2:00PM Water Cooler 9/7/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, this being Naked Capitalism’s holiday week, I’m posting a Water Cooler with a few conversation starters and nothing else. Normal posting will resume on Monday, September 10. Talk amongst yourselves! –lambert

A little class warfare:

Labor force participation slightly down, wages up. But:

Handy chart:

The Bezzle (1): A self-licking ice-cream cone:

The Bezzle (2):

My understanding is that Tesla manufactures many parts that other manufacturers outsource. So it’s understandable that spare parts would be hard to get if Musk does’t want to carry inventory (except in the form of cars that failed QA on the back lot).

And some controversy:

“A brief history of singular ‘they’” [Oxford English Dictionary]. “People who want to be inclusive, or respectful of other people’s preferences, use singular they. And people who don’t want to be inclusive, or who don’t respect other people’s pronoun choices, use singular they as well. Even people who object to singular they as a grammatical error use it themselves when they’re not looking, a sure sign that anyone who objects to singular they is, if not a fool or an idiot, at least hopelessly out of date.” Checking out those commas….

* * *

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 (via):

* * *

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

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


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

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

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Wukchumni

    The situation @ Tesla is chronic
    So Elon will smoke some tonic
    The stock price got decimated you know
    Let it blow, let it blow, let it blow

    1. kimyo

      here’s hoping that unsworth is awarded a hundred-million-dollar plus settlement, keeps half, and splits the rest between the kids, their coach and the entire rescue team.

      literally billions of people have heard musk’s baseless accusations. this is a libel case which eclipses any which have come before.

      at the start of the case, the judge should immediately place musk’s holdings in escrow, lest he try to pull a mcclure/d’amico.

    2. Tertium Squid

      I’m calling it – Elon is playing rope-a-dope. He’s looking ahead to reporting some awesome production numbers so he’s sabotaging the share price now, and trying to burn a bunch of shorts at the next quarterly report

      1. fries

        Intentionally sabotaging the share price is a crime. Civil or criminal, take your pick (or both). But that’s okay because production numbers are going to be great. Gotta love capitalism.

    3. ewmayer

      I gotta admit, the daily Musk implosion-watch is producing the kinds of headlines you just don’t often see in the dry world of financial news. E.g. today on Yahoo! Finance:

      Tesla shares fall after CEO Elon Musk smokes weed during interview
      Yahoo Finance Video

      Maybe instead o’ takin de Tesla private-like, Meestah Musk should take it Rasta, mon.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        You weren’t kidding. Why weren’t you kidding?

        How many of his employees have to take a piss test? Or does he just not provide insurance?

        “Occupy Mars” T-Shirt. But there’s no one there to exploit!

        The whole get your @$$ to mars phenomenon has been clarifying. (Buzz! What the heck?) Space is where you find out how much you take for granted. As the Archdruid points out, terraforming Antarctica would be easier, and we can’t do that. (Maybe after the clathrate gun — I try to remain optimistic.)

          1. Mo's Bike Shop

            Probably only the coastlines of Antarctica then. We’ll probably be hell on the penguins, but leave tantalizing records like the Sea Kings. /wink

        1. polecat


          worries Mo .. Elon should be right as a martian rain … in bout’ “TWO WEEKS !”
          That should give adequate time for Tesla stocks to cycle through the elliptic.

          “TO THE MOONs Alisha .. !”

  2. Pat

    Saw the headline today about wages being up. Looking at Lambert’s second chart , apparently I am not the only one who wondered whose wages are up. It would not surprise me in the least if once the data is looked at more closely we find out that five regular joes got a raise, and all the rest of the increase went to the same people who have seen their wages increase over the last thirty years.

    And after the sexual harassment reports AND being legally outmanuevered by Sumner Redstone’s widow, Les Moonves is likely leaving CBS with an exit package worth a hundred million or more. This after making over $320 million in the last five years. I’m hoping his successor does as well next year or we could see a big drop in the year to year wage increases.

  3. bob

    Good thread.


    “if you guys have any questions about Elon’s magic baseball train, I will do my best to get answers”

    “There are three design concepts, but only one will be chosen. We are assured that none of the tunnel options would run under anyone’s homes or businesses. lol okay”

    “uh, the comments are abruptly over and the Boring Co people announce you can mail in comment cards as well, and the meeting ends and this guy stands up in the back and yells “ARE THE INTERNS GONNA FILL OUT THE MAIL-IN CARDS TOO, ONLY A HANDFUL OF US AREN’T BEING PAID TO BE HERE””

    Rahm is buying, and spending money already

    Rham in buying!

    This man is a complete fraud. From the first minutes of the interview with Joe Rogan.

    “earthquakes are essentially a surface phenomenon.”

    That was all I could watch.

        1. djrichard

          I’m fairly confident that’s a Space-X shirt that says


          I have one where the Occupy font looks exactly the same as what he’s wearing. Got it by happenstance – my Mom was dating somebody who worked there.

    1. JBird

      Did someone actually say “earthquakes are a surface phenomenon?” Are they saying that to justify corrupt bovine excrement or having they been smoking too much of Humbolt’s finest product?

      I guess plate-tectonic drift, which is the main albeit not the only cause, especially here in California could be called a “surface phenomenon.”


    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      University town, the local CVS had a big jam of some kind of rental bikes that had totally failed at the PR.

      The University itself has been leasing bicycles to students. Coaster brakes only. I am quite surprised that has not been sued out of existence.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Or perhaps simply an awareness that pounding lower-income homeowners with higher property taxes while major corporations aren’t paying their share is just business as usual? As with everything else these days, the inability to keep ever in mind the diversity in any category label seems to always lead to undermining of the people trying to get a fair shake for everybody.

        1. Anon

          Probably so.

          Businesses routinely find ways to avoid their fair share of property tax. Homeowners, for the most part, cannot avoid paying property taxes. In California more than 60% of total property taxes are paid by homeowners. While California home property is expensive, business property in California is worth Trillion$.

        2. JBird

          California’s Prop. 13’s (the amendment that severely reduced property taxes in the 80s) dirty secret is how it cut property taxes for businesses more effectively than it did for homeowners. I don’t know anything about this local bond, but I would not be surprised if (large) businesses got some sort of loophole which others wouldn’t have.

          California politics at all levels is getting steadily worse.

      1. PKMKII

        I think the problem isn’t the “ownership” of the land/dwelling necessarily, but that the land/dwelling is bought and sold as a commodity on the market.

        1. Charlie

          One of my pillars is taking residential property off the market through eminent domain. Health care needs to go off the market as well.

          1. Unna

            That. And I also want that totally cool instrument he’s playing. But I don’t want to know what it costs.

      1. Balakirev

        Sanz is a personal favorite when I just want to relax. I still have an LP of Yepes in Rodrigo’s Fantasía para un gentilhombre, based on Sanz’s dances–with liner notes that speak to how much genuine music was made out of Sanz’s utterly insignificant and all but worthless content. Different strokes and all, but methinks that critic should have gotten off his high horse and mingled a bit more with the gemeine Volk, to find beauty in places they’d never suspect.

  4. Brooklin Bridge

    Kavanaugh hearings have me concerned. The Dems are doing too good a job of asking questions, and I suspect they will be more than happy leaving it at that -so that Kavanaugh will get the usual just in time just enough votes for Dems to say, “We tried…” – meaning he gets confirmed. I suspect that would be the most far reaching horror show so far of Trump’s presidency. Everything about this guy from torture to unlimited presidential powers to abortion to voting rights to elimination of federal regulations and the people who enforce them and on and on is just toxic toxic toxic.

    1. RUKidding

      Yep. It’s bad, and Kavanaugh will definitely get enough votes.

      So where were all these “tough” Dems 2 years ago when the Republicans refused to even meet with Merrick Garland? Oh that’s right… they were “playing nice,” as usual. Just simply couldn’t do anything about it. Oh dear.

      And so it goes…

      1. Darthbobber

        More than enough. Since they won’t even pressure the Kavanaugh leaners in their own ranks. So at least 3, prob 4 dems along with all reps.

        In the realm of “sharpening the contradictions”, this may set up a confrontation with the Supreme in the future.

        Either of the other branches have successfully ignored or overturned a hostile court when adequately motivated. Though the wailing appeals to the norm fairy would be loud indeed.

        Most crisis-inducing scenario: A recession equal to OR greater than ’08, a president/congress willing to take strong steps, and a court that blocks everything while the situation deteriorates further. (pre- Kavanaugh the court’s composition already had this possible future as a not unlikely one.)

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Looks like the D nominee would have to promise expanding the court to 13.

        Of course, anticipatng that, Trump could do that now, adding 4 more Republicans.

        Which means, the promise would have to be updated from 13 to 21 or something like that.

        Thinking 2 moves ahead, perhaps Trump proposes to do that now, thereby adding 12 more (21 minus the current 9 = 12…all those spots go to his picks).

        In evolution, this is called, well, evolution…you evolve this, and I will evolve that.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          The court packing idea lacks imagination. How about creating a parallel court that takes jurisdiction that the SC should never have taken on? Or even a few such courts? Pull authority away from the SC and it will wither away.

            1. Bugs Bunny

              More specialist courts with subject matter expertise. IP courts, technology courts, criminal conspiracy courts, etc. Give them very limited subject matter jurisdiction.

              1. JTMcPhee

                You already got a whole bunch of specialized parallel courts in lots of administrative areas- VA, Social Security, various areas of “finance,” Of course the whole “military justice” oxymoron.

                The models are there. In many cases there’s no need to add courts, the adjudicate functions and their attendant lawyers and “special rules and laws” are already in place.

      3. TSD

        Why can’t Congress just use This portion of Article 2 Section 3 of the constitution to circumvent judicial review?

        “In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sounds like it will require the Court to clarify.

          Do we need Constitution amendments to change it, if Congress can just legislate while claiming such exceptions?

          1. Andrew Watts

            This constitutional authority was used during post-Civil War reconstruction, An amendment added to the Habeas Corpus Act (1867) would require SCOTUS to achieve a 2/3rd’s opinion in any decision that would affect that law. It passed in the House but died in the Senate. When post-war reconstruction looked to be under threat an amendment was added to a tariff bill that stripped SCOTUS of it’s appellate jurisdiction with regards to that Act. The bill was ultimately vetoed by President Andrew Johnson.

            In Ex parte McCardle, the Supreme Court ruled that even though appellate jurisdiction was not derived from any act of Congress it was under congressional authority explicitly stating “with such exceptions and under such regulations as Congress shall make”. Essentially agreeing with that legal interpretation of that passage from the Constitution.

            1. Andrew Watts

              I should probably mention that if President Johnson hadn’t succeeded in vetoing that amendment it would’ve affected the ability of SCOTUS to review the Bush administration’s detainee / torture programs.

              In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006) SCOTUS found that the Bush administration violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions through their military tribunals. That wasn’t all though. Bush the Younger, bless his stupid mouth, gave away that the Hamdan decision affected the ability of our agencies to collect intelligence from detainees and protect the country.

              After that decision Congress tried to legalize the tribunals and provide a legal basis for torture by overriding the authority of SCOTUS through the Military Commissions Act of 2009. President Obama brought the matter to a close when he signed an executive order that forced the intelligence agencies to follow the Uniform Code of Military Justice as a basis for treatment of detainees as prisoners of war while acknowledging that we tortured some folks.

              1. Andrew Watts

                The danger of Congress making use of this constitutional authority should readily be apparent. I ran across the McCardle case while researching the Bush era torture programs and the various legal decisions by SCOTUS that affected detainees at Gitmo and elsewhere.

                One of the factors driving the internal political collapse of our country is the fact that everybody in power wants to avoid any accountability to the voters for their decisions. It’s much easier for our elected politicians to use the executive and/or judicial branch as a scapegoat for their electorate base. That’s why Congress won’t ever use this legal authority for the good of the American people.

                The predicament can be emphatically stated that without any democratic accountability there isn’t any credibility in our government. This ongoing development inevitably undermines the faith and trust in Congress as an institution. Which isn’t to say our current lot is deserving of it.

        2. Darthbobber

          Its been done. The Radical Reconstructionists prevented SCOTUS demolition of the reconstruction acts by amending the Judiciary Act to remove jurisdiction over them from its purview.

      4. Pat

        Hey, there was a route to derail this, you notice they aren’t taking it. NOR have they really done anything to stop any of the other appointments made by Trump. I feel like I’m back in the days of ACA battle when they were jettisoning pretty much everything that might upset their donors to ‘get Republican votes’ prior to passing it with none in reconciliation. Amazing what the Republicans can get with a slim majority and how much the Dems had to jump through hopes to screw their voters with a super majority. Wheeeeee!

        Perhaps the Democrats should have to wear t-shirts with “Token Resistance” especially since if I can’t have the Nascar style jumpsuits that Michael Moore suggested once.

        1. RUKidding

          Not only has Big D done bupkes to stop Trump appointments, Schmuck Chumer did a big old reach around last week to give the Rs a huge number of appointments – like 12 or 15 – just so he could go on Vacay.

          Yeah, tell me again why the Ds are so much better than the Rs??? What have they done for us in the past 15 to 20 years??? What??

          Also recall that St Barry of the Obamanation did precious little to get rid of WBush’s appointments throughout the govt services, nor did he do much to get judges appointed. But oh, yes, let’s blame that all on mean bully Republicans who wouldn’t “let” Obama do anything.

          1. Pat

            Yeah, I noticed Chucky being ever so ‘gracious’, rather than picking three Dems not up for election to make sure there was always a Dem in the chamber and pull that unanimous consent move on McConnell making any action by the Senate pretty much impossible.

            I know they like to delude themselves that Americans want that working together thing, but in reality – no they don’t. I really couldn’t believe that he was so fucking obvious, especially as they were supposedly going home to campaign for themselves and other Democrats.

            But hey, I’m the one that says they don’t want the majority, if so his actions and those of other Democratic leaders DO make sense. My deluded blue state Dems just like to kid themselves.

            1. Richard

              Their actions speak very loudly. The dems are uninterested in competing against the repubs except along the thinnest strand of propriety and show trial treason. And even that is less an attempt to win office, than an alibi for 2016. A finger-wagging, hectoring style, with no connection to real lives and zero public appeal. They just don’t care.

        2. polecat

          How bout’ “Tokin Resistance while jumpin through hopes” ..

          Thought I’d utilize your probable spelling error to good effect .. while changing the other cuz the Democrats surely must be rip-roaring high* to have become so lame and ineffectual !

          *apologies to actual responsible mj aficinados everywhere.

      5. Mo's Bike Shop

        I suspect that after 40 years of ‘but the Supreme Court’ that nerve is dead. A sufficiently motivated congress could just pass a ‘women are people too’ continuing resolution and get it over with.

        1. polecat

          But That would ruin the GAME now, wouldn’t it !
          … an our ‘know better’ betters wouldn’t want That to happen now, would they .. the ants having power ..

      6. John Wright

        I remember the Clarence Thomas hearings, the SC justice that the Repubs dared the Dems to not confirm because he was black.

        Judicial committee chair Demorat Joe Biden marginalized Anita Hill and rather than force the Repubs (Bush I) to nominate a less conservative (black/white/yellow) justice, Clarence Thomas was approved,

        And to judge from Biden’s career, he has maintained his “regular guy” image.

        The Dems may even want Kavanaugh approved so they can campaign against him next election.

        The Repub and Dem hierarchies win, while the general population loses.

        1. roxy

          I wrote letters to every committee member urging them not to confirm Clarence T. The single response I got was a postcard from Strom “speak into the machine!” Thurman.

    2. PKMKII

      The Booker stunt was classic #Resistance: make a big public gesture that looks like you’re putting your career on the line for what’s right, and then the quiet disclosure that it was all an empty sham. Not a snowball’s chance in hell we’ll see any of these crooks make a real sacrifice to keep Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court.

      1. RUKidding

        Yeah. That was classic, that one.

        A lot of D voters were clapping and cheering and then suddenly it was all BOGUS… oh, ooops, the documents in question had already been released the day before or something.

        Wasn’t Grassley in on the scam? Wasn’t he the one wagging his finger at Booker and severely chiding him for releasing these super secret documents that would “ruin Booker’s career.”

        What an absolute crock of b.s.

        Talk about collusion, that was one fine example of it. Heard it on the radio.

        Yeah, these Big Ds always taking it on the chin for the little guy…. NOT.

      2. barefoot charley

        Yes, plus the nothingburger he Sparticused over was nothing more than an email subject line, racial profiling. Its text was about how to avoid it immediately after 9/11 until norms avoided it permanently in a few months. Not one word about content. BS almost as shameless as Kamala’s cross examine of the perp, er, nominee where she triumphantly reeled in his confession that he didn’t know the name of every employee of Trump’s lawyer’s law firm. Then for the presidential campaign cameras she struck her pose, “Gotcha, perp!” Sickening.

    3. Kurtismayfield

      The Dems have done nothing to stop the Republicans from getting exactly what they want on judges.

      No battle for Merrick Garland ( who was a typical centrist center right Dem at best)
      Deals for all of Trump’s picks for the lower courts
      This Kavamaugh Kabuki Theatre.

      At this point you have to assume that this is exactly what their donors want.

  5. Summer

    Finally watched the Nike/C.K. ad.
    Abstract drivel that has nothing to do with social movements. The most important thing to note is the focus on individual achievement. It’s funny that the shoe burners find it threatening. Nothing is saying “not a damn thing has changed” like people idenifying with a corporation.

    1. Anon

      Lots of Millenials (skateboarding) in the ad. Basically a non-competitive, individual sport where prestige is gained through skill development. Maybe Nike is trying to steal consumers from Vans (skateboarding shoe).

    2. JohnnyGL

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1WFJuLQhjI – Yvette Carnell’s take.

      Yvette’s take has been the best I’ve seen so far. She looked at it from the NFL’s perspective: They froze out Kapernick, but had a public relations problem because it was so flagrantly obvious that he was being frozen out and he has a ton of support from black Americans.

      In steps Nike as a kind of clean up crew for this. In the spring, Nike and NFL sealed up an 8 year deal. Perhaps part of that was to brush up the image of the league and take the heat for the Kapernick problem. So, Nike with this ad campaign, smoothly shifts the message away from one of protest and speaking truth to power, to one of individual sacrifice and achievement…and blurs racial lines with the standard tropes about ‘diversity’.

      They’ve basically bought off Kapernick and I suspect we’ll see him fade out of public view (not sure how this plays into the lawsuit he’s got, though).

      “Just because the right wingers are mad, doesn’t mean we’re winning” – YC. Good quote from her and was amply true during the Obama years.

      1. dcrane

        Thanks for that link….she’s an interesting Youtuber (or wherever that was originally streamed). We will have to see if you are right, by what Colin says going forward….maybe he’s just getting a check while he can.

        It was interesting to hear the original Kopernick interview. And btw I hadn’t heard that he said it was an “embarrassment” that Hillary and Donald were the two prez candidates in 2016….awesome. No wonder they’ve tried so hard to shut that guy down.

    3. Big Tap

      I didn’t watch it either. Kaepernick’s Nike ad is simply misguided. When I think about Nike it is regarding abhorrent child labor practices not free speech social movements. I am glad he’s getting paid to appear in it so he can at least make some money. Also destroying stuff you already paid for to protest something never made sense to me as an effective approach.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I’m curious what Kapernick does next, if anything. He may well disappear from public view. I think the deal with Nike is a kind peace agreement/pay off on behalf of the NFL, laundered through Nike’s PR Dept. (see my comment above, Yvette’s idea, not really mine).

        I suspect Kapernick never thought the reaction to what he was doing to be so unhinged and extreme and he probably felt like he got in way over his head and didn’t think they’d just flat out terminate his career over it.

        It’s hard to blame him for taking the ‘buy out’ offer that was on the table.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I believe Ray Lewis mentioned that the Ravens were close to a deal with him, and his girl friend messed it up.

          1. cybrestrike

            I’d take anything Ray Lewis said about the situation with a huge grain of salt. He’s been caping for NFL ownership the whole time.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Most of the time, we are not in trouble for destroying stuff we have already paid.

        And if we still owe on that (shoes, cars, smartphones…hard to buy them all cash), it’s still better than to destroy stuff we don’t own (we own either with or without debt).

  6. RUKidding

    I keep reading various articles and headlines – and breathless radio reports – about how great the economy is and how low unemployment is and how high wages are… mostly all attributed these days to the Trump Admin.

    The chart provided by Lambert belies all the usual hype. Yeah yeah there have been some small incremental increases in wages for the proles but almost not worth mentioning. But for the Fat Cats: YAHOO, YAY, ZIPPY, SKIPPY!!!!!! Thanks for that big fat tax scam, which significantly reduced taxes for Trump, himself, and all of his billionaire buddies (he hopes they’re his buddies). I got a tax increase. It’s the usual for me: whenever – and I mean almost every single time – Republicans “cut taxes,” my taxes increase. Never fails. Thanks for screwing me over, Trump.

    Although I am fortunate to be earning a good salary, my salary has remained pretty stagnant – in terms of cost of living – for at least the past decade. Yeah, we typically get some sort of COLA, but it has certainly not kept up real cost of living increases.

    The usual b.s. hype and spin, which so many citizens are eager to “believe,” no matter what.

      1. Steely Glint

        That’s the truth. My spouse has been unemployed for 16 months. Was happily working as IT architect for farm services (finally contributing for the general welfare & not corporate profit), and in spite of sequestration the Trump transition team decided to cut the budget by 20%. Whole team of 20 laid off. I’m sure people in that situation are not among those counted. I know people think of a job guarantee as forest services, etc., but government services badly need IT updating services.

        1. Pat

          Unfortunately that is not an area of government services that our leaders consider important, no not the IT updating services – farm services. I would be willing to bet that the IT departments of Congress, the Pentagon, CIA/FBI weren’t hit. I’m hitting a blank on which government services the major donors might need, but I’d also bet their IT losses were minimal to non-existent.

          I’m truly sorry about your wife, her fellow workers and yes those Americans who might need to interact with farm services, plus no doubt many other government entities.

          It is like finding out there is a dedicated DMV at the Pentagon, reminds you there are many rungs on the ladder of who gets good government services…and whose can be cut regardless of actual importance.

          1. Steely Glint

            Thanks Pat. So few people know anything about Farm Services & the clinics & community centers, etc. that are funded. Dems say they will investigate the cuts, as they can’t arbitrarily be made. Thing was, this job was through a subcontractor, to another contractor, making two layers btw. the job & employee. Cream is so frothy & yummy for certain people. That’s why I am so for a jobs guarantee & people being able to work for the gov. w/o all the go-betweens. Perhaps the idea is to get rid of more people joining gov. unions ( I remember a fierce fight when Home Land Sec. was formed & whether it would be a union shop), or less people being able to enjoy the benefits of gov. health insurance, another reason for medicare of all.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          I worked as an IT architect of sorts for the MIC. What happened to your husband happens much the same within those IT services closer to the MIC. IT people are expendable no matter where they owe their allegiances. I survived to within years of retirement age — but that was purely luck and nothing more.

  7. Tomonthebeach

    1 in 10 Americans think they will die in debt.

    No comments in links today, so I thought I would take a sec to point out what junk science, if you can even call it science, the article was. Both reports cited in the article as the basis for alarm were promo reports written to frighten and attract new business.

    Key crap findings: Most older people die in debt, so you are at risk of poverty. While a few of the deceased had some modest mortgage debt (likely co-signs for offspring) most debt was medical bills, credit cards and car liens. It is rather rare for dying people to be paying bills their last several months of life. Moreover it is quite common that they are racking up medical bills while dying as well. As for car liens, most elderly people have cars, and 90% likely cannot pay cash for replacements. So, what is just ordinary life before death for most elderly is hyped as retirement poverty.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Isn’t the key, here, the ability to borrow needed money before death?

      To the dead, it matters not how much is owed.

      “Still owes the money lender. You can’t pass the Pearly Gates.”

        1. Tomonthebeach

          The sad thing is that after your check bounces, it usually lands on your heirs. Once you finally get around to disposing of mom or dad’s effects, you often face drawers full of unopened bills, banks statements, utility company notices of intent to shut off the water, etc. Whatever is in the estate, evaporates like a gram of dry ice in the sun.

          I suppose sometimes that is the legacy one’s family deserves.

  8. BoyDownTheLane

    The Sackler opiod game is simply and classically the Hegelian dialectic in action; profit from helping to create the problen and then profit again from solving the problem created.

    WIth regard to the OpEd NYT act of sedition, it has been noted by Wikileaks in its Twitter feed that “the author is likely to be an older (58%), conservative (92%) male (66-87%). Sources should protect themselves by consulting “adverserial stylometry” and “forensic author profiling”.” Yet another source says that the essay was run through http://turnitin.com and came up as a 100% match for something written by a USC student. It is further noted that what’s going on very closely mirrors what went down in the days before JFK was assassinated.

    1. Lee

      The hype around Purdue’s opioid, Oxycontin, was that because it was time released it was less addictive than the immediate release versions. This turned out to be bull shit. The hype around the new improved form of buprenorphine on offer is that it is time released.

        1. JCC

          I saw that. Beside that stupid statement that they never saw it coming, there was this:

          “Are we ready for the next crisis? In some respects, yes. Reforms of financial regulation have helped make the system more resilient, making a crisis less likely to occur. Banks and other key financial institutions are financially stronger, and the gaps in regulatory oversight have largely been closed. Regulators are more attuned to systemwide risks.”

          So, if they’re so smart, have them explain this.

    2. Jonathan T McPhee

      Re NYT Gutless Wonder: Is anyone going to point out that the “unitary presidency” has for decades been a “managed position,” where Power Players decide what “options” and information get presented to the president? Take the Reagan years: senescence, bleeding into active Alzheimers, and “who ran the country” (to the extent that such a vast generalization can be stated without endless footnotes)?

      As to “administrative nullification,” by disgruntled or dedicated bureaucrats, a couple of points. First, there are huge, hemi-demi-semi- or full-on plenipotent parts of the nominal Constitutional Political Economy, that just ignore presidential directives and initiatives, and go off on their own all the time — increasingly, with their own private “budgets” and funding sources and armies. CIA, MIC, NSA, “fusion,” etc. Here’s one bit of what is going on, straight out of the old Heritage Foundation’s playbook: “Today we are announcing our intent to establish a standard organizational structure for EPA’s regional offices that more closely aligns with EPA’s headquarters’ structure.” http://files.constantcontact.com/1235d04e001/a4acc06b-23f3-4651-80b2-65c548e53ffa.pdfLooks all rational and innocuous, right? Pure power grab, and destructive of whatever regulatory capacity the Agency bosses have not yet gutted.

      And speaking of the Reagan years, and thereafter, I worked through that “presidency” in the US EPA, 1978-90, and there was a pretty significant insurgency there, doing our darndest to thwart the “pro-business initiatives of the executive,” albeit during a period when the Doppelgangers in Congress did some actual investigations and had not completely disappeared into “four hours of fundraising, every single day,” and subsequently rubber-stamping the “policies” and ‘draft bills” passed to them by Loyal Lobbyists for big corporations and other inimical interests.

      To this day, there are ordinary civil service people there and in other agencies that are fighting increasingly bitter and largely futile rear-guard actions to try to protect what’s left of stuff like the “precautionary principle.” While the avid New Hires bring their predisposition to the neoliberal cause with them, don’t even need to be threatened with consequences and trained up in neolib-think.

      That refractory effort against the Reagan Anschluss was minutely easier when there was a “press” that still carried the notion that corruption was Very Bad and deserved to be spotlighted and shamed and where possible, jailed and forced to regurgitate ill-gotten gains.

      Of course the pond scum and pathogens that rule and own us mopes now are well into learning and either crushing, or using, the guerilla tactics that were employed back then. With full cooperation from the rest of the rulership, of course including the media. So that the “story” is just “who is the Gutless Wonder,” coupled with the drumbeat of regicidal initiatives from what we are not supposed to call the Deep or Dark State?

      Why is it that empires always come to this? Little sniping impunity-shielded sh!ts, conducting class warfare against the mopery, and scratching and clawing for personal advantage and advancement, all comfortably closeted inside the Imperial Dome? While we mopes shovel in the wealth that fuels the fires that eventually burn the edifice down?

  9. a different chris

    I don’t understand what you are getting at?

    >most debt was medical bills, credit cards and car liens.

    2 out of the 3 would gobsmack any European….it’s pretty American to say “most elderly” when the correct data point is “most elderly Americans…”

    1. JBird

      I thought we Americans were Blessed by God making us the Center of the Universe and all.


      More seriously, this American wants to know, if it is credit card cards or car liens, that’s the second gobsmacker?

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    French economist Thomas Piketty said the “most striking” finding regarding America is that, since 1980, “the rise of national income going to the top 1% mirrors the fall of the bottom 50%” The income share for the bottom 50% plunged from 20% to 12%https://www.thisisinsider.com/income-inequality-us-economy-chart-thomas-piketty-2018-9 …

    6:15 PM – Sep 6, 2018


    Looking at the chart, it seems easy to conclude that the 1% have been taking from the bottom 50%.

    In the back of the mind, if somewhat fuzzily, sits the notion that they have “ONLY” taken from the bottom 50%, and not, say those in the, say, 60% to 69% percent, or the 80% to 89%.

    I am quite sure the author does not imply that, and it would be nice to have other lines added to the graph.

  11. Lee

    Pass It On: Sheep and Moose Teach Knowledge Of Migration Routes

    Ungulate migration behavior is not instinctual, as it is in some species, but learned and taught. A process that develops over many years and generations.

    Similarly, when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, it was understood that various packs differed as to their preferred prey species. They specialize, often ignoring other available hunting opportunities. So wildlife managers decided to introduce Canadian wolf packs that specialized in hunting elk, which were over-abundant in Yellowstone.

    1. Jean

      We have a nearby area that the deer use as a path from one area to another. We are trying for reasons not worth mentioning to close that area to the deer while providing a nearby path that is just as good. The damn deer keep crashing through our barriers and ignoring the alternate that is wide open a few yards away.

      My contention is that if we can get just one generation of deer to use the new path, that will be what they use forever as their young follow the parents example.

      1. The Rev Kev

        How about going online and buying predator pee – say, wolf urine. I have no idea how effective that would be but if it is, just mark the borders of where you do not want those dear to travel through.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      An interesting observation … but what more can you deduce? What might the wanderings of the ungulates suggest for the wanderings of homo sapiens?

  12. Unna

    From the Links if I can comment about an article here,

    Witches upset over religious blasphemy. What’s this world coming to? These witches should be happy and support this product instead of mimicking their monotheist opponents with protestations of moral outrage. In fact the Covens should get together and extract a paid endorsement from this company and include on the packaging a link to an age appropriate site introducing children to the practice of witchcraft. And they should lobby the company to introduce a similar product specifically targeting boys, different colours you know, with a Tarot deck oriented along the themes of masculine energy. Wiccans have no problem recognizing gender differences and even celebrating them – it’s what their religion in part is all about. Moreover, they should stop being so, what is it, “self referential”, and start thinking about the kids. What other chance do many privileged middle class children who come from religiously conventional households have to become familiar with the Old Religion.

  13. none

    Why does it matter if Kavenaugh is or isn’t confirmed? If he’s rejected won’t there be a new nominee who’s just as bad? It’s not like there’s a shortage.

    1. polecat

      It might not matter, if the country, through whatever process(es), enters into the accretion dis-combobulation events horizon, and exits as a scattering of mini-republics, kingdoms, and/or city-states …

      1. Lee

        More and more these days I’m thinking “phk the federal gubmint”; direct action, strikes, local and state initiatives, or various forms of pro-social outlawry are the way to go.

    2. WobblyTelomeres

      I suppose in the rosiest of worlds, Kavenaugh is blocked, the Dems retake the Senate by a slim margin and block any Trump nominee until 2020..

        1. Lee

          “All my crucifixions were rosy ones.”
          —–Henry Miller

          Apropos of nothing herein, perhaps, but I’ve always been fond of what I take to be Mr. Miller’s recognition that he suffered from First World problems. That we should all be so fortunate in our misfortune should be the goal of a decent society.

          1. Mo's Bike Shop

            Well, Rosicrucian allusion as well I assume, whatever that would be. Not that familiar with HM. AN, well maybe :) And only passing familiarity with the Rosey Cross stuff.

            Which puts me free associating how Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are the most perfect names for a couple of suck ups. Well done Bill.

            *I went to wikipedia while spell checking and they have ‘rosary’ and ‘golden star’ as the meaning of the names. They need to get out more.

      1. JohnnyGL

        But, the problem with that rosie scenario that you describe above means that the Supreme Court won’t be an effective check against a very popular, determined President Sanders when 2021 rolls around.

        It’s almost as if the uni-party is getting ready to put the brakes on the insurgent left before it even takes power!

    3. perpetualWAR

      One thing we also have never commented on: the executive branch stuffing the judiciary with appointed judges. Then, these same appointed judges run unopposed in virtually every election.
      I calculated 65% of the King County Superior judges were appointed by the executive branch. That is some influence!! If the party has control of over half of the court?

    4. Heliopause

      “Why does it matter if Kavenaugh is or isn’t confirmed? If he’s rejected won’t there be a new nominee who’s just as bad?”

      Yes, the Dems would basically have to oppose absolutely anybody Trump nominates if they are truly beholden to principle, which would be fine with me but they have important cocktail hours and tee times to attend to. They’d come up with some bogus rationale for why the next nominee is microscopically less conservative than Kavanaugh and confirm that person.

      Kennedy voted on the “correct” side of some important decisions, most notably regarding same-sex relationship rights, but the reality is that on most of the decisions that get people riled up he wasn’t our saviour. He didn’t save us from W Bush, he didn’t save us from Citizens United, he’s not the one who saved Obamacare, and on and on.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Is there any possibility that Obama will ever understand that he was the vector of the disease? Trump’s been a boil on America’s bum for thirty years. It took BHO’s weaponized insouciance to enable Trump’s eruption.

  14. Roger Smith

    “Hey! Hello, Illinois! I-L-L! I-L-L! I-L-L!

    Okay, okay. Just checking to see if you’re awake. Please have a seat, everybody. It is good to be home. It’s good to see corn.

    Beans. I was trying to explain to somebody as we were flying in, that’s corn. That’s beans. And they were very impressed at my agricultural knowledge.”

    I think I am going to be ILL if I read any more of this crap.

    READ: Obama rebukes Trump in fiery speech

    “It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say we don’t target certain groups of people based on what they look like or how they pray.”

    Un..less they are nazi sympathizers? Because he goes on to say we have to stand up against that particular group, whether or not they are practicing within the laws governing the United States. Please go away and take your library with you.

    It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause.

    That’s right! YOU ARE PART OF THE CAUSE! Thank you, goodnight ILL-ANNOYING!


    And then the reckless behavior of financial elites triggered a massive financial crisis, ten years ago this week, a crisis that resulted in the worst recession in any of our lifetimes and caused years of hardship for the American people, for many of your parents, for many of your families. Most of you weren’t old enough to fully focus on what was going on at the time, but when I came into office in 2009, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. 800,000. Millions of people were losing their homes. Many were worried we were entering into a second Great Depression. So we worked hard to end that crisis, but also to break some of these longer term trends.

    And we helped!

    1. JohnnyGL

      It’s really classic Obama….wonderful, sharp, insightful observations, he’s a smart guy, after all.

      And, as always, a complete refusal to acknowledge that Obama himself had any role in actively making it worse or had any power to stop it. Amazing that a guy can be president for 8 years and thinks it’s reasonable to talk like he was never in charge.

    2. marym

      I have no intention of defending Obama’s policies (which also harmed minority and vulnerable populations) or his proposed lakefront monstrosity. However, unless he’s proposing that the power of the state be invoked against Nazi sympathizers who themselves advocate using the power of the state to eliminate people based on demographic characteristics, you may be overstating the meaning of the phrase “stand up against” a bit.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Obama said, ‘How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.’

        The law is that the power of the state shall be used to deport Nazis or ex-Nazis. Formerly, in Germany, one became one by being a member of that party.

        In contrast, it’s not clear who a Nazi sympathizer is. Is a Bernie Bro one? According to many Hillary supporters, Bernie Bros are racists. From Wikipedia, Bernie Bro:

        MTV correspondent Jamil Smith described these people as engaging in “trolling, misogyny, and ‘hipster racism.'”[8]

        Is it that hard to label people Nazi sympathizers?

        1. marym

          There are people in the US, including people in the US government, who advocate for white supremacy, and for the use of the power of the state to eliminate the presence, and/or limit the participation of other groups.

          Obama made a speech encouraging people to “stand up against” such advocates through speaking and voting.

          There are (I’m not educated as to the details) US and international policy/law for dealing with war criminals from Nazi Germany.

          These are three different things.

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        As someone who is German- and Slavic-American — and likes it! — can I just give a big fat raspberry to the Democrat Party’s choice of scapegoats? Picking on ‘white’ Europeans will not erase the Party’s history of class division.

        1. flora

          Particularly when white euro-ancestry Americans may not be amenable to seeing themselves as a supplicant id pol “tribe” in the Dem party estab’s fractionalized universe. Or may not see the Tammany Hall model of the Dem party as the best model, or one to be promoted in a modern democracy.

    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      Un..less they are nazi sympathizers?

      The punch-a-n*zi crap is exasperating. Imposing your beliefs on others through physical force is fraught with blowback. Simple outside activities like chess or wrestling or visiting the DMV should knock that into anybody’s head. But there are a lot of people on the internet who don’t get out much. For me the cool thing about the Enlightenment was the idea of getting to a rule of law where everyone could acknowledge their strengths and differences.

      1. marym

        There are plenty of issues on which to criticize Obama, but here he merely recommended respectful debate and voting. Maybe talk to (if you prefer not to punch) the ethnic cleansing proponents about acknowledging strengths and differences.

        1. flora

          Well, I’m not sure. I’d like to believe this, but after 2 years of equating the current pres and his voters with the N, and dog-whistling same, but lower functionaries of the Dem estab, I’m not so sure. I’ve heard normally delightful, violence abhoring, educated, liberal, generous, thoughtful people say shockingly violent, hateful things about their fellow Americans based solely on the election outcome. And one of those thing is that the current pres and his supporters must be closet N’s… must be… and should be stopped by any means necessary… (It floored me to hear this vile scalding lava spewing from people I have always thought balanced and relatively sane.)

          If the dog-whistlers spend 2 years whispering or shouting that the current pres is a N sympathizer, or even an N, and then the former pres says “unless they are N sympathizers”… well he might being saying that in all innocence, or he might not. It’s so hard to tell these days. That in itself is shocking. just my 2¢.

          1. marym

            Current pres, people in his administration, some of his supporters in the general public, and the Charlottesville-tiki-torch genre of activists who also claim to be his supporters are pretty clear about their white supremacy perspective, and about using state power and/or individual violence to achieve it.

            It does further harm to civic life to refer to Trump or to every Trump voter as a N-, but it’s not (my 2¢) a dog-whistle to refer to the sub-set of people who sport N- insignia or promote notions of racial purity as N- sympathizers.

            1. flora

              I don’t disagree with your last para. (“I hate Illinois Nazis” – Jake and Elwood).

              But I can’t recall any previous occurrence of a former pres giving his blessing to civic violence of any kind.

              1. marym

                What am I missing here? He didn’t call for violence of any kind. He said

                It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say we don’t target certain groups of people based on what they look like or how they pray. We are Americans. We’re supposed to standup to bullies.

                Not follow them.

                We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up, clearly and unequivocally, to Nazi sympathizers.

                How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.

                and then he went on and on about respectful debate, inclusiveness, and voting.

                It was the actual current president who didn’t condemn the little nazis at Charlottesville until he was called out for it, and subsequently regretted even that little bit of forced criticism. I think that was probably the reference in that part of Obama’s speech.

                It dilutes serious criticism of Obama for his policies if a political speech mildly suggesting speaking out against overt racists, and telling people to vote is portrayed promoting violence.

              2. marym

                I had a longer reply, including a quote from the speech. It may have gone to moderation, but this is important. He didn’t advocate violence or “give his blessing” to violence of any kind. What a shocking thing to propagate here! He advocated respectful debate, inclusiveness, and voting. Voting.

                He did say it shouldn’t be hard to say – SAY – that N-‘s are bad. It shouldn’t be, imo, and this was probably a reference to recent reporting that the current pres, who barely said it under pressure after Charlottesville, regretted even that.

                1. Roger Smith

                  He is invoking the contemporary propaganda that “everyone I don’t like is a Nazi”. He isn’t making some passionate, heartfelt speech. It is dog whistling. This use is useful as it serves to blur the lines between actual extremist views and standard counter views. It is shameful but part for the course with the current mainstream discourse, and especially for Obama.

                  I think this portion of the thread is missing the point still. It doesn’t matter if those people are (or are not) white supremacists (or gay, or latino, or identity token X, or first generation immigrants, or…). The entire point of this country is to create a higher level of societal existence not based on tribalism, but based on common civic values. So long as they are operating under the accepted law as it applies to everyone (ex. permits for protests, not breaking laws etc…) then there are no issues. You don’t have to like them, but that doesn’t mean they are to be antagonized and pressured ideologically in a manner of over compensation. If anything that will produce worse results. Why can’t we just let that subset of people (smaller than the propaganda creators want it to be) well enough alone? This Daily Show smugness idea of forcing your own worldview, or what you think that worldview is as informed by positively reinforcing media, on others who do not fit within said view is a real contemporary problem, and it won’t win anyone over.

                  Since Charlottesville was brought up and without any doubt to the terrible quality of the injuries and death resulting from the clashes, those people would be alive or healthy, with loved ones today if they had minded their own business and, so long as the permitted group was following established law, let those people do so in peace. The real tragedy is that that woman died, not for glory or some meaningful ideological advancement, but as a rabid fool, done in by another rabid fool. The whole thing is truly sad. The strongest power we have over messaging is whether or not to listen, to acknowledge.

                  1. marym

                    This was the sequence of events: White supremacists at Charlottesville sported nazi insignia. On 9/5 media was buzzing that Woodward’s new book claimed Trump thinks his minor “clarification” of his post-Charlottesville “very fine people on both sides” statement was a mistake. On 9/7 Obama said what he said within a speech full of platitudes about inclusiveness, polite discourse, and voting.

                    Referring to people as nazis who style themselves as nazi’s doesn’t seem like dog-whistling or blurring lines, whether or not one believes he’s sincere in general and/or just making a smug retort to Trump.

                    People would be “alive or healthy” if people who shot, beat, maced, or ran them over hadn’t.

                    I don’t share the view that “antagoniz[ing] and pressur[ing] ideologically” with a counter-demonstration is an inappropriate response to white supremacy ideologues in government or in the public square.

        2. Mo's Bike Shop

          There are plenty of issues on which to criticize Obama, but here he merely recommended respectful debate and voting

          And he has already played on two good old ethnic dog whistles that bristle my sense of civil liberties–at an identity level. You know, there have been different flavors of demagoguery that the US has engaged in in the past. And nobody said sorry :)

        3. Mo's Bike Shop

          ‘Maybe talk to (if you prefer not to punch) the ethnic cleansing proponents about acknowledging strengths and differences.’

          Erm, I have never ever met anyone in my life, who was agreement capable, who was talking about that.

          I prefer not to punch. I prefer everyone takes a break from punching; today. Maybe if we all don’t punch anyone, today, and don’t do it again, tomorrow, it might become, a habit.

          But, you are your own person.

  15. Pat

    Last night while I was trying to point out that there are lots of reasons George W. Bush shouldn’t have been invited to McCain’s funeral, and I ended up getting into a set to with someone trying to tell me that what Donald Trump said flat out about McCain was more despicable than anything they could remember. Meanwhile they didn’t remember the dirty tricks played by the Rove/Bush machine during the 2000 primary, had just been reminded of the Swift Boat debacle of the 2004 election and I’m sure if I mentioned it they would have flatly disputed the racist actions of the Clinton campaign during the 2008 primary. All because I said at least Donald Trump was straightforward and held the knife himself. People really do have very very short memories. And boy has Trump pushed all their buttons.

    Yeah, this person loved the stunt anonymous OpEd, thought it was brilliant. They had totally missed that this was not a sign of either a honorable person acting in integrity, or the sign of a good underground resistance plan (because announcing what you are doing really really helps in that subverting the problem things). Nor had they honestly thought about what this person was really into subverting. Ooops.
    Sad to say this is not an unintelligent person.

    I did troll them a little with my statement that I wanted a “None of the Above” line on the ballot, and that I wasn’t entirely convinced that “None of the Above” might not have won in 2016. (I do want that ballot line, but am quite sure that one of the two hideous choices would have one regardless.) They grudgingly gave me that None might have been better even if I do think that it would be their second choice was unspoken.

    1. johnnygl

      It might help to ask what this person thinks will happen after trump is gone…more specifically…what are the area(s) that mike pence will be better on?

      You might have to explain that being less embarrassing on twitter isn’t actually important.

      Also, a big reason for the never ending string of offensive things that trump says is to convey that he won’t be censored or restrained. He doesn’t really believe most of them.

      1. flora

        Or, it might be interesting to ask this person if they think we are a nation of laws or of men. And if they do not understand the question, or if they understand the question but say “this is different”, then one can assume one is talking to an intelligent child, no matter their chronological age. my 2¢.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Went through all forty-nine slides and feel like I was watching somebody’s holiday snaps with a large side-serving of envy. Sorta like these TV programs that show you these multi-million dollar homes that demonstrate, if nothing else, that money does not equal taste. I like aircraft but those Gulfstreams don’t look that special nor do their interiors.

    2. c_heale

      To be honest, it’s just an airplane. Rich people want to distinguish themselves from the rest of us, and think that by having these touches of luxury they are somehow leading a better life, when really they are just wearing the emperor’s new clothes. However the process of making these ‘new clothes’ is destroying other people’s lives, and wrecking the planet.

        1. Alfred

          It’s invidious. The leg room phenomenon itself is about reminding you, by that most effective of means (sustained physical discomfort), of what some people have but you don’t. Disembarking the low-fare masses via the upper-class cabin(s) reinforces the lesson by putting the empty space that just minutes before had been leg room for the privileged few, on explicit display. It becomes clear that, while those in coach had barely had enough, those in first or business had had more than they could use. Memory of the resulting invidious comparison functions as a marketing device by making it likelier, the next time you fly, that you will sacrifice in some other area of your travel budget in order to afford a higher-priced ticket (or supplement). I disagree that rich people distinguish themselves by having luxuries. Instead, I align myself with Veblen’s theory that they distinguish themselves by making shows of having them (either directly, as on airplanes, or in mediated fashion, as through tv programs).

    3. Wukchumni

      For whatever reason, the dimensions of the $61.5 million jet’s cabin -perhaps carrying Unabankers, are eerily similar to that of Ted’s cabin.

    1. Carey

      Thanks for that link. I recently got Orlov’s ‘Shrinking the Technosphere’, which has
      some nice thoughts on our Digital Dystopia.

    2. Wukchumni

      I foresee a similar collapse here, but with the double-whammy coming in the idea that if the dollar is worth bupkis all of the sudden, imports would stop flowing in toot suite, with scant manufacturing capability here, nor the immediate desire to start up again amidst the turmoil of a people topsy turvy not knowing who to blame for putting paid to the American Dream, as they’ve been conveniently sorted into 2 camps of red & blue, and were coerced to go out and get armed & dangerous on their own dime, and the only thing needed is a call to arms, er, torsos & legs as well, in that we will be further feared into buying identifying uniforms in the correct hue.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Pretty cool. The Jay Goulds didn’t even have to pay half the mope class t kill the other half. And the Elites will rise up regardless, to their Elysiums and Peter Thiel instant citizenships in NZ…

        Interesting that “something” catalyzed the advent of the Current State Of Things, but for some reason nobody seems to have a clue about what catalyst might be stirred into the pot to uncurdle things…or maybe the longed-for incentive to make things “better” is nothing but phantasmagorical…

  16. WobblyTelomeres


    In 9/8/18 links, “JPMorgan Is Thinking Pitchforks and Fed Stock Buying in the Next Financial Crash”, the link goes to an Outlook Live mailbox.

  17. Wukchumni

    Tesla got whacked 6% for Elon smoking a doobie on air…

    How much would the stock tank on him lighting up a pipeful of dubious origin meth, or injecting fentanyl-laced heroin into an arm, or drinking a 32 ounce cup of truck stop coffee that was brewed a couple days ago and has been reheated twice since then?

    1. Edward E

      Fuel Stop Coffee always reminds me of a gal I went team driving with long ago… black, hot, bitter, ground up, full of glop, and barely potable

  18. Edward E

    They’ve made a catchy belt road theme song to the tune of “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” with kids from around the world singing it
    I’d like to build the world a road, and furnish it with love

    Grow apple trees and honeybees, and snow white turtle doves

    I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony

    I’d like to hold it in my arms, and keep it company

    I’d like to see the world for once, all standing hand in hand

    And hear the echo through the belt, of peace throughout the land

    I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony

    I’d like to hold it in my arms, and with my family

    I’d like to tell the world a truth, and keep it in my heart

    Community of shared future for mankind’s coming true

    It’s the Belt and Road, what the world wants today

    That’s the hope we will say, with the belt and road

    It’s the Belt and Road, won’t you hear what we say

    What the world needs today, it’s the real thing

    And this&that is what really started the trade war five years ago
    PBOC Says No Longer in China’s Interest to Increase Reserves

    Bloomberg News

    November 21, 2013, 2:52 AM CST

  19. Pat

    Andy Cuomo had a big photo op with Hillary Clinton for the opening of the second section of the new Tappan Zee Bridge aka Mario Cuomo Bridge. Unfortunately it didn’t really open because part of the old Tappan Zee still exists and could fall on the new bridge. Oops.

    More interesting is watching the local coverage, the two reports from NYC network affiliates local coverage were pretty straightforward. Mind you this was the morning coverage. Later this evening, after others could weigh in, the dedicated Spectrum/Charter local station had as long a section on it about how this was now being used to accuse the Governor of ignoring problems and pushing up the photo op to be just before Thursday’s primary. I’ll try to watch the 11 o’clock news on the affiliates to see if they also include that. Must admit that it was my first thought as well. I also didn’t realize that Andy was called Governor Photo Op by anyone although I did enjoy Nixon’s slam of “no wonder he is known as Governor Photo Op.”

    In other negative Cuomo news, apparently someone at the Times got curious about his travel. They reported he had the most air travel of any governor (planes and helicopter) in 2017. Almost two hundred flights, makes you wonder when he wasn’t flying. And this on a day when troubles abounded on the subway. Color me gobsmacked it happened before the primary in a paper that endorsed him days earlier.

Comments are closed.