2:00PM Water Cooler 8/3/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Very patient readers, this is a initial cut. Now I’m going to go back and finish up my post on the NHS by trashing squillionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin, among other thing. Also, my “n” key is still differently abled, causig me screamig, tooth-gridig frustratio. “” has a letter frequecy of oly 6.749% ad it feels like fifty [sarl]. –lambert UPDATE 5:45PM The final cut. A bit thin still, the best I can do, today. Now to urse my ijured idex figer.

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“US slaps export controls on dozens of Chinese firms over ‘threat to national security’ as trade tensions escalate” [South China Morning Post]. I suppose, if it comes to that, I’d rather send my personal data to China’s organs of state security, via Huawei, than our own, if only because the Chinese have to reason to exploit it.



“Joe Biden visit attracting more interest than expected” [Chicago Sun-Times]. • Oh.


Anybody who experienced the 2016 Democratic primary has to snicker at “our most sacred democratic values, which is a free and fair election.” And what’s with this “our American identity” thing? Sounds like a new buzzword.


Thanks, Obama:

Once again, the horrid Buffy Wicks. It’s no coincidence that Obama endorsed Wicks and not AOC. He is — hold on to your hats, here, folks — kicking the left again. Party unity is for rubes!

BFFs (Timotheus):

Ka-ching. Ka-ching. And ka-ching.

UPDATE “Gen X and Millennials Unite” [Counterpunch]. “Whereas then-Senator Obama promised a post-baby boomer presidency, Senator Kamala D. Harris will in fact deliver it.” • What does that even mean? Here’s what it means in the Harris/Brown administration visioned by the author: “If floating Governor Hickenlooper as Chief of Staff helps to secure his purple mountains majesty, then Harris does it. If prominent House Dems, like Schiff or Castro, want the U.N. or National Security Advisor, done. If rational Republicans like Corker and Flake want ambassadorships, then Berlin and Madrid await. The mix of personnel is secondary to the larger aim: government that functions to address, analyze, and effectively pursue solutions to a panoply of vexing problems. Bold, probably experimental, solutions.” • Adam Schiff and, well, Raytheon. But Beyoncé. So it’s pragmatic.

HI-01: I’m liking this guy:

OH-12: “Ohio’s 12th District Race Tightens in Final Stretch of Special Election” [Roll Call]. “But all eyes are on the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, for the next few days ahead of the last special election before the November midterms…. This race for Ohio’s 12th District has followed the trajectory of other Trump-era special elections, with Democrat Danny O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, steadily closing the gap with the Republican nominee, state Sen. Troy Balderson…. Republicans are pulling out all the stops here. Outside groups such as the Congressional Leadership Fund have been propping up the GOP nominee, as it has in other recent special elections. And the district has seen a steady stream of national GOP surrogates, to be capped off this weekend with President Donald Trump…. After initially staying out of the race, Ohio Gov. John Kasich — who used to hold this seat — endorsed Balderson last week and cut an ad for the CLF backing him.”

OH-12: “‘The Most Accurate Bellwether:’ GOP fears mount over Ohio special election” [McClatchy]. “A special election next week in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District is the last big electoral test before November’s election, a showdown in a once deep-red suburban House seat that Donald Trump won just two years ago by 11 points. Now, however, both parties view the race between GOP nominee Troy Balderson and Democratic nominee Danny O’Connor as a toss-up — and that’s a warning sign for GOP candidates already bracing for a difficult election environment, especially in suburban districts that will help determine control of the House this fall.”

MI Governor: “Sanders to Rally for Abdul El-Sayed as New Poll Shows Tightening Democratic Primary Race in Michigan” [Common Dreams]. “On the heels of poll results showing progressive candidate Abdul El-Sayed is pulling ahead in Michigan’s Democratic gubernatorial primary race, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced he would rally voters in the state in support of El-Sayed this weekend…. Sanders will speak at two rallies in Detroit and Ypsilanti on Sunday, promoting the former Detroit health director’s support for a state-level Medicare for All program, promise of free college tuition for most state residents, and pledge to invest in renewable energy and green jobs. Sanders is the only U.S. senator who’s endorsed El-Sayed ahead of the August 7 primary election.” • Don’t get excited by one poll, though, especially one from an organizatio called Change Research. Could be a late rally by El-Sayed, but….

NY Governor: Cuomo gives zero [family blogs]:

My satrapy, leftist dogs! Down! Down!


The Liberal Democrats Have Lost Their Minds

Love me, love me, love me….

Another liberal Democrat woman comedian follows Samantha Bee’s royal road to wealth and fame:

Again, party unity is for rubes.

Squillionaires with bright ideas:

On the Koch Brothers v. Trump feud:

Kayfabe? If so, who’s the Face, and who’s the Heel? I’m not strong on conservative factions, so I’d be interested in reader thoughts on this thread.

“Here’s Why Marijuana Will Play a Major Role in the Next Two National Elections” [Alternet]. “Michigan will vote on a legalization initiative in November, and there will be efforts in Arizona and Ohio in 2020, the panelists said. But grassroots initiatives could also bubble up in places like North Dakota and Oklahoma, both of which saw serious efforts this year that will almost certainly not make the November ballot but do lay the groundwork for the next cycle. Vermont became the first state to free the weed via the legislative process (although it does not allow retail sales), but [National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) director of governmental relations Mike Correia] sketched out how the next couple of years could see Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island fall in line behind it. By the time November 2020 rolls around, most of New England and the mid-Atlantic states could be legal, with Illinois and Michigan creating a major toehold in the heart of the Midwest.”

“Donald Trump and the American Left” [Rob Urier, Counterpunch]. “As widely loathed as the Democratic establishment is, it has been remarkably adept at engineering a reactionary response in favor of establishment forces. Its demonization of Russia! has been approximately as effective at fomenting reactionary nationalism as Mr. Trump’s racialized version. Lest this be overlooked, the strategy common to both is the use of oppositional logic through demonization of carefully selected ‘others.’ This points to the most potent fracture on the Left, the question of which is the more effective reactionary force, the Democrats’ neoliberal nationalism or Mr. Trump’s racialized version? As self-evident as the answer apparently is to the liberal / Left, it is only so through abandonment of class analysis. Race, gender and immigration status are either subsets of class or the concept loses meaning. By way of the reform Democrat’s analysis, it was the shift of working class voters from Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016 that swung the election in Mr. Trump’s favor. To the extent that race was a factor, the finger points up the class structure, not down. This difference is crucial when it comes to the much-abused ‘white working-class’ explanation of Mr. Trump’s victory.”

“The Hunger for a Bold Socialism” [Conor Friedersdorf (BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!), The Atlantic]. The conclusion: “For now, their posture suggests a catchy counterargument for a market-oriented system with better checks on rent seeking and a strong safety net: ‘Capitalism: Making people’s lives materially better is enough.'” • Which, in all fairness, is exactly the distinction between social democracy and democratic sociailism. Still, this whole “unnaccountable bureacy” thing. Verizon? The Pentagon?

“Will Tribalism Trump Democracy?” [Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative]. “Today, a large share of the American people loathe who we were from the time of the explorers and settlers up until the end of segregation in the 1960s. They want to apologize for our past, rewrite our history, erase our memories, and eradicate the monuments of those centuries. The attacks upon the country we were and the people whence we came are near constant. And if we cannot live together amicably, secession from one another, personally, politically, and even territorially, seems the ultimate alternative.” • “We” is doing a lot of work here, but as far as outcomes, the reactioary mossbacked reprobate is onto something. One wonders if Buchanan could be converted to slicing things by class, rather than tribes….

“A Census Question That Could Change How Power Is Divided in America” [New York Times]. “Republicans officials, red states and conservatives behind a series of recent court cases have argued that districts historically allotted based on total population unfairly favor states and big cities with more undocumented immigrants, tilting power from states like Louisiana and Montana to California and New York. Congressional seats and state legislative districts should equally represent citizens or eligible voters, they say, not everyone. Until now, their arguments have faced a logistical challenge. The government doesn’t currently count citizens as thoroughly as it does the total population, tallying every person on every block.”

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, July 2018: Below consenus. “Slowing job growth may be a welcome outcome given the risk that economic activity may be pressing up against capacity limits” [Econoday]. “The payroll breakdown is led by temporary help services…. which indicates employers, stacked up with orders and backlogs, are scrambling to meet demand. Construction payrolls also stand out…. Manufacturing payrolls rose… more than double Econoday’s consensus with trade & transportation, reflecting strong activity in the supply chain Weakness in payrolls comes from mining… and also government payrolls…. Though the headline is softer than expected, this is yet another positive employment report that speaks to the strength of the labor market and the success, so far, of Federal Reserve policy.” And: “The internals generally look good, and the pace of year-to-date growth exceeds last year” [Econoday]. “The household and establishment surveys were not in sync. The year-to-date employment is running above the pace of last year. There were significant employment declines such as sporting goods stores.”

International Trade, June 2018: “The nation’s trade deficit proved a little deeper than expected” [Econoday]. “Country data show a deepening deficit with China…. Though deeper than expected in June, the nation’s trade deficit has been improving though the outlook, given tit for tats on tariffs, is uncertain.”

Purchasing Managers Services Index, July 2018: “[B]elow expectations” [Econoday]. “[S]lowing in order growth may be a positive for this sample which appears to be approaching capacity limits. Business activity is at one the strongest rates in three years yet employment growth is being limited by lack of skilled labor.” And: “Both [PMI and ISM] services surveys are in expansion – and their intensity of growth and general trends are similar this month” [Econoday].

Institute For Supply Management Non-Manufacturing Index, July 2018: “slowing is clearly the theme” [Econoday]. “Slowing is not only the theme of today’s service reports but was also the theme of ISM’s manufacturing report on Wednesday. The economy may have taken a breather in July which, given what appear to be approaching limits on capacity, could prove a long-term plus for the economy.” • Cheerleading?


Retail: “The Start-Ups Behind New York’s Retail Reawakening” [Business of Fashion (J-LS)]. “Rebag is one of a number of small, online brands taking their place alongside the luxury establishment in haute shopping districts like Fifth Avenue and Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Until recently they would have been priced out of these areas. But landlords, who have seen vacant storefronts proliferate as the rise of online shopping triggers wave after wave of store closures, are increasingly willing to cut deals on even the most tony real estate.” • Both Yves and I have remarked on Manhattan’s vacant storefronts. Perhaps landlords threw in the towel?

The Bezzle: My sentiments exactly;

Will there be miniature submarines?

UPDATE The Bezzle: “MoviePass Played by Silicon Valley’s Insane Rules” [The New Republic]. “MoviePass, whose subscribers pay a monthly fee to see an unlimited number of movies in most theaters in America, appears to be circling the drain. On Friday, the service temporarily shut down after the company ran out of cash… MoviePass’ demise seemed inevitable, if only because of simple math. The company paid theaters full price for the tickets, but subscribers only paid $9.95 a month, so anyone who used MoviePass even once a month was costing it money…. But MoviePass is not an anomaly. Many of the largest tech companies employ a similar strategy of burning cash in pursuit of rapid growth that could, theoretically, eventually be turned into profit. As the New York Times’s Kevin Roose argued earlier this year, only somewhat hyperbolically, the ‘entire economy is MoviePass now.’ Looking at tech peers in Silicon Valley (particularly Netflix, to which it was inevitably compared) it should be no surprise that MoviePass settled on a simple formula: Take money from venture capitalists, provide a below-market price for a popular service, and profit.” • Leaving open the question of why stupid money stays stupid for some firms, and not for others. Nice paper there for somebody….

UPDATE The Bezzle: “Blue Apron Shares Tumble on Decline in Revenue, Customers” [Bloomberg]. “The New York-based company said customers fell 24 percent in the second quarter, reversing gains made in the previous period. The number of people purchasing its signature boxes of food to make home-cooked meals dropped 9 percent from the first quarter to 717,000. The average order value also dipped from a year earlier to $57.34. Fewer customers led to a 25 percent decrease in revenue for the period ending June 30.” • Idea: Deliver on free scooters?

UPDATE The Bezzle: “The New Economy’s Old Business Model Is Dead” [Foreign Policy]. “The titans of the new economy are different from their predecessors in one very important way: They aren’t job creators — at least not on a scale to match their dizzying growth in value…. But the exponential difference between technology companies’ revenues and their payrolls probably won’t last. The fact that they can have billions of users but only tens of thousands of employees is in part thanks to algorithms and machine learning, which have taken the place of many ordinary workers. It is also the result, however, of political decisions made back in the 1990s that freed these companies from regulation — and those political decisions probably won’t withstand increased scrutiny. As politicians and citizens get more worried about the behavior of technology giants, these companies are going to have to shoulder new regulatory burdens — and will then have no choice but to hire many more people to manage them. In other words, the new economy’s old business model might be about to come to an end.” • “I want to grow up to be a Moderator!” (which is not such a bad ambition, especially as compared to “I want to grow up to grow up to be a Regulatory Arbitrageur!”

Tech: Also my sentiments:

UPDATE Tech: “Yay Capitalism” [No Mercy/No Malice]. “According to a University of Chicago study, an iPhone was the single most accurate predictor of wealth. There is a positive correlation between your income and the likelihood you have an iPhone. So, just as driving a Ferrari says you’re killing it, or have your priorities totally fucked up, or both, owning an iPhone is the easiest way to communicate your sexual strength. This ability to communicate better status is how a product that costs $370 to build sells for $999… which is amazing. Apple’s move from the tech sector (brain) to the luxury sector (genitals) has enabled it to reap unthinkable margins for a computer company.” • So Apple’s dongles are what? A return of the repressed, except in reverse?


“Index of all Iowa wildflower Wednesdays” [Bleeding Heartland]. • Lots of pictures by a very strong state-level blog.

“New study linking warming with disrupted Atlantic flow has scientists “grumpy”” [Ars Technica]. “Last week, Nature published a climate science study that reached a very surprising conclusion—one that other climate scientists are taking issue with. Two other scientists penned a critical response and posted it at Real Climate the same day, outlining their issues with the study’s findings. This kind of argument could be left to play out among scientists, but the BBC News covered the study without skeptical counterweight, so we thought it would be worth explaining what the arguments are about.” • Infinite are the arguments of mages…. Even real mages!

Our Famously Free Press

Journalism unions:

News of The Wired

“How the Keller Administration is Catalyzing Change in the Economy” [City Alive (DK)]. From an interview with Sarita Nair, Chief Administrative Officer at the City of Albuquerque: “Albuquerque can use our buying power to ensure local businesses are the providers of goods and services for the City, which will replace the millions of tax dollars currently sent to out-of-town vendors… To increase access to these opportunities, all City community centers and libraries will have someone on staff who is trained on the process and is there to walk you through getting set up as a city vendor.” • The whole article is worth a read.

The idyllic world of Farmer’s Markets. Thread:

Actually, I kinda like the picture of people of a gift economy where people are really passive-aggressive with each other. As opposed to a political economy where people go postal and start shooting everybody in sight….

“Genome Study Upends Understanding of How Language Evolved” [Scientific American]. “The evolution of human language was once thought to have hinged on changes to a single gene that were so beneficial that they raced through ancient human populations…. the 2002 study has never been repeated. It was based on the genomes of only 20 individuals, including just a handful of people of African ancestry, says Atkinson: most came from Europe, Asia and other regions. She and her team have now re-examined the gene’s evolutionary history using a larger data set and a more diverse population….. They found that the signal that had looked like a selective sweep in the 2002 study was probably a statistical artefact caused by lumping Africans together with Eurasians and other populations.” • Piltdown Man in modern dress?

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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 (Lee):

Lee writes: “This eye-catching bloom from a local park where I walk the dogs. I don’t much about roses so I have no idea as to what variety this might be.”

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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. pretzelattack

      lieberman would probably sell it to him for pennies on the dollar.

    2. Brindle

      MSNBC has been plugging Biden the past few days, Just as in 2016 when they were the Hillary network, look for MSNBC to grease the wheels for BIden.

    3. cnchal

      All Trump has to do is paint Biden’s face on the debt millstone and concrete boots students are wearing, and the message is loud and clear. Biden, the venal sniveler wants your vote after sending your kid to debt hell.

      Biden would be less suitable to be president than Trump is.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Biden has many issues, besides what you mentioned, try a search of ‘creepy joe biden’.
        Last night trump was going on about crazy bernie, the dems screwed the pooch in 16.

          1. foghorn longhorn

            Yeah, don’t really care about the older women, they could slap the f out of him, they are hanging around politicians by choice ya know.
            When the young ones are running from him is where the red flags are raised.

      2. polecat

        But hey … look on the bright gaseous side .. Hunter’s SURELY doin well having DAD secure a frack gas industry board position working with those kind, belevolent Ukrainians, … no ?
        Sure beats JAIL & drug rehab …

    4. WheresOurTeddy

      difficult to imagine a worse candidate for the #MeToo era than Biden, with the possible exception of Bill Clinton himself

      1. RUKidding

        My vote for worse condidate would be HRC but it’s really a photo finish between the three of them: Biden, HRC and the Big Dawg.

  1. Lee

    The plantidote photo was take with my aging Moto G phone and it shows up better than I thought it would.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Woo for those aging Moto G phones! I am hanging onto mine for the foreseeable future.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I did a little adjusting to make sure the reds weren’t blown out.

      It would be a interesting photo project to do a series that played to the Moto G’s strengths — or limitations!

      1. Lee

        To my eye you produced something of a painterly effect with the bloom. I recall an artist from many year ago that produced photos with an early Polaroid instant camera, IIRC, that she then treated in some way so that they looked like oil paintings of her subjects.

        Aha! Google may have worked this time.

        The technology rewarded artists who carefully labored with it in the studio. Marie Cosindas, beginning in the 1960s, constructed elaborate sets—everything from still lifes with bunches of asparagus to lush floral arrangements—in order to create incredibly painterly color photographs. Robert Mapplethorpe picked up Polaroid in earnest in the 1970s, creating indelible black-and-white portraits and staged scenes.


  2. Lee

    News of the Rewired

    If, like me, you have been waiting in vain for years for your third eye to open, you might opt instead for a third arm.

    There come to mind a number of uses for such an appendage that are too personal to share, but in the work place this device, coupled with tying a broom to your backside so you can sweep the floor while walking, could solve our productivity problems. ; )

    1. cnchal

      I have wondered why CrApple never innovated the I Phony assembly line by having the slaves go barefoot and put some of the simpler operations at foot level and get those millions of unproductive toes to earn their keep.

    2. HotFlash

      coupled with tying a broom to your backside so you can sweep the floor while walking

      Who on the Human Evolution Committee decided to scrap prehensile tails, anyway?

    3. The Rev Kev

      Actually a third arm could come in use. The character Zaphod Beeblebrox in the “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” had a third arm fitted to help with his ski boxing so there is that.

  3. Charlie

    Elon Musk Tesla video game console tweet:

    Wait! So I can now watch tenticle porn AND tap the console touchscreen 20,000 x/min while going into an uncontrolled crash because the autopilot died during an out of control battery fire?

    I’m impressed.

      1. Charlie

        Heck of a way to play Call of Duty: The Car Fire.

        I actually laughed at Pokemon Go Through the Tolls.

    1. EricT

      So, what happens to the car if the console crashes from the game and freezes. Do you enter control alt delete and restart the car?

      1. Charlie

        At 95 mph, yes. I can imagine the game freeze frying the ECM to boot.

        All joking aside, doesn’t this say diminishing returns in spades?

    1. JBird

      Stalin ordered the German Communist Party to not ally with other parties and reformers but fight instead. The Communists and Nazis did work together to violently destroy the popular German Socialist Party which was a threat to both.

      The wealthy conservative manufacturers and financiers ordered the right wing parties to back off from the Nazis during the elections and they eventually funded them. The police and judiciary were very friendly, lenient, and sometimes actively supported the Nazis as well.

      The communists expected to win the next elections after the Nazis won, and the conservatives thought that the Nazis would calm down and be controllable once they had to actually govern.

      So there were efforts to save the Weimar Republic that might have worked, but some left and right disrupted them thinking that the would gain power.

      I guess it didn’t work out.

      1. Matt

        “Stalin ordered the German Communist Party to not ally with other parties and reformers but fight instead. The Communists and Nazis did work together to violently destroy the popular German Socialist Party which was a threat to both.”

        Animus between the SPD and KPD goes back well before Stalin was in power. This reading of history puts the blame for Hitler on Stalin.

        1. JBird

          Point taken about the mutual hostility predating Stalin. The two parties were already in conflict.

          My point remains that groups on both the left and the right under their leadership made the country ungovernable in the belief that they would come into power.

  4. JIm A.

    Re: keyboard problems. As a going off to college gift, my parent’s got me an electric typewriter. We immediately had to return it because the space bar was defective. The problem is that it worked 75-85% of the time so the people at the store were very reluctant to take it back as defective. But as much of a non-complainer as I am I realized that was still enough to make it a useless deskweight.

    1. Wyoming

      People are so kind around here.

      I was sure someone would point out to Lambert that you are not supposed to be looking at the keys while you are typing. I guess I was wrong……

      1. Angie Neer

        Kind, yes, but you may be misunderstanding the nature of Lambert’s problem. I don’t think it has anything to do with looking at the keys.

        1. Wyoming

          Well saying we are all kind was just a joke…no one would actually think that. Just having fun.

          But I don’t think I misunderstood as he said it was mislabled above. The label or lack thereof is not relevant to good typing as one looks at the screen (or paper in the old days).

  5. Arizona Slim

    Loving the article about procurement in Albuquerque. Just shared it with a friend who’s in the state legislature. Planning on sharing it with some local officials.

    1. djrichard

      Sounds like the “Preston Model”. Lambert had a link to this previously, but it didn’t get much traction back then in discussion

      “The ‘Preston Model’ and the modern politics of municipal socialism” [P2P Foundation]. “In a few short years Preston has gone from being one of the most deprived parts of the country to a model of radical innovation in local government through its embrace of community wealth building as a modern reinvention of the longstanding political tradition of municipal socialism.”

  6. foghorn longhorn


    Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said a city employee who was patrolling the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail when he spotted a person in an area known to have a graffiti problem. He said the employee approached the person who began walking away. He said the employee found a wallet left behind by the person which identified the person as Pappas.
    How fortunate that he conveniently left his ID, especially on a Friday afternoon.

  7. RMO

    Re: Why Apple is worth 1 trillion: Yes, god yes. Their cable are so damn flimsy and cheaply made. The aftermarket iPod cable I got for the car has a braided jacket, is much stronger than the Apple one and costs less as well.

    1. Darthbobber

      That may be the one I have. It flips for iphone or android connectors. But- my wife got this for use with her iphone. (I use an android phone and pad, she uses Apple, because we wanted to be able to view how sites looked on both platforms easily in the course of building.) After an ios update, the braided cable stopped working consistently on her iphone, sometimes generating an “after-market device” message. So I wound up with the braided cable, which works fine in Android land. Any other ios users have this issue?

      (The after-market cord is also significantly longer than anything you get out of the box from either Apple or any Android manufacturers I’ve seen.)

      1. JBird

        So far no, but I bought my iPhone as a not so gently used older older model. I still use non apple accessories which do seem better.

        I started buying Macs decades ago because they were better than Microsoft. The premium price was fine especially when Jobs was making sure his stuff worked. Our good friend Crapification has found friends in Apple.

  8. allan

    When bad things worker buyouts and long supply chains happen to good people union-busting, two-tiered corporations:

    Unfinished Boeing 737s to cause piling up in Renton [Airliner Watch]

    Over 40 unfinished 737 were parked around Boeing’s Renton final assembly plant and along the edges of the Renton Municipal Airport. Some of these aircraft are missing their engines and others waiting for the installation of different parts.

    The cause of the piling up is the late deliveries of jet engines and fuselages from two major suppliers, which could not keep up with rising production rates, the manufacturer explains. …

    Besides, a retirement wave of experienced employees last year taking the voluntary buy-outs offered by the company caused a remarkable workforce shortage used in the production of these planes. …

    No one could have predicted, but given these difficulties surely Boeing needs to incentivize its C-suite
    with another round of bonuses.

      1. Synoia

        The fuselages are made in the US. The Aircraft industry has to have a paper trail of every part, down to individual rivets, in an Airplane.

        The documentation for a flying plane probably outweighs the fully loaded plane.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          This is obviously dated, but I read, a long time ago, about some Chinese factory in Xian proposing to manufacture some parts for Boeing.

          1. Carolinian

            You are correct sir

            Many components are not built by Boeing but are outsourced to other manufacturers both in the US and increasingly around the world. This may be either for cost savings in production, specialist development or as an incentive for that country to buy other Boeing products. Here is a list of some of the outsourced components:

            Fuselage, engine nacelles and pylons – Spirit AeroSystems (formerly Boeing), Wichita.
            Slats and flaps – Spirit AeroSystems (formerly Boeing), Tulsa.
            Doors – Vought, Stuart, FL.
            Spoilers – Goodrich, Charlotte, NC.
            Vertical fin – Xi’an Aircraft Industry, China.
            Horizontal stabiliser – Korea Aerospace Industries.
            Ailerons – Asian Composites Manufacturing, Malaysia.
            Rudder – Bombardier, Belfast and AVIC subsidiary Chengfei Commercial Aircraft (CCAC), China
            Tail section (aluminium extrusions for) – Alcoa / Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing, China.
            Main landing gear doors – Aerospace Industrial Development Corp, Taiwan.
            Inboard Flap – Mitsubishi, Japan.
            Elevator – Fuji, Japan.
            Winglets – Kawasaki, Japan.
            Fwd entry door & Overwing exits – Chengdu Aircraft, China.
            Wing-to-body fairing panels and tail cone – BHA Aero Composite Parts Co. Ltd, China.


            I recall reading something saying that the wing is the most highly engineered part of the airplane and that by outsourcing those parts Boeing was giving away their R and D crown jewels.

            The above is a pretty interesting link….lotsa techie details.

            1. VietnamVet

              Boeing is a true multinational corporation. It is an interesting case of who controls what. They sold off most of the 737 manufacturing. It opened a 787 assembly line in South Carolina to bust Pacific Northwest Unions. Boeing’s subsidiary United Launch Alliance uses Russian rockets to launch military satellites into orbit. It is building an airliner assembly line in China. China will likely force Boeing to use Chinese components to help expand its own aerospace industry. All to increase comparative advantage.

              1. Carolinian

                I believe Michael Crichton’s novel Airframe is where I read the discussion about the wing as the key piece of engineering that should be kept in house. This forms the crux of the plot.

                And Boeing has announced layoffs at their Charleston, SC factory so things may not be going so well there.

                Supposedly the venerable 737 with its many variants is the most produced airliner ever.

  9. foghorn longhorn

    It would appear the suspected killer of the elder bushs dr., conveniently left his ID on a park bench and then suicided himself as the HPD closed in.
    Will wonders never cease

  10. DJG

    Poor Melinda Taub didn’t do well in the tweet-backs or echo-tweets or whatever you call them.

    I also find the whole esthetic dimension to liberal-Dem angst over Trump to be, errrrr, taxing.

    So naturally, ultra-woke Melinda had to drag in William Carlos Williams:

    This Is Just To Say

    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

    1. pretzelattack

      so trashing the candidate who could have beaten trump as “so white, and so old” and comparing him to a pet is an example of “our best 2018 selves”? no thanks.

      1. pretzelattack

        and if democrats basically agreed on things like risking war with russia and gutting the new deal then clinton would have won, no? since we don’t, maybe pretending we do and shutting out sanders isn’t going to win the next election, either.

        1. Richard

          Well put pretzel. It’s amazing (not) how much liberals are able to decieve themselves about the actual left. My god, some of them actually think they’re with us?
          They won’t ever tell the truth about ’16, that they threw unions, the homeless and working poor, peace advocates, and climate change activists all under the bus in their continued rush to court suburban whites, as the donors wanted. Then they lost, to an orange clown, because it was a really s&*%, anti-populist idea that deserved to lose.
          This is your attacker: Blood dripping from his knife, wondering in a honeyed voice why on earth can you not understand everything the two of you have in common.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        Go look at Melinda Taubs picture.. she already has the “so white” box checked, and after a few more revolutions of the planet around the sun will have the “so old” box checked too. At least we know her jokes and opinions already are stale.

      3. clarky90

        Re. “Old, white, Bernie Sanders”

        Comrade Stalin speaks from the grave, in support of Kommissar General Clinton supporting her brave fight against wreckers, spies, provocateurs, diversionists, whiteguards, kulaks…….who are trying to infiltrate and destroy, OUR Democratic Party!


        Defects in Party Work and Measures for Liquidating Trotskyite and Other Double Dealers: March 3, 1937


        From the reports and the debates on these reports heard at this plenum, it is evident that we are dealing with the following three main facts.

        First, the wrecking and diversionist-espionage work of agents of foreign countries, among whom a rather active role was played by the Trotskyists, affected more or less all, or nearly all, of our organizations-economic, administrative, and Party.

        Second, agents of foreign countries, among them the Trotskyites, penetrated not only into lower organizations, but also into certain responsible posts.

        Third, some of our leading comrades, both at the center and at the periphery, not only failed to discern the face of these wreckers, diversionists, spies, and killers, but proved to be so careless, complacent,and naive that at times they themselves assisted in promoting agents of foreign states to responsible posts.

        These are the three incontrovertible facts which naturally emerge from the reports and the discussions on them……”

          1. clarky90

            Wrecking (Russian: вредительство or vreditel’stvo, lit. “inflicting damage”, “harming”), was a crime specified in the criminal code of the Soviet Union in the Stalin era. It is often translated as “sabotage”; however, “wrecking”, “diversionist acts”, and “counter-revolutionary sabotage” were distinct sub-articles of Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code) (58-7, 58-9, and 58-14 respectively), The meaning of “wrecking” is closer to “undermining”.

            These three categories were distinguished in the following way:

            Diversions were acts of immediate infliction of physical damage on state and cooperative property.

            Wrecking was deliberate acts aimed against normal functioning of state and cooperative organisations, such as giving deliberately wrong commands.

            Sabotage was non-execution, or careless execution, of one’s duties.
            ……The definition of sabotage was interpreted dialectically and indirectly, so any form of non-compliance with Party directives could have been considered a ‘sabotage’.”

            1. JBird

              Sabotage was non-execution, or careless execution, of one’s duties.
              ……The definition of sabotage was interpreted dialectically and indirectly, so any form of non-compliance with Party directives could have been considered a ‘sabotage’.”

              So no deviating from being, or at least appearing as, an ultra obedient group-thinking conformist drone. Gotcha. Anyone the higher ups didn’t like would be guilty of something, rather like how Americans today commit multiple felonies each day because it is unavoidable.

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          Yeah, a not so distant mirror. Didn’t Stalin also have a title that amounted to Stable Genius of the Revolution?

          In 1937 he wasn’t on about ((((homeless cosmopolitans)))) yet.

        2. Procopius

          I never followed up on it, but I read years ago that virtually all the original members of PNAC and American Enterprise Institute were Trotskyites. Specifically Irving Kristol (Butcher Bill’s father), and Gertrud Himmelfarb (his mother).

    2. Carey

      RE Ms. Taub and the other complacent and comfortable members of her class:
      I wonder how long those qualities can continue, given the conditions of the
      very large class “below” ?

      1. Richard

        “Complacent” is about the right word. Is there any word better to describe constantly attacking Trump from the right, on Russia or ideas they have about his fitness or character, and watching his poll numbers go UP, because none of these “attacks” connect with ordinary people. They never attack Trump in alliance with the people. Look at the sad opposition to Trump’s attacks on Dreamers when poll after poll showed Trump’s opinion was massively unpopular. Repeat the same formula with the tax bill (incredibly unpopular but apparently unstoppable), Supreme Court, presidential spying powers, etc
        Liberals have no guts to take on Trump authentically, in any way that will resonate with the demos.
        And it seems like there are a thousand ways to do it:
        Corruption/ Emoluments (sp.) clause: Nope, can’t do it
        Raping the environment, DACA, climate change denialism: sorry, too risky
        Robbing the middle class and poor to benefit the wealthy: no dice, but we’ll sure try to seem like William Jennings Bryan when the time comes!
        costs of empire (spiritual and material), war crimes: are you kidding? Of course we won’t attack Trump from that position!
        Russia, russia, russia: Oh, that’s the one. The one no one cares about and can never be used to improve a single american life. That’s what we rally behind. Beat Trump!

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      The William Carlos Williams meme (snowclone, really) has been around for ages. So naturally liberal Democrats have latched onto it as the latest thing….

      1. Bullwinkle

        Probably around the same time that Stephen Colbert, Michelle Wolfe, Jimmy Kimmel and Samantha Bee get funny.

  11. Summer

    Once the Democratic Party has burned the people who fall under the marketing term “Millennials” enough times, they’ll move on to the new “hope” of Gen Z…who won’t have multiple memories of lie after lie.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Something about being young and having never been fooled too many times (yet).

      Stalin and the soviets went after their own young ones.

      So did the Austrian corporal.

      Mao’s Red Guards.

      The Young Republicans.

      And Sanders’ …wait, he’s an exception. Though I’d still like free organic foods for all…all ages… before, or at the same time as free college.

      (One can’t march one’s neuron soldiers on an empty stomach).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Some people have told me they could think better when hungry.

        Still, let’s not let that be an excuse to starve anyone of any age.

        1. JBird

          Some people have told me they could think better when hungry.

          After the initial pangs go away, and one can think clearly, one is… incentivized to really find solutions, but thinking as in learning? They have different brains then me, let’s just say.

      2. Summer

        Marketing and advertising thrive on the same concept.
        Exalting youth to exploit it.
        When that doesn’t work, use fear (of not being wealthy enough, attractive enough, etc,). That base emotion gets played on throughout people’s lives.

        That is why those marketing terms found a comfy fit with political narratives and polling (which is done to fit a narrative).

    2. 4corners

      I don’t know… there are generations of working stiffs who still think Republicans are looking out for their best interests.

  12. Summer

    A friend of mine said to me yesterday, “Well, it looks like they are close to impeaching Trump.”

    I said what I said here before, “Trump, will be tweeting “Happy New Year” from the White House on Jan 1.”

    He went to his room amd shut the door. Conversation over.

    Fun times!!!

    1. Carey

      Assuming he runs, I expect him to win in ’20. Maybe the “Democrats” are OK with that?

    2. RUKidding

      I really detest Trump, but equally (or more) I detest this Impeach Trump b.s.

      Unless or until I see verifiable, credible proof of impeachable offenses that Trump has done, please please go do something useful (like register people to vote and help them get to the polling stations, for example). Ugh.

      Let’s just stop this now. And stop with the desire to set dangerous precedents. Big D has already screwed the pooch for the next time they win. Ample fodder for the rightwing to fling at them, as they most certainly will.

      1. JBird

        I am pretty sure he’s done enough self enrichment using his office to warrant impeachment, but since most of Congress has done so, doing so might expose some really dirty underwear.

  13. Massinissa

    “He is too white, and too old”

    Bernie is too white and old at 76, but Biden is not too white and too old at 75…

    Something tells me it isnt the whiteness or the oldness that makes Bernie persona non grata among Hillarycrats.

  14. dk

    HI-01: Kaniela Ing
    Worth mentioning that Ing is a sitting State Representative in Hawaii since 2012, he has legislative accomplishments and experience to bring depth to policy discussion and to DC.

    Ing’s articulate positions on military spending and the legacy of aggressive US posture (although mostly focused on the Pacific region) extend to expressed anti-imperialism, further adding to his potential significance if he wins the primary and then secures the federal seat:

    It’s time we think about what it means to have a war-based economy. That if war were to stop, our economy would stop, and that our livelihoods depend on the deaths of others — it’s abhorrent when you actually think about what that means. We need to transition away to have an economy based on peace. There’s finally a lot of talk about anti-interventionism on the Left, even by politicians. That’s good, but anti-imperialism is even better.

    As native Hawaiians, we know what it’s like to be displaced from our homeland. Whether it’s a war on drugs or a war on terror, it’s really wars for profit. These wars are causing indigenous peoples all over the world to suffer just like we have. We have to make those connections and realize that it’s our duty to let these refugees and immigrants in — and stop causing the refugee crisis in the first place.

    The interview by Jacobin is worth a read:

      1. dk

        Speaking of videos, here’s one for Zephyr Teachout, in the primary for NY-AG:

        The video makes clear that Teachout, like Cynthia Nixon in her NY-Gov primary challenge to Andrew Cuomo, is not courting urban city elites so much as the rural county voters of the fourth largest state. Teachout’s primary challenge to Cuomo in 2014 failed, but she did well upstate, where Trump dominated Clinton two years later. Teachout’s 2014 small-donor anti-corruption campaign predated Bernie’s step to the left, though without focused online fundraising. She also ran for the NY-19 seat against John Fasio and lost by 9 points (in line with Clinton+Stein).

        How quixotic that strategy is for Teachout remains to be seen; the other three candidates are inevitably competing for that urban/upscale HRC-base Dem vote, including a former HRC aide Leecia Eve, Rep. Sean Patrich Mahoney whose NY-18 district includes Clinton’s Westchester home turf, and Cuomo/Dem establishment pick NYC Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James. Teachout is currently running third with 13%:

        An aggressive turnout campaign in the rural counties could conceivably defy projections by activating voters in a polling blind spot, and unpaid volunteers are not prohibited by state campaign law from carrying materials for candidates in different races. Still, grassroots field organizations like DSA must tread carefully.

        Unlike Ocasio-Cortez, Teachout and Nixon are both long-shots, but they’re still honing a new (old!) kind of campaign and trying to build a constituency based on issues outside of the elite topic-bubbles. This ad is part of that effort, as much a statement of principles and goals as it is a simple campaign piece. Are you sure we’re not in Kansas, Toto?

        Oh and Teachout is pregnant and showing, not a first but still novel.

  15. Jason Boxman

    Exploitation is the only time tested way to outsized wealth. Apple is running a tried and true playbook.

  16. Big River Bandido

    Reading serious news stories about the Onion is a bit disconcerting, in a Spock-with-a-beard sort of way.

    That said, they seem to be on an upswing.

    1. Richard

      Spock with a beard was about the coolest thing I’d seen in my life, up to that time :^
      I kind of wanted them to switch, or the real Mr. Spock to think of a logical reason he should grow one.

  17. Carolinian

    owning an iPhone is the easiest way to communicate your sexual strength.

    So by that logic Apple should double the price and then your strength would be, like, really big.

    It could be the author (located somewhere in Cupertino, CA?) is getting carried away.

  18. The Rev Kev

    Re Kamala Harris’s name coming up again for a Presidential candidate in 2020. I had an idea that would have the deep state getting behind it. Have Kamala Harris stand as the Democrat candidate and bring back Sarah Palin as the Republican candidate in 2020. Then, after the election, reestablish the idea from the first years of the Republic that the position of Vice-president going to the leader of the defeated opposition party. That way you would have a Harris presidency with a Palin Vice-Presidency or vica versa. After four years of that I would reckon that you would have people getting nostalgic for the hit and miss Presidency of Trump-


  19. RUKidding

    That dude with the Trump/Putin T-Shirt. I’ll go old school and go: OMG. WTF?

    Number one: what’s with the gay shaming thing going on??? Really?? Trump’s “bad” because he’s having gay sex with Putin??

    Number two: that guy reminded me of my conservative brother-in-law who sometimes sports similar, but TeaParty-“inspired”, icky T-shirts. I thought that kind of hideous behavior was confined to the so-called “deplorables.” But Nooooooooo…. here’s this dude, and away we go.

    Please spare me. How does that SOLVE one d*mn thing? HOW?

    Dude you should go hang your head in shame and then go figure out some useful way to spend your time, like serving in a soup kitchen. Or helping someone run for office who has GOOD ideas.


    1. polecat

      HighSchool clickishness writ large ! Whole segments of America never completely grew up, evidently ..

      1. Procopius

        That’s the thought that comes to my mind when I see some of the childish “insults” thrown out in some blog comment sections.”Nya nya nya dumb old poopyhead” kind of stuff.

  20. scarno

    Hit piece on Tulsi Gabbard in the Intercept, attacking her anti-war politics. I guess “real progressives” want to bomb the villages to save them.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that scarno may have a point. Take a look at the image at the beginning of the article of Gabbard and then compare it with the one of one of her opponents – Shay Chan Hodges. That is a tell right there. Gabbard has her faults but the willingness to go to Syria and see for herself what the actual situation itself was not one of them.
        I note too that that OPCW report on the chemical attack was used against Gabbard in this article. I remember that “attack” which got discredited six ways to Sunday. That was the one where Jihadists in flip-flops were standing in a crater full of “toxic” chemical weapon residue taking samples for the OPCW. And the OPCW believed their chain of custody claims.
        The Intercept may be a serious publication but I note that it was a newly-minted journalist (https://theintercept.com/staff/aidachavez/) that wrote this story and you certainly wouldn’t trust the Intercept to protect you if you came to them with a hot story – as Reality Winner found out to her cost.

      2. scarno

        The Intercept is a venue that prints what dot-com scam-billionaire Omidyar asks of it, or without such instructions, what it’s editors’ positions happen to be. I think some of their pieces are well-reasoned and others quite specious, and often enough they are willing to print what I think is propaganda. Like you, I try to take arguments and evidence as they come, adjust my analytical framework when necessary, and seek out truth. The process isn’t so different with WaPo or NYT then it is with the Intercept, is it?

        The article I linked discusses a primary challenge to Congresswoman Gabbard, who has been endorsed by Our Revolution, PP; who resigned her vicechair of DNC in 2015 in protest of what she saw as the sidelining of left interests in the presidential race. Hardly someone who is likely to face a primary challenge from the left. The article admits, in fact, that she has no serious primary challengers, yet the article highlights the her un-serious “progressive” challenger, who is upset that Tulsi has the temerity to oppose US intervention in Syria and elsewhere. It’s typical blob logic: if you oppose murderous war in wherever, you despise human rights.

        Read it. It’s a hit piece. And why is it published at all? Omidyar is Hawaii’s richest resident. But perhaps that has nothing to do with it.

      3. FluffytheObeseCat

        It’s a well written piece, containing what appear to be accurate assessments of the 2 candidates’ stances on a few issues. The author pointed out early on that the opponent is native Hawaiian, and that Gabbard is not.

        It drips with implications about Gabbard’s foreign policy views; the only coverage of her representation of her district is in a quote from her opponent, who claims she spoke to constituents and “found” they couldn’t point to anything Gabbard had done for them. Gabbard’s whiteness was used very skillfully against her, along with a few dog whistles about her military background and anti-jihadist views.

        It was a skillful, Identitarian hit piece. The haute doyens of left coast “leftist” propriety do not like Gabbard.

      4. Matt

        “Outside of cultivating her image as an anti-interventionist, however, Gabbard has urged a continuation of the so-called war on terror. She’s also won the approval of some conservatives and members of the far right. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon reportedly arranged her November 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump, and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke has praised some of her foreign policy positions.”

        The first sentence is a sensible criticism. The rest is innuendo, guilt by association. Is that serious?

    1. Carey

      I thought this part of Urie’s piece was especially good:

      Left apparently unrecognized in bourgeois attacks on working class voters is that the analytical frames at work— classist identity politics and liberal economics, are ruling class ideology in the crudest Marxian / Gramscian senses. The illusion / delusion that they are factually descriptive is a function of ideology, not lived outcomes.

      Here’s the rub: Mr. Trump’s critique of neoliberalism can accommodate class analysis whereas the Democrats’ neoliberal nationalism explicitly excludes any notion of economic power, and with it the possibility of class analysis. To date, Mr. Trump hasn’t left this critique behind— neoliberal trade agreements are currently being renegotiated.

      Asserting this isn’t to embrace economic nationalism, support policies until they are clearly stated or trust Mr. Trump’s motives. But the move ties analytically to his critique of neoliberal economic policies. As such, it is a potential monkey wrench thrown into the neoliberal world order. Watching the bourgeois Left put forward neoliberal trade theory to counter it would seem inexplicable without the benefit of class analysis.

      1. JBird

        Bourgeois left? Would it not be more accurate to say the bourgeois liberals? Although there is a continuum, not sharp lines.

        1. Carey

          Yes, bourgeois liberals would be more accurate, and that conflation really
          annoys me. Good catch.

  21. Carey

    RE ‘GenX and Millennials Unite’ at Counterpunch: what was *that* about?

    On Harris’s “our American identity”: very interesting line. Mmm.

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