2:00PM Water Cooler 11/6/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient Readers,

We’ll be running a live blog on the 2018 election starting at 9:00PM EST. Be there or be square!

* * *


“The Trade War Inside the Democratic Party” [Foreign Policy]. “Plenty of lawmakers have asked the administration for more clarity on what its strategy entails, including plans to ensure that the tariffs on China don’t hamstring U.S. exporters. But that doesn’t mean a Democratic House will be in any hurry to force the administration’s hand on the China trade war. Both Democrats and Republicans have grown increasingly alarmed at what they see as Beijing’s state-driven economy that threatens U.S. jobs and continues to steal U.S. technology and ideas. ‘The anti-China sentiment has grown so strong. The only direction it could move would be to make it stronger,’ [Simon Lester of the Cato Institute] said. ‘I don’t see the Democrats advocating a softer line on China—it’s not a winning issue.'”


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


“Kamala Harris’ Big Policy Idea Is Even Worse Than I Thought” [Slate]. “The LIFT The Middle Class Act creates a refundable tax credit for workers—meaning that families can collect cash even if they don’t actually owe any taxes. It kicks in by matching each dollar an individual earns, before plateauing at $3,000 for singles and $6,000 for a married couple…. Long story short: Couples who make less than six figures can get up to a $500 check in the mail each month….. I think it’s worth pondering the problems with the LIFT Act, because it illustrates a trap lots of Democrats could fall into if they’re not careful as they craft their policy platforms. At the risk of stuffing everything back into the frame of the 2016 election: Harris is trying to appear bold by spending like she’s Bernie Sanders, while designing her legislation like a Hillary Clinton-style technocrat.” • Complex eligibility determination, no universal benefit. Typical liberal.

“Hillary Clinton remains the Democrats best chance to defeat Trump in 2020” [Chicago Sun-Times]. “Clinton is playing coy, but we’ll know more soon. On Nov. 18, Bill and Hillary Clinton will launch a nationwide tour of 13 cities, kicking off in Las Vegas.” • As I read it, Clinton doesn’t want to run. That doesn’t mean she wouldn’t accept the nomination, say after the Convention deadlocks on the first ballot, after which the superdelegates can vote. Of course, if Clinton wants to scotch these vile rumors, she can simply issue a Sherman statement, which she conspicuously did not do in the interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher that intensified the rumors.

“Trump the Revealer” [Barry RItholtz, The Big Picture (TP)]. “I have been rolling over a fascinating idea in my mind about President Trump: He has revealed (or reminded) many great truths to us about human nature, history, tactics, manipulation, institutions, and the nation. By this, I don’t mean to imply he himself has spoken great truths; rather, that we can learn a great deal about many things simply from watching his effects on the world.” More: “Trump revealed the evangelicals as frauds – they ignore the Bible, care more about power than saving souls, and are without shame or a moral center.” • Nonsense. Bush revealed the evangelicals as frauds. Worse, he revealed the evangelicals as unfit to govern. This, along with much else, has long been obvious to anybody who pays attention. This is not a bad piece, but so many, many things that are presumed to have become problems only with Trump’s ascent have in fact been festering for one, two, three, or four administrations.


0 days until Election Day, today. Bring on the zero-day jokes!

“Polls point to Democratic takeover of the House, but here’s what could change that” [Los Angeles Times]. “The USC/Times poll shows near-perfect symmetry between the two groups of white voters: Those with college degrees side with the Democrats by nearly 2 to 1, while those without side with Republicans by an identical ratio. Those figures, however, represent an average of voters from across the country. The breakdowns in individual districts vary widely.”

“Two Vastly Different Election Outcomes That Hinge on a Few Dozen Close Contests” [Nate Cohn, New York Times]. “Democrats appear poised to win the House popular vote on Tuesday by a wide margin, with national polls showing sustained disapproval of President Trump — and yet the fate of the chamber is not a foregone conclusion. On the day before the midterm elections, two vastly different outcomes remain easy to imagine. There could be a Democratic blowout that decisively ends Republicans’ control of the House and even endangers their Senate majority. Or there could be a district-by-district battle for House control that lasts late on election night and perhaps for weeks after.”

“‘I will be surprised if I’m not surprised’: Analysts hedge predictions ahead of midterms” [WaPo]. “[N]early two years removed from Trump’s upset, political reporters and pundits are increasingly hedging their analysis of the 2018 midterm elections.”

“Parts of America Are Still Struggling Economically. They Don’t Matter Much in the Midterms.” [New York Times]. “The competitive districts that will decide control of the House are richer and more economically vibrant than the country as a whole. But there is little evidence that the thriving economies in those districts are buoying Republican candidates enough to guarantee victories against well-funded Democratic challengers. The concentration of battlegrounds in prosperous areas could have important policy implications for the next Congress, with swing-district representatives more concerned with preserving their region’s own good fortunes than with helping large parts of the country that continue to lag economically.” • That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

“Heading Into Election Day, Governors’ Races Tighten” [Governing]. “The Democrats are almost assured of gaining three to four seats, and their net gain could range as high as 10 seats. The higher end of that range would give Democrats a slim majority among governors nationally — something they have not had in nearly a decade. Currently, we rate 17 of the 36 races this week as competitive, meaning that they are either tossups or leaning to one party or the other.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Reports of long lines, broken machines as voters go to polls” [Associated Press]. Lots of anecdotes, then this: “DHS officials have boasted that the 2018 midterms will be the most secure election in U.S. history, pointing to federal intrusion-detection sensors that will protect “90 percent of election infrastructure,” as DHS Undersecretary Christopher Krebs tweeted in mid-October. Those sensors sniff for malicious traffic, and are installed on election systems in 45 states. But similar sensors used at the federal level have performed badly. According to a Sept. 14 letter from the Office of Management and Budget, those sensors had a 99 percent failure rate from April 2017 onward, when they detected only 379 out of almost 40,000 “incidents” across federal civilian networks.” • Third World stuff.

“Voting Machines: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” [New York Review of Books]. “Although election officials often claim our computerized election system is too “decentralized” to allow an outcome-altering cyber-attack, it is, in fact, centralized in one very important way: just two vendors, Elections Systems & Software, LLC, and Dominion Voting, account for about 80 percent of US election equipment. A third company, Hart Intercivic, whose e-slate machines have recently been reported to be flipping early votes in the current Senate race in Texas between Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz, accounts for another 11 percent. The enormous reach of these three vendors creates an obvious vulnerability and potential target for a corrupt insider or outside hacker intent on wreaking havoc. ”

“The Business of Voting” (PDF) [Penn Wharton Policy Initiative]. “As the report explicates in detail, the real effects (and possible pitfalls) of these strategies are not yet fully known. But they are nevertheless reflective of the report’s key contention: that a long-term solution to the election technology crisis is unlikely to be had until policymakers and market actors address the underlying business issues and take steps that catalyze changes in the structure of the election technology industry.” • The so-called “election technology industry” should be a line of business in the printing trades.

* * *

“What if women went on a sex strike before the midterms?” [CNN]. “In the ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes, the character Lysistrata urges women to go on a sex strike to get men on both sides to end the Peloponnesian War. In our case, a sex strike against service sex can be a powerful statement — that female desire, a metric of agency like women’s votes, will be heard.”

Stats Watch

JOLTS, September 2018: “The number of job openings fell, well below Econoday’s range of expectations” [Econoday]. “The quits rate, previously described as ‘elevated’ by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and regarded as a precursor of wage pressures, remained at 17-year highs of 2.4 percent… Wage increase pressure may also be indicated by the fact that job openings in September continued to outnumber by more than a million the number of unemployed actively seeking work.”

Shipping: “There’s No Plan B for Port Security” [Foreign Policy]. “80 percent of the world’s trade still goes by sea. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the 40 largest ports handle 60 percent of all the goods shipped around the world. That loading and unloading used to be done by hand, back when dock work was a mainstay of industrial cities. But, as noted by Mark Hagerott, a retired U.S. Navy officer who is now the chancellor of the North Dakota University System, ‘ports are designed for efficiency: automation and low cost,’ and all of it is digitally connected. ‘In case of a digital disruption, we don’t have the ability to revert a Plan B using more manual offloading. There aren’t enough dock workers on site, nor does the cargo lend itself to manual movement.'”

Shipping: “Amazon plans to hire thousands of seasonal delivery drivers” [Supply Chain Dive]. “Amazon will provide vans to the drivers and pay them in the range of $15 to $19 per hour, depending on the market… Drivers would work four 10-hour shifts each week…. In June, the company started seeking small businesses and entrepreneurs to deliver packages, even welcoming applications from candidates with ‘little to no logistics experience.’ Months later, the company order[ed] 20,000 branded vans for the program.”

Shipping: “Amazon considering New York amid reports HQ will be split” [Associated Press]. “On Monday, The New York Times, citing unnamed people familiar with the decision-making process, reported that the company is nearing deals to locate in Long Island City as well as the Crystal City section of Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. The Wall Street Journal, which also reported the plan to split the headquarters between two cities, said Dallas is also still a possibility…. Earlier this month, Bezos said during an on-stage interview in New York that the final decision will come down to intuition: ‘You immerse yourself in that data, but then you make that decision with your heart,’ he said.” • Imagine all those cities beavering away on their proposals, when they just could have sent Bezos a dartboard and some darts.

Honey for the Bears: “September 2018 Leading Index Review: Generally A Slowing Rate of Growth” [Econintersect]. “Most of the leading indicators are based on factors which are known to have significant backward revisions – and one cannot take any of their trends to the bank. The only indicators with minimal backward revision are ECRI, RecessionAlert’s WLEI, and the Chemical Activity Barometer. Unfortunately, the Chemical Activity Barometer is targeted to the industrial sector of the economy – and at best seems to be a coincident indicator, not a leading indicator. Note that both ECRI and RecessionAlert are forecasting marginally negative growth over the next six months….At this point, Econintersect continues to see NO particular dynamic at this time which will deliver noticeably better growth in the foreseeable future – and the majority of the indicators are forecasting a near average rate of growth which has been seen since the end of the Great Recession.”

Health Care

“Why Doctors Hate Their Computers” [The New Yorker]. “A 2016 study found that physicians spent about two hours doing computer work for every hour spent face to face with a patient—whatever the brand of medical software. In the examination room, physicians devoted half of their patient time facing the screen to do electronic tasks. And these tasks were spilling over after hours. The University of Wisconsin found that the average workday for its family physicians had grown to eleven and a half hours. The result has been epidemic levels of burnout among clinicians. Forty per cent screen positive for depression, and seven per cent report suicidal thinking—almost double the rate of the general working population. Something’s gone terribly wrong. Doctors are among the most technology-avid people in society; computerization has simplified tasks in many industries. Yet somehow we’ve reached a point where people in the medical profession actively, viscerally, volubly hate their computers.”

“Like Clockwork: How Daylight Saving Time Stumps Hospital Record-Keeping” [KHN]. “One of the most popular electronic health records software systems used by hospitals, Epic Systems, can delete records or require cumbersome workarounds when clocks are set back for an hour, prompting many hospitals to opt for paper records for part of the night shift. And it happens every year.” • Epic is like CalPERS.

Our Famously Free Press

“How Newsrooms are Rethinking Midterms Coverage” [Nieman Labs]. “Multiple races are difficult to cover for many local newspapers, already spread very thin after years of layoffs…. Some newsrooms are addressing the challenges of the midterm elections by taking a more collaborative approach. Polling experts are exploring how to communicate uncertainty in a more meaningful way. New independent outlets are filling the space left by the decline of local newspapers. Dozens of news organizations are joining ProPublica to cover the complexities of the voting process. Reporters are increasingly aware of their role in the fight against misinformation.”

Class Warfare

“No Need to Choose: History from Above, History from Below” [Viewpoint Magazine]. From 2014, still germane: “By rethinking the early histories of capital accumulation via the generative centrality of slavery and servitude, we’re already querying the presumed centrality of waged work in manufacturing, extractive, and associated industry for the overall narrative of the rise of capitalism. That shifting of the perspective relativizes wage labor’s place in the social histories of working-class formation and opens them to other regimes of labor. By that logic, waged work’s claim to analytical precedence in capitalism’s developmental history no longer seems secure. Indeed, the de-skilling, de-unionizing, de-benefiting, and de-nationalizing of labor via the processes of metropolitan deindustrialization and transnationalized capitalist restructuring in our own time have also been undermining that claim from the vantage-point of the present. Today the social relations of work have been drastically transformed in the direction of the new low-wage, semi-legal, and deregulated labor markets of a mainly service-based economy increasingly organized in complex transnational ways. In light of that radical re-proletarianizing of labor under today’s advanced capitalism, I want to argue, the preceding prevalence of socially valued forms of organized labor established after 1945, which postwar social democrats hoped so confidently could become normative, re-emerges as an extremely unusual and transitory phenomenon.” • A little dense, to be sure, but well worth a read. Note especially the attention drawn to servants as a class in the 18th and 19th centuries, so relevant to the “service economy” of today.

“Richard Florida: It’s Not (Just) the Working Class. It’s the Service Class.” [Evonomics]. “The Service Class, not the Working Class, is the key to the Democrats’ future. Members of the blue-collar Working Class are largely white men, working in declining industries like manufacturing, as well as construction, transportation, and other manual trades. Members of the Service Class work in rapidly growing industries like food service, clerical and office work, retail stores, hospitality, personal assistance, and the caring industries. The Service Class has more than double the members of the Working Class – 65 million versus 30 million members, and is made up disproportionately of women and members of ethnic and racial minorities.” • An attempt to merge “the coalition of the ascendant” with class. Florida’s quite the policy entrepreneur; I can only hope this attempt isn’t as damaging as his “creative class” was in 2008.

“The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs” [The American Conservative]. “When all those miles of frontage roads, sewer and water pipes, and sidewalks fall into disrepair–as they inevitably will in every suburb–very little of it will be fixed. The wealth necessary to do so just isn’t there.” • A typical TAC combination of accurate perceptions of decline and terrible economics. If by wealth is meant productive resources…. Well, that depends on how long our petro-economy holds out, doesn’t it? I’d bet a lot of asphalt roads will be going to gravel, and not just in rural Maine. A problem for scooters, sadly.

“No One Wants It” [Affidavit]. “This is a story about someone who responds to criticisms of her TV show by taking “a glamping writers’ retreat” to El Capitan: “We had a shaman come. She did magic incantations as we lay on the floor of a yurt.” It is an unwitting portrait of a rich Los Angeles creative type with a child’s knack for exploiting the sympathies of others, a person whose deep fear of doing the wrong thing was regularly outmatched by an even deeper distaste for doing the right thing.” • I don’t know anything about the TV show, but I know a massive takedown when I see one.

News of the Wired

“Personal Panopticons” [Real Life]. “In the late 1960s, researcher Alan Weston divided the population into three groups according to their attitudes toward privacy: fundamentalists, who are generally reluctant to share personal information; the unconcerned, who are untroubled and unreflective about privacy; and pragmatists, who report some concern about privacy but are also willing to weigh the benefits they might receive in exchange for disclosing personal information…. . In a more recent study of attitudes toward privacy among older adults, Isioma Elueze and Anabel Quan-Haase expanded upon Westin’s taxonomy to include a category for what they termed the “cynical expert.”… That picture has been further complicated by the widespread adoption of the accouterments of the “smart home,” including internet-connected devices like Nest and AI assistants such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. Perhaps this development has been enough to push people from privacy cynicism toward what media scholar Ian Bogost, writing in the Atlantic, has described as full-blown “privacy nihilism,” which presumes an omnipresent regime of surveillance that we can no longer resist and may as well not bother to try.

“Try These 5 Techniques to Make Your Next Political Argument Fruitful” [Scientific American]. “Our modern political parties are powerful tribes through which we express our social identities and take cues on how to vote. Often, it’s more important to humans that they be accepted by their tribe than to be right. And it’s not even that irrational: evolutionarily, not being part of a tribe was a death sentence.” • Hmm. I’d like to see some rigorous thinking on the use of “tribes” in this context. Political “tribes” don’t seem a lot like the Penobscots, to me. Still, some handy tips!

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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 (EM):

EM, writing from Critters Junction: “Rub tree near a hog wallow. Hogs damage a lot of smaller trees.”

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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. Arizona Slim

          Just like the Russians invaded my brain and inspired me to learn the Russian language. Which reminds me, I need to practice the informal and formal forms of Russian verbs.

          1. ambrit

            Hey comrade. No matter who ‘wins’ the contest today, they will all be using the Command Tense towards the rest of us.
            “Be small!! We need all your stuff.”

              1. Bugs Bunny

                Except in the negative for tu where they go infinitive. Such a logical language.

                Unfortunately the grammar and spelling reforms that made today’s Italian so elegantly simple came during fascism :(

                1. ambrit

                  Similarly, the pinyin reforms of written Chinese, I am told, were instituted during the reign of The Emperor Mao.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    And of course English simplified its grammar and spelling while it was being suppressed by the Normans as nobody cared about a peasant’s language.

                    1. ambrit

                      And thank the Archons that English doesn’t have diacritical marks. (Except, as is surreptitiously communicated in secret places, for the Oxford Comma. Which wacky wracky wordy wight wended westward with Halley’s Comet.)

                    2. Mo's Bike Shop

                      Ambrit, no reply for your level of comment, so I just wanted to thank you here for posting the first diacritical remark I’ve seen on the internet.

                      And to add to the spirit of the thread, the one thing I can’t forgive poor Ben Jonson for is promulgating the whole ‘no split infinitives’ thing.

                    3. ambrit

                      But Mo’s, Bike Shop or Velocipedial Emporium, isn’t Dualism a Heresy?
                      “Yet if a thing be infinite, howso can it then be split? To partake of the infinite gives sense to absurdities and conundrums. Thus viewed, the infinite jest is of a whole, indivisible, and complete. Tis but our wits that falter, stumble, and stammer. I’ll split no infinities with ye. The heavens would abide it not. There. I’ll no more demur to gently dispute with ye.”

                    4. Mo's Bike Shop


                      However, I’m afraid Ben had little maths and less al-jabr. I love living in a world where some infinities are bigger than others. And some smaller and cuter.

                      However I think unlovely English had split those infinitives long before Ben tried to put them back together. I’m totes a subjectivist.

                    5. ambrit

                      Yargle. You have the better of 99% of mopery. At least you avoid falling into the Cult of Objectivism; the High Ones of which are our financial overlords. There is Objectivism taken to it’s pseudological extreme.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          Hopefully nothing here in Florida. We just had a bunch of revisions by some constitutional review committee. Most stink or have multi-issues.

          One was no offshore drilling with vaguely generous anti-vaping restrictions. Since we did nothing about high speed rail, I’m not smitten by the promise that our tourism industry won’t ever be sacrificed to petroleum extraction. On vaping I think we should let social mores have their way before we monetize the industry with certifications. NB: If that amendment had added cellphone zombies on the streets, I might have reconsidered. As a cyclist, I can tell you that that is a serious oncoming public health issue.

          And locally the city is being offered the chance to remove local control from the municipal utility. I usually just vote and run away. But i’m going to check results this time to see how many total marks are living around me.

      1. Tom Stone

        Let’s give a shout out to Brian Kemp of Georgia!
        A man who exemplifies the Integrity, Competence and good sense we Americans have come to expect of our elected officials.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Accidental or are we back to the game show scandals of the 1950s?

      “We are not supposed to show the winner until tomorrow’s live game show.”

  1. Carolinian

    Trump revealed the evangelicals as frauds – they ignore the Bible, care more about power than saving souls, and are without shame or a moral center

    So if I know some evangelicals who aren’t frauds is that all right? Stereotypes are odious. Maybe even my stereotype of big time journos like Ritholtz as bubble bound elites is odious.

    To be sure some evangelicals are frauds. DC is full of them.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Would it be stereotyping to say all stereotypes are bad?

      ‘My only rule is that I have no rules.’

      1. Enquiring Mind

        Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.

        Attributed to Groucho Marx, an evergreen

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Back in the day, I described the evangelicals running the Bush administration, and the evangelical apparatus in the Beltway, as “Christianists” (very much opposed to Christians). Perhaps I should revive the term.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Beautiful, I could have used that last night in conversation, will do so going forward.

        And thanks again for doing election night duty. It’s the only way I can bear to follow the it any more.

        I asked during the NC fundraiser but you never replied: when will there be a Water Cooler fundraiser? I know we can give any time but it’s fun to do it all together!

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        I didn’t realize the term originated here, but I’ve been using it regularly as the Judeo-Christian version of “Islamist.” So, it appears the term has solid legs and should be put into wide circulation.

      3. marym

        Christianist or Christian Dominionist are useful because like Islamist or Zionist the terms seem to emphasize militantly aggressive, territorial, and political objectives.

      4. Mo's Bike Shop

        Christianish has a lot of potential.

        Might be better for solidarity rather than derisive labeling though. I personally went from Cafeteria Catholic to Non-Evangelical Atheist, I like the Archdruid’s idea that orthodoxy may be cthonically impossible in these parts.

    3. xformbykr

      Ritholtz was not convincing when he wrote,

      America’s Institutions: turn out to be much more resilient than previously believed. The Courts have shaken off the initial attacks; the FBI is surviving, as are the military and intelligence sectors. Even a nonfunctional congress functioned well enough to get the basics done. Our air and water can still be breathed and drunk. The Free Press is holding up; The private sector is fine; philanthropies are good. Every sector is slogging through better than one might have guessed. Even the US Constitution has laughed off attempts at treachery.

      Perhaps these were backhanded compliments. I dunno.

      1. ewmayer

        Here, let me fix a few typos in the snippet by Barry I-got-mine-so-all-is-well Ritholtz you posted:

        America’s Permanent Bureaucracy: turns out to be much more resilient than previously believed. The Courts continue to devolve into tools of the corporate lobby; the FBI is surveilling and false-flagging, as are the military and intelligence sectors. Even a seemingly dysfunctional congress continued functioning smoothly to support and expnd the elite grifting and the imperial permawars. Our air and water can still be breathed and drunk, at least in areas of the type the NYT might describe as “richer and more economically vibrant”, that is, the ones that matter. The Corporate and Establishment-propaganda mills are less prone to unfortunate outbreaks of actual journalism than ever before; The monied sector is fine; faux-philanthropies such as the Clinton, Gates, Zuckerberg and Buffett Foundations are good for helping assuage any latent guilt felt by the Looter Elite. Even the most outrageously speculative-finance-bubble sectors are slogging through better than one might have guessed. Even the US Constitution has laughed off attempts at treacherous un-dead-letterization by e.g. 4th-amendment fundamentalists.

    4. clarky90

      “Trump Stops Missouri Rally for 8 Minutes After Woman Faints…Crowd Sings Amazing Grace!


      The singing starts at 6:50

      This reminds me of The Tongan Rugby fans. This happened in NZ a few weeks ago. A different POV. At the Tonga vs Australia game, the Tongan fans also sang the Aussie National Anthem, because the Australians were vastly outnumbered in the crowd. A mark of respect to the opposition.

      “The Mate Ma’a Tonga (Tongan rugby team) stars welcomed with thousands of fans singing beautiful hymn”


    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps the Evangelicals are willing to take the hit to their own reputation among the non-Evangelicals involved in supporting Trump to get their longest-run End Times agenda. They and their Pence-ly NeoConservatives in State/Defense/wherever are guiding and supporting the Greater Likudistani Netanyahoodlums towards its final Rendezvous with Armageddon. When the War at Armageddon breaks out, Christ will come again and rule over His Thousand Years-Of-Righteousness Kingdom

      The Evangelicals will accept some embarrassment now in order to reach the Great Goal later.

    1. ChrisAtRU


      Lambert: ” … if Clinton wants to scotch these vile rumors …”


      She won’t invalidate the rumors. To do so would cede a degree of influence IMO. The trial balloons will keep getting floated in the event that a favorable wind (convention deadlock for example) catches on.

      1. Enquiring Mind

        Clinton was uncomfortable with that whole scotch vibe, given her well-known appreciation for Chardonnay.

        Will Affidavit have a short piece on her next, say, Glamping in Chappaqua?

        1. ambrit

          Better yet, a piece on her in “Travel and Leisure,” since she comes with so much baggage. (A difficult psyche to ‘unpack’ that one. Although I rather see her as Cupid.)

  2. DJG

    Lambert, I don’t know why you are giving us all indigestion with the endless shilly-shallying of the should-be-forcibly-retired Hillary Clinton.

    But it puts me in mind of the story of Lady Rokujo (borrowing from Wikipedia), who was created in the Tale of Genji and also appears in a classic Noh play:

    In the backstory, Prince Genji, who was married to his wife Lady Aoi at a young age, has taken a mistress, Lady Rokujo. Lady Rokujo had been married to the crown prince, and had been next in line to become empress. The death of her husband robbed her of the chance to become empress and left her powerless. Following an episode in which she is humiliated in public by Lady Aoi, Rokujo is enraged to discover that Aoi is pregnant. Genji begins ignoring Rokujo, and in her jealousy her living spirit leaves her body and possesses Lady Aoi, resulting in Aoi’s death.

    The action of the play focuses on a miko (female shaman) and a priest exorcising the spirit of Lady Rokujo from the body of Lady Aoi.[2] Aoi does not appear on stage – rather, an empty kimono serves to represent her.

    Think of Bernie Sanders as Lady Aoi.

    [Lady Murasaki for President!]

    1. Summer

      Nothing can stop the Hillary for President Campaign. The campaign that won’t die. That’s how insanely those around her are attached to the status of their postlitions in the bubble. And would she know how to relate to any other type?

  3. noonespecial

    Mark Twain advises, “Eschew surplusage.”


    For those interested in Twain’s wit and acerbic take downs of contemporaries, read his essay that includes the critique of an author employing various “stage properties” such as the broken twig. The essay may provide a brief respite from today’s news and results.

    An example from his piece:
    “Another stage property that he pulled out of his box pretty frequently was the broken twig. He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects and worked it the hardest. It is a restful chapter in any book of his when somebody doesn’t step on a dry twig and alarm all the reds and whites for two hundred yards around. Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he is sure to step on a dry twig. There may be a hundred other handier things to step on, but that wouldn’t satisfy Cooper. Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can’t do it, go and borrow one. In fact, the Leatherstocking series ought to have been called the Broken Twig series.”

    1. Harold

      All writers make fun of their predecessors. Twain notwithstanding, Fenimore Cooper is pretty great. Even Homer nods.

      1. Carolinian

        You have to admit this is hard to resist:

        He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects and worked it the hardest. It is a restful chapter in any book of his when somebody doesn’t step on a dry twig and alarm all the reds and whites for two hundred yards around. Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he is sure to step on a dry twig. There may be a hundred other handier things to step on, but that wouldn’t satisfy Cooper. Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can’t do it, go and borrow one. In fact, the Leatherstocking series ought to have been called the Broken Twig series.

        Twain is pulling our leg a bit of course, and Last of the Mohicans did make fine plot fodder for a movie filmed in my neighboring Carolina (NC being considered a more period appropriate background than logged over NY state). You could say that Michael Mann “fixed it in post.”

        1. Harold

          The movie in good because it followed the book closely. I read it when I was fifteen and loved it. (I had gotten used to wordy 19th century lit. because when I was 10 my mother had bought me a bunch of old novels at a rummage sale for a nickel each and by the time I graduated high school I had read all of them.)

          Twain makes fun of the canoe battle, which has a few howlers.

          Here is Lord Monboddo on Homer, whose description –or nod– Monboddo, took literally, using it to argue that men had diminished in size since the heroic age:

          I [Homer] tells us, that Ulysses was shorter than Agamemnon by the head, shorter than Menelaus by the head and shoulders, and that Ajax was taller than any of the Greeks by the head and shoulders; consequently, Ulysses was shorter than Ajax by two head and shoulders, which we cannot reckon less that four feet. Now, if we suppose these heroes to have been no bigger than we, then Ajax must have been a man of six-and-a half, or at most seven feet; and if so, Ulysses must have been most contemptibly short, not more than three feet, which is certainly not the truth, but a most absurd and ridiculous fiction, such as we cannot suppose in Homer: whereas, if we allow Ajax to have been twelve or thirteen feet high, and, much more, if we suppose him to have been eleven cubits, as Philostratus makes him, Ulysses, though four feet short of him, would have been of a good size, and, with the extraordinary breadth which Homer observes he had, might have been as strong a man as Ajax.”—[James Burnett, Lord Monboddo,’Ancient Metaphysics, or the Science of Metaphysics (1779-99) vol. iii. p. 146.]

  4. drumlin woodchuckles

    If Clinton runs again, I will vote for Trump again. Clinton would be the same old evil Clinton, plus new layers of lust for vengeance.

    And she would use her post-presidency to show that the Clintons can get richer than the Obamas ever could.

    1. Code Name D

      I do fear that Hillary 2020 is still an ievitability. In fact, if the Dems retake the huose, I think this may make a Hillary run even more likly as it witll “prove” the 2016 campain stratigy is viable afterall.

    2. neo-realist

      Hillary said herself that she wants to be President, but “doesn’t want to run for President.” She barely had the energy to run the last time and a potentially frailer Clinton 3 years down the road won’t have the steam to campaign against a barnstorming juggernaut like Trump. Some people who supported her the last time are piping up to discourage her against it. I wouldn’t worry about it or waste energy projecting Clinton hate on the possibility.

      1. Arizona Slim

        And recall that after the 2016 conventions, Clinton was out-hustled by Trump. The guy turned into a rally-hosting machine, whereas she hardly had any campaign appearances. Oh, as for the collapse on 9/11. I still don’t believe that she had pneumonia.

        1. polecat

          If not pneumonia, then what was it Slim ?? .. disfunctional servos ? .. positronic brain information download gone awry ? Bad fish ? Tell us ..

      2. Jeff W

        I wouldn’t worry about it or waste energy projecting Clinton hate on the possibility.

        I wouldn’t either. Clinton says she doesn’t want to run, wouldn’t mind being anointed, probably relishes the “influence” (if any) that not bowing out gives her, and can’t issue a Sherman statement because her ambition and ego won’t let her. But enough people want her to go away that a viable candidacy or nomination probably isn’t the cards. If she and her campaign couldn’t figure out a reason to run in 2016, there’s even less reason for her—other than personal vindication—to be a candidate in 2020—and everyone will know it.

    3. HotFlash

      Hillary hates campaigning, hates The People, and avoids them whenever she can. Campaigning, when she can bring herself to do it, will wear her down. Trump OTOH *loves* the crowds, their adulation is meat and drink to him, it replenishes his mana. If they meet up in 2020, it’ll be Trump again.

      If I were a Hillary acolyte, I would already be planning my excuses for her inevitable loss and burnishing my resume.

  5. Summer

    Re: Personal Panopticons” [Real Life].

    How about a name for the type that wilk appear to give you all the information a system wants, but it is all a lie?

  6. shinola

    Voting anecdote: Wifey & I went to local polling place (Johnson County, Ks.) this a.m. a bit after 10. There were no crowds or long lines. We breezed right in, voted & were on our way in about 10 minutes – a good sign or not?

    1. sleepy

      I live in IA-4, King’s district. Voted mid-morning with no wait but there were more voters than in most elections. I actually felt good voting for a run of the mill dem this go around, if only to be rid of the odious King. Imho voting lesser (much lesser) of two evilis in this particular contest wasn’t something that caused any hesitation or doubt.

    2. Altandmain

      Hard to say. It might be just a reflection of your particular voting precinct, county, or area of the nation.

      What we really need is the turnout statistics.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I voted mid-afternoon and breezed in and out — no big crowds. It would take a master surfer to catch a ride off the blue-wave, at least based on what I saw and my area has a lot of fairly heated local races.

    4. hunkerdown

      Voting anecdote: Wayne County, Mich. southern suburbs, 11:15am. Pretty busy. There was one young volunteer (mid-20s) and the usual few older people. I had to wait for one of seven non-handicapped booths, presumably due to all those pesky judicial elections and their confounded approval bubbles. The scanner refused to read one voter’s ballot. A line of about a dozen people formed by the scanner while the precinct captain tried again and again to get it to scan. After my ballot was eventually scanned, it seemed to take an oddly long time, ~20 seconds, for my ballot to be registered as “cast” (were they phoning each one home?).

    1. nippersdad

      At least now they are making their incestuous relationship public; I have always viewed the Axelrove twins as two sides of the same coin. It’s nice to see that there is at least one thing I wasn’t wrong about.

    2. JohnnyGL

      Bipartisanship!!!! — Two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for dinner.

      Why does Axlerod look like he’s anxious to eat your soul in that picture? It’s kinda scary.

    3. ChrisAtRU

      Ahhhh yesssss …

      Wherein the veil is fully lifted …

      Metaphors abound. My mood dictates the use of “left and right wing belong to the same bird”.

      Also, this must be the “men’s team” to complement the Palin/Brazile offering.


  7. Jomo

    Anecdotal evidence for high election turnout: I had to wait a little bit to vote this afternoon at my rural Florida precinct. This is unusual. Inside: moms voting ’cause the kids were at school, older white couples, and a few older black couples. No young people live here in any numbers. After submitting my ballot, I commented on the wait to vote to one of the poll workers. She said it was looking like this was going to be the most voter turnout in our precinct for any election ever. I was voter number 323 at approximately 1:15 pm.

    1. todde

      had a line this morning at my polls also.

      small rural town, there are no young people and only 3 black people, so I didn’t see any.

      1. todde

        having said that – a have just heard from a co-worker who just voted that ‘in the Big City’ or at least at her polling place, there were plenty of 1st timers and youngsters voting.

        all ‘excited’ and crap.

          1. Todde

            Poor kids.

            They’ll have their cynicism beat into them, like the rest of us. Sad to watch it happen to another generation

            My daughter was really excited about Bernie. I was distressing for me as i knew what was going to happen.

            One side will p!ss you off, the other side will disappoint you.

            And still we vote. I left half my ballot with no votes for any candidate.

            1. Amfortas the Hippie

              For the first time in my life, I earlyvoted(apparently a new verb…call the oed). Courthouse was hopping…which is unusual for our tiny county and one town.
              Wife’s DL still has the old address, but it was no problem, since everybody knows us.
              Also for the first time, I left spaces blank…for governor, as well as for the numerous uncontested races that only had an incumbent goptea nutter.
              In 2 local race…also unopposed gop…I marked the bubble for the county judge and district judge—I know and respect…and even like…both of them.

        1. jrs

          It’s a tool in the toolbox, it’s not a revolution, it’s not a means of getting the society you wish you had. You can’t get there from voting (above all in the general election – the radicals don’t make it past the primaries). However it very well could prevent things from getting worse ESPECIALLY locally. (things globally are another matter ..)

          Probably why middle aged and old people are the ones who vote. The reality of voting most of the time is better suited to the reduced expectations that tend to accompany middle age than the dreams of youth.

    2. The Beeman

      upper west side NYC – line down the block – moving not at all – walked away frustrated but not surprised. Will try again later but not hopeful.

      1. mrsyk

        Same here (upper west side). Biggest crowd I’ve ever seen. Took about forty minutes to vote. The punch line is that our contests are decided in the primary (the Dems always win the general). The turnout for the primary was considerably thinner.

        1. Richard

          That is an important point, and good to remember: it’s not just the repubs who act to lower turnout/surpress votes. The dems do it also in the primary. At least in NY, and all the other “closed states”. Which leads me to ask: are there any other closed states?

          1. Richard

            Actually, if bernie somehow swings the nomination in ’20, the establishment dems will act to lower turnout in the general too. And you heard it here first. Or second, or whatever place I am in for this bit of unsurprising news.

      2. Ellery O'Farrell

        Northern Manhattan (Hudson Heights): line only for one district to pick up the ballots, then had to wait for a voting booth. Longest line was for the scanners (all of which were working, at least at 9:30 am). Start to finish in less than 10 min.

        But the only instructions for dealing with the two-page ballot were provided by one volunteer who stood at the head of the scanner line and told everyone to separate the two pages. No one at all told me that the pen for filling in the ballot wasn’t supposed to be in the (empty) pen cord, but hidden behind a blank paper in a plastic envelope hanging on the back of the voting booth. Even so, less than 10 min.

        Lots of reports of lines and problems (especially scanner failure) from the rest of the city….

    3. Arizona Slim

      I noticed the same thing at my nearest polling place. It’s usually a ghost town in the middle of the day. Not today. That joint was jumping.

      Yours Truly already voted by mail, in case anyone’s wondering.

    4. jrs

      High voter turn out here in southern CA as well, especially as it’s mostly a one party state (at least in this district as far as Congress) And it’s a one party race in the Senate and well R’s aren’t likely to win almost anything in terms of state government.

      So almost nothing is really being contested on party lines. There are initiatives of course. There is Feinstein versus DeLeon, so a battle within the Dem party there.

  8. Code Name D

    If the Dems do take the House, even by one seat – it will be a HUGE WAVE. If they don’t, well the Dems will still declare vctory by putting republicans “notice” or “seding a message.”

    But frankly, I don’t think they can do it. Never underestimate the Dems ability to snatch defet from the jaws of victory.

    Win or lose, nothing is set to change. As Dore already noted, only two corpreate dems have been defeated in their primaries. So really, why should I care?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The worse: Not enough to impeach, but just enough to investigate Russia for both 2016, and 2018.

      Then the message would be: “When the voters indicate, you have to investigate.”

  9. Jeff N

    re: Jill Soloway – I don’t know that TV show, but, several years ago, she directed a film (cringeworthily titled) “Afternoon Delight”, which was unexpectedly wonderful.

  10. Pat

    Anecdote from one of the beating hearts of neoliberalism. My polling place was busy and I had to wait in line for more than five minutes for a ballot. I didn’t notice my number, but clearly a lot of ballots had been dispensed. My disabled neighbor was a few people in front of me, and the worker was having to explain the ballot system and the privacy booths. It was clear this was the first time she had voted since NYC went to scanners and dropped the lever machines. This was the busiest midterm I can remember, even if there were no lines out the door.

    I will not be surprised if there is a surge of voting in places like NY, California, Massachusetts…A large percentage of their population has been running around with their hair on fire since the last election. Elsewhere…I would be pulling a guess out of places the sun don’t shine (and I think that applies to anyone in the media based in those places).

  11. BoyDownTheLane

    How does the Lysistratan strategy play in a world populated by robots, CRISPr and the LGBQT and #MeToo phenomena? Throw in the dildos being tossed out into the middle of sports events and the robotic brothels and the Greek chorus will have a lot to say.

  12. In the Land of Farmers

    RE: “No One Wants It”

    That was great.

    “The only conclusion to be drawn from this very bad book, which puts the “self” in “self-aware,” is that Jill Soloway has an unstoppable, pathological urge to tell on herself.”

    Best line ever.

    I went to a Zen Mediation group the other week. A woman said she could not understand the Heart Sutra becasue it was written by a privileged male.


    No, you could not understand it becasue you are still ignorant. Since it was a “safe space” for conversation no one is allowed to respond and tell her she was an idiot. Everywhere is Facebook now it seems.

    No, i will not go back to that group.

    If the question is, “Can women and queers be pretentious assholes?”, She Wants It holds the answer.

  13. Pat

    Re: Soloway and “Transparent”, I managed two episodes of the series. It struck me as politically correct and humanly confused. I gave it more than one chance because it had an exemplary cast – who were good enough to make it appear better than it was. This ‘review’ or take down of her book and what it reveals actually makes me think my instincts are probably better than I would have thought possible.

  14. Samuel Conner


    “Like Clockwork: How Daylight Saving Time Stumps Hospital Record-Keeping” [KHN]. “One of the most popular electronic health records software systems used by hospitals, Epic Systems, can delete records or require cumbersome workarounds when clocks are set back for an hour, prompting many hospitals to opt for paper records for part of the night shift. And it happens every year.”

    is such a stupid bug. I remember back in the ’80s, when I was a student and had low-level unix sys-admin duties in our group’s work-stations, that we were warned to NEVER set the system clock back, lest we risk confusing the system with files that it thought had been created or modified at times future to the current system time.

    A simple solution might be to date all files by GMT, and have the “visible” days derived from that depending on time zone and savings/non-savings.

    It’s a bit stunning to me that this is still a problem decades after it came to my attention as a very low-skilled student sys-admin.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I can’t say this surprises me. From what I’ve heard, Epic likes young grads and chews them up. Sounds like a nightmarish place to work, with spillover effects that potentially jeopardize patient health and life.

      1. Art Vandalay

        About a decade ago, I had a job interview at Epic — for a fairly senior non-IT role. My impression based on the day was exactly this: they target young grads with good grades as liberal arts majors, not from the Midwest where Epic is located, teach them skills needed to deal with Epic’s obsolete database technology, and send them on multi-month deployment projects. Result is you have well-paid young people, with limited social connections in Wisconsin, and limited transferable job skills — golden handcuffs. Also, the décor at the campus was best described as aggressively cute – things like underground walkways between buildings made to look like NY subway stations; Indiana Jones themed tunnels, etc. Much of the interview process consisted of personality tests or other stuff that could have been done online vs. flying to Wisconsin. Weirdest experience I’ve ever had in a job interview . . . and they couldn’t have paid me enough to consider working there after the visit.

  15. Inode_buddha

    Voted this AM, smaller town in upstate NY . Pop. ~ 50,000. The parking lot was crammed full, but there was no real delay in voting — people were leaving just as fast as they were entering. Since it was mid-morning, the voters were mostly retirees and disabled vets. Seemed to be about 3/4 white, 1/4 blacks/other. I’m sure those numbers would be reversed downtown if they can get anybody in there at all. What struck me the most is how completely the corporate Democratic party machine owns the ballot here. They basically make it so theres nobody else but them. This is a distinctly Red part of NY, but Team Blue has a heavy thumb on the scales.

  16. Darius

    Regarding the suburbs, Chuck Marohn has an understanding of macroeconomics that most here would describe as misinformed and outdated. However, his diagnosis of the suburbs and local affairs is spot on. Fortunately, this piece forgoes a detour into macro, but does offer an insightful critique of the FHA, the interstate highway system, and personal and household debt.

    One may subscribe to MMT but still oppose top down planning such as the rules imposed by the FHA and federal highway funding, which have had far reaching and unforeseen effects, namely mass suburbanization, for one.

    Centralized planning and administration work for Social Security and healthcare. I am skeptical of its efficacy in matters related to urban planning, land use and local transportation.

  17. Tvc15

    According to the Governing article, Maine is a toss up. If ranked choice voting for state positions wasn’t held up due to the plurality issue with the state constitution I would have voted for the independent as my first choice and Mills second. However, without it I voted the dreaded lesser of two evils.

    Start the new countdown, only 727 days left until 11/3/2020, plenty of time for all kinds of shenanigans!

      1. HotFlash

        Whew! I got in extra (beer, that is, not bourbon), gotta go out but will be back around 9:30. The Live Blog should just about be jumpin by then. See y’all later!

  18. nippersdad

    Voting in West Georgia this morning was brisk, with nearly all of the voting booths taken in spite of the rain. The anecdotes about polling machines changing votes were proven by my having to fix the ballot measures three times; those machines really do want a business court and a couple of the other measures pretty badly.

    I gave the polling manager a heads up on that machine, but, really, who knows?

  19. DJG

    Soloway and Affidavit and Transparent: I had to read it twice.

    Operative paragraph:

    “Something about my parent coming out immediately shattered a wall,” Soloway writes early on in She Wants It. “She was being her true self, a woman. Now I could be my true self, a director.” If the circumstances of her shiny new gender are, shall we say, suspect—the cisgender creator of a television show about trans issues, long criticized for presuming to speak for trans people, comes out as trans herself—all we need remember is that being trans because you want the attention doesn’t make you “not really” trans; it just makes you annoying.

    What I am seeing all over the place is what I think of as a kind of retail sexual liberation and sensuality. It is sexual liberation among the petit bourgeois. The travails of the Human Rights Campaign are typical of this widespread “liberation”–you come out as gay so that you can join an organization slavishly supporting the Clintons and maybe get invited to brunch. Your sensuality is commodified into an account at Goop. You think that we are in a Golden Age of Television, as if TV ever has had had much to offer (after the late great Rocky and Bullwinkle). You spend time pretending the mind-body problem still exists. You dutifully pretend that the one’s psychology, gender, sexuality, and genitalia are separable (into what?). Both the writer of the article and Soloway are at fault here, too.

    So I am still at Colette, whose book The Pure and the Impure went way beyond Soloway almost 100 years ago. And there are Shakespeare’s sonnets. And as In the Land of Farmers mentions above, the Heart Sutra.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Absolutely hear you but trans people need to be heard as well. Don’t shoot the messenger just because she’s annoying.

  20. McDee

    In Santa Fe we don’t have precincts. We have Voting Convenience Centers scattered around the city where anyone can vote, regardless of where they live. Good Idea. One can vote near work or school rather than have to rush home to vote. At 1030am I was number 412 to cast a ballot at my VCC.. A poll worker told me turnout was running about even with the June primary, which had very high numbers. One thing everyone here will agree on : Thank God it’s over. The virtually ceaseless campaign ads were truly horrible, from every side.

  21. Ranger Rick

    Another election day, another opportunity to complain that Election Day isn’t a national holiday.

  22. a different chris

    Well I honestly don’t care how the election comes out — I didn’t realize how much it would make me happy to vote for Big John Fetterman!!

    …the times they are a’changing, no matter what specifically happens today.

  23. Amfortas the Hippie

    The viewpoint article is wonderful. Exactly the sort of thinking we(whatever that may mean…which is exactly the point!) need.
    Shop floors are no more. The mailroom guy, the cubicle dweller, the window person at jack the box, and the boutique fancy veggie grower don’t necessarily see themselves as part of the same class…and not by accident.
    The article is really dense,though,lol.
    But I’m here to testify that it can be read and understood in a relatively chaotic setting(nurses installing my wife for another round. I am currently superfluous)

  24. Darthbobber

    Richard Florida: The “service class” he breathlessly discovers here is a portion, and presently the larger portion, of the working class, not a different thing.

    And the few policy prescriptions, like higher minimum wage and stronger labor laws, are equally relevant to either. As are Medicare for all and publicly funded universal post-secondary education. One thing the service and industrial working classes have in common is a singular lack of tangible, as opposed to rhetorical, concern shown for them by democratic leadership.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “What if women went on a sex strike before the midterms?”

    And therein lies the weakness for men. As it has been said, women use sex to get what they want. For men, sex is what they want.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Actually yes but not to an obvious degree. Churchill was once asked whether in the distant future women will be running the world. He replied yes, that they will still be at it.
        All joking aside and as an example, would Libya be now a failed state if Hillary and her Valkyries had not decided that it was in their interest to push an attack on the place? If the US did not support the attack it would not have been possible to go ahead.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      That pretty much flips though if the man in question is sufficiently hawt. Which exposes the saying as the course and unreliable generalization that it is.

  26. petal

    Checking in from Lebanon, NH. Had to wait only a few minutes minutes in line around 4p. Tons of young people(graduate student-age looking?) registering to do same-day, though. The table was full and people were waiting to use it to fill the form out. Have never seen so many attempting this at once at my polling place. That was definitely new. And someone was running a shuttle bus from the Dartmouth campus to Hanover high school so the college students could vote(even though it’s literally at most a 1-2 minute walk). Cheers.

  27. none

    > Revealed the evangelicals as frauds

    They’re not frauds, they’re just folks susceptible to believing bullshit, and the GOP plays them like a ten cent flute, misdirecting them into supporting plutocracy by playing on their faith. The Dem establishment plays its own supporters the same way, except the misdirection is through identity politics instead of God.

  28. allan

    NYC Elections boss: Voters share part of the blame for chaos at the polls [NYPost]

    … That’s embattled Board of Elections boss Michael J. Ryan’s spin on the epic waits that greeted voters as they lined up to cast their ballots Tuesday — as he blamed high turnout and a two-page ballot for causing the problems.

    “When a lot of people show up at the poll sites it’s a sign of a healthy and robust democracy,” Ryan told The Post.

    “For the first time in the history of the state of New York we had four boroughs where we had to use a two page, center perforated ballot that was actually four sided in most areas,” he said at another point. “And we also very robust turnout. So, those two things combined together, there was a learning curve for the voter and a learning curve for the board.” …

    Learning curve is the new glitch.

  29. audrey jr

    Last time I saw large numbers of people at the polls as were present today was when the ‘Governator’ was runnin’ for the first time here in CA.
    Looks like ol’ hit and run John O’Rourke carries away Ted Cruz’ Senate seat. He can take that seat home to his charter school maven wife. They’re a lovely pair of folks, I am sure.
    Thanks you, Lambert for the “Affadavit” post. Seems there are a whole lotta Jill Solloway types ’round here these days. Wanting to grow a conscience – when you weren’t apparently born with one – is such a pain.
    And thank you as well, Lambert, for the story in “links” this a.m. on Elon’s wonderful House of Pain masquerading as an automobile manufacturing plant. Someone should remind him that rule no.2 is “Not to spill blood.” Good to know that Cal/OSHA is on the job looking out for the American worker as they always have. s/

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