped writing coverage. And the “Insurance Commission” squawked a bit and there were some Grand Legislative Hearings. http://www.stormrisk.org/sites/default/files/2nd%20Annual%20Insurance%20Market%20Rpt-FSU%20Storm%20Risk%20Center.pdf

      But in the end, State Farm and the other Big Names were able to shed all the potential liabilities. The argument, after they reorganized their corporate structures (each state a separate corporation for losses, even though profits were still centralized) to put all the riskier bits in a small pool, preserving the more profitable ones for their big profit centers, was that it was unfair or something to make them eat losses that now looked so unbalanced. And besides, ‘what are you going to do about it, hmmm?” And so we have a small-pool state-run socialize-cost entity here now, and a very few private insurers writing homeowners insurance.

  15. The Rev Kev

    In reading Lambert’s analysis of the political trends as the US heads into the midterms I sometimes wonder in an idle moment how today’s people would have been reporting on the United States Presidential Election of 1860 if they had been around. Probably a more tumultuous time but with unforeseen consequences. But at least back then you could have a four way contest instead of the current two-


  16. Steve Kachur

    I went to a town hall meeting conducted by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier on Monday August 13 in Walnut Creek, CA. DeSaulnier is a democrat first elected in 2014 from the 11th CD in Contra Costa County. It was his 71st town hall meeting since he was first elected. His recent meetings have had themes, this was no exception, with the theme of “Securing Our Elections.” Alex Padilla, the California Secretary of State, was a guest speaker along with a couple of academics working on ballot security issues and a graduate student who sounded like he was tossed in to provide some youthful statements about social media. About 350 people attended, 99% white, close to half women, and overwhelmingly older. I’d guess only about 50 people present were younger than 50. And just like the location (Walnut Creek) the crowd appeared fairly well to do (well dressed, parking lot full of late model automobiles, etc.)

    Mark opened the meeting with a short power point presentation that included a time line of indictments related to the RussiaRussiaRussia obsession that he shares with his democratic party colleagues and most of his supporters. Alex Padilla then assured us that California elections were already secure despite Russian efforts to sow disinformation. He emphasized “cyber”security, but curiously admitted that it’s the California paper ballot that is the main reason we should have faith in our elections. The crowd applauded each reference to paper ballots from Padilla and all other speakers. Maybe the older crowd wasn’t as confident in the wonders of high tech security despite the prominence of smartphones everywhere. Padilla asserted that California elections are secure because the state uses paper ballots. Although machine counted, the paper trail allows spot check hand counts to verify the machine tallies.

    Next an academic elections expert Philip Stark from UC Berkeley stated that paper ballots are the only way to assure ballot integrity (applause again). Interestingly Stark’s qualifications presented on a screen included his service as a expert witness in the Jill Stein recount lawsuit in Wisconsin. Probably DeSaulnier missed this association of his expert with the devious Russians. In the Q and A session that followed the short presentations Stark said that there was no way to secure the integrity of any computer system so we should rely on paper ballots (applause again). However, he also asserted that election officials must machine count the paper ballots in order to “minimize the work.”

    Another academic expert, D. Jefferson, told the crowd that Internet voting is a bad idea, and gave a short summary of the recent defcon meeting on voting machine hacking in Las Vegas. He largely echoed Stark suggesting there is no high tech fix for the ballot integrity issue.

    The last speaker was Mark Kunlelen, a graduate student at Claremont College. He rambled on about Russian bots effectiveness in using social media to undermine Americans faith in reality. Apparently the devious Russians bots even told people the wrong voting day or the wrong voting location. Unfortunately we can do nothing about this because the social media business model is sacred. However, we must still post the truth so others may see it.

    The Q and A was largely anticlimactic with nothing much said or observed. The one interesting moment was when Secretary Padilla said the Republican argument about massive voting fraud is a lie, further that voter suppression is rooted in white supremacy. This brought applause and one shout of “Thats a racist lie.” Mr. Padilla did not follow up on this, nor did any other presenter.

    The meeting closed with DeSaulnier calling for our continued vigilance and engagement, citing his faith in the intelligence authorities protecting us. In fact, he called Mueller a “providential” man, evidently imbued by a higher power to lead us from the wilderness. I was surprised that this didn’t get a stronger reaction from the crowd, but maybe it was getting too late. FWIW it was good to hear “experts” endorse paper ballots and downplay high tech.

    1. flora

      Securing the voting process from manipulation is a worthy goal. The congressman might want to talk to Beth Clarkson who has been on this case for several years. ‘russia russia russia’ isn’t the problem. The following was written in 2015. (And russia russia russia has nothing to do with it.)

      My statistical analysis shows patterns indicative of vote manipulation in machines. The manipulation is relatively small, compared with the inherent variability of election results, but it is consistent. These results form a pattern that goes across the nation and back a number of election cycles. I’ve downloaded data and verified the results from several states for myself. Furthermore, the manipulation is not limited to a single powerful operator. My assessment is that the data reveals multiple (at least two) agents working independently to successfully alter voting results.

      1. skippy

        “My assessment is that the data reveals multiple (at least two) agents working independently to successfully alter voting results.”

        Good grief can we ever move on from polemic Dawg and Satat’en framework of reality…. really… I mean… barf my frontal lobes…

    2. flora

      Skynet ate another comment. Shorter: read Beth Clarkson. Electronic vote fiddling has been going on a long time and has nothing to do with foreign actors.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        One of my big skepticisms with Ru^3! is that if an outside influence had actually changed the ballot, there would have been at least a hundred County Clerks found vacationing at the bottom of the river.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Hand-counted, not machine-counted is important. You’ve got to root out digital entirely, because you can never trust the software not to be gamed.

      Thanks for the report! (Mueller being “providential”…. This is cognitive capture, at the very least!

      1. JTMcPhee

        Just a reminder that the balloting comes after the private political clubs have selected their champions, the ‘representatives’ we mopes are allowed to “vote for or against.”

        Bearing in mind that the goal of all this is to hear the voice of the people (whose views and perceptions are subject to all kinds of daily manipulations by various powers that be) on the way to establishing a legitimate government.

        How does the mopery become secure against the stuffing, via ‘smoke-filled back rooms’ and their more genteel analogs) of the voting CHOICES that predates the stuffing of the ballot boxes, whether electronic tallies or actual hand-marked paper ballots, marked in private and hand counted in public?

      2. Chris

        Hand counted for sure.

        In Australia, anyone can attend the booth count as a scrutineer, and both major parties try to have a scrutineer at every count. If there is uncertainty about the voter’s intention on a particular ballot paper, the scrutineers may be asked their opinion about the pencil marks.

        If the outcome is close, a candidate may demand a recount, and sometimes there are two or three recounts before the result is declared.

  17. Jeff W

    [W]hether the Democratic Party should pursue it is no longer in doubt [lol]

    Today, on this, the 83rd anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act, it pays to remember that, for the creators of Social Security, the reality of health care as part of what was broadly called “social security”—i.e., universally shared economic security—was never in doubt, and, in fact, they thought it was not too far away.

    Molly Dewson, a member of the then-Social Security Board, in a speech before the Women’s City Club of Boston in 1938, said:

    The place where adequate health protection ought to be–and isn’t–is, after a health and decency wage, the biggest gap remaining in the security platform. At this point two separate planks are missing. One of these is sickness compensation against loss of earning power during temporary or permanent disability. This is akin to the sick-leave with pay which teachers and other Government workers have come to take for granted. The other is adequate medical care, including whatever medicines, treatment, and hospitalization are needed–a far more expensive proposition but one of the most profound importance. These are distinctive needs, and very likely we shall move toward meeting them on different but parallel paths–toward disability compensation along the lines recently laid down for social insurance against loss of wages due to unemployment or old age; and toward medical care along the lines of our long-established public health provisions. Adequate health protection may still be mostly pious hope. But it is not a vain hope; both of these measures are already on the horizon.

    [Italics in original, bold added.]

    What was viewed eighty years ago as “of the most profound importance” is now, again, viewed “unequivocally” as “the future of the Democratic Party.” I credit “the activists and organizers” mentions. (lambert is, of course, one of them.) The question (purely rhetorical for any readers of this blog) is why it was ever equivocal in the first place.

  18. Carey

    “And since the “Blue Wave” is going to break on the shore and, in due course, roll back without changing a thing, remind me why it’s important?” -LS

    Seems to me that the utility of the Blue Wave that’s said to be coming is to show
    the many (hopefully once and for all) that Team Blue will do *nothing* for them.
    I realize that can be read a number of ways.

  19. Plenue

    Oh man, looks like antifa are disingenuous as well as stupid. Actual antifa is centered around black bloc type thugs wearing hoods and masks (you know, the good guys! /s). When they aren’t out cosplaying as actual revolutionaries they’re engaging in internet debates about the moral permissibility of punching Nazis (those that aren’t undercover cops reporting to their commanding officer, I mean), as if this were some urgent quandary that needs to be solved. What they’re doing here is laying claim to the efforts of peaceful protestors who just don’t like racist dipshits.

    They’re completely silent and inactive both on the streets when it comes to actual police state actions (you link to Graeber, who was part of Occupy. Yet he and his beloved anarchists did exactly nothing when Obama’s paramilitaries crushed it), or either on or off the streets when it comes to resisting Wolin’s inverted totalitarianism. That I gather is a much more complicated, not to mention dangerous, beast to oppose.

    Much easier to just yell at some idiot skinheads around a Confederate statue and pretend like you’re a hero.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Shoot, forget der stazi, Punch a Nazi is a pretty big tell for fellow Democrats. Clarifying. ‘This is how you defend the Enlightenment?’

    1. Todde

      Aame with the white supremacist/ neo nazi skinheads.

      I wonder how many people on the government payroll are beating each other up at these rallies

  20. Richard

    Kyle Kulinski on the hilariously fizzled far right rally here.

    If you feel in need of a good laugh. Apparently there is some work towards diversity at the planning level.

    1. steelhead

      Unfortunately, if the rally was held in ID, 250,000 Neo-Nazis or White Supremacists would out number any rational or sane people.

Comments are closed.