2:00PM Water Cooler 11/2/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I’m sorry I hit the submit button a minute or two late — two days in a row! I think I’ll add a few more items because I got started late. –lambert.


“Third-Quarter Data Shows Record U.S. Trade Deficits During Trump Presidency” [Eyes on Trade]. “Government data released today reveals the highest U.S. goods trade deficit in a decade for the first three-quarters of 2018, contradicting President Donald Trump’s midterm campaign trail triumphalism on trade. During Trump’s presidency, the U.S. trade deficit with China has risen to the highest ever recorded, while the deficits with the world and with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) nations have steadily grown, reaching nine-month levels in 2018 higher than any year since before the 2008-2009 financial crisis…. The data arrives on the heels of Trump’s Treasury Department failing to label any country a currency manipulator….. As well, Trump has not exercised the authority he has to reverse waivers of “Buy America” procurement policies that outsource U.S. tax revenues to purchase imports for government use. He also has not followed through on his campaign pledges to penalize imports from firms that consistently outsource jobs or limit government contracts to firms that outsource jobs.”

“The Department of Justice is now a major player in the U.S. fight against Beijing’s trade practices, which the administration says includes blatant theft of technology and trade secrets from U.S. companies. The first — and unlikely to be the last — target of the initiative is Chinese state-owned company Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co., which Justice alleges was part of a conspiracy to steal, convey, and possess trade secrets stolen from Idaho-based Micron Technology. Taiwanese semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corp. and three Taiwanese nationals were also named in the indictment as being part of the scheme. The action represents an increasingly multi-pronged approach at punishing China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property and policies that require U.S. companies to transfer their technology to Chinese partner companies as a condition for doing business there” [Politico].



“Democrats don’t understand this surprising secret of Trump’s success” [Mark Penn, FOX]. “If you think about it, you probably know President Trump’s positions on almost every major issue. And obviously, he has doubled down on immigration as the make-or-break issue for him and his party…. Other than investigations and impeachment, what are the Democrats running on? They have made an issue of health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. Trump has said he too would cover them. The Democratic idea is not a health-care plan, but an attack. Nor do Democrats have an economic plan many people can remember. Nor a plan on immigration. Nor a plan to deal with jobs migrating to China and Mexico. President Trump taunts the Democrats, calling them the “open borders” party. And yet the Democrats have absolutely no plan for dealing with illegal immigration. In response, they attack the president personally.” • Reading Mark Penn is a guilty pleasure. But he’s not wrong. Pelosi: “Our party is a big tent. Our districts are very different one from the other… Each of our Members is elected to be the independent representative of their district. Their job description and their job title are one and the same: representative. So, nobody’s district is representative of somebody else’s district. It’s just a sign of vitality of our party, not a rubber stamp…. [T]he beauty is in the mix.” How on earth do you run a nationalized election on “the beauty is in the mix”?

“Elizabeth Warren Test-Drives Her Presidential Campaign” [The Atlantic]. “The choice for voters, Warren said, is about protecting health care, deciding if CEOs who break the law should go to jail, dealing with student loan debt, tackling climate change and criminal justice reform, and ending the expanded flow of money into politics made possible by Citizens United.” • That’s ridiculous. The midterms aren’t about any of those things — except “protecting” the Rube Goldberg device of ObamaCare, when pushing for #MedicareForAll would be the best way to do that — and structurally, cannot be; see Pelosi’s comment above.


3 days until Election Day, next Tuesday. Too late, I think, for any game-changing events. Even this year.

“Poll Finds 2018 Midterms Resting On Critical Swing Group Of People Who Showed Up Looking For Community Center Pottery Class” [The Onion].

“Five days to go” [Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball]. Five at the time of writing. “House: Right now, we have 212 House seats at least leaning to the Democrats, 202 at least leaning to the Republicans, and 21 Toss-ups. While we’re still gathering information about the Toss-ups, we do have a sense as to where we’re leaning in the races. As of this moment, we’d probably pick the Democrats in 12 of the Toss-ups and Republicans in nine of them. That would amount to a Democratic House gain of 29 seats. So let’s say, for now, we’re thinking an overall Democratic gain of somewhere around 30 seats, give or take. That’s more than the 23 net seats the Democrats need, but not so many more that one could rule out the Democrats sputtering out short of the majority.”

“What a Republican Hold in the House Might Look Like” [Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics]. “There really are believable scenarios that don’t require Republicans to win districts that they have written off. Republicans have to catch some breaks, but they don’t have to catch breaks in ways that shock and surprise us. We can still assume that suburban districts move against them, which they almost certainly will…. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s 22 districts for Democrats, which is just enough for Republicans to keep control of the chamber. I don’t think this scenario involves any races where I would truly be shocked if the Republicans win, and I could probably push further — without feeling delusional — for a scenario where Democrats pick up just 19 or 20 seats.” • That was yesterday. Comes the hedge, today–

“What a Democratic Wave in the House Might Look Like” [Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics]. “Today I will do the reverse: game out a Democratic win in excess of 40 seats. Again, I don’t think this involves any ridiculous outcomes, although I do think it requires a lot of breaks for Democrats…. The major cause of uncertainty for Democrats is that once you get past the 15 or so races that most people agree they will win, you are in some pretty red territory, and indicators like the generic ballot and presidential approval aren’t really consistent with a major push into GOP territory. The Republicans’ major problem is that there are potentially just too many brush fires for them to put out, and some of their incumbents really do seem to have been caught napping (shockingly, for this environment).”

“‘Blowing Smoke’: Sorry, Pundits, But You Have No Clue What Will Happen on Tuesday” [Vanity Fair]. “Every piece of evidence we have about voting behavior during the Trump presidency—special elections in various corners of the country, public and internal polls, early voting data in key states—indicates that we are heading for a midterm election with explosively high turnout. University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, who studies voting patterns, estimated recently that almost 50 percent of eligible voters could cast ballots this year, a turnout level not seen in a midterm election in 50 years…. Enthusiasm in this election, though, is mostly fueled by Democrats. Aside from college-educated white women, much of the Democratic coalition in 2018 is comprised of voters—young people, African-Americans, and Hispanics—who don’t typically show up in midterm elections. And the main thing to remember about high-turnout elections, especially ones that bring non-traditional voters into the mix, is that strange things can happen…. You know who knows the precise composition of this year’s electorate? No one. Electorates mutate every two years. They get older, they get younger, they get browner, they get whiter, they get smaller, they get bigger. They respond to new candidates and shifting issue sets. Using past turnout patterns can be useful when modeling a universe of voters, but the polls cannot tell us with certainty what will happen on Election Day anymore. In a volatile environment where Trump has saturated every inch of our cultural fabric with politics, who the hell knows what’s going to happen? Maybe Democrats might actually win the Senate. Maybe Republicans will keep the House.”

“Can the fed vote tilt the election?” [Federal News Network]. “Can the large number of federal workers in low-voter turnout cities and districts make the difference in next Tuesday’s congressional and gubernatorial elections? Many federal and postal union leaders think and hope so. And the numbers, if they can get their people to turn out, show they could be correct. Over the weekend The Washington Post ran a full page story complete with color maps showing areas, congressional districts and cities where many if not most registered voters didn’t show up at the polls in 2016. Norfolk, Virginia, was at the top of the list with a turnout of only 44 percent. Yet the Tidewater region of Virginia is chock full of feds, including 13,448 at the Norfolk Naval Base and another 9,800 at the nearby Portsmouth shipyard. San Antonio ranked number two on the Post’s no-show-no-vote cities where only 48 percent voted. There are about 6,000 federal civilians working for the military, plus many others with other agencies. The Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn ranked 3, 4 and 5 as voter no-shows in 2016 yet the metro area has thousands of feds from DEA and FBI agents to IRS workers and postal employees.”

GA Governor: “NEW POLL: Race for Georgia governor as close as ever” [WSB-TV].

IL-12: “Farmers are losing money thanks to Trump — but they still support him” [Politico]. “Though soybean prices have plunged 20 percent and farm incomes are down 50 percent over the past five years, farmers who plan to vote for [incumbent Mike Bost] say they still have faith their economic pain will be short-lived. They highlight new negotiations with the European Union, Japan and U.K. as a sign of forward progress and support the tariffs as necessary to protect U.S. national security.”

“No One Wants to Campaign With Bill Clinton Anymore” [New York Times]. “As Democrats search for their identity in the Trump era, one aspect has become strikingly clear: Mr. Clinton is not part of it. Just days before the midterm elections, Mr. Clinton finds himself in a kind of political purgatory, unable to overcome past personal and policy choices now considered anathema within the rising liberal wing of his party.” • As opposed to the aging liberal wing of the party, I suppose. Seriously, would shunning Harvey Weinstein have been enough? Or is it “anything goes” if you’re inside Pelosi’s “big tent”?

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“The GOP’s Sneakiest Voter Suppression Tactic” [The New Republic (Gerald)]. “Over the past decade, Republican elections officials have been shuttering polling places in minority neighborhoods, low-income districts, and on college campuses at a feverish pace. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the U.S. had more than 132,000 polling places; by the time Donald Trump ascended to the White House, eight years later, more than 15,000 of them had been closed nationwide. After 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court basically lifted federal Voting Rights Act oversight from states that were particularly notorious for racial discrimination in elections—including Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, and Texas—the pace of poll closures went into hyperdrive. Thanks to Shelby County v. Holder, if you ran elections in a majority-black county in Georgia, or a booming Latino neighborhood in Houston, you no longer had to ask the Department of Justice to approve a change in where people could vote, or to prove the intent wasn’t discriminatory. While voter ID laws must be passed by lawmakers, guaranteeing news coverage and public debate, it’s a snap to move or close polling locations.” • So much care and tnought goes into this…

“Uber & Lyft are offering free rides to the polls — but here’s what they don’t tell you” [Clark.com]. “Much has been made recently about the good deed being offered by two of America’s most popular ridesharing services. Uber and Lyft have both announced that they are going to give voters in the midterm elections rides to the polls on Tuesday, November 6. But what Uber and Lyft aren’t saying, at least not as loud, is that those free rides to the polling stations are one way. In other words, once you take one of these companies up on their offer, they won’t take you back home — for free, at least.”

New Cold War

“Mystery of the Midterm Elections: Where Are the Russians?” [New York Times]. “Whether a Russian change of tactics is unfolding is just one of many mysteries surrounding this first national election in the United States after the most sophisticated effort ever discovered to divide Americans, and ultimately seek to alter the outcome, by a foreign power.” • Personally, I think South Carolina’s “Fire Eaters” had a far more “sophisticated effort” to “divide Americans” in 1860; they deliberately split the Democrats Lincoln won, and the South seceded. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” was pretty good, too. I don’t think Obama’s comments on “bitter” “cling to” types, or Clinton’s on “deplorables” are in the same league, but the impulse to “divide Americans” is clearly there. The efforts of “foreign powers” — or, as the latter-day Jim Crow types put it, “outside agitators” — aren’t even trivial by comparison. They are tiny pin-pricks compared to great bludgeoning blows by powerful and well-funded political actors. For pity’s sake.

“The CIA’s communications suffered a catastrophic compromise. It started in Iran.” [Yahoo News]. “From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaired — despite warnings about what was happening — until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials… The disaster ensnared every corner of the national security bureaucracy… One country where the impact appears to have been contained is Russia.” • With leak like this, you always have to wonder why now (the Friday before election day) and what sort of disinformation it is. Taking the story at face value, the intelligence community is just completely hosed, institutionally. So how come its leadership gets to be authoritative anonymous sources for RussiaRussiaRussia! stories in the papers — I did note, and quote, the careful exclusion of Russia from the debacle — or swan around being talking heads on cable? It’s like treating our Generals like Napoleon when they keep losing very expensive wars.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“US elections: Just another flawed supply chain?” [Supply Chain Dive]. “I can’t help but think of the growth in earlier voting — spreading out the vote over a few weeks — as analogous to supply chain trends heading into peak retail season…. Voting, after all, depends on a supply chain too, though the ‘consumers’ in this scenario go home empty-handed. Materials, like ballots and voting machines, must be procured in the right number at the right place and time at risk of dampening activity in-store — I mean in-polling place.” • Interesting, but since voting isn’t a transaction — we hope! — I don’t think the analogy hold.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, October 2018: “In a very strong showing in which wage pressures may be less severe than they look, October’s nonfarm payroll growth easily surpassed expectations” [Econoday]. “Average hourly earnings posted an expansion high year-on-year rate [but] the month-to-month pace actually eased. The monthly slowing in wages removes at least some of the urgency felt by the hawks at the Federal Reserve who were voicing their views at the September FOMC that policy may, in a need to cool the economy and the labor market, have to rise beyond neutral and into the restrictive zone.”

Factory Orders, September 2018: “[F]actory orders in October added to September’s very strong gain” [Econoday]. “Orders for core capital goods (nondefense ex-aircraft) slipped… A big positive in today’s report is a second straight strong build for unfilled orders…. The manufacturing sector is a central strength of the U.S. economy and, despite softness in capital goods, looks to be closing out 2018 in favorable fashion.”

International Trade, September 2018: ‘The nation’s trade deficit continued to widen in September” [Econoday]. “First the good news and that’s a strong showing for aircraft exports that lifted capital goods…. Now the news on imports where consumer goods rose… Going into what looks like building drama for trade talks, the nation’s trade deficit was going in the wrong direction. Net exports proved very weak in the third quarter with the outlook for the fourth quarter uncertain.” And but: “September 2018 Trade Rolling Averages Improved” [Econintersect]. “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 improved for exports and improved for imports…. Our analysis differs from the headline view in that BOTH imports and exports declined this month – but still, the rolling averages improved and growth continues to be in the range seen for the last year…. There continues to be little evidence of a trade war in the data.” And: “In general, trade has been picking up” [Calculated Risk].

Shipping: “U.S. ports and terminals may face new layer of scrutiny in wake of container explosion” [Logistics Management]. “The pre-Holloween explosion of a fully loaded outbound container at a Port of Los Angeles terminal was a scary incident for a number of reasons, say shipping analysts. The one recurrent nightmare for shipping security experts has long been the possibility of a weaponized container entering the nation’s largest port to wreak havoc and destruction. But the fact that the recent explosion at an LA Port Terminal was caused by a container loaded in the U.S. and destined for an export market may now have an impact on new protocols for outbound inspection and diligence.”

Shipping: “Container line alliances reduce shipper choice, says ITF as the EC reviews the rules” [The Loadstar]. “Brought into law in 2010 – following the EU’s decision to outlaw the conference system that allowed shipping lines to jointly set freight rates – the Maritime Consortia Block Exemption Regulation has enabled carriers to jointly run services and manage capacity on those services – in effect, paving the way for today’s deepsea alliance structure…. The ITF’s Impact of Alliances in Container Shipping report, authored by Olaf Merk, Lucie Kirstein and Filip Salamitov, argues that the alliance structure has reduced shippers’ choice and reduced service levels through ‘lower service frequencies, fewer direct port-to-port connections, declining schedule reliability and longer waiting times.'”

The Bezzle: “Goldman Sachs Ensnarled in Vast 1MDB Fraud Scandal” [New York Times]. “Federal prosecutors on Thursday unveiled a guilty plea from one former Goldman Sachs banker and announced bribery and money laundering charges against a second banker, as part of an investigation into the alleged embezzlement of billions of dollars from a state-run investment fund in Malaysia. Prosecutors also brought charges against the Malaysian businessman they believe stole some of the money: Jho Low, who spent millions of dollars on gifts to celebrities like the actor Leonardo DiCaprio and the model Miranda Kerr.” • Here is the Times’ rather-too-admiring 2015 profile of Low: “Jho Low, Well Connected in Malaysia, Has an Appetite for New York.”

The Bezzle: “Bird sues Beverly Hills over its ban of motorized scooters” [Los Angeles Times]. “Bird” the company, which isn’t how I read the headline at first. More: “In the lawsuit, Bird alleges that the Beverly Hills City Council’s July decision to ban scooters violated several California laws, including a clause that gives motorized scooter riders the same rights on the road as drivers, bicyclists and motorcycle riders… By not analyzing the potential effects of a scooter ban, Beverly Hills also violated California’s rigorous environmental laws, Bird said. Electric scooters have the potential to take cars off the road, improving air quality, the company said.”

Tech: “Apple Inc.’s plan to drive growth by raising prices on its devices is working well for the electronics giant but less so for its suppliers. Apple’s revenue in the most recent quarter rose nearly 20% to $62.9 billion, the WSJ’s Tripp Mickle reports, with the lift coming largely from higher iPhone prices. But there was virtually no change in the number of iPhones that Apple sold over that time period, and that’s reverberating throughout the company’s vast global supply chain. The focus on pricing comes as smartphone demand is cooling” [Wall Street Journal]. “[M]any of Apple’s manufacturers in Asia have seen their business slip as the company focuses more on profit margin than volume. That echoes trends in several sectors, including freight providers that are finding more financial growth from higher prices than from getting more goods out the door.” • Hmm….

Tech: “Hello and a big welcome to everyone arriving from Google+” [JoinDiaspora].

Honey for the Bears: “Watch out: 3 warning signs U.S. economy could be close to recession” [Axios]. “Among the experts forecasting a continuing slowdown going into 2020: the IMF, and Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, both former Fed heads.”

The Fed: “Fed may again throw markets by doing what it says on rate hikes” [MarketWatch]. “The median forecast of the Fed’s dot plot is for three hikes in 2019, though the FOMC is currently evenly split between 2, 3 or 4 hikes, noted Ellen Zentner, chief economist at Morgan Stanley. The volatility seen in stock markets this year stems, at least in part, when the market thinks the Fed is serious.”

Our Famously Free Press

“Midterms in the local news void” [Columbia Journalism Review]. “Ken Doctor of Nieman Lab reported yesterday that, at least partially to cut costs, Gannett titles in 109 markets across the United States will not print comprehensive election results on Wednesday morning. Gannett websites will drop their paywalls to let visitors see results online, but the impact of decisions like this should not be downplayed: according to a Pew Research Center study published in January 2016, around half of US newspaper readers only consume a printed product.” • And for an example of excellent local reporting, see Portland Maine’s The Bollard

“Maine First Mania: Infiltrating Larry Lockman’s hate crusade” [Crash Barry, The Bollard]. The lead: “On June 21, I set up a Facebook account under the nom de plume Gary Johnson. This was the initial step in a months-long effort to infiltrate the Maine First Project, a white-nationalist group run by Larry Lockman, the Republican state lawmaker from Hancock County who’s become notorious for his anti-Muslim, misogynist and homophobic provocations.” • Which the writer does. And what a wretched hive of grifting and dweebery the Maine First Project turns out to be. Well worth a read.


“What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like” [Vox]. “[M]ost of those [rosy] scenarios rely heavily on “negative emissions” — ways of pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere…. The primary instrument of negative emissions is expected to be BECCS: bioenergy (burning plants to generate electricity) with carbon capture and sequestration. The idea is that plants absorb carbon as they grow; when we burn them, we can capture and bury that carbon. The result is electricity generated as carbon is removed from the cycle — net-negative carbon electricity. One small complication in all this: There is currently no commercial BECCS industry….. Plenty of people reasonably conclude that’s a bad idea, but alternatives have been difficult to come by.” • This is a useful roundup.

Heatlh Care

“Gun Store Owner Marshals Voters To Expand Medicaid In Idaho” [KHN]. “Standing outside the gun shop she co-owns, next to her SUV sporting “NRA” on the license plate, Christy Perry pledges full support for President Donald Trump… She’s helping lead the drive to persuade state voters to expand Medicaid — a central tenet of the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law embraced by Democrats and derided by many Republicans. Perry has been pushing for Medicaid expansion the past several years in the state legislature, but those efforts were thwarted by top House leaders. Now a ballot initiative, Proposition 2, puts the matter before Idaho voters.”

Class Warfare

“Tech elite stages a Revolt of the Haves against employers” [Associated Press]. “One reason the protest was so big and well-coordinated, he said, is that Google largely employs white-collar technical and support workers. That’s a more homogenous workforce than, say, Amazon, which employs both high-paid engineers and warehouse and grocery workers who earn much, much less.” • That’s a remarkably jaundiced headline, for AP; see Yves today.

“UPS Freight, Teamsters labor impasse may be coming to a head” [Logistics Management]. “Recent developments regarding a new labor agreement between UPS Freight, the les-than-truckload unit of UPS, and the Teamsters Freight National Bargaining Committee over a new labor contract could have ramifications that potentially lead to a strike, or the semblance of one…. And due to this situation, in an effort to ensure transparency and not put customer volume at risk, UPS said that effective today, November 1, UPS will not pick up any UPS Freight volume with a delivery date after November 8…. As for what happens next, [Stifel analyst David Ross] pegged the chances of UPS seeing its first labor strike, and the company’s first since 1997, at better than 50%, adding it is not clear how long it may last and that UPS does not want to leave the LTL business. He said that some UPS Freight Teamsters staffers contend UPS does not want to be in the LTL sector, with this contract impasse providing a reason for them to exit it.”

“UPS is clearing its network of all freight in case of a strike. The company says it can’t “afford to put our customers’ volume at risk of being stranded” if the union goes through with a previously authorized work stoppage at the less-than-truckload division. It’s a risky gambit meant to show the Teamsters the company means business—the unit’s 11,000 members already rejected one deal, and the current extension expires Nov. 12″ [Wall Street Journal].

News of the Wired

“When do we turn back the clocks?” [MarketWatch]. “In the U.S., the clocks will be turned back one hour on Nov. 4, at 2 a.m. local time.” Are we falling back and springing forward? Or falling forward and springing back? We’ll know on election day…

“Can’t We Just Stop Resetting Clocks Twice a Year?” [Bloomberg]. Our circadian rhythm needs time to adjust — and doesn’t get it. An hour of sleep is added or subtracted and we are expected to go about our business for the next week as though nothing has happened. The effect is hard to measure directly, but we can look at the results. In perhaps the best-known result, a number of studies show an increase in automobile accidents as drivers adjust. Many researchers also claim that the biannual change causes a modest increase in heart attacks. (Others are skeptical.) So we seem to be doing harm, both to society and to our physical selves, all in the service of a back-and-forth shift driven by little but myth and habit.” • I hate the time change. Nothing like darkness at 5:30 (bad enough) and then 4:30 (awful).

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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 (dedicated lurker):

dedicated lurker writes: “Dahlia festival at Swan Island, Oregon Dahlia Farm, August 2018.”

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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. WobblyTelomeres

    indicates that we are heading for a midterm election with explosively high turnout.

    As a poll worker, at least the day will pass quickly.

  2. allan

    “Nothing like darkness at 5:30 (bad enough) and then 4:30 (awful).”

    So being at the eastern edge of the Eastern Time Zone is about as much fun
    as being in the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party?

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      The trouble with resolving DST is that about a third of people would like it reset with more evening (me), a third would like more morning (weirdos), and the rest haven’t been bothered enough to notice.

      Let’s split the difference and cut the workday to 6 hours.

    2. Carla

      So Lambert, are you advocating that we keep Daylight Saving time all year? I could live with that, but it IS awfully dark for schoolchildren in the winter mornings.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Then change the school hours as needed. And don’t teach kids or their parents to be afraid of dark.

        Yes, keep daylight savings permanently. Even as I’ve aged and become an alien with ear hair, I mean ‘morning person’ I would still much prefer light later in the day.

        1. KPC

          I do not advocate Daylight Saving time at all. On the other hand, the changing is obnoxious and reverberates to others in a highly negative manner. I work globally… . And we do NOT all change our time. Constantly have to accommodate obnoxious unnatural change… .

          As for the fragile little USA darling children getting hurt or afraid of the dark… ? Part of the problem. Life is not perfect and they need to be educated to live in the real world.

          The original reason for DST apparently sourced in agriculture so it was light later for planting and harvesting. Given my “early childhood development” in this very area, I still do not get it. Did I not just get up earlier or some such nonsense?

          Now we have so much outdoor lighting it looks like a Walmart parking lot from Maine to Florida when you fly over it.

          Furthermore, check out a monastic life style, especially the sleep, eat, work gig. Very helpful from time to time. I prefer the Benedictine as my initial linguistics studies were done with those fabulous nuns. Jesuit? Well, the law.

          But the daily routine is helpful especially if one adjusts it to principle based on the environmental differences from region to region, including a time of light and a time of dark.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            How often do you fly over America from Maine to Florida? How big a trail of Carbon Bigfoot Footprints are you laying down every time you make that flight?

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            By the way, I don’t believe our ” fragile little USA darling children” could be any more fragile than your “fragile little Central America darling children” are . . . down there in Central America or wherever it is that you actually live at.

    3. polecat

      I like to observe the hens, as they go by chicken time !! They know what to do — they’re the adults in room .. er .. coop.
      As usual, humons seem to learn nothing of nature ..

      1. Jen

        When the days get long, my flock and I are not exactly on the same circadian rhythm. They want to hang out until almost full dark, and by 9pm, I’m ready to turn in. As a result, I’ve become a ninja level chicken herder.

      2. KPC

        El Rey the cockatiel might find some commonality… . Makes a great non-electric alarm clock outside my bedroom window… .

        1. sierra7

          Yeah, leave it to the “animals” to keep the faith! “gaggles” of turkeys (12-20 at a crack) cross our properties in the Sierra foothills around 6AM every morning…..birds signal the rising sun…..who needs DST or even a clock….I know, many are still working…..Decide on what we want, DST, or other; set it and forget it. Live is all about continual adjustment; just deal with it.

  3. flora

    re: “Democrats don’t understand this surprising secret of Trump’s success” [Mark Penn, FOX].
    Trump runs on ideas. (imo, That’s in keeping with the Enlightenment emphasis that ideas are more important than received wisdom, or hereditary power – whether or not you agree with the ideas .)

    re:“No One Wants to Campaign With Bill Clinton Anymore” [New York Times].
    “As Democrats search for their identity in the Trump era, …” (An identity crisis in the party may lead to grappling with ideas or it may not. An identity crisis is not an idea in itself. imo.)

    So we’re back to campaigns running on ‘ideas’ vs on ‘identity’… again.

    1. Eureka Springs

      I suspect it’s about the grift. Clinton’s gotta grift a lot or he probably won’t leave the strike/brothel/strike house.

      Best thing Clinton did as Pres. was raise speed limits. Best thing Bush Jr. did was extend daylight savings by a month (earlier in Spring).

  4. Angie Neer

    Diaspora* insists on including an asterisk in its name? Seriously?

    *Yes, Diaspora* insists on including an asterisk in its name.
    *Yes, Diaspora* insists on including an asterisk in its name.
    *Yes, Diaspora* insists on including an asterisk in its name.
    *Help me!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Zero or more Diasporas” is not a good message to send, from a marketing perspective.

      But kudos to them for hanging in there, after enormous amounts of hype (followed by tragedy).

  5. grayslady

    As a senior, I’m glad that I don’t live in a city that allows scooters. Why are all ecologically-sensitive transportation options geared to teens? It’s bad enough when I see skateboarders using the city streets, endangering themselves and others, but scooters? It doesn’t surprise me that this is primarily a west coast phenomenon where tech businesses are dominated by youngsters. Can’t we just bring back trams–something that serves everyone and keeps better schedules than buses?

    1. Summer

      I don’t see why they just don’t sell the damn scooters without the “changing the world hype.”

      It’s just a scooter. They’ve been around for decades.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Up until about a year ago here in Arkansas 50cc or less required no license, tags or insurance. Now I know why that changed.

      2. Lee

        From time to time there’s a kid in the neighborhood who buzzes by on a scooter with a teeniny internal combustion engine. It’s kind of cute, particularly since there’s just one and not a multitude.

        A friend of ours built his own electric scooter. It’s considerably more sturdy and much more powerful than the tinker toy rentals. Its rate of acceleration from zero to its top speed of 40 mph is stunning.

    2. Bugs Bunny

      Your humble rabbit saw a man and a woman riding together on one of those idiot electric scooters in northern Paris today (18ème), doing about 50 kph, no helmets, right up the middle of the street, basically insane.

      Wanted to shout something about getting off my lawn but they were long gone by then.

      1. Octopii

        Wild and crazy. What also seems popular in Paris (4ème) are the little solo wheel electric unicycles that have foot pegs on either side of the wheel/motor/battery unit and that’s it. They go pretty fast too. The businessmen commute on them, looks like fun. And when they reach the office they’ll flip the foot pegs up, grab the handle on top, carry it up and stash it under the desk til the day’s end. No bother with rentals or apps or tracking.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I take the point that scooters do less environmental damage — we really do need language that is less bloodless — than cars. But I can’t stand the attitude of the scooter companies to public space (just dump them anywhere when you’re done) or the law (“permissionless innovation”). Those attitudes, if made universal, don’t bode well for the environment (comment on language as above) either.

      1. KPC

        Separate issues? Rude is rude, in my experience, regardless of the activity.

        Then Americans in this zone? Really? Come on, buck up and confess. It is all about the individual…freedom, democracy and free speech… . Etc. Not a 100%, mind you, but the under current in the culture of entitlement is there… .

        I believe the O one was the first USA president to actually use the phrase “the exceptional American”. No, I am not going to spend my time looking of a link.

  6. Roy G

    Re: Pelosi’s ‘Big Tent’: the Greatest Show on Earth™ is the bien pensant bourgeois Dems loudly mocking the (left wing) Freaks and Geeks and Bernie Bros that mistakenly wander in, while the carnival owners run rigged games on the midway to fleece the rubes. Throw the ring on the bottle and win Medicare for All!

    1. Not From Here

      “Our party is a big tent con. Our districts and opportunities for corruption are very different one from the other… Each of our Members is selected to be the independent bagman representative of their district. Their job description and their job title are one and the same: corporate extortionist representative. So, nobody’s district is scamming off somebody else’s district. It’s just a sign of vitality of our party, we’ll take a bribe from anyone.

  7. Expat2uruguay

    I am perplexed. What is meant by the term jaundiced headline used to describe AP reporting? Is it a reference to yellow journalism? Please explain

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > jaundiced

      I meant “appropriately cynical.” (Because who, after all, would not be jaundiced at this point?)

      I seem to have gotten out over my skis by adding the connotation of “approriately,” but then again in addition to being Mr. Counter-Suggestible, I am Mr. Semantic Shove (as opposed to “semantic drift”).

  8. Enquiring Mind

    Birds are flipped on streets around the country. I’ve seen them flipped on sidewalks in west LA and even in the subway. Is it any wonder that the City of Beverly Hills looks askance at all of them?

    1. KPC

      One would think this view of trash and disorder on public streets would NOT be limited to “scooters”? Ever here of this word called “respect” for the common space…the gods and goddesses forgive me the use of that word as I might end up sounding communist or, I suppose OK here, socialist?

      Fidel would never have tolerated this in front of his law offices in Habana, back in the day.

      Or, how about common sense and slap the idiot aside of the head for being obnoxious?

  9. Synoia

    The primary instrument of negative emissions is expected to be BECCS: bioenergy (burning plants to generate electricity

    Not solar? Aka Somewhat safe fusion reactor.

    Ah! I translate that to wood, dried for a year, burning power stations. I just don;t see dried grass power stations having enough fuel..

    And the reason we started mining and burning Coal? The UK had reached the end of burning wood for smelting ore, because there not enough forests remaining.

    1. Linden S.

      I have been thinking about what will be the big thing that separates hard-core environmentalists from climate change activists (maybe this has already happened?). There is a good chance it will be when a major politician starts to suggest going all in on hydro or nuclear to prevent carbon emissions. I think, though, there is a good chance it is support of BECCS as a viable climate solution. I have not seen anything to suggest that it wouldn’t be an absolute disaster for biodiversity, forests, water use, fertilizer use, etc. *even if it worked as intended to pull CO2 out of the air.* Obviously all the negative emissions possibilities have to be researched and tried in small trials, but I really think almost none of them outside the old-fashioned ones (restore forests, wetlands and soil) will work at any meaningful scale.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > support of BECCS as a viable climate solution

        I haven’t done a lot of research but:

        1) BECCS has the smell of a deus ex machina, and

        2) BECCS is attractive because nothing else would need to change. That smells funny too.

        1. blennylips

          Good flimflammery detection, Lambert! — flimflamdar?

          Albert Bates, in his The Great Change: Acceleration

          Lately we have been attending the free webinars provided by the US National Academy of Sciences, UK’s Tyndall Centre, and others, bringing together various experts to look at our options in the climate arena, without all the b.s. or fairy dust (i.e.: clean coal, nuclear energy, BECCS, and geoengineering).

        2. Linden S.

          “deus ex machina” seems exactly right. BECCS is a strange example of a pervasive idea that is seen as all-powerful, despite no prominent demonstrations of it being viable. I don’t know how new resource-intensive technologies have been introduced in the past, but it seems telling that an interested country (e.g. Norway) or interested corporations (e.g. any fossil fuel company or coal-burning utility) has not set up a BECCS demonstration plant to show how and where it can be feasible. It very much just seems like a thinly disguised scam that we are supposed to believe will magically arrive and take over when the fossil fuel companies generously decide to stop selling the one product they are made to sell.

    2. c_heale

      I think BECCS is a complete waste of time. There’s no way people won’t cheat and take more biomass than they plant and the end result will be the same as happened in the UK, the destruction of the forests (and catastrophic global warming). That’s without even considering the loss of biodiversity which it probably entails (which may be enough to wipe us out anyway). We’ve reached the end of the road as regards energy and we need to use a lot less of it in the future. Which probably means a lot less humans.

    3. John

      Solar or nuclear produce very low emissions, BECCS actually removes CO2 from the air. The problem is that carbon sequestration takes energy making the whole process more costly.

      You need to collect biomass and bury it. Even that takes energy to drive the tractors and trucks to grow the material and reap it. Moreover, plants require nutrients such as potassium and simply burying biomass depletes the soil of such nutrients.

      There are promising reports of mineral based technologies using waste heat. Some minerals absorb CO2 from the air. When heated the CO2 is released. You set up a cycle where the minerals are periodically heated with the exhaust from a furnace. The CO2 evolved this way is captured and buried.

      Another way is to expose olivine to acid rain. Olivine can react with the CO2 in water forming permanent carbonates. Olivine is one of the main constituents of the sea floor so we have lots of it. Again, it takes energy to dig up the olivine and expose it to the air.

    4. KPC

      BECCS is not viable for the reason Lindon S sites and more.

      The n option is NOT viable for the reason of toxicity and it also is a limited resource.

      The answer starts with us people using less including the observation that there is 30% to 43% waste factor in USA systems. Even I was shocked. So, taking out 30% to 43% waste as in contamination does nothing in the context of the oh so privilelged “lifestyle” of the postmoderns.

      Then we can deal with the real causes in a far more appropriate manner explicitly including no violence.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I remember some time ago where someone commented that when Bolsonaro wins the Brazilian election, his government will set in motion the total burndown of the Amazon and the total release of all that carbon into the collective atmosphere. I remember you telling that commenter that ” you in the USA should take care of your own house and we will take care of our own house.” That national-emotionalist response was what made me assume you are Brazilian.

        But then you reversed yourself 180 degrees in a more recent comment by describing America’s levels of carbon emission as “violence” directed against ” yourselves” in Central America or wherever it is that you actually are. And I thought to myself that if our release of CO2 is violence against you, then Brazil’s upcoming release of CO2 is violence against us. And given that Bolsonaro has won exactly as predicted, Brazil will become an equal co-vortex of Global Warming in the world today, right up there with America.

        I have been, and am being, very polite. But I ( and some others here) make up what could be called a “tough audience”. And if I ( and possibly others) see you ( or possibly others) trying to have your cake both ways and eat it too, I ( and possibly others) will make public note of it in these threads.

  10. dcblogger

    When has Mark Penn ever been right about anything? Name me one example of a high turnout election that did not mean gains for Democrats? And this year it is off the charts.

    1. marym

      Health Care, Health Care, Health Care…and Taxes

      In Tables 12-14, we look at top issue mentions by Democrats and Republicans between September 4 and October 25 for US Senate, US House and gubernatorial races. Listed percentages show the rate of mentions for various issues, and because ads often feature more than one issue, percentages may add up to more than 100. (It is also not the case that one can add percentages down a column to make certain inferences about issue mentions. For example, in Table 12, 48 percent of Senate Democratic ads mention health care and 12 percent mention prescription drugs. These airings may overlap, meaning it is not the case that 60 percent of ads mention one or the other issue.)

      Democrats are focused on health care in congressional and gubernatorial campaigns alike, with corruption and the budget distant runners-up in Senate race; taxes and social security far back in House races; and education and taxes behind, but still prominent, in gubernatorial campaigns.

      10 House races where health care could swing the 2018 election

      No issue has mobilized Democrats more, after Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year. Polling from the Pew Research Center, Kaiser Family Foundation, and others has shown health care is arguably the top issue for voters this year. It has become a staple of Democrats’ campaigns across the country — from progressive enclaves where running on single-payer health care boosts turnout to red-tinted states that voted for Trump, where vulnerable Democrats are leaning into the protections for preexisting conditions embedded in Obamacare.

      1. marym

        Adding: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-what-the-midterm-campaign-looks-like-in-your-hometown/

        Issues in House, Senate and gubernatorial races in 2018, by Nielsen media market and issue mentions in media market, by party

        Health Care and Prescription Drugs
        A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that health care is the top issue for midterm voters, so it’s no surprise that it’s been the most heavily-aired theme of the election. More than 1.2 million television ads have mentioned health care, with nearly 75 percent of those ads coming from Democrats.

    2. todde

      In my lifetime”

      1968 with over 60% voter turnout went to Nixon.
      2008 58.2% Obama
      2004 55.7% Bush
      2016 55.5% Trump
      1992 55.2% Clinton
      2012 54.9% Obama
      1976 53.6% Carter
      1984 53.3% Reagan

      At the Presidential level, doesn’t appear to be a correlation.

      1. todde

        In 1970, the highest mid term election in my lifetime, democrats took 12 seats. (47.3%)

        1982, the democrats took 26 seats. (42% turnout)

        1994, the second highest, Repubicans gained 54 seats. (41.1%)

        2010 – 3rd highest – Republicans gained 63 seats. (41%)

    3. marym

      Also adding: Has Penn seen something the rest of us missed to indicate that Trump on immigration is about anything but identity?

      1. Skip Intro

        He may have seen that many concerned with immigration are actually concerned about economic issues, namely their jobs.

        1. marym

          White identity politics seems often to get a pass as something else. In this particular case if we’re talking about how the parties are campaigning, the anti-immigrant “issue” as framed by the right isn’t about jobs.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Quite the contrary. If the idea that “deaths of despair” in the flyover states were the result of targeting whites as such ever took hold there would be hell to pay. That enormous opportunity has not been seized, thank The God(dess)(e)(s) of Your Choice, If Any. Let’s hope it never is.

            But if ascriptive identity is the only career open to talents, as it were — which it must be, if economics is erased — than you can hardly blame the aspirational among such identities for playing that game. It is, after all, the only game in town. (See, e.g., Gal 6:7.)

            1. marym

              Yet we argue that identity groups that are targeted as such should bring class into the picture.

              Clintonian “identity politics” of apportionining seats on the board of directors, or means-testing public benefits fits your argument as best I understand it.

              However, “identity” activism at the fringes or outside of elite electoral politics is often about expanding rights and protections among the non-elite and the marginalized. The Trump/Miller/Sessions/Kemp etc. identity agenda is about contracting them.

              We ought at least to have the same critique of flown-over whites as of leftward identity activists. Class and economics should be brought into the picture beyond blaming the more expansionist/inclusionist faction for the more exclusionist one.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Trump on illegal immigration may well be largely Identyan about it.

        That leaves a vacuum waiting for SanderSocial Democrats to fill. That vacuum is this. Illegal Immigrationism is fostered by the Upper Class to destroy wage scales, workplace standards, union membership and everything else the Lower Class Majority ever benefited from. A race-neutral ethneutral ban on illegal immigration would give equal weight to the European Student Visa overstayer and the Southern Border bordercrasher alike. The goal would be to create a desperate enough labor shortage in this country that the employER class will be tortured and extorted into re-raising wages and re-improving conditions for the Legal Residents already here.

        Americans won’t pick a lettuce plant in the hot California sun? Maybe some of us will if we were paid $50.00/hour to pick that lettuce. Let’s give it a try. After all, Cesar Chavez was bitterly opposed to Illegal Immigration because he understood exACTly how it was used to beat down his United Farm Workers unionization efforts.

    4. JerryDenim

      I don’t keep up with all of Mark Penn’s pronouncements, but I didn’t see a word in the article saying the Democrats won’t pick up seats in the upcoming elections.

      What Penn was saying was what Lambert and lots of lefty-progressives have been saying since Trump was elected; You can’t beat something with nothing. Red-Scare hysterics and name calling may motivate the minority which is the MSNBC faithful, perhaps they can be persuaded to vote for a lost cause like Hillary, again, but unlike the Democrats Trump has staked out his own turf. Agree or disagree with his heterodox stance on both trade and immigration, Trump is on the more popular side of both issues. Winning issues, bold stances, easy to understand policy positions, Trump yes, Democrats, not so much. However, if you like bland, centrist, confusing, business as usual, Washington Consensus, neo-liberal lite then you have a home in today’s Democratic Party. Any time the Democrats and their corporate lobbyists embrace a poll-tested popular issue what eventually emerges is a bizarrely complex, Rube-Goldberg profiteering machine that only an investor could love. Carbon credits, The ACA, Dodd-Frank, Cuomo’s “free college” plan, etc. Shall I continue?

      Muslim bans, troops to the Mexican border to stop a migrant caravan, high-handed executive tariffs on Chinese imports, while slap-dash and half-cocked, they seem simple and effective to Trump’s base. Any doubts about the effectiveness of his dubious policies are quickly dispelled by the non-stop screeching of the media, further cementing Trump’s bonafides among his base. I mean if everyone on MSNBC and CNN are apoplectic, it must be materially important, right???

      While Obama campaigned on renegotiating NAFTA and reimplementimg a new “21st century Glass-Steagal” once elected he promptly waved it all away as “campaign rhetoric” while deriding any of the voters who believed him as naive. Trump campaigned on renegotiating NAFTA and he actually did it. He said he was going to place tariffs on China, and he has followed through on his promise much to the chagrin of the financial elite and their economists who are completely fine with the US importing every single bauble, lawn chair, and electronic device we use.

      Trump would never send out a cabinet official to hold a press conference declaring “we can’t just abrogate contracts” in the middle of a national crisis. No, he would never pretend to be powerless, a prisoner to markets, appearances, principles or politics. He would face the cameras himself, scapegoat some poor innocent minority, announce some headline grabbing, specious policy that sounds tough, set Twitter and the cable news channels aflame with a racist joke, and then have a Bald Eagle land on his arm while F-16s conduct an overhead fly-by. Trump has earned his base by either doing or appearing to do all of the things politicians have told Americans for years aren’t feasible, possible, responsible, respectable, etc. etc. etc.

      Democrats ignore this lesson at their own peril. They are going to need some of those former Clinton (Bill) and Obama voters back if they want to remain a viable national party. If the Democrats would champion and deliver on some straightforward progressive policies that benefit everyone or a sizable majority of the population, they could win over a lot of independents and disgruntled non-voters who are disgusted by both major parties.

      If they don’t, I think the Democratic Party will be relegated to the dustbin of history as they will either be replaced by a more democratic third party that will be responsive to the wishes of the people, or the more likely outcome, either Trump, or a Trump successor will lead the final march to authoritarian rule in the United States making political parties a thing of the past. At this point it doesn’t look like the Supreme Court or the military would stop him.

      1. tegnost

        great comment, esp this re trump

        No, he would never pretend to be powerless, a prisoner to markets, appearances, principles or politics.

        The dems need to get a grip. I am with those who expect a surprise to up side for dems, and if so so we’re going to get a look at what they are willing to do, and about that I expect to be sorely disappointed because they have no basic goal that unites them. This combined with too many rice bowls leads me to believe it will be the same as it ever was…and trump will get re elected and I will want a really out of the way place to hide.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        That more democratic third party had better be very careful and watchful. Of what?
        Of the Pelosi Clintobamacrat faction infiltrating their NeoLiberal DLC operatives into it by stealth to take it over or destroy it from within.

        That more democratic third party will have to be fanatically McCarthyistic , or dare I say Spanish Inquisitionistic, about extremely vetting every wannabe entrant for hidden Clinton or Pelosi or Obama or other such connections. Such gangrenous filth will have to be overzealously watched for and viciously excluded from that more democratic third party. And if any filth garbage Clintonites shall be found to have infiltrated that more democratic third party, that Clintonite filth garbage will have to be ejected and destroyed convincingly enough that other Clintonite filth become personally afraid to try infiltrating that more democratic third party in like manner.

      3. KPC

        You may be beginning to follow the issues… .

        As for the march to the Mexican border, there are very legitimate questions as to source of funding, organization and so on.

        The current president of Mexico (he is lame duck) offered the marchers effective citizenship in Mexico, as I understand the press reports. This actually makes sense from our point of view including, I think, the incoming Mexican president. I am NOT Mexican nor do I live there.

        One should also observe that many of these marchers are allegedly from Honduras which is curious in its source and timing. E.g., during the time of O I believe there was a small problem in Honduras with the Americans, shall we say, trying to inappropriately (illegally) interfere in the Honduran presidential elections…. which would be rather recent in the scale and scope of time?

        This might actually relate to my comment concerning bananas.

        Just saying… .

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It wasn’t “the Americans”. It was Clinton. Clinton was the deliberate engineer of the destruction of society in Honduras. Nobody benefits by letting the Evil Clinton off the hook here.
          Or in Libya.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think we need to know where the turnout is.

      If the high turnout is in districts Democrats already control, they’re just racking up the score in places that don’t matter, exactly as in 2016. If the high turnout is in places Democrats are unlikely to control (Cruz +6.5) that doesn’t matter either. High turnout only matters in the toss-up districts. If that information is consolidated anywhere, I’ve missed it.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    “Poll Finds 2018 Midterms Resting On Critical Swing Group Of People Who Showed Up Looking For Community Center Pottery Class” [The Onion].

    As a (not practicing at present) potter, I wish the Onion could make fun of someone else (apologize for my lack of altruism or compassion for others – yes, I’m guilty of trying to shift the victimhood to others. But as a victim of meanness here, I’m entitled to some virtuous rage).

    1. JTMcPhee

      Would it have been less distressing had the snark been aimed at “ceramics class” participants? The kind that just paint glazes by numbers on the boughten precast forms of leprechauns and garden gnomes and such? That is, people of my age and level of artistic and artisanal talent?

      The planet is slow-cooking — soon enough we’ll all be too hot, sweaty and hungry for our Soylent wafers to be prickled about such stuff.

  12. Pedro

    The hour of light you loose at the end of the day you gain at the start of the day. It is really that simple. No idea where you are, but maybe the time zone for your area is just not the best time zone. And that is a totally different question from going back an hour to increase daylight in the morning. I certainly appreciate starting work with light outside and kids have much to gain from starting school with daylight.

    1. Darius

      We should make daylight savings time permanent but shift the time zones to the east so places like Michigan aren’t in the dark until 8:30 in the morning.

    2. human

      This is just another example of “civilizations'” hubris and wasteful nature. Nothing is gained or lost if you wake with sunrise and retire at sunset other than production for a modern master.

      1. CanCyn

        I for one look forward to retiring and following the sun. No more alarms, ever if I can help it. I am a time change hater, let’s fall back and just stay there.
        I can’t find a link but I recall some reading about the idea of removing some of the middle time zones in N. America. Knock it down to just two. Anyone in the east coast doing business with the west coast has to wait for them to get up and the west coasters can’t get much done at the end of the day.
        Drop the time change, drop some time zones and we’re good to go I say.

          1. Oregoncharles

            In China’s case, it’s a pointedly imperial policy: all those conquered people in the west are on Beijing time, because only the imperial capital really matters.

            IIRC, “China” stretches roughly as far east to west as the US.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Gee, you think that eventually that Apple would want to open an Apple building at the National September 11 Memorial space? Gotta blur those boundaries.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Pelosi: “Our party is a big tent. Our districts are very different one from the other… Each of our Members is elected to be the independent representative of their district.


    Not Big-Money dependent representative of Big Money (whose district is nowhere, and everywhere, simultaneously)???

    That doesn’t quite fit with today’s “Big Money Drives US Elections” post.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > That doesn’t quite fit with today’s “Big Money Drives US Elections” post.

      I don’t see why not. What Pelosi is saying is that the Democrat party, institutionally, has no principles. (Observation would suggest this, but it’s nice to have confirmation from a Leader).

      In consequence, it’s possible for Big Money to assemble coalitions for any policy, by picking and choosing from the smorgasbord of (entirely unprincipled) factions.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Search engines have degraded to the point to where I can no longer find a video I used to be able to find. The video was this: Jack Lessenberry was interviewing Representative Marcy Kaptur of the Greater Toledo area for Toledo based public TV.

        Marcy Kaptur spent several very interesting minutes describing how the corruptogenic Pelosi introduced “pay-to-play” against all her fellow DemParty representatives in the House. She demanded that each Representative raise big money in his/her district and send it to the Pelosi Slush Fund. Each Representative would be allowed onto committees or subcommittees only in proportion to the amount of money he or she sent back to Pelosi Incorporated….Representatives from poor districts, like Kaptur from Greater Toledo . . . districts with no Big Money anywhere to be found and raised . . . were kept off of “important” committees in order to prevent them from achieving any power-to-get-things-done in the House. Kaptur developed the workaround which she called “lateral representation”. She accepted the lowest totem-posts on many separate committees and subcommittees which could be made somehow relevant to the problems of Greater Toledo ( and Erie Shore Ohio more generally).

        If I were in Toledo I would vote FOR Kaptur. If I were in San Frisco I would vote aGAINST Pelosi.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    That was yesterday. Comes the hedge, today–

    “What a Democratic Wave in the House Might Look Like” [Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics].


    That sounds like the infamous prophecy to Croesus – ‘Make war with the Persians, and you will lose a mighty empire.’

    Here, it’s ‘a mighty party will lose.’

  15. Pat

    As a long time Democratic voter who has watched Democrats squander multiple opportunities to represent my political wish list, locally and nationally, I’m pretty damn sure that big tent that Pelosi is describing is really just part of the smoke and mirrors that the party now uses to disguise the fact that it DOES NOT represent the people who vote for their members.

    “Oh, your representative is doing their job, it is just that so many other people in this country don’t want that,” can only work as long as you don’t really run the numbers. For instance real lack of support for the Iraq invasion should have meant a much less one sided vote. Prosecution of the bankers was very popular, don’t seem to remember much of the Democratic congress pushing for that. Medicare for all (and I don’t mean the bs version we sometimes get from Democratic candidates seeking to have it both ways) is now the desire of over 50% of Americans. That would mean that a whole bunch of those Democrats should not only be signing onto the bills, but actively working to get it.

    I’ve stated that I don’t think the Dems want majorities. The only reason they might want one or both is if they think will improve their fundraising. Pelosi has spent much of this election period doing her best to temper any expectations voters might have that Democrats would do something in office. Schumer has spent the last months making it clear to anyone watching that opposition isn’t really on Senate Democrats agenda. I’m pretty sure that most people have not been watching AND that most voters aren’t hearing Nancy. I’m not sure how far their feckless pretense at opposition is going to get them, but I am pretty damn sure that ‘big tent’ and ‘no power’ and ‘Republicans!’ and ‘Trump!’ or Russians!’ is not going to stop their voters from noticing that voting D didn’t accomplish a damn thing they thought it was supposed to accomplish. And remember that small majorities and even no majority managed to halt all of Obama’s greatness in its tracks.

    Yes, I expect even more cynical ex-Democrats who reject that ‘big tent’ to be created every day.

    1. jo6pac

      The only reason they might want one or both is if they think will improve their fundraising.

      Nailed it, they surely don’t want it to help us on Main Street.

    2. Carey

      This WSWS article (whith which I have a few quibbles) fits in well with what you’re saying, I think:


      “An example of the media campaign to hustle votes for the Democrats is a column posted Wednesday on the New York Times’ website by the prominent advocate of identity politics Roxane Gay. Headlined “You’re Disillusioned. That’s Fine. Vote Anyway,” the piece is pitched to “disillusioned young voters” who believe that voting for either of the two corporate-controlled parties is a dead end.”

      Deterring democracy- the Democrats’ real job- can be tough work! Gotta keep those
      voting numbers up, at least enough to claim some veneer of legitimacy…

      1. UserFriendly

        God that is an awful article in NYT. I thought the companion piece to the 12 young people on why they aren’t voting was actually much better than the original. It was literally the only legitimate criticism of Obama from the left I have seen published in the MSM.

        You’re right to be disillusioned. The American political system has given young people plenty of cause for deleting its number from our phones, unfriending it on Facebook, and cutting it out of our lives completely in a fit of self-care.

        Electoral politics promised us a democracy, then let the Supreme Court pick our president; vowed to protect us from terror, then sent our friends to die for the cause of birthing ISIS; seduced us with sweet nothings about upward mobility and “the knowledge economy,” then buried us in our parents’ basements under a pile of student debt; gave us hope that an audacious young president would make change we could believe in — then bailed out the banks, foreclosed on our families, and delivered us into a nightmare parody of all that he was supposed to save us from. And now this sorry excuse for a republic has the temerity to ask us to study its byzantine voting rules, slip out of a job we can’t afford to lose in the middle of a Tuesday, and wait in line for hours to choose between a feckless donkey and a psychopathic elephant.

        But unfollowing electoral politics won’t make it disappear. And our political system will only grow more dangerous without your voice in its ear. So if you’re among the 65 percent of those ages 18 to 29 who plan to sit out the midterms, please consider the following five reasons to go to the polls.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One theory of mine is that, a total defeat leads to catharsis and the best opportunity to take over the D party.

      1. tegnost

        I’m a little opposite of that, i looking for a better than expected dem result, followed by a whole lot of nothing or worse so they get their clocks cleaned in the main event. The debt of the medical industry is manna from heaven for the top quintile and they’ll never give in on m4a without a fight. A real slow walking fight. Also, I’m getting a kick out of bernanke yellen prognostications of recession, there will be one eventually, and that it will be caused by raising the cost of money is no one’s fault but their own… I expect a doozy, and with compounded interest.

      2. John k

        That’s why I rooted for Clinton to lose. If she was pres now the progressives would be in even worse shape than we are now.

    4. JohnnyGL

      I’m actually not clear on what result (winning more or fewer seats) makes the defenestration of Schumer and Pelosi more likely. If I knew, I’d be cheering for it.

      I’m fine with the Blue Dogs in the Senate going to the unemployment office….those are pro-Schumer votes.

      1. Big River Bandido

        what result … makes the defenestration of Schumer and Pelosi more likely [?]

        There is zero correlation between public elections and elections within the party legislative caucuses. The “electorates” in both cases are completely different.

        Schumer and Pelosi are not really the “leaders” of their respective caucuses. They are where they are because they represent the interests of those legislators who vote for them.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the defenestration of Schumer and Pelosi more likely.

        Pelosi’s challengers, believe it or not, are to her right. Seth Moulton would be a natural leader of the CIA/Militarist freshmen….

        1. JohnnyGL

          Fair point on that. There’s still a conservative democrat wing that Mark Penn would likely be comfortable with that only wants to throw the id pol stuff over the side and get MORE republican. I thought Tim Ryan was probably the top challenger from the House.

          In any case, we’ve got a lot of deadwood to clear out of the top brass in both parties. Trump is doing more to reform Republicans than the left can claim to be doing to shake up the dems. It’s almost like the president can have real influence (to be fair, the Freedom Caucus whackos had a good head start).

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Really? Would that suggest that Seth Moulton should be elected for the short-term strategic goal of disinfecting Pelosi out of the House Dem Leadership?

    5. Darius

      Spot on except for one thing. Obama was in on the con 100 percent. A big tell is that he didn’t have a budget reconciliation bill loaded like a Christmas tree ready to go. Not bipartisan. They and he have no agenda they can talk about in public.

      1. Pat

        Sorry I didn’t make it clear that any reference to Obama’s greatness on my part is sarcasm. It still amazes me how many people still admire him and his wife. Part and parcel of that is having to willfully ignore all the evidence we have on a daily basis that the Republicans having forty percent of the Senate meant he couldn’t do “insert desired policy here” was bull. That a much larger Democratic opposition hasn’t (and won’t) put a dent in Trump’s agenda cannot help but chip away at that notion. Once that delusion is gone…

    6. John k

      Greatness? Obama?
      Great for bankers by not prosecuting, and great gor MIC for all those wars he started and refused to stop. And he had enthusiastic bipartisan support.

    7. drumlin woodchuckles

      Yes . . . Pelosi is a San Francisco Millionaire Liberal and proud of it. Her voters are proud of it too, and proud of her. She is a perfect expression of everything the San Frisco Limousine Liberals stand for. She will never be defeated. She is too popular and too perfect an expression of her district to ever be defeated.

      But can “Big Tent Pelosicrats” be defeated in every other district they run in? It depends on if embittered Democrat voters in the field hate the social class enemies hiding inside their own party enough to seek to destroy them. If embittered Democratic voters hate the Pelosicrats that much, they will vote Republican in every district where a Clintonite or an Obamazoid or a Flying CIA Monkey is running in order to wipe out this wing of the Democratic Party.

      Maybe SanderSocial Democrats should invert Paul Wellstone’s old phrase and being accusing the Clintobamacrats of being ” The Republican wing of the Democratic Party”.

  16. Quentin

    The Democrats’ reference to the big tent cracks me up. ‘Step right in ladies, gentlemen and children, the big tent is the greatest show on earth.’ Pelosi is too self–absorbed to get the gist of what she’s saying, inadvertently playing the clown with a straight face. It would be funny that she’s puts on such on a deadpan face to utter this inanity if the situation wasn’t so serious.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > ‘Step right in ladies, gentlemen and children, the big tent is the greatest show on earth.’

      Isn’t it rich?
      Are we a pair?
      Me here at last on the ground,
      You in mid-air,
      Where are the clowns?

      Not sure whether Democrats are on the ground and Republicans are in the air, or vice versa.

  17. Andrew Watts

    RE: “The CIA’s communications suffered a catastrophic compromise. It started in Iran.” With leak like this, you always have to wonder why now (the Friday before election day) and what sort of disinformation it is.

    Every news story doesn’t revolve around the midterm elections you know. This article nicely ties together Yasha Levine’s previous investigations into TOR and why the State Department / CIA would fund it and other programs like it. They need many different ways of communicating with their assets/agents due to the fact that one system can compromise your entire network of sources if it fails. They also disobeyed the first rule of communications security (comsec) which states that your comms are never secure. The disinformation that Americans are constantly bombarded with comes from the popular media about how infallible our spooks are.

    The OSS did the same media propaganda routine while destroying evidence to the contrary at the end of World War II. One of those major blunders was when the OSS station chief of Bern, Switzerland “lost” a briefcase of documents to the German Abwehr in a posh restaurant during the war. That station chief was none other than Allen Dulles. The Germans brazenly mocked him and other Americans about it over the radio afterwards. It’s probably a good thing the Abwehr was full of anti-Nazis.

    I also find the constant and repeated skepticism here over the use of confidential sources to be puzzling. Spies aren’t the only professionals that need to protect their sources from retaliation. Journalists have that duty as well. You should judge a story by it’s merits and how well it fits the overall picture.

    Context matters.

    Taking the story at face value, the intelligence community is just completely hosed, institutionally.

    Uhh, that’s not exactly a new development.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      The skepticism arises from our knowing Arthur Sulzberger signed on to aid and abet the Dulles brothers via the New York Times at the birth of the CIA; that the intelligence agencies, FBI, and military have worked hand-in-hand with the media and film industry to ensure any presentation of their respective groups are positive and uplifting and/or follow the desired playbook with regard to their activities foreign and domestic; that the CIA funded directly and indirectly any number of literary magazines, including the Paris Review and placed employees on the staffs of many if not most major newspapers; and that Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post has a $600 million contract to provide cloud services for the CIA and recently acquired a no-bid contract to supply the Pentagon.

      Other than that…

      1. Andrew Watts

        That comment doesn’t have anything to do with an unflattering story about the CIA and the malpractice it calls tradecraft. It would only lend weight to it’s credibility by your metric of skepticism. There isn’t anything positive over a story that reveals the extent of their incompetence, losses, and a guarantee that their future efforts will be damaged.

        Why would anybody want to work for such an incompetent intelligence agency that will probably get them killed? Especially given how easy it was accomplished and in the aftermath of Edward Snowden and the leakers/data hoarders that followed or were caught in his wake. I already said it, but I’ll say it again for emphasis, context matters.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Maybe the lesson is that if you are going to commit treason against your own country, trusting your life with a bureaucratic spy organization and its wonky communications rig may not be the wisest of decisions.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Uhh, that’s not exactly a new development.

      It would seem to be new to the political class, if indeed they recognize it at all. Honestly, are there any national security talking heads on the teebee that aren’t total losers? I don’t mean losing as in “only losers would torture people and perjure themselves,” I mean losers in the sense that they have not succeeded in the missions to which the nation entrusted them (however ugly the mission and dubious the trust).

  18. Bugs Bunny

    This rabbit’s favorite flower is the dahlia. I love planting them in Spring and being surprised by the lovely brooms all the way to the first frost.

  19. clarky90

    Re “Libertarians in Big Tech”

    It is important to understand the NPC meme.

    How NPC Memes Erase Social Justice Dreams

    The Asian Capitalists
    Published on Oct 22, 2018


    “What is an NPC?
    A non-player character (NPC) is a video game character that is controlled by the game’s artificial intelligence (AI) rather than by a gamer. Non-player characters serve a number of purposes in video games, including: As plot device: NPCs can be used to advance the storyline.”




  20. marym

    A Federal Court Just Ruled That Thousands of Eligible Voters in Georgia Must Be Allowed to Vote

    Republican gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp had blocked over 3,000 naturalized US citizens from voting in 2018.

    More than 50,000 voters in the state have had their voter registration applications put on hold by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is running for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, because information on their registration forms didn’t exactly match state databases. This court case deals specifically with more than 3,000 of those voters, who were flagged as “non-citizens” because their citizenship status hadn’t been updated in state databases when they became US citizens. District Court Judge Eleanor Ross, an appointee of Barack Obama, ruled that there was “a very substantial risk of disenfranchisement” for those voters wrongly flagged as non-citizens and that they must be able to cast a ballot in 2018.

  21. Wukchumni

    The Food and Drug Administration approved a powerful opioid Friday for use in health-care settings, rejecting criticism from some of its advisers that the drug would inevitably be diverted to illicit use and cause more overdose deaths.

    The opioid is five to 10 times more potent than pharmaceutical fentanyl. A tiny pill that is just three millimeters in diameter, it is likely to worsen the nation’s drug crisis, according to critics and the head of the FDA’s advisory committee on painkillers.


  22. Lupemax

    Elizabeth Warren Test-Drives Her Presidential Campaign” [The Atlantic]. “The choice for voters, Warren said, is about protecting health care, deciding if CEOs who break the law should go to jail, dealing with student loan debt, tackling climate change and criminal justice reform, and ending the expanded flow of money into politics made possible by Citizens United.” • That’s ridiculous. The midterms aren’t about any of those things — except “protecting” the Rube Goldberg device of ObamaCare, when pushing for #MedicareForAll would be the best way to do that — and structurally, cannot be; see Pelosi’s comment above.

    Liz Warren is all about weazel words. Always.

    “protecting” health care? NO–providing real health care for ALL AMERICANS, not affordable sick care insurance that isn’t affordable for most Americans… Not “deciding if CEOs who break the law should go to jail,” they should GO to jail, should have gone to jail under Obama but he just foamed the runway with $billions of our tax payers money. Not just “Tackling climate change and justice reform” but actually mobilizing for climate change as if we are in a life threatening war as if o ur lives depend on it because they do. and justice reform because we don’t want no justice which is what we have now – No justice…which is what we’ll have if we continue as we are… and not just ending the”expanded Flow of money” but ending private money in elections – we need public funded elections, with equal access to the airwaves, real debates, rank choice voting, paper ballots. Out electoral system is totally broken… wake up america.

    Warren is a weazle who loves big money, BIGPHARMA (big in her state) and of course the Military industrial complex because Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are in her state and love Liz Warren… She should go back to Harvard the richest university in the country who can afford to and should fund housing for the homeless and real, up to date public transporation (free) in the state it islocated in…

    we’re all on this Titanic together (I really wonder if Liz realizes that?) and we’re all going down together… Including Liz. I wonder if she realizes that?

    1. Summer

      “Protecting healthcare…”

      Reminds me of something Chris Rock said…along the lines of it’s alot about who is in the waiting room.

      Democrats can say that Republicans want people to die, while they have all kinds of ideas themselves that healthcare is something some people “deserve” and others don’t.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Liz and other Elitists don’t give a crap about what happens to the “Titanic” yet very finite Spaceship Earth we all ought to try to keep habitable. They live in specially constructed compartments where they are cosseted and catered to, get the best of food and “bespoke stuff” and actual health care, and will come to their comfortable deaths after lives of various degrees of luxury, comforted and attended to by mopes who do such labors out of love and duty. Apres ils le deluge, so why actually care? Put on a show for the rubes, like “I feel your pain NOT” Bill Clinton. Or just retreat behind the Imperial force field. It’s what their set has always done and us mopes are too mopey to force other rules on the game. Because too many of us are as selfish and greedy and narrow and unconcerned and oblivious too.

  23. Wukchumni

    National homeless advocates warned that Long Beach social media posts to “take back the neighborhood” and make “a show of force” could trigger harassment and even violence against vulnerable people. Four men sleeping outdoors were beaten to death in Santa Monica and Los Angeles in September in what police called a spate of attacks targeting the region’s burgeoning homeless population.

    But Barry Vince, who spearheaded the event, said that although he has “great compassion” for homeless people, the police need help reining in a criminal fringe that steals kids’ bikes, breaks into homes and leaves syringes and needles in the streets.

    “What changed for me is the safety of our homes and our families is now in question,” said Vince, a lifelong Belmont Shore resident and owner of a high-tech staffing company. “We want to let them know we’re here, we’re compassionate, but we’re also angry.”

    Shortly after 5 a.m., dozens of Long Beach residents set out on foot and bikes past gleaming boutiques, coffee shops and a beachfront municipal pool, with protesters half a block back chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets.”


    I can only imagine the ‘there goes the neighborhood’ feel, when your pee’d-à-terre reeks of urine as the new folks under the strictest rent control payment schedule, move in.

    I only see SoCal in 3 or 4x a year stanzas, and i’ve watched the 1% really explode, in nooks & crannies all over the place. There aren’t any homeless here that i’m aware of, and it’s more visible in Visalia (136K population) as i’ll always encounter a dozen or 2 there, but it isn’t pervasive, as down south.

    You see $800k homes in L.A. cheek by jowl with homeless people with a net worth of $80, filling in available space.

    1. JerryDenim

      I recently bought a house in Long Beach. Very close to Belmont Shore but definitely not Belmont Shore. My wife and I really like it. My neighborhood is very middle class and unusually diverse. Not a a lip-service Ivy-League “meritocracy” kind of diversity where everyone is a guarded striver. Real regular Joe people who do regular middle-class jobs. Older homes, sidewalks, mom & pop shops, porches, friendly neighbors, union stickers on trucks, Bernie signs in some yards two years after the election, a really cool throw-back vibe. Belmont Shore has a distinctly different vibe. 99.9% white and Republican and kinda fratty. It’s like an older, denser, more Republican Seal Beach, which sits just across the jetty from Belmont Shore in famously Republican Orange County.

      By the way, you won’t find anything for $800k in Belmont Shore. It’s all well north of a million for older, cramped, shoebox sized houses on tiny lots. Long Beach unlike Santa Monica, has no rent control currently, but it’s on the ballot this election.

      Santa Monica is one of LA’s most expensive zip codes, probably triple the price of Belmont Shore real estate, yet the crime and homeless issues are the absolute worst in all of LA there.

  24. BoyDownTheLane

    In re: intelligence:

    ‘An important part of intelligence work is sensing, before you have hard proof, that a critical development will occur. Call it professional intuition, the conviction that a number of pieces, when eventually assembled into enough of the entire puzzle, will constitute a revelation that is vital. … That one new piece of information, perhaps a single line in a report, some awareness which gives you a funny feeling at the back of the neck…’


    Read the whole piece here:

    The essential goal of military intgelligence is to understand, at al times, where the enemy is and what they are doing.

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Latin American writer extraordinaire who started as a newsman, would adjourn for cofffee at the end of the work day to discuss the day’s news with his colleagues in the newsroom. He called it a tertulliana.

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    The good thing about BECS-think is that at least the BECS-ists are beginning to realize that plants do eat up CO2 from the air. If BECSists are prepared to understand that, they might be brought to the point of understanding that plants-on-soil ecosystems can eat up skycarbon even without any BECS in the equation.

    Some few farmers are discovering that farming the right way can leave them with a salable product AND increasing levels of bio-fixed skycarbon in the soil under their crops. Some even fewer farmers are discovering that using plant-eating animals the right way on that plant-covered land will speed up EVen MORE the sucking down of skycarbon and the packing of that bio-fixed skycarbon into the soil. Carbon BioCapture. Perhaps we could call it CBC . . . for Carbon Bio Capture.

    And BECS? While BECS itself as described seems like a cynical govermoney-chiseling boondoggle to me, we already have a possible technology-stub for BECS-lite, or half BECS, if one prefers. And that is the CHAB unit concept . . . CHAB for Combined Heat And Biochar.

    The Eprida project is a possible subset of the CHAB concept.

    Combining CHAB with extreme and aggressive energy-use cramdowns throughout the society . . . to bring the need for energy down to what CHAB could sustainably fill, might make CHAB something other than a stages-of-grief bargaining-and-denial technology.

  26. drumlin woodchuckles

    The Chinese will make it and ship in bunches. The only way to stop it would be a hard ban on any sort of contact between America and China at every level . . . . the sealing of every crack and the super-gluing of every keyhole through which the Chinese would ooze their sufentanil into this country. And the NeoLiberal World Order Lords would not accept that approach.

    ( This was supposed to be a reply to Wukchumni’s comment way above about FDA greenlighting yet another opioid . . . but it mal-nested way down here.)

  27. John Beech

    Random thoughts

    Scooters? I don’t care, your neck!
    Pot? I really don’t care – as long as you have insurance for if you run into my car because you’re stoned.
    Trump angst? Tired of it.
    Outrage? Really, really tired of it. Listened to what Megyn Kelly said – I’m totally not outraged.
    Black voters disenfranchised by bad white people? Get off your ass and get a valid ID.
    Latino voters? Ditto. Stop with the victim card.
    The caravan from central America? It’s headed here instead of Venezuela . . . I don’t wonder why.
    Hate rent control? Cash in your 401(k) and invest in rent control buildings.
    Senator Warren? She played the native American card. She’s done.
    Senator Sanders? Love the guy. I’d have voted for him had he been on the ticket – HRC screwed him.
    Russia-gate? No smoke, no fire, just HRC again. Has hurt the nation, too.
    Health care? Been screwed so long I could cry. What cost $523/mo in 2004 is now $1731/month.
    Andrew Gillum (local interest)? Smooth talker. Has he ever held a real job?
    Ranked choice voting? Strikes me as a good idea. Might finally kill political parties.
    Main Stream Media? Biased, there should be the journalistic equivalent of fiduciary responsibility.
    Self driving cars? Sure, why not?
    Car insurance? Make dropping your insurance a jail time offense if it’s operated on the public roads.

    What else? I’m fresh out of areas of internet outrage. People, quit your bellyaching, please!

Comments are closed.