2:00PM Water Cooler 10/5/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Trump’s ‘Historic’ Trade Deal: How Different Is It From Nafta?” [Bloomberg]. • Very handy. Well worth a read.

“Charge of the Lighthizer brigade” [Politico]. “U.S. President Donald Trump may be waging a trade war, but Robert Lighthizer is fighting the new Cold War. The U.S. trade representative and his crack troop of loyalists have been waiting years for an opportunity to go back to the glory days of Ronald Reagan, when America could swat off the Russians and the Japanese. Cruising beneath the chaos of the rest of the administration, the Lighthizer brigade are the well-oiled team that has a clear but ultra high-risk battle plan to smash China. Their goal is to restore the U.S. to its position of economic and political dominance, even if that means tearing up the liberal rule book of global trade to get there and dynamiting the World Trade Organization in the process, according to trade experts, negotiating counterparts and associates who have known Lighthizer and his team for decades.” • Turns out moving our manufacturing base to China wasn’t the greatest idea. Thanks, neoliberals! This article, too, is well worth a read.

“Throwing out the babies with the bathwater” [DC Velocity]. “According to Yu Miaojie, a vice dean at Peking University’s National School of Development, about one-third of China’s US$2 trillion in annual export value comes from a practice called ‘processing,’ where China imports raw materials and components from a dozen or so countries—including the U.S.—and turns them into finished goods for sale to the U.S. and European Union (EU). The imposition of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products may cut so deeply into Chinese firms’ process profitability that they will be forced to shut down some assembly lines, Miaojie told ‘NewsChina’ magazine in September. This, in turn, will reduce demand for raw materials, parts, and components from supplier nations, he said.” • No problem. The workers on the line can just go back to their villages, no?

“Epic Airbus-Boeing Fight Signals Long U.S.-China Trade War Ahead” [Bloomberg]. “For the better part of two decades, the U.S. and EU have battled at the World Trade Organization over aircraft makers Boeing Co. and Airbus SE. Complaints and counter-complaints alleged illegal government subsidies. Rulings by the arbiter of global trade were followed by more grumbles and threats of duties. And still the arguments rage on with no sign of a resolution. Now as America and China engage in a volley of tariffs, the inability of the U.S. and EU to resolve their dispute offers a key lesson for the burgeoning trade war: It’s going to be long and hard-fought.” • Both national champions Airbus and Boeing being products of industrial policy, which we desperately need.



31 days until Election Day. 31 days is a long time in politics (as we are seeing right now with Kavanaugh. And where’s Rosenstein? And October is the month of surprises… ).

“Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh clears crucial Senate hurdle” [Associated Press]. “The Senate voted 51-49 to limit debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with endless delays and moving the chamber toward a climax of a fight that has captivated the country since summer. With Republicans controlling the chamber 51-49, one Republican [Murkowski] voted to stop the nomination, one Democrat [Manchin] to send it further…. Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona voted yes. While the vote was a victory for the GOP, lawmakers can vote differently on the climactic confirmation roll call, which seems likely Saturday afternoon. Collins told reporters she would announce later Friday how she would go.” • Collins will announce at 3:00PM. Oh, and let’s not forget the DNC deck chair Perez said Democrats who supported Kavanaugh would still get Democrat money. So I guess Perez hates women, supports rape, yadda yadda yadda.

“We were Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking buddies. We don’t think he should be confirmed.” [WaPo]. “We were college classmates and drinking buddies with Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. In the past week, all three of us decided separately to respond to questions from the media regarding Brett’s honesty, or lack thereof. In each of our cases, it was his public statements during a Fox News TV interview and his sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that prompted us to speak out. We each asserted that Brett lied to the Senate by stating, under oath, that he never drank to the point of forgetting what he was doing. We said, unequivocally, that each of us, on numerous occasions, had seen Brett stumbling drunk to the point that it would be impossible for him to state with any degree of certainty that he remembered everything that he did when drunk.” • So, perjury. Therefore, impeachment, if Pelosi allows it. If the Democrats weren’t, well, what they are, DiFi wouldn’t have sat on the Ford material for months, other accusers would have been vetted and brought forward, and Kavanaugh would have been forced to defend himself earlier. It’s ridiculous this story is coming out the day before cloture! And the same effort, if the Democrats were serious, would have been put into every other candidate on the Federalist Society’s list.

“The rise and the reckoning: Inside Brett Kavanaugh’s circles of influence” [WaPo]. “Through the years, Kavanaugh, 53, a federal appellate judge since 2006, has been rich in friends, loyal and true. Teachers, parents, classmates, colleagues — they made it their business to buff and defend Kavanaugh’s reputation. They cheered him on as he climbed the ladder of legal success. And they rallied around him when he tripped on the way up. That turned out to be a job that extended over four decades, because as bright and kind and wise as friends say Kavanaugh is, he has also left behind a trail of people who say that his reckless behavior raises serious questions about his judgment and veracity.”

“Amy Schumer, Emily Ratajkowski Among 302 Arrested Protesting Kavanaugh” [Roll Call]. • What is it with liberal Democrats and celebrities?

“The War That Never Ends “[Amy Cook, Cook Political Report]. “[This] battle isn’t unique to the Trump era. It’s simply the latest in a never-ending war by both sides to justify their partisan behavior. Neither side has cornered the market on hypocrisy. It’s hard to take Republican claims of Democrats operating in bad faith seriously, when Republicans held up the nomination of Merrick Garland for much of 2016. It’s also hard to reconcile Democrats’ universal cries of ‘I believe her,’ with the terrible treatment many showed to Anita Hill, Monica Lewinsky and/or Paula Jones. Meanwhile, voters aren’t making the distinctions on policy or procedure or hypocrisy either. Instead, they rally behind their “team.” There’s no time for nuance; there is only time for war. So, war it will be for the foreseeable future.” • And let’s not forget Juanita Broaddrick.

The tropes! They b-u-r-r-r-n-n-n!!!!!!

There are two tropes liberal Democrats cannot quit. The first is calling their opponents stupid; the second is infantilizing them. This tweet is a fine example of the latter.

* * *

“November’s Most Important Ballot Measures” [Governing]. “On Election Day this year, voters in 38 states will cast a vote on 154 ballot measures. We parsed through them all. Below is a summary of the most important ones we have written about so far.” On ObamaCare: “Several red states will hold the first referendum on Obamacare since Congressional Republicans tried and failed to repeal it. Voters in Idaho, Montana, Nebraska and Utah will decide the fate of Medicaid expansion, a central tenet of Obamacare. The outcomes could set up showdowns between Republican governors and courts if they are unwilling to implement the policy.” • This is a really good wrap-up.

“Democratic Candidate in Tennessee Senate Race Says He Supports Kavanaugh” [GritPost]. “Former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D), who is neck-and-neck with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), is in support of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Bredesen, who served as governor between 2003 and 2011, recently issued a public statement saying that while he found Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony compelling, he would still vote to confirm Kavanaugh were he in the senate… To give Bredesen the benefit of the doubt, Donald Trump won Tennessee in 2016 with 60 percent of the vote, and it’s likely that a bulk of Tennessee voters would support Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.”

“data for politics #26: Florida Primaries” [Data for Progress]. “The trend is clear: younger Democrats who cast primary ballots are more likely to support Gillum than their older neighbors, and younger Republicans are less likely to support DeSantis. This sets up an interesting dynamic with a high potential for Republican defection among younger voters – precisely the voters unlikely to be accounted for in the polls that show the race as remarkably close.Adding to the intrigue is what happened in the 2016 presidential election. Across the board, more Democrats voted for Trump than Republicans voted for Clinton.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Democratic Corporate Fascism vs the Trump Kind” [Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report]. “In the real world, the world of actual human history, fascism arises as a reaction to grave threats to the capitalist order. During and after the First World War, the crises of capitalism and of intra-capitalist war gave birth to the Russian Revolution, and to desperate attempts at socialist revolution in Germany and Austria. The socialist threat spawned ultranationalist fascist movements across Europe, that seized power in Italy and Germany. I maintain that an earlier version of fascism arose in the Jim Crow regions of the United States, in reaction to the threat posed tdo the race-based ruling order by democratically empowered Black peasants and workers, during the brief Reconstruction period. The American South became the world’s first thoroughly racially regimented society, and a model for German and South African fascism…. The bulk of the corporate ruling class still do not trust Donald Trump, despite having neutered his foreign policy heresies. They are fascists — in that they seek to perfect the dictatorship of the most ruthless elements of finance capital — but their version of fascism is different from Trump’s old school, crudely race-based brand. Modern American corporate fascism is rooted in multinational corporate structures, and wedded to a concept of racial and cultural “diversity” that (they hope) is compatible with corporate dictatorship.” • Typically lucid; and I thought I was the only one in the world who put the post-Reconstruction South under the fascist rubric.

“America’s new aristocracy lives in an accountability-free zone” [David Sirota, Guardian]. “Let’s remember that in less than two decades, America has experienced the Iraq war, the financial crisis, intensifying economic stratification, an opioid plague, persistent gender and racial inequality and now seemingly unending climate change-intensified disasters. While the victims have been ravaged by these crime sprees, crises and calamities, the perpetrators have largely avoided arrest, inquisition, incarceration, resignation, public shaming and ruined careers. That is because the United States has been turned into a safe space for a permanent ruling class. Inside the rarefied refuge, the key players who created this era’s catastrophes and who embody the most pernicious pathologies have not just eschewed punishment – many of them have actually maintained or even increased their social, financial and political status.”

“What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia” [The Atlantic]. “Generally speaking, the journals that fell for Sokal Squared publish respected scholars from respected programs. For example, Gender, Place and Culture, which accepted one of the hoax papers, has in the past months published work from professors at UCLA, Temple, Penn State, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Manchester, and Berlin’s Humboldt University, among many others…. The sheer craziness of the papers the authors concocted makes this fact all the more shocking. One of their papers reads like a straightforward riff on the Sokal Hoax. Dismissing ‘western astronomy’ as sexist and imperialist, it makes a case for physics departments to study feminist astrology—or practice interpretative dance—instead.”

“Orthodoxxed!” [n+1]. • I don’t think Sokal Squared is a scientific paper. But the hoax papers are hilarious!

“Congressional Bloodshed: The Run-Up to the Civil War” [New York Times]. “[In Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War, Joanne B. Freeman notes] that the violence in Congress was like a spectator sport. Men and women crowded the congressional galleries with the expectation of seeing entertaining outbreaks, much the way fans of professional wrestling or hockey do today. Sometimes, she shows, French recorded in his diary his delight as a spectator. Describing the huge brawl of 1841, he wrote, “The Speaker & I had the best chance to see all the fun, & while he stood at his desk pounding & yelling, I stood at mine ‘calm as a summer’s morning’ — enjoying the sport, and keeping the minutes of the proceedings!” But Freeman never loses sight of the fact that the fighting in Congress was far more than a sport. It was part of the ever-escalating tensions over slavery.

PA: “Voters reported being blocked from Pa. election site — and from obtaining absentee ballots — as early as 2016” [The Inquirer]. “Pennsylvania election officials say they first learned last week that their new security measures blocking foreign access to state election sites were preventing voters abroad from accessing their absentee ballots. But voters living outside the country told the Inquirer and Daily News they had trouble much earlier.” • Thank you, expensive security consultants!

OH: “Challenge to Ohio’s voting roll purges persists after Supreme Court decision” [Plain Dealer]. “The plaintiffs say all voters the state deleted from the rolls from 1995 through 2016 through the disputed process upheld by the Supreme Court were actually removed unlawfully because the state’s notices for removal didn’t comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993… “In the case’s latest incarnation, the plaintiffs contend the notices Ohio voters were sent violated the law because they: didn’t give voters the deadline by which they needed to respond to avoid adverse consequences for their registration status;… didn’t inform voters of the consequences of failing to respond; didn’t provide information on how a voter registered in Ohio could remain eligible to vote if the person moved to another state.”

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, September 2018: “In a mixed report that keeps expectations for Federal Reserve policy in line, September payroll growth wasn’t as strong as expected but the unemployment rate went down and August gets a big upgrade” [Econoday]. “The key in all of this is wages and they’re showing steady — but not accelerating — pressure. Average hourly earnings rose an as-expected 0.3 percent in the month for a year-on-year 2.8 percent. The monthly revision to August, down 1 tenth to 0.3 percent, is also favorable, favorable that is if you’re the Federal Reserve worried about wage inflation.” And: “The headline jobs number at 134,000 for September was below consensus expectations of 180 thousand, however the previously two months were revised up by a combined 87 thousand. The unemployment rate fell to the lowest since December 1969. Overall this was a solid report” [Calculated Risk]. And but: “The household and establishment surveys were not in sync (understatement). The year-to-date employment is running above the pace of last year. Last month’s data was revised significantly upward. The growth this month was significantly under expectations. Just considering this month’s data – it was worse than last month” [Econintersect].

International Trade, August 2018: “Whether tariff effects are in play is uncertain. What is certain, at least for third-quarter GDP, is that the deficit in net exports is deepening at a substantial rate” [Econoday]. “Tariffs are an unfolding controversy which cloud the results for August. Not clouded at all, however, is the effect of net exports on third-quarter GDP which is substantially negative. But third-quarter GDP looks to get a favorable lift from welcome inventory growth and, perhaps, from consumer spending. Still the cross-border diagnosis in the third quarter, with one month still to go, looks to be clearly unfavorable.” And but: “The data in this series wobbles and the 3 month rolling averages are the best way to look at this series. The 3 month averages are declining for exports and improving for imports. The trade balance worsened” [Econintersect]. “Our analysis differs from the headline view in that BOTH imports and exports declined this month – but still, growth continues to be in the range seen for the last year.”

Retail: “Secret Amazon brands are quietly taking over Amazon.com” [Quartz]. “Amazon’s private label business is booming, on pace to generate $7.5 billion this year and $25 billion by 2022…. To accelerate that growth, the company is inviting manufacturers to create products exclusively for its collection of private brands.” • If your business depends on a platform….

Shipping: “Container volumes predicting strong holiday season” [FreightWaves]. “[W]e are seeing clear evidence that the current volumes are surging strongly. Although the data for September container volumes has not yet been released, the data from the trucks (which move freight from the port to destinations through the US) is confirming that the volumes are up strongly and that the fall shipping surge is in in ‘full force.'”

Shipping: “About 16.5% of organizations across several industries including warehousing now use commercial service robots, and 21.5% have them in pilot programs, according to an IDC survey” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “A review of CargoX’s Blockchain based Smart Bill of Lading and how it works.” [Shipping & Freight Resource]. Very detailed explanation and review from a shipping documents maven (the only one I know of). Their bottom line: “This presentation has convinced me about the usefulness of this platform and I feel a bit more optimistic about its potential and its future.” • Interesting…

Supply Chain: “Bloomberg’s spy chip story reveals the murky world of national security reporting” [TechCrunch]. “Even with this story, my gut is mixed… Naturally, people are skeptical of this “spy chip” story. On one side you have Bloomberg’s decades-long stellar reputation and reporting acumen, a thoroughly researched story citing more than a dozen sources — some inside the government and out — and presenting enough evidence to present a convincing case. On the other, the sources are anonymous — likely because the information they shared wasn’t theirs to share or it was classified, putting sources in risk of legal jeopardy. But that makes accountability difficult.” • I don’t want to go all CT on this, but haven’t a number of narratives in the last few years been driven by anonymous sources in the intelligence community? (Snowden, by contrast, was not anonymous….)

Fodder for the Bulls: “ECRI’s WLI Growth Rate Index Improvement Continues But Still Shows Insignificant Growth” [Econintersect]. “The current forecast continues to be for insignificant growth six months from today.”


“Scientists are creating a perfect tomato that Europe likely won’t touch” [Quartz]. • The perfect tomato is the only you just picked off the vine, that you’re eating, possibly with some mozzarella.

“Revealing the Dark Side of Wind Power” [Bloomberg]. “Lee Miller and David Keith of Harvard University looked at historical data on U.S. wind farms. In 2016, they found that the mean power density for 411 onshore wind-power plants was 0.50 watts per square meter. Figures were similar in the 26 years prior. Moreover, they found that wind plants encompassing the largest areas had the lowest power densities, as expected. This figure implies that meeting current U.S. electricity needs alone would require wind farms to cover fully 12 percent of the U.S. land area. Wind power has physical limitations…. [S]imulations revealed that interactions of the turbines with the atmosphere would likely lead to a redistribution of heat in the lower atmosphere, resulting in a 0.54 degrees Celsius (0.97 degrees Fahrenheit) warming within the wind farms’ region itself, and an increase of 0.24 degrees Celsius (0.43 degrees Fahrenheit) over the continental U.S. This result, they note, actually matches up pretty well with recent satellite observations of local warming around wind farms operating in California, Illinois, Iowa and Texas. They also found that an expansive wind farm would need to operate for more than a century or so before the reduction of global carbon dioxide emissions would offset the local warming effect.”

“Destruction in Palu” [Reuters]. • Terrific, graphic reporting on Palu, Palu is easily accessible from the sea. I can’t help but think that, just like Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico, the real story is in the interior.

Class Warfare

“Listen to Ep. 67: [UNLOCKED] Zombies Mistaken for Identities w/ Adolph Reed, Jr. from September 27, 2018” (podcast) [Dead Pundits Society].

“Economic Update: Black Socialists of America” (podcast) [Democracy at Work (UserFriendly)]. This week on Economic Update, Prof. Wolff delivers updates on Chicago hotel workers strike and Philadelphia parking lot attendants organizing, Cuomo’s centrist, money-dependent campaign for Governor, another socialist wins an election, McDonald’s workers strike in 10 cities against employer’s failure to stop sexual harassment. Professor Wolff interviews Z and Sean, two leaders of the new Black Socialists of America.”

“Election Landslide Raises Hopes for Mexican Labor” [Labor Notes]. “The landslide victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (“AMLO”) in the Mexican presidential election in July has raised workers’ hopes for a revitalized and democratized labor movement. Independent unions have formed a new federation. They hope to win progressive labor law reform and finally end the reign of corrupt, pro-employer unions. The pro-employer unions that make up Mexico’s main labor federation, the Congress of Labor (CT), especially the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), have historically been part of the PRI’s popular base. Top union leaders were nominated as the party’s senators and congresspersons…. The CT unions are the largest in Mexico, representing around 10 percent of the formal workforce, though they have been in decline in recent years. These unions were enthusiastic cooperators in the low-wage neoliberal economic strategy adopted by the Mexican political and economic elite in the 1990s— including signing on to NAFTA. Their plan was to grow the Mexican economy by attracting U.S. and Canadian investors with cheap labor….. One of the weaknesses of Mexico’s independent labor movement is that many of the unions are confined to single employers or single factories. In this new federation, the unions are joining together to influence national politics and to confront the auto industry, including its parts and component suppliers, with a united voice and the power of thousands of workers.” • Weirdly, I couldn’lt find the name of the new federation; I think it’s Industriall.

News of the Wired

“Heat Storage Hypocausts: Air Heating in the Middle Ages” [Low Tech Magazine]. “Hypocausts were heating systems that distributed the heat from an underground fire throughout a space beneath the floor. The heat was absorbed by the floor and then radiated into the room above….. Nevertheless, it was the Romans who developed the hypocaust into a more sophisticated heating system, especially in their public bath houses, which were built all across Europe and around the Mediterranean…. [A]lthough most public baths fell into disrepair in the Western Roman Empire, hypocausts continued to be built and used in the Early Middles Ages, especially in monasteries. The technology also lived on in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and was adopted in the hammams of the Arabs, who reintroduced the hypocaust to Western Europe when they built the Alhambra palace in the 13th century.” • Sounds a lot like a rocket stove?

Internet of sh*t:

I’m picturing a dystopian movie like, say, Blade Runnner 3, where Harrison Ford is being pursued by replicants, makes it back to his apartment, and puts the key in the lock… at which point the firmware update countdown begins. Then it hangs.

Perhaps the commentariat can help:

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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 (SED):


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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. Fellow Minnesotan

      You beat me to pointing out the gay trope. The democrats have a culture similar to a 6th grade class on the island of misfit toys. Just terrible.

      I always find MOA a bit too far out there to be reliable (similar to Pepe Escobar over at Asia Times)– am I being unfair?

      1. Carolinian

        In this particular instance the articles he references are skeptical but not completely dismissive of the chip hack claim. It appears the hack, if it exists, only applies to server farm type computers where hundreds or more of the devices need to be remotely administered.

        And I’m a big M of A partisan so you won’t find agreement here. Of course nobody gets it right 100 percent of the time.

      2. nippersdad

        FWIW, they appear to be backed up by my other readings at the time, and history has shown them to be a pretty accurate reporting source. Everything that I am seeing now comports well with their reportage over the years.

        For example, the Netherlands intelligence services appear to have replaced Blair as the poodle of last resort when it comes to backing up ludicrous stories like the Russians fixing elections or spying on the OPCW. It shouldn’t be terrribly long now for the “Downing Street Memo” of the moment to be leaked.

        But that is just my take on them.

      3. RUKidding

        I don’t know anyone who votes Democratic who calls Republicans “gay.” That’s a new one on me. Are you sure that’s not just some propaganda? No I’m not being snarky. Never heard or read that one anywhere at anytime. Admittedly, a small sample, but still.

        Nearly everyone I know has stopped already with the racist/stupid remarks.

        However, I could probably create a similar, or longer, list of what Republicans call me and my friends. So this is one time where one can claim that both sides are equally guilty of being obnoxious.

        I read MOA. “B” does some good work. Some of the commenters are a bit “out there,” as others have noted.

        1. pretzelattack

          yeah “b” is fairly tolerant of the commenters, but the articles are usually solid i think.

        2. Carolinian

          You must have missed some issues of Water Cooler as Lambert was complaining about Stephen Colbert and others making Trump/Putin gay romance jokes. And of course my less than esteemed senator Lindsey is the regular butt of he’s so gay jokes although Graham claims not to be gay (he’s a bachelor). You could say this is a way of poking fun at supposedly anti-gay political figures (no evidence of that in Lindsey) or looked at another way it’s liberal comedians giving themselves a license to gay bash since the butt of the jokes are despised people like Trump.

          At any rate it is out there….

            1. Carolinian

              Your shot on the Colbert show not to mention Bill Maher is assured.

              I would be the last to defend my war mongering senior senator but really this stuff is often the liberal version of Putin taking off his shirt. Call it macho signaling.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > I don’t know anyone who votes Democratic who calls Republicans “gay.”

          I think you need to get out more. Here is a single example among many:

          > However, I could probably create a similar, or longer, list of what Republicans call me and my friends.

          I’m sure you could. But liberal Democrats are supposed to know better. They don’t.

        4. Big Tap

          How about Larry Craig the senator from Idaho? Democrats had a good laugh about him and his airport problems and I’m not actually sure he is gay. Ever hear talk of ‘Miss Lindsey’ or fainting spells about Lindsey Graham? Dems love gay Republican references. How about Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un? Joy Reed’s belittling gay comments about Charlie Chist when he still was a Republican? I could go on.

      4. Olga

        Yes, you are. Well, not really unfair, just inaccurate. I’ve been reading both for more than 10 yrs, and both have proven to be quite correct. And with refreshingly eye-opening analyses…

      5. Richard

        I keep wondering who they’re talking to, who in the room they think they’re connecting with. I’m afraid it’s many of my coworkers, so I hardly ever talk politics at school. I work at a public school in Seattle, chock full of liberal dems, with a republican or two mixed in.
        It feels like a big problem, though I probably don’t need to approach it that way. I have the deepest respect for all of them, and often defer to their judgement on matters of teaching practice, which has never come naturally to me.
        How can these sensitive souls not see the dems middle finger at them?
        My guess: many of them do, but have somehow internalized the situation as “normal” or realistic, hardball politics. You’re not supposed to feel represented, or then you’ll make the repubs win, and then you won’t be represented. We’re very much in a stockholm type arrangement here, so I reason.
        Or I suppose I could just ask. But that would ruin my “what I don’t know won’t hurt me” streak.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Its important that we point out AD NAUSEUM when a person confuses policy and identity politics. EVERY TIME SOMEONE POINTS OUT RACE GENDER AGE RELIGION WE SAY HALT!!! Tell them thats what the Rich fs want you to think. Divide and Conquer.

          We work together.

          Never give into the fear. Never give up.

          Our time is at hand to teach the millenials a TRUE WAY forward inclusive of all 7 billion people.

    2. jo6pac

      I look at the chip hack as another form of the trade war.

      Fellow Minnesotan Yes I think you’re being unfair but then again that just me;-)

    3. marku52

      Don’t forget calling anyone who votes for an opponent, stupid or racist .

      Insult half the country. Quite a theory on how to win an election.

      1. polecat

        And Never forget the judicious use of the suffix known as .. ‘tard’ ..

        libtard, republitard, hillarytard, trumptard, flyovertard, leftcoastard, .. house, or senatard .. always beginning in lower-case .. for an extra dose of belittlement ! XXX points if additionally ending in ‘ed’ !!!

        Remember ! Whenever ad hominems are warranted , one can Always go full-metal Tard !!

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          One good tard deserves another. If someone tards me, I’ll tard them right back.

    4. jonhoops

      Pot calling the Kettle black.

      Triggered Snowflakes – Infantilizing
      Latte drinking homos – Gay
      Libtard Pompous Book Learned Elites – Stupid (lacking real life common sense)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Democrats and liberals aim to be open-minded, to fight for equality in general, including wealth equality, social justice, to be more rational, scientific minded, etc., while the other side does not always do so, if at all.

        On that tie-breaker, liberal Democrats are judged, in my opinion, to be blacker.

        1. JBird4049

          I don’t know about that. One can make a good case that the Democratic Party was more rational. BIn my experience, it is the subject, not the parties or ideologies on whether the person is being rational.

          Further the deliberately stoked tribalism of both parties is making it impossible for me to decide on the more rational party. Just look at Clinton and her tribe blaming everyone else, but especially the Russians and the Deplorables, for their loss.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > One can make a good case that the Democratic Party was more rational.

            Remember the whole “reality-based community” thing, back in the days of the Bush Adminstration? There was some sense to the concept back then. No longer. Personally, I find it very distressing, because there are many sources I just can’t read any more.

        2. Hobbs

          So, if Democrats and liberals are the demon … what does that make most of the commentators here? Republicans? Libertarians? Contrarian “get off my lawn-ers”?

          I’ve been reading and supporting this blog forever, but I don’t see my reality represented here any more.

          1. JBird4049

            The fallacy is thinking that the political parties are truly different. With the caveat of me using very broad strokes, here is my reading of the political parties.

            The leadership of both parties are in agreement with what is called the Washington Consensus, which is a reduction in taxes, government, regulations, and social services including Social Security.

            Also always maintaining if not increasing the military, with its Forever War(s) and all forms of the police/security state which also includes the weakening, if not effective elimination of the Bill of Rights, although this last bit is not necessarily a conscious desire.

            However, one of the reasons of the American Revolution, and the reason for the Bill of Rights is the that Founders were sick of living under a military police state. Each right is a conscious counter to specific abuses.

            Neither party is against the ramping levels of government corruption, nor do they support the criminal prosecution of any of the financial crimes of the elite class.

            The only real differences are cosmetic and are mainly the supposed support of different civil rights and the demonizing of other rights as a way to create the facade of two separate parties with the concurrent tribalizing, mobilizing, echo chambering of our nation into easily controlled and exploitable groups.

            The Democrats use race, sex, gender (and in the past abortion. Noticed the growing lack of access to abortion or reproductive services lately? I thought not.). Also the absolute support of immigrants whatever their legal status. The demonization of all gunz, lack of respect of religious beliefs, the Deplorables, and the nation-state.

            The Republican Party basically supports in the down low racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-science, anti-education, gunz for every (White) child, hatred of all immigrants regardless of legal status or circumstances, and contempt for the Poors.

            Both support the abusive use of immigrants’ labor and ignoring the rule of law when it comes to the ruling meritocracy. Both are right wing with the Democrats being center right and the Republicans becoming extreme, if not reactionary, right.

            And neither supports actual healthcare for everyone or changing the economy in anyway that would help the bottom 90% if that would inconvenience the wealthy, or even them, in anyway.

            Ultimately, they are creating a social and financially bifurcated nation lacking civil rights, or even the rule of law, controlled by security state under a hereditary “meritocracy” ostensibly with two truly separate political parties in a country that has only a FIRE economy. Only the details would differ. The end would be the same.

            I don’t think that they realize what they are creating as they are too narcissistic, unaware of history, weirdly aggressively provincial, and just don’t have the desire to even look at the whole world instead of just their own fabulousness.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > if Democrats and liberals are the demon

            Who said anything about demons? Personally, I wish the Democrat party were a principled, policy-driven institution that took the working class seriously as a constituency. If it were those three things, there might be some hope of arresting the country’s continued slide into a corporate hellscape, or even turning it around. Unfortunately for us all, the Democrats are none of those three things. I don’t regard it as demonizing to point that out. (And if I start to demonize anything, believe me, I know how to do it. Nobody will be in any doubt that’s what I’m doing.)

          3. Richard

            I notice that Hobbs only acknowledges alternatives to dems that are even further right wing. I would be very happy to see that “reality” thoroughly debunked and discredited. It has held my country back for so long.
            No offense.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To all, the comment was about tie breaking.

          Per jonhoops’ comment, both sides are the same, as fast as name calling is concerned. Talking policy issues would besomething adults do, but we are not discussing that.

          We got latte drinking from one side and Putin Trump thing from the other.

          Since liberals aim to be better, not that they do what they preach, whereas the other side does not, I believe, on this name calling contest, they win.

    5. RUKidding

      I’ve never heard the “gay trope” myself. I have heard people saying that Republicans/conservatives are stupid, although I am hearing that less often.

      I disagree with any name calling, myself, but I could certainly provide a long list of names that I’ve heard conservatives calling liberals/me.

      I think our nation has been deliberately polarized and citizens pitted against one another. A lot of name calling, shaming and blaming happens on both sides. It’s too easy to point a finger just at so-called “liberal Democrats,” as if they’re the only ones doing such things.

      Ever listened to one of Trump’s rallies?

      Most unfortunate, no matter who is doing it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        My guess is that the remark is related to the graphic depiction of Trump and Putin, when they last met.

      2. Procopius

        I see quite a bit of it over at Balloon Juice. At some other blogs, too. Since I really don’t pay much attention I can’t remember which ones. There’s a lot or really infantile name calling, use of in-group nicknames that are supposed to be witty. On the level of “stinky old poopy-head.” I still haven’t figured out who “Wilmer” is for sure, but I think it’s Bernie.

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Don’t forget calling them gay. So three, actually.

      Yeah. The doublethink on that one is so amazing, I must have repressed it. Thanks.

      Also too, gay Russian. This is where we are!

  1. el_tel

    re: What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia. Gawd I wish this weren’t still possible….but having worked in academia for 20 years in health services research, at a point where “hard(er) science met social sciences”, I must confess I’m not surprised. The invites from pseudo-journals still infest my spambox (thank you google for good filtering) and yet supposedly “respectable” journals still fall for this nonsense.

    In some ways I shouldn’t be surprised – it’s the stuff that looks OK – to the reasonably educated statistician (but no skills in particular key areas) – and which gets published (and used by policy-makers) which is in fact more insidious. Getting hits via a “Sokal squared” joke is funny. Getting your life screwed by a policy that fooled a “top tier” science/social science journal by way of academics who, via skewed university incentives, have not covered every base, is, IMO, a lot worse.

  2. DWD

    FWIW I have a seventeen inch CRT Monitor in the other room waiting for disposal.

    Different brand though.

  3. Another Scott

    Regading Kavanaugh, I think both Democrats and Republicans got what they want out of the appointment. For Republicans, they replace a conservative judge (Kennedy) with an even more conservative justice in Kavanaugh, to ensure a pro-corporate, pro-security state majority. Democrats get to stop up and down and help their chances in November, while getting more money fundraising to show their “resistance,” without having to do anything. Of course, their donors will be very happy with the corportist rulings that Kavanaugh will help provide.

    They could impeach him for lying to Congress and if a Democrat gets elected in two years, they could have him tried in a friendly jurisdiction for lying to Congress. Either of these would show that they are serious about getting a majority on the bench. Republicans would probably do either, which really shows us who cares about doing things while in power, compared to who just wants bribes, sorry donations.

    1. RUKidding

      Completely agree with your analysis.

      BigD will do absolutely NOTHING re Kavanaugh should they happen to gain a majority + White House. Nothing. They LOVE ’em some Kav. It’s what their real constituents, the 1% wanted.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Maybe the Dems could pick up some pointers from the newly released “Man in the High Castle” on Bezos Prime. The season title is “Resistance Rises.” It’s plastered all over billboards here in my town.

      It could be that “Hogan’s Heroes” reruns would be more instructive for them.

    3. Pavel

      Best (though not simplest) things the Dem (or “blue”) states could do would be simply to say “F Off” to the SCOTUS and the POTUS and Senate and House and secede from the Union. If CA and OR and WA left plus the New England states and a handful of others the rest of the USA could go to the hell they have created and deserved.

      Bah bloody humbug. With the likes of Pelosi, Hillary, Schumer and others running the so-called “Resistance” what can one expect? Not to mention @maddow and others with the relentless and pointless #RussiaRussiaRussia nonsense.

  4. douglass truth

    wrt iot, please read UBIK by Philip K Dick. Joe Chip cannot leave his apartment because he doesn’t have enough money to pay the lock. argument ensues.

    1. fresno dan

      October 5, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      I’m only guessing, but I would guess the procedures for people approaching a government elevator in the future without a security background check applied for 1 year in advance, and updated with 6 months of advance notice of the actual approachment date and time of the elevator with displayed picture ID, fingerprint, and authenticated DNA sequences of 4 generations….will be shot on sight
      OH, and I forgot the prior 3 weeks of continuing anal probes….***

      *** BTW, see Back track
      October 5, 2018 at 12:47 pm in today’s links comments for GOOD NEWS regarding that….

    2. Tim

      One thing I learned walking the halls of the congressional offices is you never know who is going to be on the other side of that elevator door…the suspense was always a bit fun.

      1. Wukchumni

        You know what’s a fun thing to do?

        If you’re ever last man charlie or charlotte walking into a crowded elevator, try this:

        As the doors close, turn around and face everyone. It’s very unnerving even though you’re just as close to everybody if you had your back turned to them, but you’re a face space invader.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The real master at the elevator effect was Alfred Hitchcock. He would go into an elevator with a friend and start relating a story about his unfaithful wife which would snag everybody’s attention. As the elevator approached the floor, Hitchcock would tell how he caught them both in bed naked together which got everybody’s ears pricking. As the elevator got to the floor the ‘friend’ asked what he did whereupon Hitchcock said what else could he do except to blow both their heads off with a shotgun – just as they both left the elevator.

  5. Wukchumni

    “Heat Storage Hypocausts: Air Heating in the Middle Ages” [Low Tech Magazine].

    The Stabian baths in Pompeii are amazing, and it was the earliest known use of hypocaust, and the first time i’d ever seen one.


    There is some similarity with a rocket stove, as the one I use in the backcountry has a water chamber around the inner perimeter of the cylindrical stove and you burn twigs & little sticks in the middle to heat up the water. It takes about 3-4 minutes to boil 20 ounces.


    1. Steely Glint

      This reminds me of my wet back stove that I used in New Zealand, along with in floor heating. Heated water from the wet back was circulated through inbuilt circulated flooring tubes, thus heating the house

    1. pricklyone

      They wanted an actual 17″ diag. screen, so probably in the 19″ class. I cannot fathom this as a problem.
      Where I am it costs 10-35 dollars to throw them away! Craigslist is full of freebies, as everyone who kept their working CRT, in lieu of spending big bucks on a flat one is stuck with them, or has to pay up to “recycle” them. I have 3 working CRT monitors, but none of the 17 Inchers is a real 17 diagonally.

  6. tommy strange

    I’ve always liked glenn’s articles in BAR, but this comment is completely false. …”Whether these corporate actors actually believe in racial and ethnic equality or not, they have been forced by circumstances to make “diversity” the battle cry in their conflict with Trump and his “White Man’s Party” — a party and racist ideology that still commands the allegiance of a majority of white Americans, including white women.”

    Not even near a majority of voting age whites voted for trump.

    1. Carolinian

      And a little pushback is needed against calling everything fascism. After all you could also call feudalism fascism since it was militaristic, believed in ethnic divisions (the noble born versus serfs), showed obeisance to a central authority.

      The 20th century version of fascism was based on power through popular movements and a downgrade of landed aristocracies in favor of corporate power. This doesn’t exactly apply to the post Civil War south where the old line planters still held sway and corporations barely existed except for textile mills brought down from the north. And while the south and the Nazis put strong emphasis on race, the originators of the term in Italy did not. Hitler may have taken note of Jim Crow racial laws but it was Mussolini he venerated–at least at first.

      More generally it’s hard to know what fascism with a small ‘f’ means these days other than an all purpose epithet for authoritarian. The term is no longer very informative.

      1. Steely Glint

        Another look at fascism “The second line of defense is again twofold: “collusion is not a crime” and the now-proven Russian meddling had no effect. I suspect that if the Mueller report finds that the Trump campaign’s “collusion” with Russians does indeed meet the legal definition of “criminal conspiracy” and that the enormous extent of Russian meddling makes the claim that it had no effect totally implausible, many Republicans will retreat, either implicitly or explicitly, to the third line of defense: “Better Putin than Hillary.” There seems to be nothing for which the demonization of Hillary Clinton does not serve as sufficient justification, and the notion that a Trump presidency indebted to Putin is far preferable to the nightmare of a Clinton victory will signal the final Republican reorientation to illiberalism at home and subservience to an authoritarian abroad” Hope you keep an open mind.

      2. Unna

        “Fascism arises as a reaction to grave threats to the capitalist order.” Glen Ford

        I’ve always thought that’s too easy and falsely absolute. Was fascism first formed intellectually and politically because of “grave threats” to capitalism? Or were long existing cultural strains brought together and formed into political movements immediately post WWI; which movements were then seized upon and facilitated by capitalist financiers to protect capitalism from communism in a mutual dance of money for protection against “communism” in exchange for the possibility of electoral success in a mass media political system requiring large sums of money and so on.

        Examine Hitler’s early life and you see an emotionally abnormal person, with particular aesthetic and artistic inclinations, thrust into a, for him, culturally alienating cosmopolitan Vienna, who then reacts badly to it by going in a “völkisch” antisemitic cultural and political direction. All of which were otherwise already strongly bubbling up in German/Austrian society at that time. This was a time capitalism was being politically accosted from the left but was not a time when capitalism was under any “grave threat.”

        Arguably those late 19th century “völkisch” cultural phenomena, sometimes described as “proto fascist”, were themselves a reaction to social and economic conditions and changes in society which had been brought about throughout the 19th century by industrial capitalism itself. Anyone who has listened to Wagner’s Ring Cycle and heard the rhythmic hammering of the Nibelungens’ subterranean slaves “industrially” producing wealth for their masters will understand the anti capitalism inherent in Wagner. An anti capitalism from the “right”? An anti capitalist proto fascist? Marxist descriptions of the ills of society were similar to traditionalist religious an culturally traditionalist criticisms of that same society, one decrying it, and the other decrying it but stating these changes in the ways of production were a necessary bourgeois rationalization of the economy, and arguably “progressive”. Were “völkisch” cultural strains phenomena of the 19th century capitalist right, or of something completely different? 19th Century arguments about society vs community all sound disturbingly similar to today. Some contemporary environmentalists in Germany, based on Heideggerian arguments, are sometimes described as “fascist”, although they are certainly sincere about their environmentalism and food purity.

        Both Hitler (a Wagnerian) and Lenin originally intended to overthrow the existing order of their societies, not to save them. Hitler wanted to construct his new order on aesthetic and a pop Darwin-rascist theoretical basis. On the contrary, Franco/the KKK/Trump/Bannon/Hillary/Obama all clearly want(ed) to preserve and enhance the existing order of their societies. Lenin succeeded with a complete revolution. Hitler didn’t because of an incomplete revolution and a lost war. The Bolsheviks were indeed more ruthless, thorough, and in the end more successful than the Nazis.

        My point is that viewing Trump as a “fascist” who at worst, just wants to make the same thing worse, may miss bigger far more disturbing tendencies that may now be forming under the surface.

        Sorry for the length….!

        1. Carolinian

          Great comment.

          And I guess my point was that all that industrial revolution social churning doesn’t have much to do with the pre or post Civil War Us south which was really a throwback to feudalism. Just ask Mark Twain.

          If racism alone makes for fascism then you’d have to call the British Empire fascist for sure and a host of other things. In many ways I believe it has become a buzz word. But there is a definition in my Encarta dictionary and here it is

          dictatorial movement: any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism

          1. Heraclitus

            I think our state of SC didn’t really fall easily into the ‘fascist’ category after Reconstruction. After all, Governor Wade Hampton sought black votes at times. His problem was really getting upcountry farmers not to think of him as a ‘Bourbon Democrat’, a label that unfortunately stuck, as he had, prior to the war, been arguably the wealthiest person in the US.

            The period between 1876 and 1896, when the state Constitution was re-written with a weakened governorship for fear a black man might be elected governor, was known as the ‘fusion’ period. It actually worked pretty well. Representatives from the mostly white Democratic party would get together with representatives from the mostly black Republican party and they would divide the offices between them. It wasn’t very Democratic, but it largely kept the peace.

            What people don’t understand–and I would recommend reading a few old books like ‘Mind of the South,’ and ‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men’, is that the Plantation owning class sometimes made political alliances with African Americans against the poor whites. But the poor whites kept on pouring from the mountains into the Piedmont and Lowlands, and making their political power felt. Eventually, they controlled the governments and made laws that disenfranchised African Americans, whom they saw as labor competition. This process went on for nearly a hundred years post-War.

            Another thing that generally isn’t understood is that the Civil War allowed the poor southern whites back into economic system as sharecroppers, whereas they had previously been subsistence farmers. By 1875, when US cotton production reached its pre-war peak, forty-four percent of the cotton was being produced by white sharecroppers on marginal lands. See ‘Empire of Cotton’.

            1. Carolinian

              Thanks for a much better explanation of SC history than I could give.

              The Upstate region where I live came to specialize in peaches but still grew cotton (my mother had stories of picking it). Black farmers were pushed onto hilly, marginal land and in my town much of even that was eventually taken to make a WW2 artillery range that is now a state park. Poverty is the story of the post Civil War south and Jimmy Carter has written of how his mother, a nurse, had to treat poverty diseases like rickets and pellagra.

              So if it was a culture with race as a preoccupation is was not very much like Weimar Germany where anti-Semitism was more of an urban phenomenon. The south was a lot more third world–caste rather than class and no fancy theories pretending to quote Darwin (someone whose ideas fundamentalist southerners didn’t even accept).

        2. Olga

          Yes, but let’s please not put Hitler and Lenin into one sentence. I agree with much of what you say – but to say that “The Bolsheviks were indeed more ruthless, thorough, and in the end more successful than the Nazis” is just grandma-in the-attic- kinda crazy talk. Really?
          Is it so hard to see the difference between what Hitler tried to do – i.e., dominate Europe on the basis of a German superiority complex, through violent takeover and the suppression of anything that got in his way – and what the Russian Revolution tried to accomplish – i.e., overturn 500 years of a horribly oppressive czarist regime and give the majority of Russian people a better life?
          I guess you had to be there – both places – to know the difference…
          Unfortunately, so many on the progressive side simply haven’t yet figured out that equating Hitler and Lenin (and I am not a big fan of Lenin, but still) was a tactic from the late 40s and early 50s completely to discredit the Soviet Union. I guess it succeeded beyond best hopes.

            1. Carolinian

              FWIW I’ve just recently seen an article that says western accounts of Stalin’s butcher’s bill (the tens of millions) are likely propaganda and the true total is much less. This doesn’t include the millions who died fighting or were slaughtered in WW2 but then that German fascist gets the blame for that.

              Victors get to write the history including perhaps Cold War victors.

              1. Wukchumni

                My uncle helped get some people out of Czechoslovakia in the early 50’s, and they made the mistake of sending him a letter to thank him for the effort, and Stalin’s stooges intercepted it and into the hoosegow he went.

                Lets not make a tyrant into anything less.

                1. Carolinian

                  It should be a moot point as Stalin is long gone although not necessarily in the minds of some of our current Cold Warriors. I’ve mentioned Red Sparrow which pretends that the USSR still exists for schlock movie purposes. And even a somewhat dubious black comedy like The Death of Stalin is no doubt viewed as a documentary about Putin by some. The TV show The Americans would have us believe that Soviet agents were running about the US in the ’80s killing people right and left.

                  So the past isn’t even past when it comes to Russia and our coastal elites. These trips down memory lane–scriptwriter version–are subtle reminders. It would be useful to know what really happened.

          1. Unna

            Hitler and Lenin in the same sentence: but only to say that they were both revolutionaries and neither of them very friendly to capitalism, Lenin explicitly so, Hitler implicitly so. Both wanted complete change, Trump and Co. don’t, just want more of the same capitalism. And I agree with Carolinian that the word fascism is thrown around to the point that the word fascism is losing it’s meaning – which fair minded people can still argue about.

            My sense is that Trump’s grave sin to the establishment was that he went trolling for votes with arguments which may never be made because they are inherently destablizing to neo liberal capitalism and serve to awaken “consciousness” and give voice to “grievance” which is dangerous to long term stability of the system. Even though Trump is back under their control now, he has already comitted a sin which is “gravely threatening” to capitalism, and for that reason, must be opposed forever because what he said during the campaign must be discredited forever.

            1. Pat

              Only on some fronts, for Democrats and the media I believe Trump’s real crime was shining a light on their delusions of media domination of the masses and the message being more important than the reality. Clinton might be hated but we can sell her without ever having to hang out with the grubby masses and pretend to pay attention to and care about them. “WE will tell them what to care about and who to vote for.” It wasn’t that we didn’t talk to or listen to them. No, They didn’t listen because we were drowned out by a small number of Russian ads (and our own appetite for ratings)

        3. Roland

          I think the notion of Fascism being a response by a “Capitalism under threat” refers more to the attitude of the bourgeoisie in aiding and abetting the Fascists, rather than in the motives of the Fascists themselves.

          In the 1920’s and 30’s, capitalists in a number of countries did feel that they were under threat (e.g. Germany, Hungary and Spain had red revolutions, and Italy came close during the disorders after the Great War). Capitalists did turn to the Fascists as protectors of a social order in which they felt their capital would be relatively safer. Moreover, in the countries where Capital was still secure, such as UK, many capitalists openly expressed their admiration of Fascism as a response to communism.

          However, there is an anti-capitalistic strain in Fascism. Hitler usually lumped the capitalists in with communists (“Jewish Capitalist Bolshevism”), since one thing liberal capitalists have in common with international communists is their universalism and cosmopolitanism.

          Hitler and Mussolini were also both sophisticated enough to understand Marx’ argument that Communism arises out of the consequences of capitalism. Therefore, to the Fascist, both the capitalist and the communist are to found along the same road of history, a road which the Fascist seeks to avoid altogether.

          Hitler’s Fascist revolution got stifled by Hitler himself. Hitler purged his party and government of the revolutionary elements, in order to strengthen the Nazi’s class alliance with the aristocrats of the officer corps. Hitler did the purge in order that his ambitious geopolitical programme would not be delayed by the sort of military inefficiency that would be caused by trying to establish a new, fully Nazified officer corps.

          Note that this was approach was opposite to Stalin’s. Stalin decided to engage in a wholesale replacement of senior military officers, even at the risk of a protracted period of military disorganization and inexperience–a contributing factor to the initial reverses suffered by the Soviet armies in 1941-42.

          On the other hand, even when the war was going at its worst for the USSR, Stalin never had to worry about his generals trying to assassinate the head of state and overthrow the government, which is the problem that Hitler faced during the crisis of summer 1944.

          1. Wukchumni

            The fascists took my grandfather’s money, and then the Soviets took his real estate, a 1-2 punch.

          2. Todde

            The Social-Democrat government of Germany used right wing freikorps to fight the Communists.

            They did defeat the Communists… and then bit the hand that fed them.

        4. JCC

          I’m going to play a little bit of Devil’s Advocacy relative to this thread.

          The problem with the words Fascist/Fascism is similar to the problems with the word Liberal when used in American political discussions.

          Typically, as in this thread, people think of the present American (social) definition of the word fascist which invariably brings to mind the term jack-booted thuggery and racism by a government, and Hitler’s style of Govt in particular, even though it was primarily an early to mid 20th Century Italian/Mussolini thing.

          At the time there was a lot of support for this new political philosophy within the American Business Community and mainly, as Ford says, “as a reaction to grave threats to the capitalist order”. FDR was frightening to many, as US Marine Maj. Gen. S. Butler didn’t hesitate to point out to Congress at the time.

          It wasn’t until well into WWII and afterwards that the meaning of the word in the press and Hollywood was changed to the socially popular jack-boots, racism, and thuggery definition.

          Like the words Liberal/Liberalism, it has been redefined in modern American social propagandist terms.

          From a political science point of view, I do not think these words mean what you think they mean :-)


          As a former polysci/history major in College and still an avid reader of PolySci/History oriented non-fiction I sometimes get confused when these terms are used in the popular press. In fact, I often lose some understanding of exactly what the author is trying to get at. In Ford’s case I think, though maybe a little exaggerated but not much, I didn’t lose much understanding at all.

          For that reason I usually avoid the use of the word Liberal when discussing American politics when remembering all those classes I took and all the reading I still do that states that (from a polysci/historical point of view) the US Constitution is considered to this day to be one of the most Liberal Constitutions in history.

          But, occasionally, I don’t hesitate to use the word Fascism with regards to late stage American Capitalism which has become more important to the Powers That Be than our politically Liberal Constitution. I just use it with a simple preface to the word – “not the jack-booted kind, the political definition kind”.

        5. lou strong

          “Democratic corporate fascism ” etc
          As I already pointed out in the past, the expression “corporate fascism ” is inappropriate as it resides in a wrong translation of the term “corporazione” from Italian to English. As for the first historical form of fascism, which is Italian fascism, it was born in 1919 as an hybrid left -right movement, deeply militarist and nationalist for the foreign affairs, so far-right, and quite left for the internal ones. The 1919 fascist program for the interior previewed for instance : – co-management of the workers in the industries – legal minimum wage-legal 8 hours daily working time – lowering of the age of retirement – strong and progressive extraordinary tax for the big capitals etc. With this program Mussolini intended to challenge the Socialist Party , in the first male universal suffrage elections of 1919, in his same electoral base. The electoral result was a disaster ( fascists took one point something % in the polls ), so in the following so-called “red biennium ” Mussolini made a practical and ideological U-turn and fascists became the armed wing of the big capital reaction against the Reds unrest, and in this role quickly came to power in 1922. From 1922 to the aftermath of the 1929 crisis the regime language and policies , contrary to the 1919 proposals,were deeply pro-business, pro- corporations ( in the English meaning ) ,anti-labour, laissez-faire oriented , and so on, and incidentally Mussolini became the darling of the Anglo-saxon conservatives and elites on both sides of the ocean.After the 1929 crisis, he was obliged to nationalize large sectors of the big industry and of the banking system, who had gone bankrupt, unwillingly creating a mixed economy model who survived the end of the regime and that, under democracy management, lasted until the neoliberal U-turn of the so-called center-left who privatized everything in the nineties. From the social point of view as well, after 1929 he was obliged to implement some form of welfare state too.

      3. Olga

        I cannot but agree. The word is waaayyyy overused. Seems like everything someone does not like becomes “fascism.” For those of us who’ve had to live our lives in the less-than-happy afterglow of WWII, fascism has a very specific meaning. And we’re ain’t there… not by any stretch of the imagination.
        I think of the definition as a merging of the state and corporate power, with a very large dose of overt and officially sanctioned violence – for anyone who does not comply. (So by that measure, yes, the black guys, who seem routinely to get killed by cops on the street, may speak of fascism. The white folks, not so much.) We need to find a new word for the dystopian world we live in now. Let’s have a contest to find a better word…

        1. Unna

          ***And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
          Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?***

          I wish I knew. I think we’re all struggling to figure this out. Temporarily suspending preconceptions and shifting through the sands of history may bring future dangers and/or possibilities for a better world a bit more into focus.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > I think of the definition as a merging of the state and corporate power, with a very large dose of overt and officially sanctioned violence – for anyone who does not comply. (So by that measure, yes, the black guys, who seem routinely to get killed by cops on the street, may speak of fascism. The white folks, not so much.)

          First they came for the black guys…

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Not even near a majority of voting age whites voted for trump.

      This is a good discussion of exit polling immediately after the election with later analysis, which is all super-contested (Thomas Edsall).

      However, Vox:

      The big difference, nationally, is that Clinton did a lot worse than Obama and third-party candidates did a lot better.

      The same holds for a critical subset of the population: white voters. Romney got 59 percent of the white vote in 2012 and still lost the election, leading many analysts to reach the conclusion that America had become too diverse for Republicans to win without making major inroads among voters of color. Trump, however, won the election with just 58 percent of the white vote thanks to Clinton slipping to 37 percent down from Obama’s 39 percent with the excess going third party.

      1. tommy strange

        what you have posted about election numbers is always spot on Lambert, great and informative….. but I meant ‘voting age whites’….not of whites that are registered and actually voted who yes did have a majority for Trump. Interesting cuz I remember Glenn noting the ‘non voting, or seldom voting’ whites often before in that there is a huge pool of pissed off white that should and maybe will, gone in solidarity with POC. He’s a great real lefty guy that way…so this sentence probably just a minor slip on that, he probably meant ‘voting whites’, not a majority of all whites. It’s a beef of mine cuz so many articles, including tons of horrid ones on Salon….never mention actually population numbers vs. who actually votes….

  7. fresno dan

    “Charge of the Lighthizer brigade” [Politico]. “U.S. President Donald Trump may be waging a trade war, but Robert Lighthizer is fighting the new Cold War. ……………… • Turns out moving our manufacturing base to China wasn’t the greatest idea. Thanks, neoliberals! This article, too, is well worth a read.
    Is it me, or is some small smidgen of objectivity starting to penetrate the media omerta regarding the SUBSTANCE of Trump polices? And perhaps….only perhaps, maybe, possibly…. that the idea that ALL trade is fabulous, because ECONOMIC GROWTH isn’t everything, ITS THE ONLY THING, …. can maybe, with special dispensation from the learned, educated, and THE SERIOUS, be questioned as perhaps not equally fabulous for everyone???
    nah…some kinda mistake….

  8. scarn

    I solidly agree that liberals scold their opponents like children, and that in a very real way they see themselves as the guardians of the general population. They believe that they are always the adults in the room. Still, the New Yorker tweet is correct on this particular point. Kav was acting like a spoiled child, for reasons similar to why spoiled children whine and cry to get what they think they deserve. I’ve had great success using this point with conservative family, friends and acquaintances, especially men. Kav cried and whined like a little baby. What kind of a man does that in front of the US Senate and the world? What happened to John Wayne and Gary Cooper? Where are the real men nowadays? Personally, I don’t believe that the masculinity of prior generations was particularly better than the torrid tangle of emoting displayed by Kav. But conservatives tend to be conservative because they believe in a hallowed past when people were somehow better than they are now, and that we should try to return to that. Appealing to myths of the past and calling Kav a whiny, pathetic has had an interesting effect on every single conservative man that I have talked to. They suddenly admit that they don’t like him very much.

    1. DJG

      scarn: Given the stories of his constant and proud drinking to the point of vomiting, and the fact that he brought up drinking in his responses, and the fact that he is so untethered, I’m wondering if Kavanaugh isn’t just a garden-variety late-stage alcoholic, his condition left untreated.

      And are we allowed to mention that? Or is alcoholism a “disease” that requires us to deliver Kavanaugh to a “higher power” — and not consider his physical disaster (his lack of embodiment, if I may) a disqualification for the Supreme Court? [On the other hand, maybe a life-time appointmentn for Kavanaugh isn’t going to last long.]

      So many scrims and mirrors, so much smoke, so much bad booze: I guess that we are back in the Baroque Era once again.

      1. Webstir

        I’ve been sober through AA since 2005.
        If he were a sober alcoholic that had used the steps, he likely would have sought Ms. Ford out to make amends. I did some crappy things while I was drinking and made a ton of amends. In my experience, 99% of the people out there are forgiving. Ms. Ford would likely have forgiven him and this whole thing would be moot.

        I’m not sure whether you intended the “higher power” quip to be sarcastic or not. So, I’ll reserve judgment. But I will say, the program helps a whole lot of people immeasurably.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          It helped me out kinda. Im four yrs sober and a straight up Atheist. AA was written in the 30s by a bankrupt Wall St Banker and is vehemently Christian.

          FUCK GOD.

          My ‘Higher Power’ is myself.

          Let go and let God my ass.

          I dont mean to be personal but alot of addicts are dying because of this outdated AA garbage. Where are the fucking affordable alternatives that allow shrooms and ayauaska and weed?

          Quitting alcohol and crack is nigh impossible at the age of 30 with AA.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            Ironically, Bill W was a subject in trials testing LSD as a treatment for alcoholism. Betty Grove Eisner, working with Sidney Cohen, was the scientist in charge.

          2. Webstir

            Atheist myself. But, I also majored in psych. So, when they told me to pray to a higher power, I did. I did because I know that prayer is simply a mindfulness technique. I don’t pray TO anything.

            Good luck.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        His groomers have enough invested in him that they will not let him die quickly if he gets end-stage sick. He will undergo liver transplants, kidney transplants, whatever transplants to keep him alive or at least un-dead, and ruling the way his groomers groomed him to rule.

    2. Darthbobber

      But the myths of the past are called myths for a reason. On the big screen there may have been Wayne and Cooper (though also Lewis, Leighton, ET Al), but in the world of politics there was the Checkers speech.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Kav was acting like a spoiled child, for reasons similar to why spoiled children whine and cry to get what they think they deserve. I’ve had great success using this point with conservative family, friends and acquaintances, especially men.

      Have other readers had similar experiences?

    1. Darius

      Was it ever in doubt really? The only instance in which she bucked the Republicans was repealing Obamacare. I’m sure she had self interested reasons there. Sue Collins is a standout among the world’s worst phonies. The one thing she isn’t is a swing vote.

      1. todde

        well maybe they could of found a blue dog democrat to vote yes so she could be free to vote no.

        that was the only ?

          1. todde

            Murkowski got to vote No for that exchange.

            I guess they couldn’t find another blue dog for Collins.

            1. pretzelattack

              well they got the result they wanted, kavanaugh sails through, wonder if they negotiated how many blue dogs would vote yes. i can just picture the fierce bargaining, following by cocktails.

            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              We may never know why Murkowski voted No. I suspect her desire to run for Senator again means she is very alert to the desires of her demographically-significant Alaska Treaty Natives constituency.

              One wonders if she would vote no in the absence of an offsetting Democratic Senator who would vote yes. But since the Democrats will make very sure to provide her with an offsetting “Yes” Senator, that experiment will not be performed.

    2. RUKidding

      Never doubted it for an instant.

      She just played a great big phony-baloney in her private Kabuki Show.


    3. Kurtismayfield

      She does it to extract payment.. there are reasons why the Bath shipyard is still in existence.

  9. Wukchumni

    Devil’s Ombudsman Dept:

    What would happen if a GOP Senator was to pass away rather suddenly, before the vote on Kavanaugh?

    What’s the procedure in the aftermath?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It would be very, very bad if something like what happened to congressman Scalise on a baseball field were to occur now.

      That’s why it was so dangerous for someone inside the congress to release private information about our politicians.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          From all sides, prudence would suggest.

          The original question, though, was about sudden departures of GOP senators.

          If anyone also asks about sudden departures of D senators, the same comment could be made as well, of course.

  10. Duck1

    Glenn Ford @ Black Agenda Report nails it. New insight for me that Jim Crow was a model for Nazis and basically fascist.. That along with the conquest of the continent and extermination of the inhabitants inspiring Barbarrosa and Cali eugenics laws being studied by the judicial system while composing the Nuremberg laws. Truly exceptional.

    1. Ford Prefect

      The ongoing discrimination against blacks and other minorities in the US has been the gift that keeps on giving to other countries that the US wants to chastise about human rights. They just look at the US and say “Thank you for the comments. But please look at what we are doing compared to ….. in the US. Meanwhile back to our daily business.”

      It was things like lynching 60+ years ago, but it is now voting rights, GWOT torture, police brutality, mass incarceration etc. today.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Hitler’s American Model show that Nazi jurists and lawyers researched America’s Jim Crow laws and thought very highly of them; they saw Jim Crow as an example of modernity — how advanced the United States was. Of course, Jim Crow was misdirected…. But the Nazis soon corrected that.

  11. fresno dan

    So I went to the Big Fresno Fair yesterday, and being old finally paid off. 4 dollars off the admission price Whoo-HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Of course, an Octoberfest beer cost me 12 dollars….and to add insult to injury, they didn’t EVEN ask to see my ID when I got the drinking wristband (to prove I was over 21…or 18..I really have no idea how old you have to be to drink).
    And goats have definitely supplanted cows in the livestock section. One 4h girl was in the pen using her goat as a pillow and taking a nap – goat was napping too. Indeed, there were lots of 4H girls in the pens with their goats. I think I only saw one teenage boy tending any kind of animal.
    And soft tacos were 3 for ten dollars. The crew at HICAP told me I don’t have to wait anymore for the fair to get soft tacos – they sell ’em on taco trucks…DUH! Well, they didn’t have taco trucks when I was young…they didn’t have trucks. We just rode dinosaurs….
    I don’t go to the concerts. Only one I recognize is Boy George….I think he’s getting a little long in the tooth to be called “boy” – maybe Adult George…and realistically, Senior George and most truthfully Old Coot George.

    1. DJG

      + + + fresno dan: They shouldn’t let you out of the house. There you were, drinking beer like a Kavanaugh and ogling the goats.

      How about “Way Past Boy George”?

      1. fresno dan

        October 5, 2018 at 4:02 pm

        for 12 bucks, I should have been able to drink like a Kavanaugh. And the 10 parking (which wasn’t CLOSE) should have entitled me to unlimited goat napping….(that one TINY beer made me pretty sleepy)

        1. polecat

          At that price I would’ve found some way, any way !! to bring my own .. like wearing a faux colostomy bag .. with a concealed lenth of 1/4″ aquarium hose ..
          Anyone giving you sh!t gets threatened by your ire, as they watch in abject horror as you rip your ‘bag’ off your person .. afraid of being sprayed with the supposed vile content.

          Remember the old saying : “luck favors the prepared ..” ‘;]

          Now about those tacos… are missing goats by chance ??

          1. fresno dan

            October 5, 2018 at 7:47 pm

            That will work at hoity toity restaurants and ANY upscale venue! Thanks polecat.
            I will save a fortune!
            “Anyone giving you sh!t ” – fresno dan in his best Dirty Harry voice, “You think you can give me sh!t – have some real sh!t, Punk!”

    2. Wukchumni

      I’ve been threatening to take my wife to the horse races @ the Fresno Fair, but I think after parking, admission to the fair, admission to the turf club, racing form & program, we wouldn’t have any money left to bet on the nags.

      It’s about the lowest form of thoroughbred horse racing, claiming races for $2k or $3k (what’s the mean, you ask? well, any of the 10 or so horses in a claiming race can be purchased for whatever the claiming price is, before the race goes off, and no matter what happens, you’re the new owner of an awful race horse) and to put things in perspective, the cheapest claiming race @ Santa Anita is $10k.

      On second thought, we’ll just wait until the great race place opens down south…

    3. Max

      My dad visited me in San Jose from Fresno a few weeks ago and was very interested to hit up the legal marijuana dispensaries, since I guess those haven’t been cleared yet in Fresno County. He was very excited to learn he qualified for a 20% 60+senior discount, along with some freebies for first time visitors.

      1. Wukchumni

        Fresno (judged the drunkest city in the country for a few years running) is very anti-420, for some reason.

        Tell your dad the nearest legal place is in Woodlake, about an hour drive away.

          1. Wukchumni

            Last time I frequented the pot shoppe, 4 humans totaling about 319 years were walking out with purchases in hand.


    4. pretzelattack

      yess!! i’m just looking forward to my birthday meal at denny’s!! (well, maybe not that much)

  12. fresno dan

    “Scientists are creating a perfect tomato that Europe likely won’t touch” [Quartz]. • The perfect tomato is the only you just picked off the vine, that you’re eating, possibly with some mozzarella.

    I haven’t had a tomato that SMELLED like a tomato since I grew them when I was a child – and it goes without saying I haven’t tasted a RIPE tomato since I was a child and harvested RIPE tomatoes from the ones I was growing. Too distracted this year, but next year I will plant tomatoes, and taste the red, red tomatoes of home….

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Go to the Farmers Market, Dan the Man–I ate amazing tomatoes all July and August.

      Being in North Carolina I avoid California fruits and veggies like the plague but if you’re right there I’m sure you can get great stuff from small farms.

      No one should go that long eating styrofoam tomatoes–you have my sympathies!

      1. barefoot charley

        You’re right, ChiGal, this ChiBoy was stunned by the quality of fresh produce out here when I came–we only got Boxcar-Ready edible packaging material back midwest, but there’s plenty of good fresh food here where it comes from.

    2. Daryl

      I had the greatest tomato when I was in California several weeks ago. I’m not sure, but perhaps the market for cannabis is bottoming out and the hydroponic people have set their signs on produce… either way, it was delicious.

  13. Kris

    Heat Storage Hypocausts – Korea was using this principle to heat individual homes (unlike the Romans) as early as 1,000 BCE. This is one among several examples I’ve come across recently of the tendency of Western (and even some Eastern) writers to assume western civilization invented everything. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ondol

    Here is another example: the clear superiority of the Chinese wheelbarrow’s design, which could carry extremely heavy loads over long distances with just one person’s labor, and did not require the investment and maintenance costs of massive roadworks needed for wheeled carts.

    1. rd

      During the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army mated the single Chinese wheelbarrow with modern steel technology by reinforcing bicycle frames and using them for transporting heavy components on rugged trails, including the decisive battle against the French at Dien Bien Phu and against the Americans on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. They transported artillery component and shells along with other supplies into places that the French and Americans assumed no significant supplies could be brought to because there were no good roads and paths. The two inline wheels of a bicycle would fit the single rut on traditional peasant paths formed by the wheel barrows and would also require only a very narrow trail that would remain under tree cover.

      1. wilroncanada

        …trails covered by trees.
        Which is why they used Agent Pick-Your-Colour, after testing it on Canadian soldiers at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick.
        Oh, I forgot. They were trying out the product as defoliant. The soldiers there just happened to be collateral damage.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If I may link anther Wikipedia article:

      The kang (Chinese: 炕; pinyin: kàng; Manchu: Nahan1.png nahan, Kazakh: кән) is a traditional long (2 metres or more) platform for general living, working, entertaining and sleeping used in northern part of China, where there is cold climate in winter. It is made of bricks or other forms of fired clay and more recently of concrete in some locations.

      This allows a longer contact time between the exhaust (which still contains much heat from the combustion source) and (indirectly) the inside of the room, hence more heat transfer/recycling back into the room, effectively making it a ducted heating system similar to the hypocaust system used by ancient Romans.

      The kang is said to be derived from the concept of a heated bed floor called a huoqiang found in China in the Neolithic period, according to analysis of archeological excavations of building remains in Banpo Xi’an. However, archeological sites in Shenyang, Liaoning, show humans using the heated bed floor as early as 7,200 years ago.[2][3]

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Wheel location…

        Contrasting Chinese chariots with Middle Easter ones, it was discovered that the wheels were located directly under the center of the riding platform, whereas for ME ones, the wheels were located in the real of the platform.

        It has been suggested that the Chinese chariot is less bouncy, this way, and the reason could be that the terrains were more uneven in the Central Plains area of Northern China.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Wheel size is also very important. The larger wheel passes over minor perturbations in the path far easier than a smaller wheel.

          Which is why dirt bikes (motorcycles) almost always have a 21″ front wheel instead of the typical street bike 17″ wheel.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You’re right on that.

            The wheels on the Chinese chariot were 35% bigger than the Central Asian counterpart, and had 28 spokes instead of anywhere from 8 to 12.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thanks for the Chinese wheelbarrow link. This:

      The one-wheeled vehicle appeared around the time the extensive Ancient Chinese road infrastructure began to disintegrate. Instead of holding on to carts, wagons and wide paved roads, the Chinese turned their focus to a much more easily maintainable network of narrow paths designed for wheelbarrows. The Europeans, faced with similar problems at the time, did not adapt and subsequently lost the option of smooth land transportation for almost one thousand years.

      One wonders how we will cope with similar challenges…

  14. Goyo Marquez

    Was in Chihuahua this weekend for #1 sons wedding. I’d tell you how beautiful it is, even more so around Chuatemoc, but that might encourage people to move there.

    In any event my new daughter was explaining to me that AMLO’s name was Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador, i.e. MALO, before he changed it for obvious political reasons.

  15. Goyo Marquez

    Re: “Modern American corporate fascism is rooted in multinational corporate structures, and wedded to a concept of racial and cultural “diversity” that (they hope) is compatible with corporate dictatorship.”

    Not sure what the word “fascism” adds to the information content, seems a bit of an ad hominem, like commie or fundamentalist.

    It seems to me that there are four general political categories:
    – Economic conservative/social liberal, our present ruling class.

    – Economic conservative/social conservative, I.e. Trump voters.

    – Economic progressive/social liberal, i.e. the left, maybe Bernie voters.

    – Economic progressive/social conservative, I can’t think of any national figure who fits in this category, though I’ve been expecting this would be a winning category for at least 20 years or so.

    1. barefoot charley

      Hate to say it, but Mr Economic Nationalist Anti-Globalist MAGA Prez is an ugly qualifier in your last category. I’m afraid you’re on to something. (Not that his voters say so, but bashing corporate global trade norms ain’t conservative.)

  16. bruce wilder

    I do not think I grasp the basis for the claim that wind power could increase global temperatures. The article speaks of “redistribution” of heat in the atmosphere, but I am not sure how redistribution gets to global increases. Also, elementary physics suggests that a windmill is drawing energy out of wind, so shouldn’t that actually be a drain of heat? Conservation of energy: the heat shows up in transmission losses and when and where the electricity generated is applied to doing work. So, again, redistribution, but globally?

    1. Ranger Rick

      It speaks to lousy science reporting that the article is not actually about the study (which is entirely concerned with estimating possible maximums for solar and wind power generation given certain assumptions) at all, and instead bases all its conclusions on a different one from 2011.

      The short answer is that the turbines draw higher altitude air to the surface and the resulting compression causes heating. The more turbines there are, the more compression occurs, the more heating that results. There are other factors this movement of air can also impact to increase the local temperature.

      I don’t really see it as a renewable energy hit piece, just a reminder that the laws of thermodynamics still apply.

  17. Elizabeth Burton

    For those interested in matters democratic socialist, I’ve had two alerts in the same number of weeks from DSA President Maria Svart that James O’Keefe and his motley band are infiltrating DSA chapters with members who work for state and federal government. Apparently, the goal is to get them on video saying provocative things to be carefully edited and exposed to the public in hope of, one assumes, getting them fired for something or other.

    I would be greatly surprised if there weren’t infiltrators from other places with three-letter acronyms, given both the ever-increasing level of membership and the general electoral success DSA has had this year. If not, it’s surely just a matter of time, given historical precedent, especially since there is a likelihood DSA is aiming to be the first viable third political party in the US.

  18. WobblyTelomeres

    Just a question for those who pay more attention to her than I do.

    Is Susan Collins a simpleton?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      For me, I remind myself to not think too much about that question (I will try my best for now, and the foreseeable future, no promises though), observing the comments at the very top about infantilizing.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Wasn’t trying to infantilize. Just watched a bit of her speech about supporting Kavanaugh and her speech patterns were very simple. Maybe she was speaking to Trump???

        Just curious. Haven’t heard her speak for more than 5-6 seconds before in my life.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Yeah, me neither. I haven’t heard too many politicians speak, lately…not watching TV, except films.

    2. MK


      Just a very very rich lady from a timber/logging family dating back to the mid nineteenth century.

      She properly executed the suspense game DiFi fumbled so badly.

    3. Olga

      I do wander about that sometimes. She certainly has an unusual way of communicating (but I’ve heard her many times).

    4. Daryl

      I think she’s just very good at milking the possible-swing-vote-but-not-really thing for all it’s worth. She’s in the news a lot more than other congresscritters who represent vastly more people.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Alabama’s late Howell Heflin made an art form out of fence sitting; spent a lot of time in the headlines. Somehow, we all knew he was just waiting for the money to roll in before “deciding”.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      No. She’s a Republican who’s also concerned with delivering to her state (Bath Iron Works, etc.)


      1) If you don’t think Ford’s accusation is supported by a preponderance of evidence (or, as Collins puts it, “more likely than not”), and

      2) you wanted an FBI investigation, and didn’t specify the scope of the investigation, so that

      3) the FBI was able to avoid investigating perjury in Kavanaugh’s testimony, and

      4) the FBI was able to produce a report that had no corroborating evidence, and if

      5) you believe that credentials are the basis for seating Judges, not jurisprudence

      then there’s really no reason even for Democrats not to vote against Kavanaugh, is there?

      So it all comes down to #1, and FWIW, I don’t think the #BelieveWomenWithNoEvidence standard is something that’s going to fly outside the bubble of white bourgeois feminism (#MeToo, #Resistance, ClintonWorld). In the #MeToo cases of the horrible Weinstein and the gross Louis CK, there was tons of evidence, for example. It’s also worth remembering that every male accuser is also some woman’s son, possibly some woman’s husband, brother, relative, mentor, and so on; those women will also make their judgments, and they might not be the judgements that #MeToo et al. would prefer them to make. It’s complicated…

      UPDATE Adding, here’s Collins’ speech on Kavanaugh.

    1. Wukchumni

      I read Harari’s Sapiens and am halfway through Homo Deus.

      I think most everybody here would really enjoy his brand of thinking, it struck me in a similar fashion as when I read Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond.

      A different way of looking @ things…

  19. a different chris

    Bye Bye Manchin

    He could at least have gone down with some honor…. oh wait, I’m talking about Joe Manchin.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        I find it helps to ignore the party label and, instead, recall the phrase “amoral opportunistic shapeshifter” when discussing politicians.

  20. ewmayer

    o “What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia” [The Atlantic]. “Generally speaking, the journals that fell for Sokal Squared publish respected scholars from respected programs. — The brazenness of the hoax papers makes you wonder on what basis said scholars and programs were ‘respected’, doesn’t it? The obvious answer is “respected by their peers”. A.k.a. a comfy little academic clique of circle-jerkers, rather like the field of orthodox academic economics.

    o Supply Chain: “Bloomberg’s spy chip story reveals the murky world of national security reporting” [TechCrunch] • [Lambert] I don’t want to go all CT on this, but haven’t a number of narratives in the last few years been driven by anonymous sources in the intelligence community?” — Well, perhaps the following ‘cui bono?’ consideration will help here – compare with e.g. anonymously-sourced-from-the-IC-complex stories that make Trump look bad or call the legitimacy of his presidency into question, such as Russiagate. In all those cases, the story clearly supports an establishment narrative. Whereas here, we have a story which appears to run quite counter to any of the applicable establishment narratives, by making very clear some of the perils of manufacturing-offshoring and also supporting Trump’s skepticism of same.

  21. Summer

    Re: Democratic Cirpirate Fascism vs The Trump Kind

    A good companion article to this one:

    That Time Churchill Wanted to Start World War III, Before World War II was Even Over

    “The reasons so little effort went into de-nazifying West Germany was ultimately because the ruling class held a common class interest with the German Nazi’s. Not only were prominent nazi’s funnelled via rat lines to the United States under Operation Paperclip that had participated in some of the most horrific forms of violence but ideologically liberalism preferred white supremacy and fascism to communism.

    As Harry Rositzke, a former head of CIA secret operations put it,

    “It was a visceral business of using any bastard as long as he was anti-Communist.” (4)

    Liberalism always courts fascism when capitalism begins to fail…”

    1. Ranger Rick

      Churchill rightly suspected that, if they didn’t kick the Soviets while they were down, that the postwar recovery would provide the Russians with ample opportunity to become a world power.

      The window of opportunity snapped shut in 1949 when the Russians tested their first atomic bomb with the help of Klaus Fuchs, and the rest, as we say, is history.

      1. Summer

        But look at they way he wanted to do it. Some soldiers in WWII actually thought they were fighting fascism.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Here, when Churchill was thinking WWIII, it was national socialists over communists.

      A few months before (that), it was communists over national socialists (“Let’s meet at the Elbe”).

      If that was what they (including the CIA guy quoted above) wanted – to fight Stalin – the Austrian corporal had that offer on the table many times.

      It seems there is a more basic explanation…the West is always right.

  22. Jen

    “Perhaps the commentariat can help:

    Desperately trying to source a replacement computer monitor-17 inches diagonally and crt (not led)- for a young man with Autism who finds change exceptionally difficult. Any leads would be greatly appreciated. Please re-tweet to anyone you know who might be able to assist. pic.twitter.com/UWDg2op96d”

    Contact a nearby research university. Guarantee you someone’s got at least one floating around in a lab somewhere. Even the scientists I work with whom I don’t consider to be outright hoarders have a few.

  23. Amateur Socialist

    Re: Bloomberg’s spy chip story

    SMC may actually just be suffering from a FUD campaign undertaken by their main microprocessor vendor, Intel. They are a huge (but not highly visible) customer for multiple components, not just processor chips but NVMe and networking cards etc. Intel has had a difficult couple years on multiple fronts; they can’t get their leading edge 10nm process qualified for large scale manufacturing (years behind schedule there) and SMC, seeing flattening x86 volumes and tougher competition among themselves, has dared to start building hardware around alternate processor technologies, e.g. POWER. I doubt this development was well received at Intel HQ.

    It’s not impossible for me to imagine Intel getting a story like this out as both a punishment to SMC for straying out of the herd and as an object lesson to other OEMs who might also consider building non x86 based hardware. “Nice systems business you’ve got there it would be a shame if something wrecked it…” Only a theory of course…

    I will also add that the BB story interestingly left out the other shoe(s) about to drop: The many many OEMs who are now wondering how many of their customers are opening up enclosures to discover SMC logos all over the place and wondering what if anything, to do about it…

    1. Amateur Socialist

      SMC didn’t go from $1.4B in 2014 to a projected $3.2B this year from just Apple & Amazon. Their stuff is everywhere.

  24. Wukchumni

    Could this tweet from the reign of error bring on a Women’s March on Versailles moment from the chief misogynist?

    “The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! “

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I would very much like to know who the demonstrators* are, because my paranoid and cynical view is that it’s a bourgeois riot, exactly as in Florida 2000. After all, the events are during the day, so by definition the participants are able to get time off from work at low risk.

      NOTE * If a lot of them are female staffers, a lot of them have probably been abused by people higher up the food chain (HuffPo; CNN). But again, we don’t have a good way to adjudicate these claims, and hence — continuing the hypothesis — the anger, and hence also adopting the only avenue of protest compatible with maintaining a career track. A rotten situation to be in.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Maybe my fatigue after a whole day of speeches on in the background but CB is absolutely bathetic, emoting all over the place, and I thought Doug Jones (whom I’ve never before heard speak) was GREAT–didn’t expect that

  25. The Rev Kev

    That. Internet. Key. Is. Just. Moronic. So many failure points. The key, the charger, the company’s servers, the internet, the software itself. Over the years I have become a believer in that maxim that we get what we deserve and anybody that would buy and install this in their homes would definitely deserve everything that they got. Is there a power cord for that key? I have so many cords already that I have to put a tag on each of them to say what they are for. So much for standardization.

  26. VietnamVet

    Brett Kavanaugh is a prime example of the privileged escaping all consequences of their actions. Lower class and he would been fired for crying and threatening the boss. In a mid-level position, he would have been extremely lucky if he was maneuvered into going to Rehab and having a job afterwards.

    The Supermicro spy chip story is even weirder than the Salisbury England poisonings. If true, it means that a Silicon Valley Company has no idea that China is installing spy chips and connections to their computer boards. It was never detected. They and their corporate customers don’t know anything about it. That is a level of incompetence equal to invading Iraq because of Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

    The real problem is that civilization depends on specialization, competence and good governance. The best way to insure this is with Constitutional Government and the rule of law. If you can’t trust the experts and judges, who can you trust? No one. Society falls apart.

  27. Daryl

    > I’m picturing a dystopian movie like, say, Blade Runnner 3, where Harrison Ford is being pursued by replicants, makes it back to his apartment, and puts the key in the lock… at which point the firmware update countdown begins. Then it hangs.

    “From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt’s money-gulping door.

    “I’ll sue you,” the door said as the first screw fell out. Joe Chip said, “I’ve never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.”

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