2:00PM Water Cooler 11/26/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, this Water Cooler will evolve more dynamically than usual, as I complete a post on the USPS and run an errand. But at some point, we will achieve the full complement of items. –lambert

Trade

“The US-China Trade War: A Timeline” [China Briefing]. “Total US tariffs applied exclusively to China: US$250 billion. Total Chinese tariffs applied exclusively to US: US$110 billion.”

“Tesla cuts China car prices to absorb hit from trade war tariffs” [Reuters]. “Tesla warned last month it was facing major problems with selling cars in China due to new tariffs that would force it to accelerate investment in its first overseas Gigafactory in Shanghai.”

“Trump’s aluminum tariffs push metal’s price down in Asia” [Nikkei Asian Review]. “With global production topping 60 million tons per year, aluminum is now the leading nonferrous metal of commerce. Demand for aluminum has been growing in recent years due in part to increased use by automakers competing to produce lighter cars….. Aluminum tends to remain mainly in Asia’s emerging economies as a result of the U.S.-China trade war. With price competitiveness reinforced by depreciating currencies, exporters are turning to Japan, which is geographically closer than the U.S. and has solid demand for aluminum from makers of autos and home appliances…. Aluminum exports from China to the U.S. decreased due to the trade war but those to other markets increased. In the first 10 months of 2018, China boosted exports of aluminum materials by 20% thanks partly to the yuan’s depreciation.”

Politics

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

2020

“Inside Bernie Sanders’s Head The discussion the most popular democratic socialist in America is having over his political future.” [New York Magazine]. Sanders: “[I]f it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run.” Hoo boy. This is important:

When [Sanders] first sat down to recalculate his life after the 2016 campaign, a top priority was an overhaul of his digital-media operation. He hired Armand Aviram, a former producer from NowThis News, and cameras now follow him everywhere; in 2017, the team published 550 short videos for Facebook and Twitter. They are enormously popular — town halls streamed on Facebook can earn millions of views — and Sanders constantly asks aides for updates on his viewership and sharing numbers. The project is substantially more ambitious than that of any other politician in Washington. (In April, aides from multiple Senate offices told me they had no idea how Sanders was doing it.) In fact, the only person in Washington who seems to care as much about building his own media ecosystem is Trump.

It’s this audience, and the pressure it can exert, that Sanders often credits with pulling his party toward him on specific issues.

“How the Beto Bubble Could Burst” [Politico]. “O’Rourke wouldn’t come into the 2020 campaign with a signature issue that would distinguish himself among the sprawling Democratic pack and define his candidacy. The main argument for a Beto campaign comes down to little more than, well, he’s Beto, and people really like Beto. But a successful presidential campaign needs a lot more than that to survive the presidential primary marathon. While it’s possible O’Rourke has what it takes to be Obama 2.0, the risk remains he could be Edwards 2.0.”

“Trump’s Chances in 2020 Are Better Than You Think” [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone]. “I underestimated Donald Trump once. I’ll never do it again. Don’t think Democrats regaining the House has any bearing on the 2020 presidential run, which horrifyingly is beginning right about now. Campaign-trail reporters like myself (at least, those of us who don’t do the smart thing and off ourselves before the race starts) would do well to remember the mistake we made in 2015-2016…. By any rational standard, Trump in the past two years has made huge political gains. Trump began his 2016 run as a sideshow conspiracist, a human rimshot the papers turned to for comic relief. Today, he commands the electorate within his own party. He regularly pulls between 85 and 90 percent of Republican support — he was right at 90 percent just before the midterms — which is where George W. Bush was heading into the 2004 race. Retaining above 85 percent of your own party’s voters is a characteristic shared by the past four incumbents to win re-election: Obama, Bush, Clinton and Reagan.” • From Tuesday of last week, so I must have missed it in the pre-tryptophan haze.

“‘He’s Going to Fieldstrip These Guys’: Inside the Trump 2020 Campaign’s Wild, Disorganized Attempt to ‘Keep America Great’ [Vanity Fair]. “Most Republican strategists I spoke to agreed that Trump will face a primary challenge from the Never Trump wing of the party, which has been clipped since the 2016 election. Possible primary candidates include Senators Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and Ben Sasse; and Ohio governor John Kasich. ‘My sense is someone is going to challenge Trump,’ said Ed Rollins, Ronald Reagan’s ‘84 campaign manager who now advises the pro-Trump Great America PAC. ‘I don’t think it’ll be a viable candidate. Someone like Flake or Kasich, they’re just more of a nuisance. Trump has the base.’ (A Gallup poll in June showed that Trump’s 87 percent popularity among his party is the second highest in modern presidential history, behind Bush 43 post-9/11.) If there’s one historical data point that should worry Trump advisers, it’s that incumbent presidents in the modern era who faced primary challenges failed to win the general election.” • Missed this back in September, but it’s a good guide to the whacky cast of characters.

2018 Post Mortems

“Midterms reveal South split along urban, rural differences” [Daily Mail]. “An Associated Press analysis of election returns along with data from AP VoteCast, a national survey of more than 115,000 midterm voters, found two factors largely driving election outcomes. Competitive races required both a racially diverse electorate and Democratic success in building support from white voters in growing metro areas. One or the other wasn’t enough. For instance, Democratic hopes to make inroads in Kentucky and Tennessee failed because there weren’t enough minority voters to rely on. Meanwhile, the GOP maintained its grip on Alabama and Louisiana, states that have a significant minority population but where white voters in metro areas often voted in line with their rural counterparts.”

FL: “Puerto Ricans may have elected Rick Scott and other midterm surprises” [The Hill]. “Plenty of political observers thought the Puerto Rican diaspora would be a political boon to Democrats. Unlike Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans tend to vote pretty heavily for Democratic candidates. But there’s a sign that Puerto Ricans might have rewarded Scott’s warm welcome. Scott took 42 percent of the vote in Osceola County, a Democratic bastion south of Orlando where President Trump took just 36 percent of the vote two years ago. More Puerto Ricans moved to Osceola County, about 22,000, than to any other county in the country, except neighboring Orange County. Miami-Dade County was the third-most common destination for Puerto Ricans. Scott outperformed Trump in all three counties — and those votes alone gave him the margin he needed to beat Sen. Bill Nelson (D).” • Messing up the “coalition of the ascendant narrative, here. Can any Florida readers shed light?

Realignment and Legitimacy

“House Democrats Don’t Know What to Make of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” [The Atlantic]. “The Democrats don’t have a huge majority, so just a few votes could make or break party unity on legislation.” • Good. At last the left has leverage. Let’s see if they know how to use it.

“Are Sex Workers Becoming a Viable Political Bloc?” [Rolling Stone]. “Not long ago, most porn stars, escorts, strippers and cam-girls wouldn’t feel comfortable entering the political scuffle. But thanks to a confluence of factors — including Stormy Daniels, arguably the world’s most famous sex worker, making herself a symbol of the anti-Trump resistance — the sex-work community has become America’s newest niche political bloc…. [I]t wasn’t until the passage of the so-called Online Trafficking bill SESTA-FOSTA last spring that many workers began to organize locally, forming grassroots coalitions not just to oppose the bill but also to support sex work decriminalization efforts more broadly.” • Not seeing any numbers for this “political bloc.”

“The Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class” [In These Times]. “Fracture, however, is not a sufficient prerequisite for social change. In the context of lives stretched thin by economic precarity, political instability can also be met with apathy. When you are working two jobs to make ends meet, it’s hard to find energy for political engagement or to discern a meaningful difference between candidates when government always seems to provide more of the same. One can argue that the prior hegemonic order was sustained less by widespread faith in its virtue than by widespread disengagement, a resignation that elites are all too happy to abet.”

“Here’s how Republicans hijacked a bill designed to ‘Help America Vote’ — and used it to block people from voting” [Greg Palast]. “It started with the 2000 election ‘debacle’ in Florida…. Maryland Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer reached out to Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney to collaboratively write legislation that would ensure that our elections could, after 200-plus years of mostly race-based ‘shenanigans,’ actually make it easy and convenient for every eligible voter in America to both vote and have their vote counted. The result was the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, aka HR 3295.” • This is well worth a read. While HAVA instigated the wave of horrid e-voting mahines, Palast also shows that voter purges (which also took place in Florida) are a real problem. (HAVA is an excellent proof-by-example that bipartisan legislation is often to be feared.

“How Douglas Bruce And The Taxpayer’s Bill Of Rights Conquered Colorado” [The Taxman]. “The sweeping measure took away legislators’ ability to raise taxes without approval from a majority of voters, and it limits how quickly government revenues can grow. Experts declared it the most restrictive tax and expenditure limitation in the country. Since voters added TABOR to the Colorado Constitution 25 years ago, it’s become a boogeyman that politicians blame fiscal problems on. Colorado today has “one of the five best economies in the United States,” said former Gov. Roy Romer, who fought Bruce tooth and nail during the campaigns for TABOR. Then Romer drops the other shoe. “We have one of the five worst education systems.” The Democrat pins that disparity on a lack of funding partially caused by the procedural machinations of TABOR.”

Stats Watch

Chicago Fed National Activity Index, October 2018: “Employment gave a sizable boost to the national activity index in October” [Econoday]. “[P]ayroll growth more than doubled.” And: “Chicago Fed ‘Index Points to a Slight Increase in Economic Growth in October'” [Calculated Risk]. “[E]conomic activity was slightly above the historical trend in October (using the three-month average).”

Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey, November 2016: “Readings cooled noticeably in the Dallas manufacturing report for November with general activity coming in far below consensus” [Econoday]. The production and new orders indices slowed. “The price of oil is key to this sample and the ongoing downdraft didn’t pick up pace until late in the month. It will be the next report for December, where oil’s impact will be more fully felt, that could see even greater slowing.” And: “This is a solid reading, but suggests growth is slowing in the Texas region” [Calculated Risk].

Retail: “Singapore malls try big gambit to stay ahead of e-commerce” [Jakarta Post]. “With some of the nation’s biggest mall operators reporting falling rents and rising vacancies, landlords, just like those elsewhere in Asia and the U.S., are being forced to reposition. They’re making room for yoga studios, boxing gyms and climbing walls — plus expanding their food and beverage options — to make sure people come for the dining and fun, and hopefully, stay for some shopping.” • Not sure how this is different from existing malls…

Retail: “There Is No Crisis of Retail Vacancy in Manhattan” [New York Magazine]. “You may have heard that 20 percent of retail storefronts in Manhattan are vacant. But as Rebecca Baird-Remba reported for the Commercial Observer earlier this month, you heard wrong…. Anyway: Comprehensive data about retail vacancy in Manhattan doesn’t exist. And nobody has actually promulgated a 20 percent estimate of the phenomenon people claim to be decrying: vacant, closed, unoccupied retail stores…. New York, for nearly 400 years, has operated on change. Ossifying our retail landscape isn’t in line with our spirit as a city. And we definitely shouldn’t do it in reaction to bad statistics.” • I dunno. A Manhattan where I travel from Penn Station up to the Upper East Side, and on every block there’s at least one empty window isn’t the Manhattan I know, statistics aside. Something’s out of kilter, stats or no.

Retail: “US Treasury to scrutinize all-cash home sales in Boston” [Boston Globe]. “The US Treasury Department has added Suffolk and Middlesex Counties to a program that requires people who buy homes with cash through shell companies to share their name with the government. It’s a bid to combat money laundering in high-end real estate, which critics say is becoming increasingly popular with buyers who can hide their identity behind a limited liability company or other shell entity…. The Treasury launched the program in 2016 in New York and Miami and has gradually expanded by adding more cities and less-expensive purchases. The latest expansion, announced Thursday, will bring the review to 12 housing markets and all deals worth $300,000 or more.” • A mere $300,000?

The Bezzle: “Easiest Fix for Facebook: Break It Up” [Bloomberg]. “It’s a monopoly, having either bought or crushed most potential competitors. It stifles innovation; as my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Noah Smith noted recently, potential startups can’t get capital if venture capitalists think they might wind up as Facebook roadkill. (Such companies are said to be in Facebook’s ‘kill zone.’)…. [T]he idea that makes the most sense — the one with the best chance to dilute Facebook’s power, spur innovation and insert competition into the social media industry — is the solution Tim Wu proposes in his new book, “The Curse of Bigness.” 2 It’s the Occam’s razor solution: break Facebook up.”

The Bezzle: “So many people are downloading their Facebook data that it’s causing delays” [Recode]. “‘Over the past two weeks we’ve experienced a higher volume of Download Your Information requests than usual,’ a Facebook spokesperson told Recode when we noticed a few complaints that download requests seemed to be taking a long time. ‘This means it is taking longer to process the requests. We are working on it and appreciate people’s patience.'” • As Recode points out, “not all download requests are from users preparing to delete their accounts.” But why else would anyone go to the trouble?

Tech: “King of kilograms is no more as metric system gets a makeover” [Chemistry World]. “Today marks the end of units of measurement as we know them. At a meeting in Versailles, France, representatives of 60 countries have unanimously agreed to overhaul the base units’ definition and, from now on, link them to fundamental laws of nature…. The decision has ended the reign of the king of kilograms, the 140-year-old platinum–iridium cylinder known as le grand K. The original kilogram is kept in a vault in Paris and all mass measurements on the planet can be traced back to it… Since the metre bar became obsolete in 1960, the kilogram has remained the last unit dependent on a physical artefact.” • So, the système international d’unités has gone fiat?

Tech: “An Analysis of the ProtonMail Cryptographic Architecture” (PDF) [Nadim Kobeissi, Symbolic Software]. “In this work, we provide the first independent analysis of ProtonMail’s cryptographic architecture. We find that for the majority of ProtonMail users, no end-to-end encryption guarantees have ever been provided by the ProtonMail service and that the Zero-Knowledge Password Proofs are negated by the service itself.” • Well, that’s unfortunate, because Yahoo is getting so flaky I was thinking of finally ditching it, after — wow — 14 years. I suppose the Swiss servers are good for something, crypto aside. Readers?

Rapture Index: Unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 180. Testing whether 180 is a floor.

Gaia

“The environment: what’s in a word?” [Nature]. “Are we robbing the next generation by impoverishing the planet? Can we find a way for economies to grow without depleting the environment? Barely 50 years ago, such provocative questions might have seemed unimaginable. This was not because people were unaware of the damage already wreaked. Instead, as an intriguing book reveals, no one had fully conceptualized the intricate interconnections of nature. Without that framing, humanity could not adequately describe the scale of its own impact on the planet. From the infinitely complicated was born a simple term: the environment.” • Not a term around which mobilization can take place, in retrospect…

“Economics of Climate Change: How to Stop Global Warming by 2030” [John Laurits]. “The good news is that scientists from across the world have analyzed over 6,000 studies and concluded that it is possible to limit global warming to 1.5°C using today’s technology — but there is a catch. Though it is possible within the laws of physics and chemistry, it would require unprecedented efforts at a planetary scale to pull off the greatest hustle in world-history (and probably galactic or even universal history) to transform the global energy-system, overhaul supply-chains, and replenish a pilfered ecosystem but — and here’s the kicker — it all needs to be halfway done in about 12 years…. The first thing would be to open the throttle on spending, mobilizing the idle workforce by funding a workers’ self-managed federal job-guarantee, as well as programs to assist workers in establishing construction co-ops capable of building new infrastructure for transportation and energy and to assemble movable labor-armies led by workers for large-scale reforestation and similar efforts.” • Speaking of mobilization…

Water

“Pistachio Wars: Killing California for a Snack Food” [KickStarter]. “For the past three years, I’ve been working with filmmaker Rowan Wernham on a documentary that investigates how a small group of billionaires have taken control of California’s water — they have used that control to drain rivers, fuel real estate bubbles, build vast plantations in the middle of a desert, and left a trail of abuse, pollution, and environmental collapse behind them.” • Normally I’d think twice, and then a third time, before linking to a KickStarter, but this is the great Yasha Levine, so…

Guillotine Watch

“Giving the ultra-rich financial advice doesn’t make you one of them” [MarketWatch]. “Advisers who win over the wealthy demonstrate unruffled professionalism. Aside from rarely acting flustered, they showcase their natural personality without any fakery. ‘When you have lots of money, people circle around you,’ Keffeler said. ‘So you’ll select an adviser who, rather than seeing you as an opportunity, connects with you as a human.'” • “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.”

Class Warfare

UPDATE “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a point about housing for Congress” [Curbed]. “Housing is political, especially during a critical affordable housing shortage. With the increasing cost of life in Washington, and skyrocketing cost of a successful campaign—this year was the most expensive election on record—there are important questions to be asked about how and where politicians live. Does the cost of being a politician deter some of lesser means from pursuing public service?… But if we want a more equitable government, we should find a way to get a more financially diverse group of leaders elected.” • It’s not just housing. When I was doing the worksheets for the mid-terms and looking at candidate’s careers, working class people were few and far between. Perhaps they weren’t comfortable with the idea of spending four hours each and every day on the phone sucking up to the donor class (which they woud have to do for DCCC support. Perhaps one reason AOC is so ubiquitous is that she doens’t have to do that?)

“The Thibodaux Massacre Left 60 African-Americans Dead and Spelled the End of Unionized Farm Labor in the South for Decades” [Smithsonian]. “In the sugar parishes arcing through the southern part of the state from Berwick Bay to the Mississippi River, African-American men voted. The Republican Party, which supported black civil rights, was stronger in sugar country than anywhere else in the state. By the late 1860s, African-Americans became legislators or sheriffs, and black volunteer militias drilled, despite living and working conditions still bearing the marks of slavery. In 1874, nine years after slavery ended in the United States, cane cutters demanded a second emancipation. They wanted a living wage, or at least the chance to rent on shares…. Then the killings started.”

“Privilege: White, American, or Imperial?” [Zero Anthropology]. ” One might think, if you subscribe to the concept [of white privilege], that the whole point of racism is just to produce racial inequality, not capital accumulation.” • See above.

UPDATE “How the baby boomers — not millennials — screwed America” [Vox]. • No. And no.

News of the Wired

UPDATE “Cockney Cats” [Spitalfields Life]. Photos from a vanished time. My favorite is “Old Bill the railway cat, his favourite position is the entrance to Blackfriars Station.”

UPDATE “The microscopic structure of a cat’s tongue helps keep its fur clean” [The Economist]. “Of the ten hours a day that a domestic cat deigns to remain awake, it spends a quarter licking dirt, fleas, blood and loose hairs from its fur. Cats’ tongues, specialised for this task, are covered in hundreds of backward-facing keratin spines. But exactly how these cone-shaped protuberances, called filiform papillae, work to give the animals such mastery over their cleanliness has remained unknown until now…. The two researchers found that the filiform papillae were shaped not, as had previously been thought, like solid cones. Rather, they resembled tiny scoops. Each had a small groove—named a cavo papilla by the team—at its tip. This structure permits surface tension to wick saliva from a cat’s mouth and release it into the farthest recesses of the animal’s fur. During each lick, about half of the saliva on the tongue is so transferred. Saliva serves as a multi-purpose cleaning agent and the cavo papillae also assist the absorption, for the return journey, of any dirt or blood that needs removing. The cat’s tongue therefore ‘acts like a loofah and a sponge at the same time’, says Dr Hu.” • Perhaps too much information… But I wonder if this true for all cats, like lions and tigers, or just domestic cats?

“The 1-hour workday” [Science]. “I noticed a few senior colleagues who published with impressive regularity and always had a paper in the works. When I asked them what their secret was, I found that they prioritized doing small amounts of focused writing every day. I’ve since developed my own version of this approach. I call it the 1-hour workday, referring to the short, sacrosanct period when I do what I see as the ‘real’ work of academia: writing papers. First thing in the morning is when I’m at my mental best, and when I’m still most in control of my time, so I now use the first hour of my day to write. For me, it’s best done from home. I’ve developed something of a ritual: I wake up early, make an espresso, and write until I’m spent…” • Seems like a good idea. But… nice work if you can get it!

“I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It.” [Thrillist]. “In my office, I have a coffee mug from Stanich’s in Portland, Oregon. Under the restaurant name, it says “Great hamburgers since 1949.” The mug was given to me by Steve Stanich on the day I told him that, after eating 330 burgers during a 30-city search, I was naming Stanich’s cheeseburger the best burger in America… Five months later, in a story in The Oregonian, restaurant critic Michael Russell detailed how Stanich’s had been forced to shut down. In the article, Steve Stanich called my burger award a curse, ‘the worst thing that’s ever happened to us.’ He told a story about the country music singer Tim McGraw showing up one day, and not being able to serve him because there was a five hour wait for a burger. On January 2, 2018, Stanich shut down the restaurant for what he called a ‘two week deep cleaning.’ Ten months later, Stanich’s is still closed. Now when I look at the Stanich’s mug in my office, I no longer feel light and happy. I feel like I’ve done a bad thing.” • If only Stanich had been a Sentinel Islander…

UPDATE “Long-Term Diet of Vegetables, Fruit Tied to Less Memory Loss in Men” [MedPage]. n = 27,842. “Greater intake of total vegetables, total fruit, and fruit juice across middle to late adulthood were associated with lower odds of moderate poor subjective cognitive function in later life, reported Changzheng Yuan, ScD, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues…. Leafy greens, dark orange and red vegetables, and berry fruits showed the strongest links in subgroup analyses.” • Note, however, the limitations in the final paragraph: The study was confined to professionals!

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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 (BCexpat):

BCexpat writes: “From British Columbia, think the pale is a muscaria, was light yellow. Lots of shrooms after the rains started. Photo is a good representation: multiple fruitbodies per square foot. Multiple species per square foot.”

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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.

82 comments

  1. Pat

    I leave it to Texans and people who have been following Beto more than I have to respond to the substance of the article that says his lack of a signature issue will doom his campaign for President. I, however, will object to the characterization that this would make him Edwards 2.0. This ignores Edwards’ ‘Two Americas’. I know he was deeply flawed candidate, but as he was the only candidate that had noticed the depth of income inequality in America and his popularity in the early primary states actually forced both Clinton and Obama to acknowledge there some Americans were worried about more than the returns on their 401k obviously that is a fictional portrayal of the 2008 primary.

    Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        edwards…and specifically this tack…was the only reason I obtained and affixed a Kerry/Edwards bumpersticker. Kerry was and is boring and smells of money and davos air.
        I wondered back then if the Two Americas thing didn’t lead to the “discovery” of his sexual peccadillos…after all, it’s not like infidelity and general randiness is uncommon in those circles.
        Did the Machine eject him because he strayed too close to a populist message?

        Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I wondered back then if the Two Americas thing didn’t lead to the “discovery” of his sexual peccadillos…

          I always wondered that too. The “love child” story was broken in The National Enquirer, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned lately, those “scoops” don’t always make it to the grocery store checkout line. I’d imagine the converse is also true. Where there’s a powerful enough will, there’s a way.

          The 2008 election was always going to go to the democrat candidate after eight long years of w. Two historic, reliably neoliberal firsts were vying for top honors. Why complicate the issue with a handsome white guy with a message that just might catch on and mess up a “good” thing?

          Reply
        2. Oregoncharles

          I heard a rather inspiring speech by Edwards on the radio. If he can inspire a Green, he’s got something going. And yes, that might have been quite threatening to the PTB.

          Reply
      2. Carla

        Yeah, I supported Edwards for that reason, and that reason alone. And then…

        Well, there’s just no end to disappointment in this world, is there?

        Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      Quite right….Edwards perceived that health care was a problem and came out with a plan, forcing the others to react to it.

      He also perceived that poverty and inequality was a problem, and at least talked about it, even if he didn’t have a plan to address it.

      I don’t think he was ever really strong enough as a candidate to win, but before being felled by personal scandals (cheating on your cancer-stricken wife is apparently, unpopular!?!?!!), he commanded enough of support to make an impact. I recall thinking I’d vote for him before Obama and Clinton had turned it into a 2-horse race by the time my state rolled around.

      Reply
      1. neo-realist

        I got the impression during the 2008 campaign that Edwards, due to his pre-Sanders populist economic messaging inherent in the “Two America’s” statement, was marginalized by the corporate media because his message was one that would not be acceptable to the PTB. Obama (to a larger extent) and Hillary, faked populism but were safely in the pockets of Wall Street, so they were deemed the proper “Frick and Frack” frontrunners.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          A couple of things.

          -Voting for the Iraq War was a killer for Edwards.

          -Oxygen supply. There were 2 600 lbs elephants

          -I could blame Joe Trippi, but your comment made me think of Sanders national road tour in 2016 instead of say being more in Iowa or New Hampshire. Edwards was on the ticket in 2004, so not running a national campaign made people not take the campaign seriously in early states.What could you invest in a campaign based on winning Iowa?

          Reply
  2. neo-realist

    Re the Puerto Rican vote in FL, how did they vote in the Gubernatorial election? I don’t think DeSantis gave them much of a welcome, nor to any other POC.

    Reply
  3. Kurt Sperry

    “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.”

    Dammit, you got it in before I could.

    Reply
  4. In the Land of Farmers

    RE: “Economics of Climate Change: How to Stop Global Warming by 2030” [John Laurits].

    If that is the “how”, all I can say is that human civilization as we know it is in it’s final years. Seriously, who can really care about climate change anymore? For every person that cares there are three others that do not and five others working hard to make people not care. I can’t even get my nephews and nieces to care. They “care” but they do nothing.

    The author thinks socialism is the cure? Ha! Maybe an authoritarian socialism.
    The human species is uncontrollable. How the hell does he even propose he can get 100% of Americans to believe in socialism?

    I would be all on board for a benevolent king, but we have held up democracy as a beacon of hope for far too long. Farming and democracy, the two technologies that created civilization will be its doom.

    Reply
    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Watched it, well, as much as one could as the only streamed video was of the JPL control room. Years ago, NASA Langley was working on an autonomous landing system. Any idea if it made it into the Insight lander?

      Reply
  5. Joe Renter

    re: Land of Farmers
    Divine intervention is our only hope. Don’t laugh, objectivity is a requirement though when the Teacher is able to introduce himself. It’s been in the works for some time. Look up Alice Bailey’s (1880-1949).

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      In contrast to RussiaRussiaRussia, ChinaChinaChina seems much for organic, a true product of the elite hive mind (as opposed to something ginned up in a think tank). I think it started with that burst of Uighur coverage, as I’ve said. (No pictures of Uighur babies!!!! yet, but no doubt that will come.) It’s concerning, and I’m not sure how to separate out critique from very soft propaganda. (And then there’s that weird story about some national liberation front attacking the Chinese embassy in Pakistan. Who’s funding that and why?)

      Reply
      1. jsn

        “Chinese authorities are not assigning a single score that will determine every aspect of every citizen’s life—at least not yet.”

        Whereas here, we have FICO for that purpose already.

        And we have it done by three private companies who share their data with Ukrainian hackers!!

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          As of now, in America, one’s FICO is not damaged for advocating the impeachment of Trump.

          Can they claim that (the equivalent – they would love Americans to want to impeach Trump) over there in Beijing?

          Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              I remember that. Ted Kennedy ended up on that list at one point. If you were fighting against the Iraq invasion you could find yourself banned from boarding a plane as well.

              Reply
            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Today, we’ve ‘progressed’ to where calling for Trump to be impeached might improve one’s FICO.

              If not, perhaps that ought to be under consideration.

              Reply
      2. Sparkling

        ChinaChinaChina has been going on since the 2000s. Unlike Hillary, Trump decided to use existing paranoia instead of creating his own.

        I don’t bear any ill will towards Han Chinese civilians. Their government has none of my sympathy however. There are many ethnic minorities inside and outside China’s borders who are treated far worse than we treat our imperial subjects. Considering what we’ve done in the Mideast, I’m aware this is a serious accusation (and I also understand the caution born from experiencing multiple neocon disasters).

        Speaking of a potential candidate to be “bombed into the Stone Age”– does there need to be a mysterious benefactor for a bunch of Muslim Pakistanis to attack the Chinese embassy? Does there need to be a mysterious benefactor for a bunch of Muslim Pakistanis to attack the American embassy? We’re both slaughtering Muslims right next door, that’s a powerful enough motivation for some.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Real world politics is complicated.

          Take Turkey for example.

          Turkey was with Saudi Arabia in fighting Assad.

          But now, it seems they remember the scene from Lawrence of Arabia, when Turks were driven out of Damascus.

          Turkey has a proud past…they fought Russia in the Crimean War, and in the First World War.

          Their ancestors came from areas in and around China. They fought the great Tang dynasty from the 7th century on ward. And today, their relatives include the Uyghurs.

          When they talk about Greater Turkey in Ankara, the dream can cover a large geographic area.

          How do they feel about how their cousins’ situation in Xinjiang? Anyone can comment on that?

          Reply
          1. Sparkling

            I don’t think they ever forgot! It’s like the Americans/British and Russians teaming up during WW2 then immediately squabbling afterwards.

            As for the Greater Turkey schtick, that’s exactly why the New Silk Road (or whatever) isn’t going to happen.

            Reply
          2. todde

            How do they feel about how their cousins’ situation in Xinjiang? Anyone can comment on that?

            Well they call Xinjang, East Turkestan….

            Reply
      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Doesn’t the elite hive mind still support Free Trade and MFN for China? Why would the elite hive mind want to spoil their Free Trade Privilege?

        Isn’t this more a case of ChiCom Regime economic aggression finally becoming so painful and non-survivable for such a large critical mass-load of non-elite Americans that the Elite hive-minders are being forced to pay some attention to it?

        And as to Balochistan, armed Baloch groups have been fighting the Pakistanist authorities for many years. If they perceive the Pakistanist authorities are using Chinese as a force-multiplier against Balochistan, why would they not attack Chinese presence? And why would they need outside funding for this? There is a risk of adopting the “outside agitator” dismissal of Balochistan’s own domestic guerillas and jihidasts.

        Reply
      4. Oregoncharles

        The Pakistanis blamed India, but then, they would. And India certainly has reason to promote chaos there.

        It was one of the Balochi movements; the proposed New Silk Road runs through their territory and would solidify Pakistani control of the area, so they have a direct interest, no foreign intervention required.

        Reply
    2. Anonymous

      I’ve been seeing a whole lot of what looks like anti-Chinese propaganda in US news reporting lately and I have to think that the “Intelligence Community” is behind it since I’m not seeing it in the other languages I read and moreover, it’s only something that American colleagues mention to me (since my job includes some work with the Middle Kingdom).

      Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Not sure about a physical wall.

          Maybe exit visa ban.

          China Travel Advisory
          https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/…/china-travel-advisory.html
          Jan 22, 2018 – Chinese authorities have the broad ability to prohibit travelers from leaving China (also known as ‘exit bans’); exit bans have been imposed to compel U.S. … Enter China on your U.S. passport with a valid Chinese visa

          Reply
  6. cuibono

    “While it’s possible O’Rourke has what it takes to be Obama 2.0, the risk remains he could be Edwards 2.0.”

    I think the risk is he has what it takes to be Obama 2.0

    Reply
  7. Carla

    Lambert, many thanks for linking to the Kickstarter for “Pistachio Wars.” I kicked in a few bucks — looks like a dynamite project.

    Reply
    1. curlydan

      I donated a few bucks, too. I’m still reading the Levine/Pando piece about Oligarch Valley that was posted recently. It’s fascinating although it makes me feel guilty about not knowing more about what’s going on around my neighborhood–no doubt similar shenanigans.

      Reply
      1. SimonGirty

        I was glad bob posted it, and Lambert included it. If we can spread the story, maybe… NAH, won’t nothing happen! Folks will still buy Fiji, Pom and the richest, most soul dead monsters will become ever richer, more powerful and brazen, as voices of dissent are silenced, whistleblowers prosecuted and victims simply give up. Back when Josh Fox mentioned 850K folks drinking watered down radium flavored fracking “produced water” and exponentially increased methane leaks in his second film, the audience just kept snoring. It was somewhere else, Nestlé is stealing everybody’s water and selling back to the top 20%, I’m hoping this one goes viral, simply because I love Yasha’s writing.

        Reply
  8. Carla

    Re: Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class:

    “When you are working two jobs to make ends meet, it’s hard to find energy for political engagement or to discern a meaningful difference between candidates when government always seems to provide more of the same.”

    You mean, “when government always provides more of the same.” There. Fixed it for ya.

    Reply
  9. JohnnyGL

    Yikes, this Thibodaux massacre is like something out of the Mexican or Colombian drug cartel wars….

    The response was a massacre. “There were several companies of white men and they went around night and day shooting colored men who took part in the strike,” said Reverend T. Jefferson Rhodes of the Moses Baptist Church in Thibodaux. Going from house to house, gunmen ordered Jack Conrad (a Union Civil War Veteran), his son Grant, and his brother-in-law Marcelin out of their house. Marcelin protested he was not a striker but was shot and killed anyway. As recounted in John DeSantis’ book, Clarisse Conrad watched as her brother Grant “got behind a barrel and the white men got behind the house and shot him dead.” Jack Conrad was shot several times in the arms and chest. He lived and later identified one of the attackers as his employer.

    One strike leader found in an attic was taken to the town common, told to run, and shot to pieces by a firing squad. An eyewitness told a newspaper that “no less than thirty-five negroes were killed outright,” including old and young, men and women. “The negroes offered no resistance; they could not, as the killing was unexpected.” Survivors took to the woods and swamps. Killings continued on plantations, and bodies were dumped in a site that became a landfill.

    but wait, here comes the cover-up…get ready to blame the victims, “they had it coming”…

    The Daily Picayune blamed black unionizers for the violence, saying that they provoked white citizens, suggesting the strikers “would burn the town and end the lives of the white women and children with their cane knives.” Flipping the narrative, the paper argued, “It was no longer a question of against labor, but one of law-abiding citizens against assassins.”

    Reply
    1. Tom Stone

      The reconstruction South had “Sensible Gun Laws”.
      Thus poor people and blacks had cane knives and the middle and upper classes had guns.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Many communities, usually black, are over police and underserved. The police act like an occupying army and in some places routinely ignore the law themselves while apparently looking for reasons not to arrest people instead of any reason to arrest them.

        Restated, the police act like an occupation force that routinely abuse, search, arrest often illegally while not actually putting much effort into preventing or solving crimes like robbery or murder. In those often high crime areas, locals sometimes carry guns for protection because the police are not there to serve and protect but are there to control the people.

        Of course, if (as in California) it’s almost impossible to legally carry a gun especially if one has a criminal record, and if the police are prone to search you whether or not they have a legitimate legal reason to, that becomes another way for the state to arrest and imprison another ostensibly dangerous and armed black person. Just like with the War on Some Drugs, the War on Gunz becomes another way to control the population. I will also add that while poor blacks are the primary target, poor whites, leftists, and other undesirables have also been targeted.

        Reply
  10. noonespecial

    Re: Kickstarter – “…documentary that investigates how a small group of billionaires have taken control of California’s water”

    Wonder if the people making the current documentary spoke to the persons involved in the 2008 documentary “FLOW: For Love of Water”. A low-quality, free version is available at u-toob.

    In a Democracy Now interview, Maude Barlow, who worked on the film, said this about privatization of water, “…this is part of what I call the movement towards creating a global cartel of water, kind of like we have a global cartel of energy, where, you know, the day may come — and we’re resisting it very hard, so it may not; we hope it won’t, but that every drop of water will be spoken for privately by a corporation, whether it’s bottled water, utilities, you know, the service of, delivery of your water…At every phase, water will be corporately owned, because we are a planet running out of fresh, clean water, which doesn’t sound right, because we all learned back in grade six that can’t happen, but it is happening.”

    https://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/12/flow_for_love_of_waternew_film

    Reply
  11. Dcblogger

    Anyone other than myself volunteered in the Sanders campaign? Because there were real problems with it. I was in the dc office and I remember people coming back from the sc primary saying that all the good work had been done by the local Bernie groups and that the staff was useless I also have a friend in va who told me that he was told to wait until field offices were opened before collecting nominating signatures fortunately he ignored that advice. So I wondered what did other volunteers experienced

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I remember reading these complaints in comments right here on NaCap at the time of the campaign. A lot of those “useless doing-nothing” staffers had been sent from local units of the official Democratic Party.

      I believe those “useless” staffers were undercover Clintonite agents infiltrated into all those Sanders offices to destroy the ground campaign from within.

      If Sanders is going to run again, his campaign will have to prevent “regular Democrats” from being permitted to staff any offices or even being permitted to set foot in them. Every wannabe-volunteer will have to be extremely vetted for any trace whatsoever of Clinton/Obama/Hoyer/Pelosi etc. links and ties.

      Reply
    2. perpetualWAR

      I attempted to volunteer many times. Called, wrote, talked to people at rallies. Couldn’t get connected to even help. It was weird.

      Reply
  12. Summer

    Re: On privilege

    American exceptionalism or capitalism exceptionalism? Which is at work in most of the social, political, and economic writings from people within academia?

    Even in the writings that seem to challenge conventional wisdom you will find a paraphrase of the following statements as if it is a legal requirement to get published:

    “No system has lifted more people out of poverty in the history of mankind…”

    “Nothing has produced more progress in (fill in the blank)…”

    “No better alternatives” or “no alternatives” exist that wouldn’t cause chaos…” (all change has the potential for chaos, the debate is really about who can be sacrificed for “progress” or “change.”

    I got through the majority of the article and none of those kinds of statements jumped out. And I applaud.
    But I will finish and read it more closely for those conceits (which the writer seems to be trying to avoid).

    Reply
  13. Summer

    Re: Sex workers / political bloc
    “I’m not seeing any numbers on this bloc…”

    If #MeToo claims are even half right, we may all be sex workers in some form or the other.
    Men and women.

    But just the hyper concern with seductive appearance could lead to the same conclusion.

    Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “A Manhattan where I travel from Penn Station up to the Upper East Side, and on every block there’s at least one empty window isn’t the Manhattan I know, statistics aside.”

    Stuff like that has real consequences. Went over to the UK back in ’80 and toured around the country and saw a lot of not only empty shops, but sometimes nearly whole blocks of shops that were empty. Thatcher had only been elected a few months beforehand so I am willing to bet that there was a connection between an economy that suffered an ’empty-shop’ syndrome and the election of a hard-liner.

    Reply
  15. XFR

    So, the système international d’unités has gone fiat?

    This continues what was started in 1983 when SI fixed the value of the speed of light at 299,792,458 m/s. From now on experimenters will “know” the exact values of the defined universal constants, and when they measure the constants what they’ll technically really be measuring is the units of measurement themselves.

    In theory if you fixed the gravitational constant you could basically dispense with units of measurement altogether, defining each unit as simply being some dimensionless number of fundamental Planck units, but the gravitational constant is too hard to accurately measure right now for that to be practical.

    Reply
  16. Enquiring Mind

    Stanich burger eater here over the years when in Portland and, yes, they were that tasty. Another multi-generational family business, with George and Gladys passing on the grill duties to Steve. Such stories may be found in towns across the country where long-time customers and owners interact productively.

    Here is a key line from Steve the Thrillist story:

    “I need to take care of the people who took care of me,” he said. “They don’t turn on you.”

    And another from the author:

    “Is there a way to celebrate a place without the possibility of destroying it? Or is this just what we are now — a horde with a checklist and a camera phone, intent on self-producing the destruction of anything left that feels real, one Instagram story at a time?”

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “call some place paradise; kiss it goodbye”-Don Henley.
      I’ll never tell where the bluegills like to spawn on the Llano River, nor the location of that dry salt spring back yonder(natural salt lick).

      Reply
      1. Jak Siemasz

        Are the spawning beds still intact after our recent rains???? two months ago I was searching for docking options for my boat on Lake Travis as my cove was down to about 20 feet…. a few weeks ago it was necessary to swim to my dock….spending my time on Schneider’s Cove when not in Houston (yuk). Hope all is as good as it can be, Hippie.

        Reply
  17. Pat

    I have been talking about the commercial real estate crash in Manhattan for well over a year, almost two.

    There most certainly is a problem. A major space across from me has been empty for two and a half years. Around the corner, a large former restaurant has just rented, three years after the former tenants left.

    But what says too many empty storefronts? Price drops. And prices are dropping despite what NY magazine might want to believe. The Post has some pretty mainstream sources for their facts and figures.

    https://nypost.com/2017/11/21/manhattan-retail-rents-are-in-their-worst-slump-in-17-years/

    Reply
  18. John Beech

    UPDATE “How the baby boomers — not millennials — screwed America” [Vox].

    Have to admit there’s a lot right about this article despite Lambert saying no, no! Spoke to my Dad recently, mid-80s, retired (obviously), and on the tit (Medicare). Hates the idea of Medicare-for-all. Rails against it. And when I make the argument the poor go to Emergency Rooms for routine care, e.g. the most expensive place on the planet to have a cold looked at, he rants about the left being intent on breaking the system. The system being the one where he’s favored economically. He seems blind to the argument it’s going to cost what it’s going to cost and we basically need to figure out how much care we want then figure out how to pay for it. Me? I’m a registered Republican voter and if Bernie is the candidate in 2020 I’m going to vote for him instead of DJT for President due to just this one issue. Then again, if Trump reads the tea leaves and comes out in favor of M4A, then I’ll vote for him because I suspect there’s a greater likelihood he can actually get it done whereas Senator, nee President Sanders, will just spin his wheels. It’s my opinion M4A is just the right thing to do. It’s lonely being a Republican with this view. At dinner on Fridays with fellow business owning friends, they’re against it also. Sigh.

    Reply
    1. Todde

      I wrote off 7 million in liability when Bush passed medicare part d.

      10% of the total post retirement liability and 7% of sales.

      Might be good for business

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        Yes, it would. Health care costs are among the main reasons US companies aren’t competitive with, say, European ones. Also the reason auto factories moved to Canada, right across the Lakes.

        they’re talking class interests, not business interests. And even some of them could go bankrupt in a really bad health crisis.

        Reply
    2. JBird4049

      It’s lonely being a Republican with this view. At dinner on Fridays with fellow business owning friends, they’re against it also. Sigh.

      I noticed that the divide nowadays is often more between the putative “liberal Democrats” and “conservative Republicans” who really are a combined set of groupthinking tribalists against everyone else who lets facts occasionally change their minds. Don’t get me wrong. One’s beliefs, intelligence or education has nothing to do this and there are plenty of differences of beliefs and opinions among the latter which will cause conflict but I think that they are more likely to look at the reasons for their beliefs and opinions and not just parrot things like some cultists.

      Reply
    3. Not From Here

      “Inside Bernie Sanders’s Head The discussion the most popular democratic socialist in America is having over his political future.” [New York Magazine]. Sanders: “[I]f it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run.” Hoo boy. This is important:

      I’m surprised he went for the anyone but Trump reason, as this undercuts his claims that it’s his platform and policy that matter. Serious goof, and may cost him with those Trump loyalist who might otherwise get behind populist policy.

      Reply
  19. drumlin woodchuckles

    I notice the Vox anti-boomer article seems too hot and toxic to have even received any comments so far.

    At the very least it should be forensically dissected to see how true, if at all true in the least bit, its various claims are.

    Right off the bat I notice the article says zero about all the boomers who went to fight in Vietnam. I wonder if boomers in the armed forces over all those years outnumbered boomers in the Peace Movement. If so, would that undermine this Vox-presented argument?

    I thought Gen Xers voted for Reagan by a heavier percentage than boomers. Am I wrong about that?

    What percent of Free Trade supporters were boomer? What percent of Free Trade opponents were boomer? Has anyone tried to isolate and compare those numbers? How typical was the Trade Traitor Clinton of boomers in general?

    I notice the article pretends the boomers rejected social solidarity in order to sanctify withdrawing social solidarity from boomers. Is the article’s putative choice of ” saving the Ice Caps or saving Social Security and Medicare” a real choice or a false choice? I notice the authors of the article invent the choice to call for and sanctify Nazi-style mass democide against the millions of boomers. And if that isn’t the goal of advocating zero social security and zero health care for them, then what is the goal?

    I also notice the article carefully fosters a bait-and-switch sleight-of-mouth switcheroo between the Fake MSM propaganda against Millenials with fake accusations of “boomers” being behind those Fake MSM propaganda psy-ops.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      I can tell you this Gen Xer didn’t vote for Reagan. Unless Reagan was the fault of the little kids voting en mass for him, and however bad the voting system is I doubt it. Gen X definitions extend far beyond the time period of people that were old enough to vote for Reagan by over 15 years of birth dates.

      “saving the Ice Caps or saving Social Security and Medicare” a real choice or a false choice?”

      partly depends on if one thinks part of solving the climate crisis may be paying people NOT TO WORK. But I very well suspect it might be, without Social Security and Medicare more people would be forced into the job market.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        For most today, the ‘Job Market’ is now a ‘Slave Market.’ No, no, let us be charitable, and call it an “Indenture Facilitating Process.”
        Unfortunately, without Social Security and Medicare, more people will be forced to seek chimeras and illusions, masquerading as “jobs.” When they do not find said “jobs,” they will then have to implement Rule #2 of Neoliberalism.
        We’re seeing the deployment of what the architects of the Nazi Death Camps called ‘Brain Buster Questions.’ Questions that are impossible to answer, choices impossible to make.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          We’re seeing the deployment of what the architects of the Nazi Death Camps called ‘Brain Buster Questions.’ Questions that are impossible to answer, choices impossible to make.

          By implication, that means our Beloved Ruling Classes want us to form our very own Judenrats to manage the unwanted Deplorables quietly work themselves to death or die?

          Reply
  20. Carolinian

    Re the Palast HAVA story

    Thus, the biggest cause for exit poll anomalies is almost certainly purged voters who show up at the polls thinking they’re still on the rolls, voting a provisional ballot not knowing it won’t be counted, and then telling exit pollsters as they leave polling places that they voted for the Democrat.

    Wouldn’t it be simple enough for exit pollers to ask whether the voter cast a provisional ballot and so settle the question rather than making us rely on the author’s “amost certainly” speculation?

    Clearly trying to prevent American citizens from voting is a scandal but, as Lambert points out, someone should tell the Democrats who only feebly protest such shenanigans. Many Dems seem more afraid of democracy than the Repubs, even if they aren’t quite so brazen about it.

    Reply
  21. Richard

    Jimmy Dore and Jordan Charitan on Michigan EPA cooking the data r.e. lead levels in water, by telling residents to flush their systems before testing. Absolutely disgraceful, and msm won’t touch it.

    Reply
  22. Summer

    Re: The Iligitimacy of the Ruling Class

    You know why they are comfortable in their illigitimacy?
    Try talking about this info outside of a captive audience of friends or family and the attention will vary according to the clothes you wear or car you drive.

    Reply
  23. Oregoncharles

    “So, the système international d’unités has gone fiat?”
    Cute, but I don’t think so. If I understand the new definition, it’s based on well-known, measurable physical constants. So the standard is still physical, but available to anyone with the technology to measure them.

    Of course, measures like that are “fiat” anyway: it’s a kilo because some authority says it is.

    Reply
  24. John k

    Seems like Bernie has been running for two years.
    Hopefully will avoid the mistake of letting clintonites volunteer noted above this time.
    Trump has firm grip on gop… but indies are biggest party, and by definition are not satisfied with either dems or reps. Bernie is ideally positioned to attract this group.
    Who would best help him win? I think tulsi.

    Reply
  25. Branden H.

    Lambert, in reference to ProtonMail and ditching Yahoo, I suggest looking into Tutanota. I use them for my custom domain email address. They provide a lot of privacy features by default, such as no ad-tracking, encrypted email storage and transmission; and email header stripping. The premium version is less expensive than ProtonMail and lets you use custom domains. My setup costs less than 5.00/mo, and that’s after my credit card wrings me out with awful Euro/Dollar exchange rates. Also, I think Tutanota’s web-client has a simple, responsive, and clean interface, especially compared to the overwrought years of growth in Gmail’s client.

    Reply
  26. kimsarah

    So billions of dollars were spent by GM and GE on stock buybacks, accelerating their demise. Where did the money go?

    Reply
  27. 4paul

    Retail: NY storefront – my neighborhood is out of kilter, and the comments on therealdeal article sound the same.
    I’ve been in LES/EV/AlphabetCity/TheFarEast for two years, and lately empty storefronts have signs saying

    Pop-Up space any use. One week rentals available.

    Certainly doesn’t sound like a healthy market. I thought commercial real estate used 10 year or 25 year leases, and apparently Manhattan traditionally has 99 year leases. One week rentals for a college art student’s experiments sounds like the bubble has already burst.
    Whether the reason is a glut from all the new construction, or prices going through the ceiling of sanity, articles like NYMag “Nothing To See Here” is propaganda.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      There is still a ton of empty retail space out here in the hinterlands. So far, my anecdotal evidence still indicates the landlords are not lowering rental rates. Could the tax rates in various commercial markets be an influence?
      There is an older storefront across from the University front “yard” (a nice big rosebed area,) which has had three short term tennants this last three years. I’d guess about 300 to 500 square foot retail space plus back rooms behind a big plate glass front. The ‘For Rent’ sign is up again, but this time with a price. “This Location–$1,200.” Rental signs with stated prices are very rare around here. This location is held by the largest local Commercial Landlord in town. When prices begin to break, I’ll cheer.

      Reply

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