2:00PM Water Cooler 9/13/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, I got distracted by a domestic chore in the midst of writing; I’ll add a bit more shortly. –lambert UPDATE All done. Electoral politics is such a rich pageant just now…


“As Trump embraces more tariffs, U.S. business readies public fight” [Reuters]. “After months of waging a behind-the-scenes war against President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs that have escalated far beyond what business groups once imagined, more than 85 U.S. industry groups launched a coalition on Wednesday to take the fight public… The launch of Americans for Free Trade comes as Trump increasingly warms to using tariffs. He has imposed levies on billions of dollars worth of goods on trading partners, prompting retaliation against U.S. exports.”

“Trump denies pressure for trade deal as China welcomes U.S. talks invite” [Reuters]. Trump: “We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us. Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing. We will soon be taking in Billions in Tariffs & making products at home. If we meet, we meet.” • Well, for some definition of “soon,” which may not include “soon enough,” at least for Trump’s electoral hopes. Too bad the Democrats are so conspicuously silent on industrial policy, which is typically coupled with tariff walls when a developing country like our own wants to build an industrial base.



UPDATE “Anonymous And Trumpism Without Trump” [Lobelog]. “I think [the anonymous New York Times Op-Ed] part of an effort within the Republican Party that will gain strength over the next two years: to build a movement of Trumpism without Trump…. [T]he next Republican politician who comes along will probably borrow just enough of Trump’s populism to get elected. Someone like Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, is just the kind of political figure that Anonymous might choose to lead the party to the Promised Land, someone for whom populism is a condiment rather than the main dish.” • Really? A condiment?

UPDATE “Let’s Take Elizabeth Warren Literally, But Not Seriously” [Seth Ackerman, Jacobin]. “Let’s get one thing straight about Elizabeth Warren’s much-trumpeted Accountable Capitalism Act (ACA): even under a President Warren, nothing like it will ever see the light of day… why did corporations ever feel the need to consider interests other than shareholders’ in the first place? The answer has everything to do with class struggle. Over time and across countries, as Harvard corporate governance scholar Mark Roe has shown, governance regimes are inexorably shaped by the strength or weakness of labor. When workers are strong, managers need greater autonomy to balance the interests of labor and capital, which requires suppressing the erratic and destabilizing demands of capital markets. But when workers are weak, owners can pursue immediate and unbridled profitability without fear of labor conflict.” • That Mark Roe article that Ackerman dug out is interesting, too.


53 days until Election Day. 53 days is a long time in politics.

UPDATE “The Note: Primary season highlights Democrats’ leftward march” [ABC]. “Only two incumbent Democratic House members lost their primaries this year, and no incumbent senator had to even sweat it.” • Some march!

UPDATE “Jimmy Carter cautions Democrats not to scare off moderates” [Associated Press]. “‘Independents need to know they can invest their vote in the Democratic Party,’ Carter said Tuesday during his annual report at his post-presidential center and library in Atlanta, where he offered caution about the political consequences should Democrats ‘move to a very liberal program, like universal health care.'” • Sweet Lord, even “universal health care,” the liberal attempt at brand confusion with #MedicareForAll is too much. If liberal Democrats can’t even deliver on that, what good are they?

“Bush is boosting Republican candidates in districts where Trump lags” [National Public Radio]. • And after liberal Democrats went to such lengths to rehabilitate Bush and suck up to him generally. (“He gave Michelle candy [sqeee]!”) I’d speculate that, as usual, Republicans will vote for real Republicans, even the credentialed suburban Republicans liberal Democrats wish so desperately to appeal to.

NY: Prominent Clintonite bemoans New York voter rolls:

First, they came for the Sanders supporters….

NY Governor: “Mailer linking Nixon to anti-Semitism was approved by top Cuomo aides” [New York Post]. “The revelations come five days since the mailer — paid by the state Democratic Party* — hit 7,000 mailboxes in Jewish neighborhoods. Cuomo has adamantly denied he had anything to do with the smear. But sources said one of his longtime confidants was deeply involved. ‘Schwartz was very involved with the mailer and signed off on it,’ a Democratic source said, describing the aide as a ‘henchman’ and ‘enforcer.'” • What I can’t figure out here is Ratface Andy’s motive. He’s well ahead of Nixon, so why smear her as anti-Semitic? Since the Democrat Party paid for the mailer, perhaps they’re test marketing whether Tory/PLP smears of Corbyn will work in this country (presumably against Sanders). Or perhaps Cuomo is sending a 2020 message that he’s a brawler. Or perhaps liberal Democrats just can’t help themselves, and smear the left for no reason at all (except possibly for fun). NOTE * Somebody should ask DNC deck-chair Perez about this.

UPDATE RI Governor: “Rhode Island’s Raimondo Brushes Aside Progressive Challenge” [New York Magazine]. “[Gina Raimondo, a] Harvard-educated former Rhodes Scholar and venture capitalist also seemed to epitomize the sort of technocratic Clinton-era centrist that many of today’s progressives blame for ruining the Democratic Party. Raimondo earned the ire of public-sector unions and many progressive activists by advocating (as state treasurer and then as governor) state pension reforms that included a shift from defined benefits to defined contributions, the prevailing private-sector trend. [Matt] Brown, backed by Justice Democrats and promising to reverse many of Raimondo’s policies, called her “probably the most extreme corporatist Democrat in the country.” In a state with a tradition of strong grassroots progressive activism, and with no public polling to indicate otherwise, an upset seemed entirely possible. But Raimondo, who vastly outspent Brown, won by a 57/34 margin.” • “Seemed”?

UPDATE TX Senate: “Meet the ‘new’ Texas Democrats fueling Beto O’Rourke’s race” [McClatchy]. “eto O’Rourke is awakening a grassroots movement in Texas — one that’s led by gray-haired, once-loyal Democrats who are aggressively working to end decades of their own political dormancy in Texas. It’s not the sleeping Latino base that Democrats have long believed would help them flip Texas blue — and whose engagement remains a critical question for the party’s prospects of a full-blown comeback in a state that hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter in 1976 — or elected a Democrat statewide since 1994. Yet O’Rourke’s energetic trek through rural parts of the state has electrified a different piece of the base that’s also been missing for his party in recent years: Older supporters with the time to organize the nuts and bolts of a grassroots campaign. O’Rourke’s army of retirees has spent the last year and a half knocking on doors, filling much-hyped campaign rallies and wallpapering the state with his campaign swag.” • Wait, what? The so-called Obama Coalition doesn’t exist after all in Texas?! And I do’t know Texas, so all I can do is speculate, but does’t it seem a little odd to expect to win by firing up a base that’s been losing for twenty years?


Remember that inspiring moment of national unity that culminated in the Iraq War?

We have a winner:

The Liberals Have Lost Their Minds

UPDATE Neera needs to get that knee seen to:

More seriously, that “borne no pain” seems to be the latest virtue signaling trope; the “pain” being the never-to-be-healed wound of backing a candidate who lit $1.4 billion on fire and threw it up in the air, while losing to a reality TV star.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“The Hidden Influencer” [Gartner L2]. “[O]n Instagram, where invisible users with fewer than 5,000 followers can pack a powerful punch. Such is the case with toddler tonic-turned-hangover cure Pedialyte, which used the platform to transform from children’s medicine into adult must-have. The idea of Pedialyte as a hangover cure had been floating around on social media for some time before the brand officially decided to target the audience in 2015. But while Pedialyte could have reached out to those already buzzing about it, like Pharrell, the brand chose to think small. By pairing up with Instagrammers boasting less than 1,000 followers, or “advocates” according to Gartner L2’s report on the group, the brand was able to build an army of genuine fans. Armed with the hashtag #PowderPackedSummerTeam, they headed to 144 music festivals and sporting events throughout the US, accompanied by an interactive campaign on Twitter called #SeeTheLyte…. Adults now make up at least half of brand sales, up from about a third before the push.” • Well, no wonder we have a low-trust society; you can’t ever know who’s trying to sell you something. (In William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition (2003), Bond villain Hubertus Bigend’s public relations/advertising firm, Blue Ant, has a program of “hidden Influencers.” One such, the character Magda: “I’m devaluing something. In others. In myself. And I’m starting to distrust the most casual exchange.” I’m not sure the model works in, er, retail politics, because neither candidates nor parties are brands.

“Supreme Court permanently bars split-California initiative” [At the Lectern]. “The Supreme Court today barred the split-California initiative not only from the 2018 ballot, something it had already done, but also from “any future ballot.” The permanent action is a consequence of the initiative’s proponent abandoning any defense of it in Planning and Conservation League v. Padilla, the writ proceeding challenging the initiative’s validity…. The court’s order presumably is not precedent that would prevent a different split-California initiative from qualifying for a later ballot. However, any future proponent is on notice that Supreme Court litigation would likely await an initiative that is similar to the one that the court today killed.”

“Why the Right to Vote Is Not a Right” [New York Times]. “Republicans on the Supreme Court [in Bush v. Gore] invoked two centuries of jurisprudence when they stopped a recount: ‘The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the president of the United States.’… [The Founders] failed to enshrine a right to vote in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Instead, the Constitution handed control over elections to state and local governments. Local officials developed thousands of different electoral systems with no uniform standards or regulations and little oversight. Elections were organized and supervised by partisans brazenly angling for advantage. [Allan Lichtman’s] ‘The Embattled Vote in America’ traces the consequences through American history.”

“Democrats Need to ‘Fix Government’ If They Win House, Pelosi’s No. 2 Says” [Bloomberg]. “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California has called on fellow Democrats to ‘be ready’ to govern if the party takes power…. Hoyer called for legislation to require super-political action committees and so-called ‘dark money’ groups to disclose their contributors, and to bolster public financing of elections. Hoyer said Wednesday that a Democratic majority would strengthen the Voting Rights Act, seek to rein in partisan gerrymandering of House districts, and improve ethics rules for members of Congress.” • In other words, incrementalism.

“Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis (PDF) [Karen Bernal, Pia Gallegos, Sam McCann, and Norman Solomon]. From the Executive Summary: “Aggregated data and analysis show that policies, operations and campaign priorities of the national Democratic Party undermined support and turnout from its base in the 2016 general election. Since then, the Democratic leadership has done little to indicate that it is heeding key lessons from the 2016 disaster.” • We drew attention to this report in 2017, but it’s worth looking at it again. Needless to say, a party that wants to be ready to “govern” would have addressed at least some of these issues. Nothing has been done. Indeed, the Democrat Party has never released an autopsy of its own for 2016.

Stats Watch

Consumer Price Index, August 2018: “Contraction in medical costs and apparel and only a marginal increase in food all held down consumer prices in August” [Econoday]. “The core rate in this report is watched very closely as a fundamental vital sign of the economy. Going out another decimal shows the monthly gain at not even 1 tenth.” And: “Energy was the main driver for year-over-year inflation. Core inflation remains above 2.0 % year-over-year” [Econintersect].

Jobless Claims, week of September 8, 2018: “A second straight 50-year low” [Econoday]. And but: “This marks 179 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970. The general trend of the 4 week rolling average is a slowing rate of improvement year-over-year which historically suggests a slowing economy” [Econintersect]. • That “slowing rate of improvement” caveat always appears at Econintersect. Perhaps it’s true?

The Bezzle: “Tesla: What’s Really Going on, on the Plant Floor” [Industry Week]. “reports of multiple paint-room fires, a much higher-than-industry-average number of safety incidents (including reports of a leg amputation of a worker playing chicken with a forklift in the parking lot), an exodus of top people and oh yeah, those missed deadlines, have manufacturing vice presidents the world over wondering: SEC investigations aside, what the heck is going on in that plant?” One reaction from Jim Morgan, senior advisor for the Lean Enterprise Institute:

High, leaning stacks of cardboard boxes and other items make it difficult to see. ‘There was stuff piled up on the floor, and the stuff was dirty. There were hilos (fork trucks)—I haven’t seen hilos in an assembly floor in a long time. Most of the AGVs (automated guided vehicles) that they were so excited about were empty. I’m not sure what’s going on with that. The aisles were narrow and crowded, and some of the stuff, piled up, was leaning into the aisle. My take was that ‘This is the kind of assembly plants that there were when I first got in the car business, years ago’.

Morgan didn’t see much evidence of visual management, and green lighting over work stations makes it even harder to see.

Rear doors are on the Model 3 body going down the main assembly line, while the front doors aren’t. “I think most everybody does doors off now. I don’t know their process—it was just unusual to see. In most of the plants I’ve been in, all four doors are off while it’s going through the main interior assembly so the workers can get better access, and the doors don’t get damaged,” he says.

“The other small thing I noticed, were there were lots of people just walking around. That seemed really odd to me. You don’t’ see that so much at other plants.”

Flexible components are being installed by robots instead of people. “That was another thing that was a little bit reinventing the wheel,” he says. “Some of the things like wire harnesses are better put on by people. I think the auto industry has known that forever, and why he would attach that with a robot is really curious to me. I’m not sure why his team would let him go there. Does it point to a bigger problem? Maybe he’s got very competent people that he doesn’t really leverage.”

My interpretation: Musk’s plant is a hell-hole. Since Musk is out on the floor all the time — at least before he goes to sleep under his desk — he has to see all this. To me, that means he wants things as they are, for reasons I’m not sure of. I mean, how hard is it to take a quick look at some photos of another plant that performs well? The piece is worth reading in full.

Transportation: “Shrinking pilot numbers hitting business aircraft sales” [Flight Global]. “A growing shortage of pilots in Europe is hitting business aircraft sales, as owners struggle to source crews to fly their assets. That is the view of UK aircraft sales and marketing company Colibri Aircraft, which predicts the squeeze on business aircraft pilots will continue over the coming years, as commercial airlines poach crews in increasing numbers to help address their recruitment demands. Colibri says around 70% of sales it works on encounter difficulties in relation to guaranteeing sufficient access to flightcrews. ‘Five years ago, this affected only 20% of our cases,’ it notes.” • Since conditions for commercial pilots aren’t that great, working conditions for private jet pilots must be awful.

Health Care

“Look-Up: Infection Risk Factors At Nursing Homes Near You” [KHN]. • Handy interactive map; pop-ups give names of nursing homes.

Our Famously Free Press

“News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2018” [Pew Research Center]. “Republicans are more negative about the news they see on social media than Democrats. Among Republican social media news consumers, 72% say they expect the news they see there to be inaccurate, compared with 46% of Democrats and 52% of independents. And while 42% of those Democrats who get news on social media say it has helped their understanding of current events, fewer Republicans (24%) say the same.1 Even among those Americans who say they prefer to get news on social media over other platforms (such as print, TV or radio), a substantial portion (42%) express this skepticism.” • 

The Crash Ten Years After

Trust me, I’m a professional:

Guillotine Watch

“The Super Rich of Silicon Valley Have a Doomsday Escape Plan” [Bloomsberg]. “Robert Vicino, founder of the Vivos Project, a builder of massive underground bunkers, said Silicon Valley elites discussed detailed plans to flee to New Zealand last year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He said they foresaw ‘a revolution or a change where society is going to go after the 1 percenters.’ In other words, them.” • Go long bunkers, apparently. Though Vicino is clearly talking his book.

Class Warfare

“Lotteries are Doing More Damage to Those Who Can Least Afford It” [Bloomberg]. “The lowest-income households in the U.S. on average spend $412 annually on lottery tickets, which is nearly four times the $105 a year spent by the highest-earning households, according to a study released on Wednesday by Bankrate.com. And almost 3 in 10 Americans in the lowest income bracket play the lottery once a week, compared with nearly 2 in 10 who earn more than that…. Americans making less than $30,000 a year are most likely to buy multiple lottery tickets each week, the study shows. These low earners spend 2.5 percent of their take-home pay on lottery tickets, or about $8 a week.” • So, two lattés. Not a lot of shame in that…

“Who Speaks For the Suffering Upper Middle Class?” [The American Conservative]. “In one Brookings Institution study, researchers reported that nearly one quarter of households earning $100,000 to $150,000 a year claim to be unable to pull together $2,000 in a month to pay bills. Sustained economic growth has not repaired this cycle of debt*. According to Deutsche Bank economist Torsten Slok, Americans have more debt than cash than at any time since 1962. The 2018 Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress Study found that the average American’s personal debt (independent of home mortgages) now exceeds $38,000. Stock market growth and rising home prices have not altered this trend. In a Washington Post report last year, Todd C. Frankel demonstrated how modern life adds up for an upper-middle class family. Frankel reported on a couple in suburban Atlanta with a combined income of $180,000, an indisputably high earning level. But financial uncertainty rises from a mortgage, three children, day care costs, and the prospect of college tuition. ‘I don’t feel wealthy,’ the wife, a tax manager, told Frankel. ‘I don’t have a bunch of money stashed away anywhere.'” • The wife, I think, has “a bunch of money stashed away” confused with capital. And while the headline is worthy of derision, it’s worth noting that nobody not in the 0.1% has a safe or stable place to stand (and perhaps not even them; see above). NOTE * So one might question how “sustained” the “growth” really was.

“Echoes from the canyon: One family’s cantina in small town Texas” [Scalawag]. “Our family has lived in the Riverside barrio for generations, just a few blocks from the town placita, on the street that dead-ends near the sewage plant and the cemetery founded by the town’s earliest settlers. The white kids at school used to call my mother and the other brown kids from that barrio “river rats” because of the odor hanging over that part of town. To this day, the smell of shit and chemicals falls like mist on the rundown houses that line the narrow streets, seeping through the windows like an intruder, battling scents of holy candles and cheap carne. Before he opened the family cantina in the late 1960s, my grandfather often drank at the R&R on Kingsbury Street, standing around the beer coolers with the men while my grandmother and the other wives sat in their cars with the children. Eventually, she’d get bored and go home, and when it got to be too late, she’d have the children call the R&R to ask my grandfather to bring them candy. That always got him home. Wanting to be near the family and tired of buying beer at other cantinas, my grandfather saved up some money, bought a small house across the street from the family home, leased a jukebox, took out the interior walls to make room for a pool table, and opened Tijerina’s Cantina.” • The whole “knapsack” discourse cannot give an account of complexity like this, which amounts almost to caste as well as class. Makes me wonder if there’s such a thing as “the fog of class war.” I bet there is.

News of The Wired

For our millennial and post-millennial readers, if any:

“Let’s Make it Personal: How Empathetic Technology Can Protect Individuality” (TEd talk) [Dolby]. “I recently spoke at TED about how technology that reads and integrates the personal signatures we give off and exchange will be a new part of how we interact with each other and our technology. It will mean that sharing how we are feeling — our authentic emotions — may at times be out of our control, and might even happen without us knowing. I’m sure this sounds scary to most of us. It does to me. But I truly believe there are more ways this type of ’empathetic technology’ can improve our lives than do harm.” • Truly believe. Oh.

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

TH writes: “This is a business complex on Hawthorne in Torrance, California, called the Del Amo Crossing. All of the buildings are round and sweeping walkways border xeriscaping of rocks in variety of colors and sizes mimicking a stream and its banks, kangaroo paw for a splash of orange and yellow color, cactus such as blue and variegated agaves, ornamental grasses and a variety of shrubs and trees including spikey junipers that serve to demarcate the lounge area; all accessorized by globe lamps and seats arranged in a semi-circle around the one square—conspicuously not circular: a fire-pit.” Normally I’d be a little put off by the corporate setting, even with xeriscaping, but a business complex with a fire pit is so Californian I can’t not publish this!

Readers, I’m running a bit short on plants. Probably a little soon for fall foliage, or wrapping up the garden, but I’m sure you can find something! How about a project you completed over the summer?

Let me attempt to level up my cat game again:

The cat is deciding whether or not to leap down and go kill something, the dear creature. Which won’t be easy, since the cat seems to have had a brush with a skunk, removing the element of surprise…

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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. LaRuse

      Depending on how you measure millennial, I too am a LONG time millennial (just barely sliding in from January of 1982) reader.
      Lambert, I bet we have a few more millennials here than you think. I know I found NC just before the Great Recession kicked off about this time 10 years ago when I was trying (as a hapless 26 year old) to understand what the hell was wrong with the financial environment in the Summer of 2008. NC became my beacon of light in some pretty dark financial times. I doubt I was only confused and scared 20-something looking for answers.
      Also, the Antidotes certainly helped, and if the Internet can be trusted (ha!), don’t all Millennials LOVE cute animal photos?

    2. Rosario

      32 y/o myself. This website has done volumes to shape my views of politics and economics. Many thanks to the hosts.

    3. Wombat

      Same same. Apple news made the mistake of feeding me a NC article in 2016. After being led to this place and learning from the commentariat, it took me a week to delete my Apple News app.

      1. Wildcard Winnie

        Gen-Xer here, been reading since 2006. First time commenting…words can’t express my gratitude for Yves & Lambert.

  1. Mark Gisleson

    Bosses on the floor screw up workplaces like nobody’s business. No one can say no to them and they’re usually so full of themselves and their spectacular vision that they can’t hear what anyone says to them. So this pile of crap gets moved over there but no one said anything about the stuff already there and everything just piles up.

    What would you say if you told a supervisor about piles of crap creating a safety hazard and the reply was, “Elon Musk personally ordered that stuff to be moved over there”?

    When I was editing vanity press CEO “autobiographies” the hubris was stunning. CEOs see people’s faces light up when they enter a room. They sincerely do not understand that they are surrounded by suck-ups. They think they personally motivated all those people to smile because all those people tell them, “Yes, you make me smile. You are the best boss ever. Gosh but we’re lucky to have you, sir.” Heavy on the sir.

    1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

      Yes sir, No sir, three bags full sir:

      I used to work for an American oil company in London (England) back in the 80s. I don’t ever recall anyone say “sir”. I was sorta shocked to find out that Yanks do the “sir” thing big time back home. Somehow I had swallowed the lie the that the US is an egalitarian society.

      If someone “sirs” me in the UK, I take that it as an officious put-down (depending on context). They are really saying; “I’m paying you all the attention I would give to a fresh a dog turd”. Yes siree bob!

      However, when I have no problem accepting “bonjour monsieur!” when in France.


  2. Wukchumni

    The Department of Homeland Security transferred $169 million from other agencies to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the detention and removal of migrants this year, according to a document sent to Congress by DHS.

    Many of the transfers came from key national security programs, including $1.8 million from the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, $9.8 million from FEMA, $29 million from the U.S. Coast Guard and more than $34 million from several TSA programs. DHS also transferred $33 million from other ICE programs to pay for detention and removal, making the total amount of money transferred $202 million.


    Yo, America, let’s kick it!

    ICE ICE baby
    ICE ICE baby
    All right stop
    Collaborate and listen
    ICE is back with a brand new intention
    Lebensraum grabs a hold of immigrants tightly
    When the money flows from elsewhere daily and nightly
    Will it ever stop?
    Yo, I don’t know
    Turn off the spigot and no more dough
    To the extreme, they’d take money from the MIC like a vandal
    Lighten up wages and wax a cruise missile like a candle

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Personally speaking, I felt on my first mandatory first grade class day of school that I was in prison, being forced to be away from my parents, and could really get over that feeling, for all the years after that.

        But my parents felt, or believed, that it would be good for me, as the necessary first step to eventually getting credentialed.

        In any case, it was mandatory.

        1. Wukchumni

          How in the world does that pertain to a six year old who’s been stripped from their parents, and is in an ad hoc prison, not allowed to go anywhere?

            1. Wukchumni

              Please stop, that hole you’re digging is getting so deep, you might not be able to extract yourself from it.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


                I actually think it’s a problem if the children are not returned people who are not their parents, who can hold the government liable..

      1. Darthbobber

        Well, the allocation for ICE is around 8 bill, isn’t it? Thinking they should be able to scrape by hardly constitutes an open borders or non-enforcement agenda.

        1. tegnost

          It’s virtue signalling about a complex issue, the border, by a californian who’s friends and family benefit from the cheap labor. Go take a look at the wage charts in the post from wolfstreet, and a trillion is a thousand billion, so I stand by my sense that we’re talking rounding errors here.

    1. Randy

      What is the cat’s name? Anonymous?

      One of our cats was abandoned by its mother after the litter was sprayed by a skunk.

      1. ewmayer

        I believe the cat’s name is Franklin, not sure if that is an homage to founding father Benjamin or not. And the skunk stench seems no problem to me – the intended prey gets fair warning, and for the cat it’s really more about the eternal game of stalking and ambushing – actually catching is a bonus, sure, but this cat doesn’t miss a meal if the prey escapes – so it’s still having fun.

      2. HotFlash

        From the cat’s point of view, the skunk smell might be camouflage. After all, skunks eat grubs, so cat-prey such as mice, voles or birds might not worry.

    2. DonCoyote

      For every possible positive use of this, I can think of ten negative, including making it much easier to sell you stuff, exactly how much you are willing to pay, etc.

      “This means it is unambiguously clear to the user what information a device is tracking, how much of that data is stored on the device versus in the cloud, what data is being encrypted and how, and with what third parties that data is being shared and why.”

      Yes, because we know that technology companies have an unblemished record about being transparent about what they’re collecting and who they’re sharing it with. So let’s trust them with even more data.

      Dr. Pangloss, we have a new disciple for you…

        1. Wukchumni

          At some point in the future i’d like to go to lunch with my handler presently ensconced in Eavesdrop, Utah.

          I’d suggest hiking Calf Creek in the Escalante, it’s pretty secluded there, and probably no cell signal. They’ll probably get the jitters from being away from surveillance.

    3. The Rev Kev

      You may think that your cat may be deciding whether to go kill something but it is not always necessarily so. We have a cat that at dinner time is pestered by birds to share his dinner. I have seen that cat share his dinner with a bird with out so much as a swipe or even a growl. Sometimes a bird will peck on his back to get him to hurry up and move over. Natural born killers? I don’t think so.

  3. Big River Bandido

    Well, there must be an election coming up. Steny Hoyer and Democrats are all of a sudden very *concerned* about voting rights. Why do I have the sense that Democrats would do nothing about voting rights even if they did win?

    1. nippersdad

      After impeachment of Bush for war crimes was taken off the table, after single payer morphed into a public option and then became the Heritage Foundations’ enrich-our-corporations act, after the no more stupid wars and comfy shoes for card check debacles, after the rule of law not men resulted in no one going to jail while the bankster runway was foamed with the lives of the electorate, I’m surprised anyone even listens to what they say they are going to do anymore.

      Seems to me that the default position should be that they are just full of hot air and, ostensibly, Russian fueled hysterics.

    2. RUKidding

      with some of the newer, grass roots candidates, I’m willing to give them the time of day. Who knows? Perhaps some of them won’t be bought off and become totally in hock to the .01%. I can dream, can’t I?

      As for the current crop? Eff ’em. They’re worthless, down to and including Jimmy Carter, who at least partially redeemed himself with his very very good works over the decades. What a complete smack in the chops to witness him saying: screw you, I got mine. No universal health care for you proles.

      WTF, Jimmy? Maybe you need to go back to church and pray about that a little longer. Not snark.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        It was entirely in character with President Jimmy. I remember the day distinctly when he was asked about the fairness of the Hyde Amendment, and he responded, “Life isn’t fair.”

        He was the first neolib President.

    3. DJG

      Wowsers. Just the mention of Steny Hoyer above made me wonder: Hasn’t he been interred yet? Does he have two firing brain cells remaining to rub together? Yet rumor has it that he’s still Zombie Iago attempting to supplant Desdemona Pelosi.

      And then “I already had my chemo so you don’t get any” Carter:
      Carter said Tuesday during his annual report at his post-presidential center and library in Atlanta, where he offered caution about the political consequences should Democrats ‘move to a very liberal program, like universal health care.’”

      If Jimmy Carter is the ostensible moral-and-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, Harry Truman and Franklin Delano Roosevelt are now hanging out in the Socialist Paradise with Trotsky.

      Sic transit gloria Jimmy. Et Steny.

      1. Darthbobber

        I don’t think the guy who was introduced on the national stage when he gave the nominating speech for Scoop Jackson for the anybody but McGovern alliance of convenience at the 72 convention exactly anchors the “liberal” wing of the party.

      2. a different chris

        The “beauty” of the Carter thing is not only did he get his chemo paid for, but almost his whole life he had “socialized” medicine. That is, although he did run – and run well apparently – a peanut farm, there were only a handful of years when he wasn’t either in the Navy or an elected politician (and knowing politics, the post GA-Senate pre GA-Gov gap years of ’67 to ’71 may well have been covered)

        Dude gets healthcare his whole life, hoovers up the taxpayers dime in many, many ways, but won’t share. Awesome.

    4. Big River Bandido

      I’m with all of you on this one — I simply won’t vote for the same people who caused the problem. In 2016 I wrote in Hyacinth Bucket for Congress rather than vote for Joe Crowley.

      RUKidding: Jimmy Carter has enjoyed a rehabilitation of his own since 1980, and it’s become de rigueur to compliment him as a decent man, which he probably is. But he’s a political incompetent — just as much now as ever — and the original neoliberal president. It was Carter who deregulated the airlines and trucking industry and practiced austerity politics decades before they ever called it that — all of which helped bring on the Democrat disaster from which the party has still not recovered. I take comfort here from Jimmy Carter’s political incompetence. His blessing of the party misleadership just gives further confirmation that they’re all wrong.

      1. JTMcPhee

        The owners of an empire, particularly a late-stage, thoroughly debauched and corrupted empire, have to have “heroes” to prop up. Hence McCain, Carter, Reagan… Or miscast heroes, like Pat Tillman.

        Since the magic of the myths (“democracy,” “rule of law,” “opportunity,” etc.) does not serve very well any more.

    5. freedomny

      Because they won’t. Here in NY State we have some of the most restrictive voting in the US. It’s intentional.

    1. DonCoyote

      There is a lot of good information here. I wish it had more of an MMT framing overall (she discusses MMT briefly, near the end, apparently doesn’t quite understand it but doesn’t dismiss it).

      One sentence take-away for “how do we pay for it” (if you want to play by “taxes pay for spending”)–well, you do know that two-thirds of all US healthcare spending is already government spending, right? {2015 Total US Healthcare spending $3,244 billion; Total Governmental Healthcare spending $2,109 billion} [~20;00 in]

  4. marku52

    Edward Deming, father of quality in Japan :”Banish fear from the workplace”

    American Managers : “What’s the fun in that?”

    1. JTMcPhee

      Anyone remember that “business shibboleth,” “management by intimidation,” that’s still operative under different names?

      And some claim to have remedies for that approach, like the aptly named “Fraud” magazine: http://www.fraud-magazine.com/article.aspx?id=4294967680

      I worked as a retail employee and then store manager for a national chain of marine supplies stores. The founder was all soppy about employees and the rest, taking this, “Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment: How to Improve Quality, Productivity, and Employee Satisfaction” — Paperback – November 11, 1997, as the text for management training. By 2000, the new overlords had discovered that intimidation can control the mopes’ behaviors too, beginning an ugly parade of micromanagement and abuse. All the sailors and power-boaters with their centuries of experience (and higher wages) were stripped of benefits and driven out, replaced by kids who were forced to learn “features and benefits” of crap Chinese products they had mostly never actually used, and the sales tricks taught by a scammer who dipped three times into the corporate trough with promises that “If you religiously follow the system I am going to read out to you, your profits will soar.” With the instant-out that of course no real humans could begin to do all the sh!t that he prescribed. Took his several millions (each time) and ran…

      1. Octopii

        Sounds like West Marine. Having removed most of their value to actual boaters, they have become a marine lifestyle clothing and accessory store hat happens to have a nominal selection of boat products in the back.

  5. Summer

    “The Super Rich of Silicon Valley Have a Doomsday Escape Plan” [Bloomsberg].

    I watched AHS:Apocalypse last night. While this is sure to be a campy send up of all things apocalypse, the first episode seems to show that underground bunkers will be their own new hell….

    1. Kurtismayfield

      I want bunkers from the game Fallout, which were really just social experiments. For example they would have one bunker with one water chip and no backups.. so the water would break quickly. There were bunkers that had mostly women, mostly men, etc.

      1. RMO

        Unethical… actually, frequently viciously unethical experiments no less! I’m almost charmed by the naive way the .1%ers believe their getaway airplanes will still be waiting for them if the feces hit the fan, and that the guards they engage to protect them if they do make it to the bunkers will actually be loyal to them.

  6. curldyan

    At what point is “x days” not a long time in politics? If you’d prefer to keep me in suspense, that’s OK.

    1. DonCoyote

      Also, is the X still meaningful, given the rise of early voting (opened Monday here in Texas)?

      btw, how does early voting interact with paper ballots, hand counted? It seems like they are compatible, but are there wrinkles I’m missing?

      1. Chris

        In ‘Straya the ballot papers from early voting, including postal votes, aren’t looked at until the Monday after the Saturday poll.

        First choice (‘primary’) votes cast on the Saturday are hand counted in public by booth workers at each polling booth on the night, starting as soon as voting finishes at 6 pm.

        On the following Monday, Electoral Commission employees start counting early, postal and ‘absentee’ votes, checking Saturday night’s primary counts, and then allocating preferences.allocate preference votes

      2. Oregoncharles

        Oregon has both paper, hand-marked ballots and early voting, because the mail-in ballots drop weeks before election day. I understand Lambert’s objection to that, but voting at leisure makes up for those. Personally, I always leave it to the last day, and meet the stream of fellow procrastinators dropping their ballots at the courthouse.

        My county uses electronic counters, but also saves the ballots for years, in case they need to be revisited. And we’re the first place in Oregon to use Ranked Choice Voting, next election. Maine beat us to it, though.

    2. Big River Bandido

      Well, the saying goes that “three weeks in politics is a lifetime”…so we’d have to get down below 21 days at least…

      1. Wendell

        I am not a millennial; I am a boomer. Back in the olden days, starting just after Thanksgiving newspapers had a small box on the front page saying ‘x shopping days until Christmas’. It’d be interesting to check the various archives and find what year(s) they abandoned that — but it was obviously at the point when _every_ day had become a shopping day. ‘X days until polling day’ is insignificant when the election circus (oops, I mean ‘cycle’) is now 24/7/365.

  7. LarryB

    Why do Democrats, and the press for that matter, seem to think that most “Independents” are between them the Republicans? There’s not really a heck of a lot of room there, thanks to their right-ward march started by Carter. I know far more independents to the left of most Democrats than I do so called “moderates”. More and more of them are getting tired of the Democrat’s BS, too.

    1. fresno dan

      September 13, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      Agreed – we have two far right parties, one of which denies it is a far right party. Is Carter lying or has he gone all Alzheimer’s?

      1. RUKidding

        Color me very disappointed but not totally surprised by Carter.

        Frankly, all I see that statement is yet another version of: “I got mine. Eff you.”

        Slap in the chops.

        Agree that most of the Indies I know are to the left of the standard issue BigD politician. But both parties are totally engaged in push push pushing that Overton Window ever rightward. Ergo, we get the propaganda – today it’s from Carter – that we have to appeal to Indies, who are all really conservative. It’s like there’s absolutely no one in this nation who’s a true leftie. Well that’s the goal, of course.

        1. Richard

          I’m with you. I hadn’t heard Carter speak to domestic policy in a while. He sounds clueless and out of touch with everyday, working class reality. I like him better on election integrity. And he comes off as far more dovish than nearly any current dem, though few would have described him that way in the 70’s.
          But when it comes to medicare4all, he can just STFU.

          1. DaveOTN

            In my opinion the indies largely don’t fit at all within the Democrat-Republican spectrum, which is a large part of the reason why a) Trump got elected and b) indies don’t really get into politics. The media consensus on the “center” is very much “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” but a lot of the indies I know tend the other way – rather conservative socially, pro-life and annoyed by the sexual cultural issue of the week, even if they’ve largely accepted gay marriage, and at the same time very much aware of the downsides of free trade and corporate rule. They may identify with the conservative push for lower taxes, especially if they run small businesses and are hurting economically, but they have no sympathy for banks and insurance providers, and they’d also like to see a reasonable health care system and some measure of protection for the little guys.

            The GOP was just amazed, back in the 2016 convention, when they shouted “Trump isn’t a real conservative” at their base and their base largely shrugged. The two big parties have gotten so into their feud with one another that they forget the rest of the country is all over the map, politically.

            1. Richard

              I think that’s a very good point on misreading the “center”; it jibes with my own experiences with independents. They aren’t really “in between” the dems and repubs, because as another commenter pointed out, there’s no damn room there. They simply lie outside the dem/repub venn diagram; uninterested in politics because no one is interested in representing them.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There was a poll (8-24-18) by NYMag that showed majority of GOP voters support Medicare For All.

      That would, it seems to me, put some Republicans, like the independents you mentioned, to the left of Democrats who are not for it, on this issue.

    3. Big River Bandido

      The headline of the article used the word “moderates” in place of “independents”. A subtle but profoundly manipulative lie from Our Famously Free Press.

  8. clarky90

    re; “Or perhaps liberal Democrats just can’t help themselves, and smear the left for no reason at all (except possibly for fun).”

    There is a dichotomy between “Observant, religious Jewish People”, and “the materialist, Marxists, non-observant, political people”, who also identify as Jews, only because of their mothers’ genealogy.

    The Marxist Jews participated in, directed and even initiated, the destruction of traditional Jewish life in the USSR. A tragedy that we never hear about….

    The struggle between the secular/materialistic POV, and the religious/observant POV is at the heart of our present discord. Personally, I am appalled by the everyday depravity in popular culture.

    “The Yevsektsiya ….were primarily staffed by Jewish ex-members of the Bund, which eventually joined the Soviet Communist Party as the Kombund in 1921…”


    “The first activity of the Yevsektsiya was the liquidation of the religious and national organization of the Jews of Russia. In August 1919 the Jewish communities were dissolved and their properties confiscated. The general anti-religious policy took the form, in relation to the Jews, of persecution of traditional Jewish culture and education, of prohibiting the religious instruction of children, the closure of hadarim and yeshivot, and the seizure of synagogues which were converted into clubs, workshops, or warehouses. A violent campaign against the Jewish religion and its’ leaders was conducted and heavy taxes were imposed on the rabbis and other religious officials in order to compel them to resign from their positions. In these activities the Yevsektsiya encountered the opposition of the religious masses, who based themselves on the promise of freedom of religious worship, which was officially proclaimed and later included in the Soviet constitution…


    Promises of freedom that were never honored.

      1. DJG

        + + + Massinissa

        For that matter, from about the time of Lenin’s death, did the Soviet Union have anything to do with leftist politics at all? Most of the history of the U.S.S.R. was slow-moving bureaucratic nationalism combined with puritanism–sort of like the typical Anglo-American corporation.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          As I recall, Howard Zinn said something to the effect that the Soviet Union offered very bad example of socialism.

          1. Wukchumni

            It was ok as far as Soviet socialism went, great numbers of people shared equal living arrangements in Siberian gulags.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            George Orwell probably felt the same, and the relationship would be for the American left, any left or anyone, really, to avoid repeating the mistakes made there.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                True, for the population in general; the progressives should be more progressive in this aspect, for we demand more of ourselves.

                    1. Wukchumni

                      That’s not what i’m after…

                      What would you say our national aspirations are, what do we stand for as a people?

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I can only guess what you are after.

                      We were discussing the Soviet Union. That would suggest we aspire to what they did positively, and avoid their mistakes.

                      Then Summer mentioned empires in the past. I would we should aspire to have a republic.

                      Anything else you can add would be good.

    1. Hameloose Cannon

      “I am appalled by the everyday depravity in popular culture.” — Might it be horrifying to witness the everyday exercise of Free Will in everyday pop culture? A medium depicting violence and sex — human aspects absent in Christian spirituality, the secular in your dialectic — introduces these images into the imagination. To be haunted by such ideas is prerequisite for the desire to change life for the better. To believe it was Jews, the Yevsektsiya, who made life unbearable for other Jews in Russia only to be immediately purged by Stalin’s regime for being Jews just the same, and then insinuate it is Jews in the US Democratic party, smearing a pure moral left is, at best, bizarre. Less best? Perhaps a repetition of bar stool agit-prop belched in mockery of deeper understanding of the current moral failures of illiberal regimes.

  9. Summer

    Re: “But I truly believe there are more ways this type of ’empathetic technology’ can improve our lives than do harm.” • Truly believe. Oh.

    Have to consider that for an emotionless, technocratic, drone-person, technology might actually offer enough emotion and empathy for them. Emotion and empathy are uncharted waters to them.

    1. Carey

      From the article:

      “The signatures our bodies and behaviors give away is a type of personal data, even if it isn’t what comes to mind when we traditionally think about our data. We leave data behind everywhere we go — every interaction. At first this may sound alarming, even overwhelming, because the conversation around personal data has become so fraught. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that sharing personal data with our technology doesn’t need to mean compromising our privacy.

      But consider this: gathering personal data may actually help our technology protect our personal lives even more. And it definitely can help technology better serve its benefits to each of us with all our unique and wondrous differences. ”

      That someone can even think like this at all frightens me.

      1. Synoia

        gathering personal data may actually help our technology protect our personal lives even more

        By selling us more stuff through targetd ads?
        By alerting all of our potential failings, health and otherwise?
        By making you rich at our expense?

        Reads as more encroachment onto our commons, by taking , controlling and selling another part of what we’d regard as privacy.

      2. a different chris

        >At first this may sound alarming

        And on second thought, it is horrifying. The third pass makes me want to build a hidden underground bunker, and if I think about it one more time (I’m a parent) I will almost certainly burst into tears.

        1. Darthbobber

          I was disturbed, but then he got to the part about how while regulation of all this crap has to date been disappointing, “we” could have a “rich conversation” about “transparency requirements”, and I realize that this is an ironclad guarantee against the scariness.

    2. Big River Bandido

      this type of ’empathetic technology’ can improve our lives than do harm.

      Like in this now-ancient video which has nearly come to pass…

  10. fresno dan


    FROM THE ARTICLE: Here’s the troubling part. Police kill far more people than we thought. The FBI had long undercounted police shootings, and it took news organizations — employing better methodology — to get more accurate information. If you survey the Post data, as of today, police have shot and killed 3,648 men, women, and children since January 1, 2015.

    Yes, America is a large country. Yes, we have more crime than many other developed nations. But that is still a sad and terrible toll in lives, and it doesn’t include the many thousands of others who’ve been shot and wounded. It’s a toll so high and persistent that it raises questions about deeply rooted, systemic causes, including causes related to race, culture, law, and training.

    FROM THE ARTICLE: Hoo boy. I hope this isn’t what it looks like. Because what it looks like to a lot of people on social media is that the cops are scrambling for reasons to justify Jean’s shooting by Dallas cop Amber Guyger, who supposedly thought he was inside her apartment rather than his own.*
    The Hotair article has a number of theories of what went down. And my first inclination of what I get out of it is too quick to shoot and too slow to think. But I want to be fair and heed the points made in the National Review article. Maybe this was all a terrible, terrible mistake.
    Time will tell. But there is something fishy here…

    * That is hard to follow. A black man (named Botham Jean) who was in his OWN apartment was shot dead by a white female cop (Amber Guyger) who mistakenly was on the wrong floor of a condo and thought she she was entering her own apartment, saw Botham Jean and shot him.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        (This is how I would script the film, and you will see why I don’t have a career in it):

        The champion Wushu female cop noticed the front door of her apartment was ajar and she heard noise insdide, as if someone was going through some letters.

        Alertly, her fists in ready to strike position, she entered the room , (which was decorated, investigator later found out, with the same furniture from the same popular superstore everyone shopped at, thus adding to her confusion – a lesson here: make your own tables and chairs), and immediately she was struck by the victim turning around to face her.

        Sensing intuitively that she was under attack, she punched….just once.

        But being a champion martial artist, and with the guy being a smallish male, it proved to be fatal.

        And now politicians are demanding that we ban Wushu.

        1. JBird

          From what I read (and I could easily be misremembering/mistaken), the officer got someone to unlock the door and she didn’t turn on the lights before she shot.


          I think she and her cop friends are trying really hard to create the best narrative for her, which I completely understand, especially if they believe it was a horrible mistake. One should look out for their friends.

          What I do not like is the effort to put the blame on the surprised victim for not instantly obeying especially in his own home, at night, and in the dark. Even outside and during the day a man could understandably be a bit confused and slow to respond.

          Many, many of those beatings, arrests, and shootings are not not only obviously illegal on their face, but the police get a pass, even medals and promotions while the average American would be doing decades in prison or even get the death penalty.

          The trained, armed, armored, and supposed professionals get every benefit of a doubt, every excuse, and always have quality defense attorneys whereas almost everyone else does not. I have and seen numerous stories and videos of unhinged, or at least unprofessional, police commit beatings, shootings, false arrests, puppycides, SWAT raids and just bullying behavior sometimes just because they were annoyed at the victims, not because they committed any crime. Yet, just like with our politicians and high level corporate executives, rarely do the police get any punishment.

          But if you, John Nobody, does anything wrong or just annoys a police officer, you will be ruined.

          1. fresno dan

            September 13, 2018 at 6:21 pm
            Agreed. And one hypocrisy that always riles me, is supposed limited power conservatives giving a pass to the ultimate misuse of government power, the police power to take life.

            And one other minor point. This is not Seinfeld getting lost in a parking garage. This is the garage to where she lives. When you live in a place with a multi level parking garage, the tenets park on their own levels – most of the cars on your level are going to be familiar and if NOT, your going to realize your on the wrong level. Dark? I have never been in a garage that didn’t have lighting to recognize the other cars.

    1. Darthbobber

      There’s a feel-good Russian Christmas romcom that makes use of the identical apartments device, but it’s an admitted fiction.

  11. Catman

    I’ve liked all the good William Gibson quotes lately – I’m worried about his upcoming book -a parallel fiction story about if Clinton would win.
    I also don’t like his Russia fixation.
    but loved his earlier works – Pattern Recognition being the last one I enjoyed

    1. Hameloose Cannon

      Imagine the dawning upon Bill Gibson, that after years of writing about how the Streets will be reclaiming networks for dark purposes, the Streets would be re-configuring Gibson’s jeremiad into field manuals for deep operation shock armies to exploit new theatres of information warfare. That uncanny moment, deja reve, when Gibson’s quotidian life is immersed in the fluid of his own dark fantasies, the pressure of remorse from all directions.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sounds like the author could use his own book Pattern Recognition to exit his Russian fixation.

  12. Polar Donkey

    I know a hedge fund guy who has over a $1 million in gold under a relative’s house in Australia. I guess that is close enough to New Zealand.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      If society truly breaks down there is not much use for gold bars except for clubs

      I would have a distillery.. alcohol will sell like hotcakes Disinfectant, cleaners, drinking…

      1. Wukchumni

        It was fascinating to watch the Iranian diaspora play out in L.A. in the late 70’s, and rest assured that not a one of them got out of dodge, er Tehran on a 747, was carrying disinfectant, hotcakes or cleaning equipment. Booze can’t be ruled out though, who can result a cheap bottle from duty free?

        The oddest diaspora you ever saw, as they were primarily upper-middle class Persians, who segued perfectly into upper-middle class Los Angeles.

      2. polecat

        What about all those new idols the next civilization needs to invent to keep the lower cast in their places .. that gold doesn’t shape itself, you know.

    2. Chris

      …a hedge fund guy who has over a $1 million in gold under a relative’s house in Australia…

      …or at least he did the last time he looked.

  13. Carolinian

    Dave Dayen on how Timothy Geithner–in effect–took something off Obama’s desk.


    Obama ordered preparations for the breakup of Citigroup and Geithner slow walked the order until he could arrange a different outcome.

    Perhaps we should admit that all presidents are just front men for the faction that they hire or the faction that hired them. Still, maybe Trump will surprise everyone and not go to war in Syria.

    1. DJG

      Carolinian: Or maybe Obama could have done a skosh of followup and even threatened the man with losing his job. But Obama was still in his own afterglow, the greatest brand of all time.

      A Dukakis-ism: The fish rots from the head.

    1. John k

      Gun deaths.
      Police killings.
      Financial crimes.
      Incarceration rates.
      Rule of law.
      Race relations.
      We are behind many ldeveloping countries on many issues.
      Looks like we’re going backwards at an accelerating rate.

  14. Jason Boxman

    Whenever I visit the 7Eleven, there’s nearly always at least one person buying a lottery ticket or several. In MA we appear to have dozens of different lottery games available, though I have to admit I don’t know the slightest about it. It looks quite mystifying. Back in the day, there was simply a lottery and you bought a ticket. Done.

  15. Fred

    I was hoping the split California initiative made it to the ballot, so that hopefully voters would shut it down and people would shut up about it.

    1. RUKidding

      Note: this wasn’t meant as a response to Fred’s post, above, but somehow got to be that way. Sorry about that.

      I thought New Zealand was passing some laws or regulations to stop these evil [family blog]s from building their ridiculous bunkers there??? At least, I live in hope that they are.

      I believe that they’re about to start charging higher visa fees to visit there due to the popularity for tourists as a destination. It’s a way to keep the visitor numbers in check while having funds to deal with environmental issues. I’m guessing it might be somewhat akin to how Bhutan handles tourism. It’s not cheap to visit Bhutan, and good for them.

      1. Wukchumni

        The hut rates for Great Walk tramps doubled a few months ago for foreigners. (85-90% of visitors staying overnight in huts are from overseas)

        Hiking & backpacking is growing rapidly in popularity, and the word is obviously out that NZ is the place to go, not too many places where rainforest is cheek by jowl next to glaciers.

        It’s funny, I love NZ and the Southern Alps in particular, but it’s almost like a hiking freeway compared to the High Sierra, and if it’s clouded in where you can’t see a damned thing, as it happens often, it’s all a blur. But when it’s bomber blue skies overhead, ye gads!

  16. Wukchumni

    “The Super Rich of Silicon Valley Have a Doomsday Escape Plan” [Bloomsberg]. “Robert Vicino, founder of the Vivos Project, a builder of massive underground bunkers, said Silicon Valley elites discussed detailed plans to flee to New Zealand last year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He said they foresaw ‘a revolution or a change where society is going to go after the 1 percenters.’

    I’d mentioned this before, but New Zealanders have long been a very egalitarian society, with something mega billionaires might not be aware of, that is the Tall Poppy Syndrome, where those that deem themselves high and mighty, tend to get chopped down to size. They could be in for quite a rude awakening…

    The tall poppy syndrome describes aspects of a culture where people of high status are resented, attacked, cut down, strung up or criticised because they have been classified as superior to their peers.


    1. pricklyone

      Wuk, how does “tall poppy” work with guys who have enough money to hire their own armies?
      Remember Jay Gould. They can easily hire half of the locals to kill the other half…

        1. a different chris

          For sure.

          >They can easily hire half of the locals to kill the other half…

          The thing that’s never mentioned is – Jay Gould was simply wrong and he was a lot closer to a demonstration of the untruth of that statement than we were.

          I despise the Confederacy as an idea — but the men that fought for it, wow. And the Union hired a lot more people than “half”…

          1. JBird

            It is amazing that such rich people are unwilling to spend any money to try to save the Earth and the planetary civilization, but are willing to spend it making a super-duper survivalist bunker fortress complete with a small army.

            And just thinking about how the Civil War soldiers endured Hellish conditions, about a million deaths and even generals often died. Or later, union organizers, suffragettes, civil rights advocates and others also endured beatings, arrests, and murder for decades all makes me wonder on what happened to us?

            1. John Wright

              Perhaps the rich people have done a net-present-value calculation of how much new CO2 will be needed per capita to keep some semblance of order in the population in the near future.

              They might have concluded it is not possible to avoid massive climate change disorder with the existing and projected population at least somewhat pacified by hydrocarbons to produce food,consumer goods and transportation

              But trying to find a safe haven must be daunting as the rich will always need human help who could easily turn against them.

              I don’t think enough emphasis has been placed on evidence of the 6th mass extinction (human caused).

              Believing humans will not be following in our fellow earth creature hoof/paw tracks is hubris.

              Interesting times ahead.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I think it’s touching that the Super Rich of Silicon Valley seem to have such faith in the infallible and interminable performance of their GPS systems. Surely they have some treasure maps set aside as a back-up?

    3. Conrad

      Not to mention a history of expropriating private property and redistributing it when deemed necessary.

      I guess choosing New Zealand as a bolthole just shows how out of touch the oligarchs are.

    4. The Rev Kev

      Well, New Zealand got rid of their fighter planes so they can’t shoot down those Gulfstreams as they come in but if there was a general collapse, there may be an alternate plan. Probably find that they will grab those billionaires as they hit the tarmac and give them the Saudi Arabia treatment. Throw them into a hotel without communications and tell them to hand over most of their money or they never leave the hotel again. Maybe mess one or two of them up to make a point. Where else can they go if they do not like it? If there was a general collapse and knowing that these people helped cause it, I would splash those planes as they approached the country myself.

      1. Wukchumni

        Well, New Zealand got rid of their fighter planes so they can’t shoot down those Gulfstreams

        As luck would have it, there’s a Japanese Zero in the Auckland War Memorial Museum @ the Domain.

        Kiwis are pretty good at fixing things, maybe they can get it going again?

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Actually it might be best to let the billionaires land and wait until they all park themselves in their hidey-holes and then go weld the doors shut. [I’m sure a good dog could find the doors.] I imagine a bunch of billionaires enjoying the permanent company of other billionaires in tight quarters would be a lot like the hell in Sartre’s play “No Exit” but with more drama — especially with that little gun room around.

  17. fresno dan


    But the Enron prosecution—especially Jeff Skilling’s—supposedly put an end to all that bad behavior. Justice was served.

    For a minute. What’s so striking about the world Skilling will be released into is how much it resembles the Ayn Randian empire he tried to build at Enron. His trial took place just as the housing bubble was bursting, two years before the 2008 financial crisis, the one in which the whole country nearly went under. It turned out there were plenty of folks at the top willing to support the Chump Economy: all you had to do was rope unwitting home buyers into mortgages they could never repay, then convince people to borrow against their mortgages.
    I just saw Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room last night. Which is incredible because I have seen all those documentaries, so how I missed this one is INCONCEIVABLE to me. So I either saw it and forgot I saw it (I don’t think so) or it wasn’t available on Netflix….anywho, small world.
    What is incredible is that electricity was available without interruption in CA for decades pre ENRON, than “reform” consisted of making a market that just screwed the whole thing up. Yet this irrefutable fact of how the market screwed everything up – and indisputable evidence that a non regulated market is a f*cked up market has simply been swept down the memory hole. Its like there’s a cabal of rich, powerful plutocrats that censor any discussion of the short comings of “free enterprise” – NAH, that can’t be – the is the land of the free and the home of the brave…

    1. Summer

      And CA recalled the governor that proposed getting those billions back. The Governator that replaced killed that plan.

      1. RUKidding

        Yep. Ahhhhnold Schwartzenegger said he was so rich he couldn’t be bought off.

        As soon as he was elected, W Bush yanked him to Washington DC asap. Ahhhhnold returned & informed ripped off CA proles that he wasn’t going after Enron.

        Thanks a lot Schwartzenegger.

        1. jonhoops

          Arnold was in on it from the beginning. He didn’t have to be called to DC it was already baked into the deal.

          Google “Arnold’s Enron Secret”

          1. howseth

            Schwarzenegger. Not one of California voter’s finer choices, as far as I’m concerned: SOB.

            As a mobile home park dweller during his reign. He vetoed sensible, serious attempts – by the state legislators – to add protections for mobile home park residents… He made excuses why he could not sign them into law… New legislation was written to fulfill his requirements – he vetoed the newer legislation anyhow.

            Meanwhile, what did the press report as ‘the big story’ on the day of his bill signings (and vetoing) – stories about how a bill was passed and signed not to allow dairy’s to cut cow tails.

  18. Roger Smith

    Let me be the first to wholeheartedly accept Neera’s offer of a cash sum in order to delete her Twitter account. Neera, please have your people contact my people. We’ll take care of this right away, top priority.

  19. Darthbobber

    Raimondo. Tons of money there, including a ton from the dga. Which, having been dumped into her primary campaign can’t be used to back Dems against repubs in the general. Shades of Arlen Specter 2010.

    Another illustration of Dem leadership’s two facedness on citizens United and big money in politics generally. They hate it when a big wad of slush fund comes in against them in the general, but they love it as a means of fending off the uppities in primaries.

  20. Steve (@saltopus_rex)

    re: Vicino- have you heard of the concept of a ‘Breakaway Civilization?” It’s usually in reference to Nazi colonies in Antarctica, but the idea is precisely what that guy has in mind. An ‘in-group’ with adanced technology goes Full Galt and retreats to some inaccessible hideaway, continuing to predate on humanity.

    1. voteforno6

      The question I have about that is exactly the one that I had about Galt, et. al., in Atlas Shrugged – who’s going to clean the toilets? I’m pretty sure it won’t be those self-designated masters of the universe.

      1. Chris

        Reminds me of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

        These tales of impending doom allowed the Golgafrinchans to rid themselves of an entire useless third of their population. The story was that they would build three Ark ships. Into the A ship would go all the leaders, scientists and other high achievers. The C ship would contain all the people who made things and did things, and the B ark would hold everyone else, such as hairdressers and telephone sanitisers. They sent the B ship off first, but of course the other two-thirds of the population stayed on the planet and lived full, rich and happy lives until they were all wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone.

    2. a different chris

      >to some inaccessible hideaway, continuing to predate on humanity.

      Hmpf. I’d send the NVA/Viet Cong in after them. Wanna bet on the “advanced technology”?

      1. JBird

        Or some seriously unhappy preppers/militia/hunters/retired special forces. A large family and/or group of friends/families could get together and hunker down in some doomsday, but the 0.1% would be targeted for revenge as well as for the well supplied Uberbunker

        1. The Rev Kev

          If things go south, what do you call a billionaire’s bunker with years worth of food, water & medical supplies packed within? A handy supply depot – after you borrow some military gear to crack it open.

  21. Pat

    Regarding Cuomo and the mailer, he is known as a vindictive son of a b… and almost more entitled than Hillary. No one was supposed to get in the way of his coasting to a third term which he could use to run for the White House. Nixon, and the environment have forced him to spend money, move left and have highlighted his corruption and deficiency as governor rather than the butt kissing he was planning upon.

    This mailer was designed to increase turnout from a sure bet constituency who might have stayed home because Cuomo is so far ahead, this increasing his totals to landslide levels. And they never expected it to get much air play. Oops.Not only did it get noticed, it alienated a lot of more moderate Democrats who were either leaning his way or were planning on holding their nose and voting for the more experienced candidate. Backfire.

    I don’t know how this is going to go. I will be very sad if Cuomo does well, but knew my desire for his destruction was unreasonable. I will be heartbroken if Teachout loses and will watch to see where spoiler Maloney lands.

    1. coats & linen

      Also dirty tricks politics is in his blood. Apparently during his father’s run at NYC mayor he was responsible for a virulently homophobic anti-Ed Koch poster (not going to repeat the slogan, but includes a rhyme with “Cuomo”). Plus, despite the polling, the NY press seems to think he really is scared of Cynthia—he’s dropped ~8 million dollars in the past three weeks. If anyone on here dabbles in the occult arts, please direct them at this hateful reactionary thug, that we may all be released from his slimy dominion.

    2. allan

      Whoever wins the governor’s race, they have their work cut out:

      Three upstate cities rank among the top 25 nationally in childhood poverty rates, with the same three — Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo — also topping the list for overall poverty.

      More than half of Rochester’s children live in poverty, based on a Census Bureau survey of 2017 income released Thursday. At 56.4 percent, Rochester’s childhood poverty rate is three times the national average of 18.4 percent and ranks third in the nation, following Flint, Michigan, at 60.5 percent, and Gary, Indiana, at 58.7 percent.

      Michigan and Ohio are the only two other states with as many metro areas ranking in the top 25 for childhood poverty, according to the American Community Survey data.

      Syracuse’s child poverty rate of 47.4 percent and Buffalo, with a 43.6 percent rate, place in 10th place and 17th place, respectively.

      The three cities fare little better in overall poverty, with a rate of 32.4 percent for Syracuse, ninth among the nation’s metro areas; 32.3 percent for Rochester, 12th; and 29.6 percent for Buffalo, 24th. …

      Hard as it is to believe, Cuomo’s multi-year crime economic development spree hasn’t produced many jobs.
      Except for prosecutors and the white-collar defense bar, mainly downstate.

      For what it’s worth, turnout is reported as being extremely low.

      1. a different chris

        >Whoever wins the governor’s race, they have their work cut out:

        Well no, Cuomo will most likely win and if he does he will continue to not do (family blog). And if he wins the primary but loses to a Republican, well they won’t do anything either.

        Part of the problem with looking for “good” politicians is that doing good breaks a lot of china… and so they don’t last long enough to break enough china to make a real difference. What you need is the FDR “make me do it” – he was telling people if they were serious they needed to be the ones willing to take the public hurt.

        1. allan

          The FDR “Make me do it” story seems to be a myth, possibly cooked up by Obama himself.
          Here is a debunking from exactly 9 years ago, which ends with

          Far from encouraging the civil rights leaders to make him end discrimination, Roosevelt did everything he could to resist their pressure, according to Randolph’s biographers. Only when he was convinced that they wouldn’t buckle to presidential persuasion did FDR have the executive order issued.
          The story offers a tougher lesson for reformers than the “Make me do it” legend does. They may not have a co-conspirator in the White House, despite his rhetoric of change, hope and community organizing. But it also offers an example of how seemingly impossible goals can be achieved by clearly articulating objectives, relentless organizing and not being afraid to show the muscle that such hard work can build. President Obama showed his audacity in winning election. If history is a guide, it’s time for reformers to show theirs.

          If only we had had some A. Philip Randolphs in 2009-2010,
          instead of Obamabots dreaming of 11-dimensional chess.

        2. Oregoncharles

          Sorry: Andrew Cuomo cruises to easy win over Cynthia Nixon in New York gubernatorial primary
          USA TODAY NETWORKJon Campbell and Joseph Spector, Albany Bureau

  22. MoeB

    The argument against Sarandon and Bernie supporters, saying they were acting selfishly for not backing Clinton, actually works much better when turned against Clinton and her supporters. Clinton insisted on having “her turn”, even though she knew herself to be deeply unpopular. She shouldn’t have been so selfish. Now Trump is elected and it’s all her fault.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        She is no Medusa, who had many snakes on her head, which, in theory, would allow many second chances.

      2. polecat

        Uhh … she’s not the modern incarnation of Medusa for nothing !!
        Keep those writhing snake heads a bay, and your mirrors at your ready.

    1. Big River Bandido

      The argument against Sarandon and Bernie supporters, saying they were acting selfishly for not backing Clinton

      Neera Tanden’s tantrums betray unbelieveable arrogance — as if anyone is entitled to my vote. I certainly don’t owe diddly to Hillary Clinton or the Democrat Party — neither of which has ever done a damn thing for me.

  23. clarky90

    The Communist International (Comintern),

    “The Comintern resolved at its Second Congress (July through August 1920) to “struggle by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state”.


    IMO, the current subversion of the FBI/CIA into an extralegal force, seeking the overthrow of the elected USAian Gov’t, AND the quest to eliminate boarder control/boarders, is very Cominterny.

    Massinissa, this is only a tiny fragment of Info. There are a myriad of books, papers, discussions, docos, going back well in to the 19th Century.

    Disregard what you have “learned” from TV, movies and school text books. They are generally “talking point”, controlled narratives.

    Read everything you can set your eyes on, every disparate POV, and come to your own conclusions. You will not be bored, but rather in a state of amazement!

    1. clarky90

      Also, my comments are directed towards “the Liberals”, who IMO, are the political heirs of Stalinism, not towards the “left”.

      It is amazing how the meaning of common words can change in one’s lifetime.

      “Liberal” used to be a beautiful word with good connotations.

      The “left” is just as vulnerable to censorship and suppression by the “liberals” as are the “right”.

      1. Dandelion

        Ha! Try the word “woman.” A portion of the left is defining it as “anyone who says they’re a woman.” We haven’t yet, in California, experienced what the UK has, with a convicted male rapist who says he’s a woman imprisoned in a women’s prison and, predictably, sexually assaulting 4 women — but give it time. Women in a women’s ho,else’s shelter in Fresno have filed suit at being made to shower with a male who called himself a woman and sexually harassed them. In response, the shelter installed shower curtains.

        Women who object to all this, are, by leftists, threatened with all sorts of violence, including one woman beaten at, of all places, Speakers Corner, and bomb threats made against UK women meeting to discuss the issue. One in particular the police deemed credible and, investigating, found explosives.

        The UK Greens, who define their membership as “men”and “non-men”are self-destructing over this issue.

        Postmodernism has been a disaster for the left.

    2. Darthbobber

      Lists of names… You need that, too, to pursue your apparent agenda of repurposing McCarthyism. But you are in competition with the liberals themselves.

  24. Summer

    Re: “Americans making less than $30,000 a year are most likely to buy multiple lottery tickets each week, the study shows. These low earners spend 2.5 percent of their take-home pay on lottery tickets, or about $8 a week.” • So, two lattés. Not a lot of shame in that…”

    Since Americans are segregated by class, what if Starbucks started selling lotto tickets?
    A LOL way to boost class awareness….

    1. JBird

      HIPPA? What’s that?

      Why would a hospital do something so obviously illegal especially as part on medical privacy is actually enforced?

      1. anon

        From the article:

        A consent form for treatment did mention that taping was possible for the purposes of medical education, but the patient in this case didn’t see that because she refused to sign the form or submit to treatment.

        The large hospital I go to for Cancer treatment has video taping of patients as a standard paragraph on their consent form also. The first page of the form noted in boldfaced large font that no changes could be made to the form (such as slashing through the paragraph). Patients must sign the form their first day, before seeing a doctor (outpatients included).

        I asked one of the doctors at the hospital, whose husband was a lawyer, and she said it likely wasn’t legal to force such consent. But, who’s going to take on the hospital when they need to be treated for cancer, particularly when California’s Medical Board is absolutely worthless to complain to (see also, this 2013, Michael Hiltzik blasting of them Legislature should pull plug on inept Medical Board of California – Legislators should sunset the medical board’s do-nothing, know-nothing membership and executive director, and start over fresh.) and one of the hospital’s doctors was on that Board at the time. I had already discovered they were worthless through my own experience with the Medical Board of California before reluctantly signing that consent form (and no, my complaint about them isn’t on their above linked yelp pages).

  25. Lou Anton

    RE: 1%ers and New Zealand.

    Good. Great. Fine. Avoid the rush, go now. Makes quarantine easier. Don’t think you’re going anywhere though. One way trip, Bezoans.

  26. Wukchumni

    Everywhere is tariffs and threat of inanity
    Poor manners as well, tell me where is sanity
    Feed the rich, ignore the poor
    ‘Til there are no poor no more?

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to you

    Population keeps on believing
    Wall*Street’s leading, still more deceiving economy
    Life is funny, skies are sunny
    Insiders make money, who don’t need money, Monopoly

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to you

    Financial collusion, there’s no solution
    An institution of unequal distribution
    Just black and white, rich or poor
    Them and us, a non stop war

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to you


  27. JTMcPhee

    Just a little happy reminder, this Thursday the 13th, that we mopes are still under the threat of nuclear annihilation based on that repeatedly observed notion that the only consistent principles in the universe are accident and error: “The Norwegian Rocket Incident,” wherein a Canadian-developed Black Brant 11 sounding rocket, which was originally developed as the basis for an anti-ICBM “shield” system, but re-purposed to explore the upper reaches of the atmosphere, was launched (after notice to 30 nations.) It flew on a path that looked to the Russian missile command exactly like a first-strike incoming, and led to Boris Yeltsin unlocking the Magic Briefcase that has the Red Button, Russian of course, in it for that side of the Great Standoff, and being about 2 minutes from launching the entire Russian ICBM and air-dropped nuclear arsenal at the rest of the world.

    All steps for readying the Russian weaponry for launch had been completed, except for that ultimate button press. By dumb luck, and likely some brown-pants efforts, some Russian military types figured out that the impact area for the missile, launched on a high north orbit to study the auroral phenomenon, was in the ocean.

    A nice telling, by The History Guy who, among other works, likes to remind the rest of us who come across his youtube presentations that there is “history that should not be forgotten.”


    Sleep tight, my children… and don’t forget: duck, and then cover…

      1. JTMcPhee

        Nah, I’ll leave that for others not burdened with a pair of jaundiced eyes and a cynic’s disappointed-romantic heart. Hope you find solace in wild places, near and around the world, always.

        1. Wukchumni

          Wilderness is about the only unerringly honest thing in the world, and it’s so refreshing to be in it’s embrace.

          1. JBird

            The fact that we survived the Cold War is about the greatest evidence for God that I can find. So many closes calls, that we know of, with silly, even moronic causes.

  28. Wukchumni

    Hurricane Florence is about to crash the Carolinas, while Typhoon Mangkhut is poised to pummel the Philippines.

    How could one tell if they are antipodes, or remotely close to it?

    1. Chris

      The U.S. and the Philippines are both in the Northern hemisphere, so no.

      We upside-downers in the Southern half will be getting our cyclones (which you up there call hurricanes or typhoons) from November to March.

      That said, it often seems that when you have a heat wave we get snow, and contrariwise.

  29. edmondo

    The CIA infestation of the Democrat Party.

    Tell me again how Bernie is going to take over the D Party and make it the workers party again. Is anyone ready to admit yet that he’s sheepdogging us and the last two years have been a total waste of time?

        1. Darthbobber

          So which of the too-numerous to list self-branded workers/left parties do you think serves as a vehicle?

          And how does yet another iteration of that avoid the problems of the previous ones? All made line errors?

    1. Big River Bandido

      Realignments never start at the top. The right wing began its takeover of the Republican Party in the mid-70s, by electing people to school boards, city councils, and state legislative seats.

      Expectations of instant success are naive. The left made better stride this year against the Democrat establishment than the Republicans did in the entire 7-year period between the Powell Memo and the 1978 midterms.

  30. John k

    Ratface Andy’s motive.
    Maybe private polls show him not so far ahead. And activists sometimes do very well with low turnout, look at AOC.
    Well, that’s my position and I’m sticking to it at least until Election Day.

    1. wilroncanada

      That man is a confirmed Homo Sapiens, but now I find out he’s also a pedagogue. Next thing you know, He’ll be engaging in philately with children.
      Mad Mag, circa 1950’s.

  31. neighbor7

    What, does Pedialyte contain paregoric, then? That was the toddler tonic / hangover cure in my infancy.

    1. JCC

      Our house always had a bottle in the Medicine Cabinet. And in the local poker games in the taverns of my youth one particular guy, whenever he held a losing hand, would throw the cards on the table in disgust. When asked, “Whaddya got?”, he would answer, “A paregoric.”

  32. Pat

    AP has called.it for Cuomo. Nixon has apparently pulled numbers similar to Teachout’s although Andy reportedly was spending over half a million a week.
    We’ll see how long lasting Nixon’s leftward pull on Andy holds. Personally I am pretty sure it will reside with the bunting in the trash at campaign headquarters tomorrow morning.

    Sadder for me Democratic regular with the right ID Letitia James is pulling just over 50% in the AG race while Maloney has done his job (and had to spend almost a million to do it.) It was all about stopping Teachout and they have done it. It hasn’t been called.yet but soon. We couldn’t have someone in office who actually wanted to fight the root.

    1. bob

      There is some good news to take out of it looking at the maps and numbers, county by county.

      Most notably is that King Andy hosts the seat of his power in unfriendly territory, and that territory is expanding in the area around Albany vs the 2016 primary.

      Really wondering what it cost King Andy in GOTV votes in NYC. He was in several closed, no press allowed meetings last night, styled as “rallys”

      He didn’t go to the NYC victory party he was supposed to go to tonight. He stayed in Albany.

  33. Pat

    The real voter pushback has been in the state representative races in NY. Several incumbent senators have been thrown out, many in the state version of Bluedogs, the Independent Democratic Congress.

    We’ll see how this plays out when they get into office. (Not to be cynical but the system does seem to have many protective charms.) But it is a real bright spot.

    1. John k

      Maybe local races are below the radar of elite dems… unlike reps… so they’re not paying attention. Certainly explains why they’ve lost so many state races, which leads to gerrymandering and loss of house seats… and the reps get to guard the ballot box.
      I don’t care if progressives take over from above or below… and local races build the bench.

    2. Big River Bandido

      The NYC legislative elections have been a bloodbath and a warning shot across the bow of the establishment. Six of the eight members of the “Independent Democrat Caucus” have gone down in flames. In addition, establishment Democrat Martin Dilan has lost to DSA member Julia Salazar by 16 points.

      One of the big losers (12%) is Jose Peralta, whose state senate district overlaps with much of the Queens part of the NY-14 congressional district. In this district, 60% of voters are Hispanic, 16% Asian, with white and black voters comprising considerably smaller portions. Politically speaking, this is a “troubled” district, one of the most dysfunctional in the entire state. Peralta, you may recall, was elected in 2010 to finish the uncompleted term of the disgraced Sen. Hiram Monserrat. Monserrat had almost defeated another corrupt, longtime state senator in 2006 — when a rematch came around in 2008, the sitting senator was appointed to the racing commission and Monserrat’s way to Albany was smoothed. Monserrat ran on a platform of marriage equality that year, then voted against it in 2009 after aligning himself with the IDC. (The bill died in the legislature.) When Monserrat was expelled from the senate (mind you, for domestic abuse, not corruption), Peralta was touted as the “healing”, “clean” politician who would put things to right. But Peralta, too, soon revealed himself as a tool. Last year he went a little too far when he aligned with the IDC, and royally pissed off his constituents. They took it out on him tonight.

      Like you, Pat, I’m skeptical about the victors. But the IDC has been effectively neutered, and the establishment Democrats in New York State will be hard-pressed to continue in denial that voters are pissed at them, too. They now have a graphic example of that change in voter attitudes, and of what might happen to them. As far as policy, I think the effects will be more limited, but still salutary.

  34. RMO

    I’ve heard about a growing pilot shortage. Have to wonder what they expected? Declining pay, worsening working conditions, declining prestige, increased number of hours required to be in command, increasing training costs born by the prospective pilots… And rather strict medical requirements (for example, having been referred to a psychiatrist by family doctor for – ineffective – treatment of depression in adolescence was enough to bar me for life from becoming a commercial pilot). It all adds up to a decidedly unattractive option even for people who still have flying in their blood.

    1. JBird

      It is a disease of the wealthy, and of corporations, to not actually raise the pay and at least pay for some of the training to get more pilots. It is not like that is unaffordable for them but they just will not do it and complain instead.

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