2:00PM Water Cooler 8/30/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, I’m in the midst of running errands, but I took a break in the bagel shop downtown to put together this abbreviated Water Cooler. –lambert


“North America’s auto supply chain up in air as Canada wants in on ‘Nafta 2.0′” [Freight Waves]. “The new deal reached [sic] with Mexico includes provisions on the sourcing of parts used in vehicles sold on a tariff-free basis in North America. Among the main provisions are that 75% of the parts going into cars be sourced in either the U.S. or Mexico to qualify as tariff-free, up from the original 62.5% domestic content requirement in Nafta 1.0…. Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research, says the domestic content requirement like needed updating as the list of parts going into cars and light trucks has changed since Nafta 1.0 was enacted. Nafta 1.0’s tracing lists for parts included ‘cassette players and distributor caps that are not in cars anymore,” Dziczek said. “Now cars have lidar and sensors.’ Many of these newer electronic components are being assembled in Southeast Asia and Mexico. Dzizeck says the evolving nature of car technology and parts sourcing means these supply chains are still fluid.”



“The Case Against Joe Biden” [Paste Magazine]. “It is unlikely, given his past, that Biden will be able to win over the left to become the face of the Democratic Party which is still trying to move beyond 2016. His candidacy would inevitably mean rehashing the same battles which Clinton’s 2016 general election loss already settled.” • Worth a read for the bill of particulars, but I don’t think liberal Democrats regard 2016 as “settled” in any way, shape, or form.


67 days until Election Day. 67 days is a long time in politics. And all the pallets of cash won’t start dropping from the sky until after Labor Day anyhow. For a lot of people, the midterms haven’t really begun!

“For Both Parties, 1998 Midterms Offer a Lesson for ’18” [RealClearPolitics]. “Since Trump’s election, the Democrats have been the party of resistance with the priority of many activists being nothing less than his removal from office. This attitude, fueled by an aggressive special prosecutor who has targeted Trump, has carried over to the midterms. ‘This election will be a referendum on this president,’ says Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer, founder of an organization called Need to Impeach. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has been around long enough to know the pitfalls of that approach, and has tried, with mixed success, to tamp down impeachment talk among her members – and 2018 Democratic candidates. ‘The Democrats are trying to have it both ways,’ said Sarah Chamberlain, CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership. ‘Some are pushing the impeachment message, and some are not, which is different than in 1998 when the Republicans were all in on the impeachment message.'” • This assumes that, collectively, the Democrats are disciplined enough to “have it both ways,” or indeed, any way.

NY Governor: “Cuomo Received $25,000 From Weinstein Lawyer’s Firm as He Suspended Probe” [David Sirota, Capital and Main]. • That’s nice. Meanwhile:

Hoftsra? This should sell the kids for sure! UPDATE Damn. I forgot to call Cuomo “Ratface Andy.” Sorry. My bad.

FL Governor: “‘One of the Most Brutal Races in the Country’ Has Just Begun in Florida” [The Atlantic]. “Florida Republicans on Tuesday chose Representative Ron DeSantis, a young conservative who ran unapologetically as the candidate of President Donald Trump, while Democrats surprised pollsters and prognosticators by picking Andrew Gillum, the progressive Tallahassee mayor who drew support from Senator Bernie Sanders and is vying to be the state’s first black governor. In doing so, voters set up, in the country’s largest swing state, a gubernatorial race befitting the hyperpolarized national political climate…. Floridians snubbed the so-called establishment candidates in both parties. “Gillum, 39, had been mired in third or fourth place in public polls, but he closed the gap in the race’s final weeks with help from a visit from Sanders and infusions of money from the liberal billionaires Tom Steyer and George Soros. Seeking to excite the Democratic base, he ran on an ambitious liberal platform of expanding Medicaid, investing heavily in public education, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and, though the governor of Florida has no power to do so, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and impeaching Trump.” • The Atlantic is wrong. Gillum’s site: “Andrew believes that Senator Sanders’ Medicare for All plan will help lower costs and expand coverage to more Floridians” (same three monts ago). Granted, there’s no “fight for” language there, but you’d think a mention on the candidate site would rate a mention in the press coverage.

MN Attorney General: “A Broken Relationship and Accusations of Emotional Abuse: The Case of Keith Ellison” [New York Times]. • Worth a read for the allegations (still no video). I dunno, I dunno. Maybe the answer is for any politician who wants a “relationship,” marital or not, to work through a broker. Then, when things get messy, as relationships can do, both sides can blame the broker. It would also be helpful to have a universal list of proscribed emotions on a website somewhere. I mean, how is anybody supposed to respond to a charge like “narcissist abuse”? “I am not!”? Which is, in any case, a déformation professionnelle among politicians.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Democrats Just Confirmed Lots Of Trump’s Judges So They Could Skip Town” [HuffPo (RH)]. “[Senate Democrats just] agreed to expedite votes on 15 of his nominees to lifetime federal court seats because they wanted to go home. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) had lined up votes for all those district court nominees last week. Normally, Senate rules require up to 30 hours of waiting time for each nominee ― something Democrats typically take advantage of to delay action on confirming Trump judges. But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) cut a deal with McConnell on Tuesday to bypass the wait times and let them all get through. Why? So Democrats could get back to campaigning and focusing on winning re-election in November. The Senate is now out of session until next Tuesday.” Ladies and gentlemen, the #Assistance! Honestly, I don’t have a dog in the mid-terms fight; I’m perfectly happy for the Democrats to win the House. Just as long as we all admit that the Democrats have no core principles at all.

Yves keeps insisting I watch The Lives of Others. I guess she’s right:

They left out torturers. Also, serial fabricators. Still, nobody’s perfect!

Stats Watch

Jobless Claims, week of August 25, 2018: “Unemployment claims remain very stable, low and favorable and they continue to set new milestones” [Econoday].

Personal Income and Outlays, July 2018: “The July personal income & outlays report is about exactly what the Federal Reserve is looking for: moderation to still solid levels of income and spending growth and steady readings on inflation that are right on target” [Econoday]. “One soft detail in the report is a 1 tenth slowing in real disposable income, up only 0.2 percent in July. Weakness here will definitely limit the strength of consumer spending which for right now, however, is right where the Fed wants it.” And: “Flattened out at modest levels of growth with no sign that the tax cuts have led to an acceleration” [Mosler Economics]. “Personal Income increased 0.3% in July, Spending increased 0.4%” [Econoday]. “The increase in personal income was below expectations, and the increase in [Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE)] was at expectations.” And but: “Consumer income growth is higher than spending growth year-over-year” [Econintersect]. “The backward revisions this month were slight.”

Banking: “Goldman Event Is Latest to Raise Questions on Riksbank Openness” [Bloomberg]. “Sweden’s central bank often refers to itself as one of the world’s most transparent monetary institutions. But a closer look reveals it holds plenty of private talks with members of the financial community… .Records of meetings since early 2017 obtained by Bloomberg show that 44 percent of the external events held by the Riksbank’s policy makers were closed-door events.” • Everythig is Like CalPERS…

The Bezzle: “What Airbnb really does to a neighbourhood” [BBC]. “Airbnb aims to host one billion guests each year by 2028. The scale of its ambition means regulatory battles are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, as more places try to shape and control its impact.” • The one talking point I don’t get is that AirBnB provides a more “authentic” experience. It’s extremely difficult to get an “authentic” experience as a tourist to begin with; and in any case, a hotel, where all the business relationships are crystal clear, strikes me as a far more “authentic” experience than real estate speculuation and performative emotional labors by the few in the “lucky” neighborhoods.

The Bezzle: That fire at Tesla; I posted on it, but I don’t think I posted this image–

As I said, I worked in factories for years, in places with plenty of “shit and cardboard,” along with wooden pallets, oil, sulfiric acid, etc. Never saw a fire. Elon’s high tech palace of industry must be in a real hellhole. No wonder the bumpers fall off. No wonder there’s all that rework.

The Bezzle: “UPDATE: ‘Autopilot Buddy’ For Tesla Cars Deemed Unsafe By NHTSA” [Inside EVs]. “Sadly, some people have gone to great lengths to ‘trick’ Tesla Autopilot from nagging them to put their hands back on the wheel. We’ve heard about all sorts of homemade fabrications that will reportedly make the system think a driver is ‘engaged.’ There have even been reports of people hanging something from the steering wheel and then going to sleep or heading for the rear or passenger seat…. As of the time of this writing, Autopilot Buddy is still available for purchase on the internet. The product description says it’s not a ‘hands-free’ device and that it’s for Track Use Only, but its purpose is clear. Autopilot Buddy is billed as a ‘Tesla Autopilot Nag Reduction Device.'” • In all the breathless coverage of robot cars, there seems to be very little consideration given to the idea that real people might game them for purposes of their own. The same applies to AI.

The Bezzle: About those robot cars:

Speculating freely, perhaps the robot car investment, at least by VCs, serves the purpose of blocking public solutions, rather than being profitable in itself? That is, there’s so much free money sloshing about that capital can be “invested” for a return that’s purely ideological?

Tech: “The rise of giant consumer startups that said no to investor money” [ReCode]. “[A] blueprint for a new path for ambitious direct-to-consumer entrepreneurs has emerged, one that has turned recent conventional wisdom in tech circles on its head even as it follows old-school business rules: Sell differentiated products for more than it costs to make and market them, and reinvest the profits in the business if you want to grow faster.

Tech: “Satellite Startup Swarm Is Back Online After Defying U.S. Officials” [Bloomberg]. “In January, Swarm Technologies Inc. placed four, tiny satellites on a rocket owned by the Indian government, sent them to space and started transmitting data to earth. What made this an unprecedented feat was that Swarm did all of it despite objections by U.S. regulators…. The Federal Communications Commission forced Swarm to disable the satellites and warned that the company’s long-term plans to build a type of space internet were in peril. It turns out, though, that time and good lawyers can heal some wounds. Last Friday, Swarm received permission from the FCC to reactivate its satellites.” • So, “permissionless innovation” is what the FCC is all about, now? Good to know.

Tech: “Here’s what we know about Google’s mysterious search engine” [WaPo]. “‘We’ve developed a detailed series of guidelines about what it means to be authoritative,’ said [Pandu Nayak, the head of Google’s search ranking team] in an interview. “It’s a 160-page document, it’s been publicly available on the Web for several years now, and it’s our representation about what it means to give relevant and authoritative results. Raters must study it and pass a test’ before they can participate in the evaluation process.” • Some day, I should read that document…

The Fed: “Monday Morning Notes: The Rate Hikes Keep Coming” [Tim Duy’s Fed Watch]. “Jackson Hole came and went with little reason to believe the Federal Reserve will do anything other than raise interest rates in September and again in December of this year…. Absent a financial crisis, a 10-2 inversion would most likely happen well before a business cycle peak. It will be just one out of a “constellation of other information” that will look fairly solid if not downright frothy. It would be hard for the Fed to ignore everything else in favor of the yield curve… . Powell’s contribution to the Jackson Hole conference did not give much guidance on this point. He basic point was that central bankers should not take estimates of such policy metrics as the neutral interest rate too seriously. Policy needs to be based on good analysis but also good judgement. My takeaway is that he isn’t putting much faith into the Fed’s estimates of the neutral rate. If they get to those estimates and the job market continues to churn away, Powell & Co. might reasonably conclude that their neutral rate estimate is too low – just as they concluded that their initial estimates of the natural rate of unemployment was too high.” • What “natural” rate of unemployment? What’s natural about it?

Our Famously Free Press

“I Used AI To Clone My Voice And Trick My Mom Into Thinking It Was Me” [BuzzFeed]. ” I used Lyrebird, a free software for creating “vocal avatars.” Lyrebird analyzes the cadence of your speech and the way you pronounce vowels and consonants to create a realistic digital copy of your speech patterns…. I used Lyrebird, a free software for creating “vocal avatars.” Lyrebird analyzes the cadence of your speech and the way you pronounce vowels and consonants to create a realistic digital copy of your speech patterns…. To demonstrate its AI, Lyrebird used its technology create a digital copy of Donald Trump’s voice.” • In a well-made play, they call that “foreshadowing.”

“It appears we’ve upset the Journal of Commerce” [Freight Waves]. “[The Journal of Commerce’s] executive editor told us that their new intellectual property policy prohibits FreightWaves from ever quoting or linking to JOC’s articles again.” • Well, if that’s how they want it…

Class Warfare

“Kids are hiring pricey personal stylists for their back-to-school shopping” [New York Posts]. • #NotAllKids

“Emails while commuting ‘should count as work'” [BBC]. “The study, to be presented at the Royal Geographical Society on Thursday, found that 54% of commuters using the train’s wi-fi were sending work emails… [A]s internet access improved it had the effective consequence of extending working hours, using laptops and mobile phones…. Instead of technology giving people more flexibility over working, the study showed that people were working extra hours on top of their time in the office.” • Shocker!

News of The Wired

“THE MOST POPULAR PERSONALITY TEST IN THE WORLD IS A JOKE” [The Outline]. • Worth a read, but I dunno…. Scientific or not, but I’ve always been classified as an INTJ by multiple tests, and when one of them listed many of my literary heroes (Horatio Hornblower, George Smiley)… I’m not entirely persuaded there’s nothing there.

* * *

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 (AM):

AM writes: “Fancy apple tree from Floors Castle garden in the Scottish borders area, just outside Kelso.” A propos our discussion of apples! I dunno, though. I think I prefer wild to fancy. How does the tree feel?

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So do feel free to make a contribution today or any day. Here is why: Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of small donations helps me with expenses, and I factor that trickle in when setting fundraising goals. So if you see something you especially appreciate, do feel free to click the hat!

To give more, click on the arrow heads to the right of the amount.


If you hate PayPal — even though you can use a credit card or debit card on PayPal — you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Wukchumni

    Galligula seems in more of a torpor tantrum than usual, he’s like the bot that cried wolf whistle as of late.

  2. WheresOurTeddy

    Unapologetic ISTJ for life. “Realism is often called cynicism by those who haven’t got it.” – Bertrand Russell

  3. DWD

    Lambert, Just a point of information.

    The correct abbreviation for Minnesota is MN.

    MI stands for Michigan (Where I live) I read the entry eagerly and then discovered it was not Michigan,

        1. ewmayer

          “External keyboards are cheap” — so is installing a non-piece-of-shit keyboard, if you are the manufacturer. But only if you care what your customers think, and aren’t making such a sh*tpile of money from your ‘popular’ product lines that you stop giving a rat’s ass about the older core product lines which your power/professional customers rely on.

    1. Scott

      I’ve always avoided using any state abbreviations, including postal ones, for this reason. It’s so easy for even knowledgeable people to forget that Michigan is MI or Nebraska is NE, let alone once Canadian provinces are mixed in. I’ve simply started spelling out the names and the only people that seem to mind are individuals wedded to the old AP Handbook

  4. Rojo

    INTJ here as well.

    I was disappointed to read the de-bunking. Not the the de-bunk is invalid, it probably is.

    But, like you, I think there’s a little something to it, as in broad personality types.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Hmmm, is it time for me to hijack the thread and announce that I’m working on the next Naked Capitalism meetup in Tucson? Where introverts, extroverts, and all others can gather?

    1. Enquiring Mind

      MB has been used quite a lot by numerous industry groups. One of those is DoD. The consultants at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs have had programs for all the flag rank candidates. I saw their civilian side, in a week-long class with ex-military trainers. One of the exercises was to have people line up in order by the various dimension scores, say, I to E, N to S, T to F and J to P. It was instructive to see how people were along those little continuua, although not sure how rigorous that was. In any event, another tool to help understand oneself and others.

      For reference, they told us that the vast majority of those flag rank people were STJ.

      1. JCC

        I’ve gone through the MB Seminars twice through the DoD (required training in my area), once INTP, a few years later ENTP. Based on Leadership in my area, primarily ISTJ, I don’t stand much of a chance in advancing :-)

        That’s OK, though, since I’m primarily in the IT Tech world, dislike bureaucracy intensely, and I’m too close to retiring to really care all that much. Anyway, those closer to the top of the heap seem to strongly believe in MB and also seem to appreciate my semi-iconoclastic ways at work relative to their “types” and ultimately I could not care less about MB but “playing the game” is important around here, so I play it for all I think it’s worth.

        With that said, I’m not sure how seriously I take MB, it has it’s place I suppose as far as having a general understanding of how people learn and get things done in a group, similar to Methods of Learning, i.e., Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. Too many where I work take it as Granite, though, whereas I firmly believe that as long-term environments and circumstances change, people adapt and often completely change appropriately. Hard-core MB’ers that I work with regularly drink the cool-aid and will deny that outlook completely.

        1. jrs

          people do not always completely change appropriately, people are influenced by their environment all their lives for sure, it’s no small matter, but also some personality traits are pretty stable across a lifetime.

    2. Utah

      I have taken this test multiple times over the years. What I have learned is that I am always an INXX. Those last two letters seem to always fluctuate based on my mood. Which goes to show that everything exists on a spectrum. I don’t disagree with the debunking at all. We all want to fit into little boxes that tell us why we are the way we are or we want to somehow find a way to predict our fortunes.

  5. diptherio

    I tested as INFP in highschool and again a few years ago. I think it’s at least as legit as any other method of classifying personality types.

    I wonder what percent of NC contributors/commentors/readers are Is… I would guess this group might be a bit of an outlier on that vector.

          1. o4amuse

            OK, I’ll play, too. INFJ and my lady wife is INFP, which she maintains is the noblest of types.

      1. False Solace

        Another INTJ here checking in.

        I always wonder why they say this personality type is rare. It seems extremely common online. Almost everyone on my team at work is an INTJ (software developers).

                1. eg

                  Very strongly NTJ, but very weakly (and inconsistently) I over E across multiple tests over many years.

      2. Altandmain

        I am either INTJ or INTP depending on the test. Still, my INT is consistently 90% on tests.

    1. OkiefromAK

      A website called Peak Prosperity ran an informal survey on their site a few years ago. It was overwhelmingly INTJ’s who responded. Also on the site Do The Math. Kinda interesting. The lowest response was of ESxx’s.

      1. Jcf76

        I saw that on Do the Math also. I’m an INTP, my wife is definitely ESxx and there is definitely a difference between us in our tendency to read NC type blogs etc.

        I’m also convinced that there is something there in those personality classifications, even if they don’t tell the full story.

        My wife is a wonderful person but she is not particularly inclined to look for underlying systematic reasons for why things are the way they are. That inclination is characterisic of INTx types and most probably what attracts us to this blog.

  6. L

    With all the iffy reporting on NAFTA 2.0-alpha1 I found this to be a rather interesting analysis: Trump’s Mexico Trade Deal Looks Like a Lemon Peer under the hood, and these auto rules pack less punch. (Bloomberg).

    In essence they argue it won’t make much practical difference because:

    Based on the NHTSA’s data, there are just three models made in Mexico that are currently exempt but would attract tariffs under the new regime: Nissan Motor Co.’s Versa Sedan, Audi AG’s SQ5, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Fiat 500. Of these, only the Versa sells more than a handful of models in the U.S., with 106,772 vehicles shipped in 2017.


    Almost all non-Nafta content in Mexican-made cars sold in the U.S. comes from Germany, Japan or South Korea, where total compensation typically takes pay well above $16 an hour.

    The devil of course is in the details but based upon current reporting it seems that a) the deal as announced is not much different from what the TPP already gave (for good or ill) and the threshold changes agreed to with Mexico won’t make much practical difference which makes this largely a branding exercise.

  7. Test Person

    Myers-Briggs: the feeling that there is something to it comes from the fact that in each and every of the 16 boxes there are parts of you so no matter what you get, you will recognize yourself.

    Also, since you enter the info yourself, you will get an exact replication of your believes about yourself. One eloquent argument from another site was that the test never tells you that you are an asshole.

    There is also the will to believe.

    Compare to https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3Dp2Zqk8vHw

    The test just as any kind of metaphor (what animal/colour etc are you?) can be used as a point of departure for a discussion about your ways of thinking and acting, but it is not the whole truth about you.

    1. Rojo

      Yeah, reminds me of a Monty Python sketch where a lady reads a horoscope that describes her as winged, fire-breath dragon that lives in a cave, feeds on children and wears glasses.

      “Amazing about the glasses” is the punchline.

      I’m not married to MB test, but like Lambert says I think there’s a little something-something to it.

    2. Charlie

      Yep. Many studies have concluded that MB isn’t a valid measure of personality traits. I tend to place more emphasis on the Big Five and the Dark Triad tests myself, but companies stick with MB because it’s cheaper to administer and easier to score.

      1. jrs

        Companies should be absolutely banned from using personality tests in hiring period, it should not be legal, that is all there is to say about that.

        However people can take whatever personality tests they want in their free time for their own insight or amusement.

        1. Charlie

          There are some uses for personality inventories by organizations, but they would need to be regulated pretty heavily as to how they use them.

          For instance, the Dark Triad measures narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy fairly well. They should only be used for executive and management level positions though. Not for entry level. Just my take.

          Ban C-suite people with high scores, you’ve saved a bunch of social dysfunction.

  8. David Carl Grimes

    Paste Magazine forgot to mention Biden’s involvement in making student loans difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. That alone will eliminate the youth vote

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Only if the youth vote knows that Biden is the one who diddit.

      Our mission, should we decide to accept it, is to make sure that every individual youth voter knows that Biden is the one who diddit.

  9. Carey

    JoeBiden! running on the insipid “getting things done”?
    What things, to whose benefit?

    If the few are somehow able to install this guy, it sure would seem that electoral
    politics are not an avenue to a better life for the 90%.

  10. PKMKII

    The Biden endorsement of Cuomo makes no sense to me. If Biden is planning to run for president, the move gains him no new support and only alienates the left, plus creates the awkward situation where he’s endorsing and saying good things about a guy he may be running against in the primary in a couple years. If he’s not running, then why bother expending his political capital on endorsing someone who, most likely, wins his primary and cruises to another term in the general? Why not use it on someone running a tighter race in the general for whom the endorsement would bring a meaningful boost? Unless the internal polling numbers in camp Cuomo show this race to be a lot tighter than what the polling companies are reporting.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Besides being a corporate toady, Biden isn’t that bright, and neither is Andy Cuomo. I’m not kidding they are like Hillary without the selling points.

      In Biden’s mind, he’s probably out to show those kids he’s an important person. He’s not as obnoxious as Ed Rendell, but he’s pretty similar.

    2. Pat

      I do think.it is going to be closer than the media is indicating. I am reminded of how do many thought Clinton was going to win in a landslide. In the last primary most of NY outside the city and its suburbs voted for Teachout. No one who voted for her is going to vote for Cuomo. Nixon might not get all of those voters but she will get most. That leaves the City. The MTA is a huge issue. And Cuomo largely owns it as far as the electorate is concerned. And DeBlasio is not considered the power regarding other issues that have continued to plague those without millions, Cuomo has too obviously stuck his thumb in the scales. Nixon is going to pick up votes in the region which gave Cuomo the victory last time. Teaching got 34% of the vote. Nixon is going to do better, once again with far less spending than Andy’s deep pockets have spent. Oops.

    3. JohnnyGL

      Maybe those two just genuinely like each other? :)

      Perhaps this is one of those moments where they are showing us who they really are? After all, Biden has clearly positioned himself as the anti-Bernie.

  11. Brindle

    re: FL Governor

    Interesting to see how much effort and money the DNC puts into registering new voters in FL. Don’t know much about Gillum but from what I’ve seen i think he will be able to keep the Dem elites from big-footing his campaign,

      1. neo-realist

        Abrams could register 99 percent of the POC vote but it may not matter if Georgia continues to use touch screen voting machines w/o a paper trail to verify an accurate count. With a close count, easier for the Republican GA state GOP PTB to steal the election from Abrams.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I don’t know about FL, but the Downtown Tucson streets are filled with voter registration form totin’ people.

  12. voteforno6

    Yes, you should see The Lives of Others. It’s a fantastic film – I’m not sure I could do it justice by giving a capsule review here.

    1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money


      Yes, great film about the effects of the ideo-paranoia-secrecy vortex.


  13. Carolinian

    blocking public solutions

    Yes that giant robot car lobby is definitely standing in the way of mass transit as opposed to the oil lobby, the car lobby, the highway construction lobby, the real estate lobby, the bribed politician lobby and, last not but not least, the public themselves who seem loathe to give up personal transportation whether driven by robots or themselves.

    When it comes to SV the paranoia runs deep.

    1. a different chris

      He didn’t say that? He simply said that self-driving cars were a tool used to that purpose, he didn’t say who was doing it.

      Who could really know – however, your entire list of actors would be more than happy for the commoners to believe that this is just around the corner, whether they believe it themselves or not.

      1. Carolinian

        Whatever he meant I would suggest that the public thinks about self driving cars a lot less than certain pundits do and therefore it’s highly unlikely that public expectation of a self drive future has something to do with their reluctance to embrace public transportation. The latter long predated the former.

    1. Pat

      I miss AltaVista (damn Yahoo for not appreciating what they had bought by fixing their search engine to be more like AV) . I’ve tried to like DDG but as useless as Google has made their search engine, when it comes to searching DDG is barely useful. I spend forever trying to get things I know are out there.

      1. Carey

        Lately I’ve been using Ecosia, which is Bing-based. Better than Googie IMO, and
        certainly less annoying.

    2. 4paul

      LOL I did that just yesterday! Did a date-range on email, then a few minutes later tried it on DDG … I went to the message boards where the old threads had been bumped with “This hasn’t been fixed YET????”.

      Pat +1 for AltaVista!!

      After NorthernLight went away, the internet went to poop.

  14. Harold

    I thought the CIA was supposed to gather information from abroad, but those occupations sound like they are over here: police officers, historians, museum curators. It sounds like they are the Stasi.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think here, in the homeland, the FBI rules over them.

      The G men can even investigate the National Security Adviser.

    2. sierra7

      Going back to the 1976 Church Committee Report you will find way back then the CIA permeated the US in almost all it’s veins of business/teaching/corporate society and then some.

  15. DonCoyote

    I found this Outline article more informative and entertaining than the linked one “debunking” the MBTI: Meet The Resistance Grifters. The NC reader knows many/most of these rogues already, but all have multiple links to their #Regriftance for handy reference.

    Now…about the MBTI. I was a Psych major in college (lo these many years ago), and took at least one class on personality tests. Yes, the MBTI has low test-retest reliability. Reliability is a gatekeeper–if it’s lower, then that means your validity is going to be lower, etc.

    But, as several people (including Lambert) have responded–it can resonate. And that’s because low(er) validity is not the same as no validity. The subheading of the article says it’s about as meaningful (valid) as a Buzzfeed quiz. Well, Buzzfeed quizzes can have validity too! While it’s much harder to quantify validity (as opposed to reliability), we can do it, at least to the extent of being able to rank order things on their validity (ordinal level of measurement). So, from lowest to highest validity for personality measurement, a list might look like follows:

    Mood Ring
    Buzzfeed quiz
    True Colors
    Longtime friend/family member

    True Colors is a personality test somewhat similar to the MBTI, but it’s only trying to sort you into one or two (of four) colors, and has more of an idea of “strength” than MBTI (both things make it more reliable). The MMPI is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, and is >500 questions and includes things like a ‘lie scale” (to see if it thinks you were deliberately answering questions incorrectly). So of course it takes awhile to take, and shouldn’t be (legally) available online. It’s very reliable (usually, if your questions aren’t utter garbage, more questions = more reliability, at least up to a point). And with high reliability comes at least the possibility of high validity.

    The point is, validity is not all or nothing. The MBTI is not a perfect tool, but it can be a useful tool, and the more stable your personality traits are/the more they are not in the center of the distribution, the more the MBTI will probably resonate for you. And I think that author is struggling from the same problem as the MBTI: trying to do a binary sort (it’s a good test or it’s not), instead of thinking about goodness as a continuum.

    1. Charlie

      The MMPI is a fairly good measure as well. Forgot about that one. The good thing about MBTI is that it can give you a whole list of “suitable” occupations, but I would go with an inventory with better test-retest reliability just to cancel out carryover effects.

  16. clarky90

    The death of John McCain, and The Repugnant, Re-writing of OUR History

    The Liberals and their MSM Organs, suddenly “believe” (howl) that John McCain has been a blessing to this World (even better than sliced bread). Yet, not so long ago, they were singing a completely different tune.

    The past not only changed, but changed continuously. What most afflicted him with the sense of nightmare was that he had never clearly understood why the huge imposture was undertaken. The immediate advantages of falsifying the past were obvious, but the ultimate motive was mysterious…..” (chapter 7, 1984)

    1. Arizona Slim

      Yours Truly is ensconced at the coworking space for the rest of the day. Because there’s happy hour in just under two hours, and far be it from me to miss that.

      Any-hoo, the coworking space teevees were tuned to McCain’s funeral this morn. And, get this, no one, and I mean no one, was paying attention.

      When the teevee showed the official casket-carrying plane taking off from Sky Harbor Airport, I was tempted to flip it the bird. But then I remembered that I needed to do something else that was much more important.

      1. Oregoncharles

        We attend funerals out of duty; they aren’t meant to be pleasant (short of an Irish wake, where everyone gets clobbered). So why watch one on TV, when you don’t have to? And for that matter, why PUT it on TV in the first place? State funerals, maybe, it’s a rite of passage; but McCain was never actually that important, just a Senator, one of a hundred.

      2. 4corners

        Nothing gets me going like the extravagant self-aggrandizement of our “public servants”. I bet ol’ Orrin Hatch is eyeing jet-set McCain’s expiration with envy, given all the pomp.

        These are people who enjoy the prestige and perqs of public office for decades yet want us all to understand their deep sacrifice and to celebrate their lives.

        In my hometown a long-term congressman strong-armed the local cemetery into granting a height exception for his monument, given his many years of “service”.

        Now I am filled with dread to hear about all the public facilities that will bear his name.

        1. The Rev Kev

          If this is how they are going ga-ga over someone like John McCain, then what happens when Dick Cheney falls from his perch? Another future hero of the resistance?

      3. Unna

        It’s an anti Trump love in. Nobody really cares about John McCain. Like when people went to Kaiser Bill’s funeral as a way to show they hated Hitler but couldn’t say so openly. But here and now you can say you hate Trump openly without getting picked up so….

  17. anon y'mouse

    these people willing to throw their life into the hands of equipment they are testing, and go in the back seat to sleep are insane.

    i don’t even do that for real people drivers.

    as for google’s “this is our representation of what authoritative search looks like”, this translates to me as “these are some lies we made up about why we do the things we do, made to look like a rational project when it’s really based on the needs of revenue, spying for biggov, and other stuff which is arbitrary”. it sounds like reading it would be about as enlightening as any other political speech or marketing information. perhaps read it for comedy value, but don’t expect any truth there.

    1. Tom Stone

      Clearly fake news, Gunz and killer hollow point bullets are banned in SF, that’s why they don’t have any violent crime.

      1. Wukchumni

        Perhaps that’s why the carnage count on this one was of little consequence, with 1 minor injury?

    1. Jason Boxman

      Wow. I can count on zero fingers how often I see people getting into Taxis when I’m out and about in Cambridge. It’s all ride-sharing. I prefer to take the subway whenever possible, which is 95% of the time. The only taxis I ever see are parked in front of the Hilton in Kendall Sq.

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      Please read the comments, especially those from Uber’s fanboys

      No, thanks. I actually had someone I’m willing to bet was from the Uber PR department actually phone to scold me for daring to oppose the chorus of delight about Uber and flagrant attacks on taxis in an article about Uber in San Francisco. I was, you see, not talking about SF, so I had no business pointing out they were taking food out of hard-working people’s mouths.

  18. Wukchumni

    That apple tree looks as if it were waterboarded and forced to approximate the wreath placed on the back of a Kentucky Derby winner.

    1. polecat

      ‘cough’ .. Espalier .. ‘cough’

      I have a sour cherry (an English Morello .. a naturally dwarfed variety) that I’ve espaliered (approx. 7 ft. H × 15 ft. L × 3 ft D) to fit a rather confined narrow space. Works for me .. and makes it very easy to harvest said cherries ‘:]

  19. Craig H.


    I googled calpers frost and NC was on the first page. Pleasant surprise. I didn’t do it incognito though.

    OK scratch that. I did it one more time incognito and NC was on the first page. This is an improvement from the last time I performed this test so perhaps not all hope is lost yet. Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Chronicle were missing but there was a Los Angeles Times.

  20. Wukchumni

    BREAKING NEWS: Jacksonville video game shooter David Katz had 26 police callouts to his family home, was hospitalized TWICE in psychiatric units, took anti-psychotic drugs, and was deemed to have a capacity for violence by a psychologist – but STILL passed gun buying checks.

    Maybe the authorities had no idea he was a Bills Fan, as well?

      1. Wukchumni

        According to the authorities, the weapon used was clean, with no priors or history of mental issues.

        1. polecat

          See, the thing is that most of these kind of incidents are perpetrated by mentally unstable persons … so the hair-on-fire rhetoric, especially from the left side of the political spectrum, is to BAN THEM outright out of everyones hands, the law abiding ones too … except for your Betters .. who know what’s good for you !

          1. Wukchumni

            Ok mister, throw down your CAP-gun real nice and easy like and hands held high to the sky where I can see em’, and no funny business either. I’m taking you in for disturbing the peace, with all that racket.

      2. Inode_buddha

        It depends on how the weapon was obtained. If legally purchased thru a dealer then either

        a) he lied his ass off on the paperwork (automatic 250k fine and.or 5 yrs jail, last I heard). The very first questions they ask are regarding mental stability.

        b) the instant check FBI database didn’t have anything. Very possible if theres no violent crime/arrest history. At least nothing that would interest the Feds.

        If it was purchased privately or stolen, then all bets are off.

  21. Summer

    “Speculating freely, perhaps the robot car investment, at least by VCs, serves the purpose of blocking public solutions, rather than being profitable in itself? That is, there’s so much free money sloshing about that capital can be “invested” for a return that’s purely ideological?”

    I’ve speculated the same theory since I read the NC series of stories on Uber.
    That’s a big reason why the market ideologists don’t treat lack of profitability on the “tech” side with the financial attacks that happen to brick and mortar or other industries.
    Yeah, you may hear of some short selling, but I have to wonder if they realize the fix is in?
    It’s only a rigged market.

  22. Summer

    Speculating freely, perhaps the robot car investment, at least by VCs, serves the purpose of blocking public solutions, rather than being profitable in itself? That is, there’s so much free money sloshing about that capital can be “invested” for a return that’s purely ideological?”

    More: that’s what the tax cuts help to contribute to.
    So I consider that a “woke” opinion and not “speculation,” but I understand as moderator you err on the side of caution.

  23. Wukchumni

    It’s been another ho hum summer from a black bear standpoint in terms of what i’ve seen in Mineral King. 1 bear sighted and precious little scat, confirming that they mostly aren’t here. I talked to the sub-district ranger a few weeks ago and asked how many she’d seen all summer and she said 5 or 6, nothing really.

    Thanks to seeing mama bear and her 3 cubs in the foothills, along with one of the longest sightings i’ve ever had (30 minutes) in Ansel Adams Wilderness, i’m up to 6 bears.

    Year in and year out for decades until the drought kicked in, i’d regularly see 30-35 bears per annum, one year in the mid 50’s.

    2 years ago I saw 3, last year 6.

    Meanwhile about 75 miles north, the bruins aren’t so rare there…

    Our trek of four days and 41 miles through the one of the most scenic and heavily trodden sections of the Sierra Nevada began with a warning.

    “I cannot stress enough how active a bear area that we’re in, especially if you’re heading to Rae Lakes,” Ranger Helen said while issuing our wilderness permit for that very spot.

    “We have a lot of frequent fliers this year in a lot of our campsites. Bears passing through not every night, but borderline.”

    Some 3 miles from Roads End, while ascending the Bubbs Creek switchbacks, my hiking party was stopped by three rangers heading downhill the other direction.

    “Lots of bear activity up ahead,” one of them told us. From the top of his backpack, the butt end of a bean-bag shotgun protruded out. “If you leave your canister open while preparing dinner, make sure to keep it within arm’s reach.”

    Subsequent parties only confirmed what we’d been hearing.

    “We’ve had bears in camp every night,” said a man with a bushy beard. “I laid down next to my pack for a nap and when I woke up a bear was 6 inches from my face.


  24. allan

    How to plant a trillion trees [Rachel Cernansky@Nature]

    … Many projects fail because they choose the wrong trees, use too few species or are not managed for the long term. Foresters and ecologists are realizing that for restoration efforts to succeed, they need to think more broadly — about matching trees to their location, about the effects on nearby insects and other animals and about relationships with soil and the changing climate. In other words: the ecosystem. …

    There is room for growth — a lot of it, in fact. A 2011 analysis suggested that some 2 billion hectares of land, an area larger than South America, is suitable for restoration (see ‘Green expectations’). Much of this land has been deforested or degraded as a result of human activity …

    A reminder of how complicated Gaia is and how simple solutions often boomerang.

    1. polecat

      Wait a few hundred millennia, and let Gaia sort it out. Of course, humans generally don’t seem to goak deep time very well ..
      Considering how humans beans have, over hundreds of years of trade, spread flora All over Gaia’s green orb, it’s not hard to imagine what whole new plant species/communities might evolve to fit future niches. Throw in changes in planetary climate and geology, well …

  25. Wyoming

    The MB test.

    So this article has zero reference to any kind of scholarly data to back up its claim. It strikes me as a hit piece based upon the authors personal bias and nothing else.

    I worked in the intelligence community where it was used extensively and I have taken the test many times. It is certainly possible to game the test as anyone with a decent IQ could see how to do that. But if you answer honestly I think the results are very consistent. In all the times I was tested I had almost identical numbers and never once drifted into a different category. But of course that could happen if your basic numbers are on the cusp of being in one category or another. Your number can be an extreme I or an extreme E or right in between them. And have you been through trauma recently, sick and, sleep deprived and so on. Lots of things might make you have variations. But does that mean the test is not very useful for certain evaluations? I think not.

    My organization said that for certain types of evaluations it worked very well. I asked a tester once if they had found out that certain jobs were just more suited for specific personality types. His response was very interesting. He brought up a very prestigious and very difficult organization to get into. By rule/law? he said that anyone who had the basic qualifications could request that they be allowed into the training program. But MB evaluations of those who made it successfully through the training were almost all the exact same personality type. That is a very interesting piece of data. Other data which indicate that there is something to this is that the basic 16 types do not appear in the population is equal numbers. Some are pretty uncommon, but when folks in specific job categories, say senior military officers or CEO’s, are tested certain MB types appear in those jobs in much greater percentages than they do in the general population – and others much less.

    The idea that the MB could be very useful in some circumstances really offends some people as being inherently discriminatory. But personality is really important to some functions just as coordination, good eyes, great hearing, and a wide variety of other human factors and abilities are.

    1. a different chris

      > In all the times I was tested I had almost identical numbers and never once drifted into a different category.

      I’m not arguing with your basic thrust but that particular statement doesn’t prove anything? If I add 2+2 and get 5 every time it doesn’t mean the answer is 5.

      This is more interesting because there is now correlation:

      > But MB evaluations of those who made it successfully through the training were almost all the exact same personality type.

      And I can’t help but comment:

      >senior military officers or CEO’s, are tested certain MB types appear in those jobs in much greater percentages than they do

      (cough)a-holes(cough). Now I am starting to respect the test! So what word do they use for the “a-hole” square?

    2. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

      The MB test:

      It sounds all very technocratic or meritocratic, but when the top bod fails to pass the most basic of sniff tests what is all worth?


    3. knowbuddhau

      A lot depends on how well you match the standardization population. For the SP, and for its designed purpose, I can believe it.

      Could also be that such a sharp cohort, with all that practice, with all that riding on it, also learned very quickly which are the “right” answers. You know that fantastic thing that flocks of birds do? Takes no thought. No time for that, right? Reflexes. So no disrespect, sincerely.

      I myself was pilot qualified for USNA and USAF academy. I’ve been through a few tests.

      People much too readily give psych tests credit for a “bogus pipeline,” that accurately reveals the objective truth about hidden aspects of their psyche. In fact, I’ll bet CIA et al. have bought a few, expecting just that. (This is why I’ll never make the big bucks. Not much of a secret-keeper.) And they have a long history of corrupting civil society in general, and the social sciences in particular.

      Jensen & Mitchell, who reverse engineered SERE training into torture, and got paid millions, come to mind.

      Overall, I don’t think we should dismiss people self-diagnosing. Are you willing to take bad news tho?

      Besides, gimme four variables, and I could categorize just about any population. Seems a lot like modern day astrology. But what’s it to me? Cat’s outta the bag. No harm, no foul, AFAIC.

      I think it’s a mistake to call yourself a noun. You’re not. You’re an event, in bigger & bigger events, all the way up to the biggest. So we’re properly verbs.

      Just gonna put this out there tho, if I get up and leave at the first mention of an INST or an INTJ or an IMMRT, it’s not you, it’s me.

  26. marym

    Update to story posted in yesterday’s Water Cooler

    No, Obama Did Not Inspire Trump’s Illegal Policy of Denying Passports to Hispanic Citizens

    Bush’s Department of State appears to have begun refusing passports to Hispanic citizens in 2003, ostensibly in response to scattered cases of midwives providing fraudulent American birth certificates to children born in Mexico…

    In 2008, a group of immigrants represented by the American Civil Liberties Union sued the State Department for denying them passports. They alleged that the government had violated their due process and equal protection rights by imposing a heightened burden of proof to their passport applications because they were Hispanics whose births in a border state were assisted by midwives. The administration began settlement talks with the ACLU, and several plaintiffs finally received their passports in the waning days of his administration.

    Shortly after Barack Obama took office, and Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, the government sent out passports to the remaining plaintiffs. In June 2009, the Obama administration entered into a settlement agreement with the ACLU.

    (seems incorrect that the above refers to the plaintiffs born in border states as “immigrants”, though.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How did the midwives of those scattered cases do it?

      Did they make up a fake certificate at the time of birth (I assume it had to be registered with the local government?) and mail it to Mexico?

      How would the government catch that, knowing the way it’s done?

      Would forging a fake birth certificate from a (say, closed) hospital/clinic/medical practice another way to go?

      How does the government catch fakes done this way?

      (I think it was in the news the other day that facial recognition caught one person with a fake passport).

  27. Lee

    I mean, how is anybody supposed to respond to a charge like “narcissist abuse”? “I am not!”? Which is, in any case, a déformation professionnelle among politicians.

    This term is generally applied to parent-child relationships. Children are absolutely dependent on their parents and cannot on their own escape the relationship. Adults can either hold their own or leave the room and/or the relationship. The other thing he is accused of is “soul rape.” Based on the little “news” I could stand to read on this, the complainant sounds like a passive aggressive twit. But then I was raised by a working class woman who was a stand your ground gal, who would quite happily shoot a man who messed with her, and in one instance did so.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in a close relationship with a real narcissist knows what it’s like. Which is why so many of us recognized Donald Trump for one right from the get-go. He’s classic. And enjoying every minute of the McResistance’s screeching and bellowing about him, because it simply fuels his belief he’s always right and those who don’t agree are his enemies.

      1. witters

        “Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in a close relationship with a real narcissist knows what it’s like. ”
        So now we don’t need tests? And we are infallible on this one? Good Lord.

    2. Darthbobber

      I’m guessing people were pressing her for context on the handful of messages she released in obviously truncated form, since she’s now claiming that unspecified hackers have deleted them all. Putin is everywhere

      She has a few control issues, and has apparently also been stalking his current gf online.

      Most of her activities between the breakup and going public with such fanfare can be read as alternately cajoling and threatening him to resume the relationship.

  28. Wukchumni

    The frozen tears of New Zealand’s melting glaciers

    As the planet heats up, scientists warn the dramatic seams of ice that have inspired ancient legends, Victorian explorers and modern tourists alike could all but vanish.

    Guides used to be able to lead tourists straight on to the glacier by foot. Now, flying in on a helicopter is the only way for tourists to climb on the glacial ice.

    Tourists— including some from China, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and New Zealand — said they enjoyed their visit to the glacier, but found it sad that it was being diminished by climate change.


    I was looking at photos of both Fox & Franz Joseph Glaciers from when we were on them, and the amazing retreat in the dozen years since we visited them~

    The idea that you can only approach them by helicopter now, gives you an idea of the big meltoff.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      My wife and I drove to Glacier National Park (West Glacier, MT to Jasper, AB) last year. Figured we’d best see the glaciers while we still could…

  29. Frenchguy

    INTJ here too, too bad it doesn’t mean anything :p

    Seriously, the debuking is a crappy one. Their main beef seems to be that some people get different results. Well, actually the precise output of a test is not that you are E or I but that you are 70% E and 30% I. Some people will be far out on some parts of the specter but quite close in others. For example, the few tests I’ve done I’m usually INTJ but the T is a weak one so sometimes I get an F. It doesn’t mean the test is crap, it just means there is some uncertainty arount the results which is absolutely normal…

    And about how people can change personnality during their lives, well I’m still relatively young but so far my experience is that, fundamentally, people stay exactly the same. They can learn to cope better but their instincts don’t change. Anything can happen so maybe some people do really change completely but, once again, as a rough estimate I think personnality tests are useful (when they are not based only on your date of birth).

  30. Edward E

    The Feds may be planning for the massive arrest of Chris Christy. Don’t know yet if any prison mess halls are planning on this.

  31. Robert McGregor

    “The one talking point I don’t get is that AirBnB provides a more “authentic” experience.”

    Hotels are designed by lawyers to be as low-risk and sterile as possible. Big door openings, square angles–less to trip on, and easier to clean. Many hotels look the same. Compare that with the huge variety in individual homes–the way they are laid out, and their decorative style. Also, hotels are on main thoroughfares, whereas Airbnb’s are out in the neighborhoods–much more interesting whether that is “Capital Hill” in DC or Seattle, or a beach home in St. Augustine, Florida. I am well aware of the political and societal issues of Airbnbs, but from the “guest standpoint,” they are much more interesting to stay at than sterile, uniform hotels.

    1. pretzelattack

      my impression is that a lot of condos are sold just to rent, and the decor is hardly going to be that of an individual home, since nobody lives there.

      1. wilroncanada

        +1. My daughter, her husband and two children rented a B&B in Honolulu, while he was working at a game convention. they took my wife with them to help with the children, and because she had never been to Hawaii. The B&B was on the 21st floor of a condo apartment building, and one of dozens on most of the upper floors. The owners who lived mostly below, were not enamored of the fact that most of the building was a “hotel in disguise” of AirBnB temporaries. They eventually got used to the races of huge roaches across the floors all day.

    2. Eureka Springs

      What Robert said.

      I have not considered for a moment staying in a can, I mean hotel, since discovering airbnb. If I’m thinking of traveling and airbnb is sold out I simply don’t take the trip.

      1. polecat

        So, what recourse does an airbnb client/tourist have, if say, they catch a case of the bedbeastybugs .. or flea infestations ?? .. to whom do they turn for recompense, or are they resigned to just suffer !
        With a Corp., or other professional establishment, there’s at least Some responsibility to deal with such contingencies …

      1. Eureka Springs

        If I wanted a classic bnb I would find one. I don’t want one. As for lazy I usually spend days or weeks with dozens of airbnb tabs open, email discussions with fellow travelers before deciding, booking. In fact I’m juggling that very scenario right now. Prices range a great deal. I may be thrifty at times but I ain’t cheap. If airbnb is less than hotels I wouldn’t know… it’s been years since I checked. And I really don’t think I would take a free offer on can room. That would mean a condo thru airbnb too.

  32. JohnnyGL


    I’d invite NC readers to wander over to the insider’s political stats-junkie site and watch the horror of micah and perry as the democrat party gives an inch or two to the voters for 2020. Bizarrely, claire is the one pushing back and saying, “hey guys, it’s okay if we give democracy a chance.”

    “Chaos” in the headline of establishment organs means they do NOT like what’s going on. They really have tons of faith in the party elders and very little in the voters. They don’t even try to hide that they feel this way, either.

    The biggest whopper is when they examine who the ‘superdelegates’ are. The huge chunk that is DNC members goes undiscussed. Of course, NC readers will instinctively know (or may recall from DNC chair race coverage) that that’s where the bodies (really, the lobbyists and consultants) are buried.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think a surprising offensive or take-over is easier the first time…as far as the element of surprise goes

      Expect the other side to be more prepared the second time. It’s not it can’t be done trying it again, but when you were close the first time, you had to go all out and be prepared to part company.

  33. polecat

    After scanning that Musk factory fire, theonly description I could think of was ‘HindenTesla’ ..

  34. pretzelattack

    in other news, trump just cancelled scheduled pay raises for federal civil service jobs, citing the need for fiscal responsibility. how much are we spending in syria, again, on starting world war 3?

  35. The Rev Kev

    Re Google’s mysterious search engine.

    I know that Google claims that it is a clean operation for its search results but I have serious doubts about that so I thought up a thought experiment. Google should give the same results to all Americans, right? Doesn’t matter if you live in New York or California, Ohio or Texas – they should all be the same, right? And they claim that they don’t put their big, meaty, corporate thumb on the search result scales too, right?
    Now let us imagine where the US Civil War had been a draw and that on the American continent that you had two Americas – the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. So you do a few searches on Google in the US before going on holidays in the Confederacy (things changed a lot in the past 150 years). Even though they are also Americans, would anybody claim that you would get the same results to the same searches that you had done in the US? I am sure that the Google division in the Confederacy would tweak their algorithms for certain issues.

  36. BobWhite

    Well played, Glenn Greenwald:

    Remember those days when people muttered nutty conspiracies about Saddam having an alliance with Osama bin Laden, building a major nuclear arsenal, and participating in the 9/11 attack, but they didn't mutter those on sidewalks but major news outlets, then got promoted for it? https://t.co/I2x6a49p1Z— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 30, 2018

    He was replying to Chuck Todd:

    I miss the days when people muttered nutty conspiracy theories to themselves while meandering down a sidewalk. Now they share it on Twitter w/millions of followers and for some reason some folks amplify it. Treat these tweets the way you’d treat the sidewalk mumbler, look away— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) August 30, 2018

  37. allan

    Food deserts bloom in Upstate while Cuomo and Nixon try to out-Resist each other:

    Tops plans to close 10 stores across the state it says are underperforming
    [Buffalo News]

    This is a PE story, as another article makes clear:

    … Syracuse University professor Evan Weissman, an expert in food disparities in urban neighborhoods, says the store closures will leave many communities — both urban and rural — without a nearby grocery store.

    “Come November many Central and Western New Yorkers will find it more difficult and more expensive to feed their families,” he said.

    Given the recent bankruptcy filing, Weissman says the announcement of store closures comes as no surprise

    “However, despite blaming poor sales, increased competition from online grocery outlets, or the workers’ union, the failure of Tops is a direct result of the dire financial situation created by Morgan Stanley, which used Tops as collateral for debt to pay shareholders,” he said.

    “Let’s be honest, the closing of grocery stores will hit many families hard this winter. And the parent company responsible will blame any number of causes. But this announcement is the direct result of financial moves made by Morgan Stanley, which used Tops as a piggy bank for years.”

  38. Pat

    What was the point of Schumer’s agreement to fast track the judges? People get to leave early to go campaign? What was stopping them from just going?

    If you don’t want these judges, no vote and a no vote are pretty equivalent when you are in the minority. And a possible inability to get a quorum is a win. it makes it the majority ‘s problem to round up and need all their members.

    OTOH if you want to quietly confirm the judges, without bringing it to the attention of the public, better to just stay. This way you make your lack of opposition obvious AND current while you are campaigning, undermining one of the big selling points for voting for the Democratic candidate.

    I am back to the Democratic leadership does not want to be in the majority.

Comments are closed.