2:00PM Water Cooler 11/8/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


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


UPDATE “Beto’s consolation prize: Running for president” [Politico]. “Another tall and lanky politician, Abraham Lincoln, ran for president and won after losing two campaigns for Senate.” • Squeeee!

UPDATE “Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer become kingmakers for Democrats as both billionaires mull a 2020 run” [CNBC]. It would be very nice if Trump were not only “the first billionaire President,” but also the last.

“Exit Polls Show Suburbs as Likely 2020 Battlefield” [RealClearPolitics]. “One of the biggest shifts in suburban voting patterns involves married women. In 2016, for the first time since exit polling began in 1980, married women slightly supported the Democratic presidential candidate, 49 to 47 percent. That shift became more pronounced this year with married women supporting Democrats by 54 percent to 44 percent. “Trump’s temperament and demeanor has exacerbated the movement of married women towards the Democrats,” said Bowman. In 2018 there was also a pronounced education gap, as white college-educated women supported Democrats by a whopping 20 points, 59 percent to 39 percent, whereas white college-educated men supported Republicans, though by a much narrower margin, 51 percent to 47 percent. Republicans overwhelmingly captured white non-college-educated men (+34) and women (+14).” • If you want to appeal to professionals, as Democrats do, and you resolutely refuse to expand your base to include independents and non-voters, as Democrats do, then this strategy makes perfect sense (and is, moreover, quite lucrative, not only from “small contributions” but from the donor class who can be assured that little will change).

UPDATE “McConnell’s Winning Long Game Gives GOP Senate Edge for 2020” [Bloomberg]. Only two Senate Republicans facing the voters in two years are running in states won by Hillary Clinton in 2016: Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of Maine. Gardner will be the prime target after he oversaw the GOP’s campaign committee in leadership this year, while Collins will likely face her stiffest challenge yet after her climactic vote for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and the GOP’s tax overhaul.”

“‘A Red Line Crossed’: Nationwide Protests Declared for Thursday at 5PM After Jeff Sessions Fired” [Common Dreams]. • Idea: GoFundMe for Jeff Sessions ZOMG!!!!!!!!!!

2018 Post Mortems

UPDATE The pickups:

“Five Takeaways From Democrats’ House Triumph” [Dave Wasserman, Cook Political Report]. “1. This was mostly a suburban revolt… Democrats easily swept out most of the Republicans sitting in high-income suburban Clinton districts… well-funded Democrats also broke through in outer, middle-class suburbs that Trump carried by single digits.” • Schumer’s strategy for the party as of 2016. More: “Indeed, it’s the Democrats who look like the more divided party as they assume power in the House. Their newcomers, mostly hailing from swing suburbs, campaigned on healthcare and pocketbook issues, not Russia, tweets or Trump. But the incoming committee chairs, almost all from urban and coastal districts, each have their lists of about 9,000 reasons to investigate the executive branch.”

“How’d we do?” [Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball]. “Democrats built their new majority in part by persuading voters in many Republican-held districts carried by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election to elect Democratic House members. Of the 25 Clinton-won GOP districts, Democrats have won at least 14 and very likely will win several more. But Democrats also will win a similar number of districts won by Donald Trump, including upsets against Reps. Dan Donovan (R, NY-11) on Staten Island and Steve Russell (R, OK-5) in Oklahoma City. Another surprising Democratic win came in Charleston after Rep. Mark Sanford (R, SC-1) lost his primary.”

“Lessons of 2018: High turnout doesn’t only help Democrats” [Bleeding Heartland]. “Last night I recalled how John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign set a vote goal of 700,000 for Iowa, assuming that would be enough, since Al Gore had carried Iowa in 2000 with 638,517 votes. Kerry exceeded his campaign’s targets in many counties, gaining 741,898 votes statewide. Unfortunately, surging Iowa Republican turnout pushed President George W. Bush about 10,000 votes ahead.”

UPDATE “Did America Just Save Itself From the Bad Guys?” [Umar Haque, Medium]. “It wasn’t a blue wave. It was more like a blue whimper…. Democrats should have done better than they did. 70% of Americans want things like public healthcare, education, retirement, childcare, and so on — yet if you add up the numbers, only something like 60% of Americans voted for Democrats. To me, the implication is clear. The Democrats would have won bigger if they’d had a clear and resonant plan, not to mention a message, to give people a working social contract. But they didn’t — they seem unable to think, much less act, on that level. So this election wasn’t so much a victory for the Democrats — who are they? What do they stand for? Is there some unified party platform? What are their values? — as much as it was frustration and anger at Republicans.” • Sorry, I didn’t have time to finish this. I’ve got to get ready for the march to support Jeff Sessions.

UPDATE “House Democrats must prepare for brutal trench war” [Ryan Grim, The Week]. • I will be very surprised if the Democrats can walk (do hard work on policy; see the effect of concrete material benefits at “Health Care,” below) and chew gum (RussiaRussiaRussia; emoluments; tax returns) at the same time. In fact, it seems to me that they would much rather only chew gum, mouths half open, while endlessly standing in the same spot.

“Does #MeToo Matter? Of 19 State Candidates Facing Accusations, Only 1 Lost” [Governing]. “Since the beginning of 2017, about 75 state lawmakers have faced accusations of sexual harassment or misconduct. Many of them resigned or ended their reelection campaigns, but at least 27 accused candidates were on ballots this year, and 19 survived primary campaigns to run in the general election on Tuesday, according to a Governing calculation…. Among these successful bids is U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.” • The headline is off-point; the 75 – 27 = 48 would clearly say it matters!

“Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee considers bid for House leadership in wake of Ocasio-Cortez win” [Mercury News]. “Lee, who’s represented Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville and Alameda since 1998, has a record as a strong anti-war voice. She was the only member of Congress to vote against the post-9/11 authorization for use of military force, which has enabled America’s sprawling war on terror over the past 17 years.” • I say go for it, though if we have any readers in Oakland, I’d like to hear their takes.

* * *

Post mortems for individual races:

AZ Senate: “Throwback Thursday: Did Green Party candidate cost Democrats the Arizona Senate race?” [Salon (RH)]. “At this writing, Republican Martha McSally is at 850,043 votes in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., while Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is less than one percentage point behind at 834,135 votes, with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Green Party candidate Angela Green received 38,597 votes – more than twice the margin between the two major-party candidates.” • Green had thrown her support to Sinema in the waning days of the race. But did the Democrats own those votes? Probably not, given the GP reaction: “The AZGP does not endorse the candidates of the corporate ruling class.” Nate Silver comments on a similar case in 2016 PA: “But both pre-election polls and the national exit poll suggests that a lot of [Greens] wouldn’t have voted at all, if they’d been forced to pick between the two major candidates.” • That won’t stop Democrat blaming and shaming, of course.

GA Governor: “700 Wrapped Voting Machines Found In A Georgia Warehouse” [Hot Spot Atlanta]. “According to Stacey Abrams camp, Fulton County did not have the adequate amount of machines for voters. They discovered 700 wrapped machines in a warehouse. This evidence is more proof of widespread voter suppression throughout the state.”

MD Governor: “Why Ben Jealous Lost the Maryland Governor’s Race” [The Intercept]. “Jealous didn’t lose because he ran on issues like “Medicare for All,” a $15 minimum wage, and legalizing marijuana. In fact, voters in Maryland largely agree with Jealous on his signature policy issues….. The primary reason Jealous lost is that his campaign couldn’t pull in the necessary funds to compete effectively. Despite winning 22 out of 24 counties in the state’s crowded Democratic primary, the Jealous campaign’s own internal polling revealed that as of July, one-third of Maryland voters, and one-quarter of the state’s Democratic voters, did not know who Jealous was…. In the Maryland legislature, however, Democrats maintained their veto-proof majority. Republicans had targeted eight Democratic seats and hoped to flip five, but failed. Baltimore’s three largest suburban counties will now also be led by Democrats, with Anne Arundel and Howard counties flipping blue.”

TX: “Texas Democrats were aiming for historic wins in 2018. What they got instead was hope for 2020.” [Texas Tribune]. “Texas Democrats flipped four major appeals courts, taking back majorities in the judicial districts that serve Austin, Dallas and Houston. The 5th Court of Appeals, based in Dallas, has not elected a Democrat since 1992; on Tuesday, the 13-member court elected eight Democrats, including a Democratic chief justice.” • And some of the losing judges lost their sh*t–

TX: “Texas judge lets juvenile defendants go in ‘wholesale’ after losing re-election bid” [USA Today]. “‘If I release you, will you go out and murder anybody?’ And so, if the juvenile said ‘No,’ they were released,” public defender Steve Halpert told KTRK-TV about the hearing. ‘Judge Devlin would never normally ask that question of a juvenile. This was unusual.'” • No doubt pique, instead of a change of heart, but not such a bad policy alternative!

* * *

There’s a lot of good news at the state and local level:

“Many states pass campaign finance reform measures during midterms” [OpenSecrets]. AZ, CO, FL, MA, MO, ND, NM, and SD.

“With Jeff Sessions out, will pot payments thrive?” [The American Banker]. “During his time as U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions was an outspoken opponent of the legalization of cannabis sales. Now that Sessions has resigned — and states such as Michigan, Utah and Missouri voted in favor of legalization in this week’s midterms — legal marijuana is poised to become a growth industry…. Because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, merchants are largely unable to access the banking system and are precluded from accepting credit and debit cards. However, the U.S. card brands appear eager to move into this market. Just last month, when Canada legalized recreational cannabis sales, American Express, Visa and Mastercard rushed to handle those payments…. Pot stocks rose Wednesday on the news of Sessions’ departure.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

We write slogans. From alert reader JP:

My wife and I have adopted Tony Benn’s line on priorities (for lack of a better word) which reads: “If you can find the money to kill people, you can find the money to help people.” We have it on a sign we carried to the Nurses United protest about #MedicareForAll, and conveniently in the NATO counter march a few weeks later…. in Chicago, years back. This morning after watching the (s) election returns, I thought..time for a slight mod..so: “If you can print the money to kill people, you can print the money to help people.”

I like that. Somebody tell Bernie.

“Florida! Poor Ballot Design in Broward County May Have Led Voters to Skip Senate Race” [Election Law Blog]. • Groundhog day….

“Cybersecurity Officials Start Focusing on 2020 Elections” [Associated Press]. The lead: “An unprecedented federal and state collaboration to defend election systems against Russian interference ended with no obvious voting system compromises, although it’s not entirely clear why.” • I can think of at least one reason…

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, breaks ribs in fall” [CNBC]. “It is not the first time that Ginsburg has fractured her ribs while on the court. In June 2012, Ginsburg fractured two ribs in a fall and did not disclose the injury to the public until months later. The court said at the time that despite the fracture, Ginsburg ‘did not skip a beat.’ The Brooklyn-native, one of four liberal justices on the nine-member court, has said she plans to serve on the bench until she is 90, and has hired law clerks through 2020.”

“The Lies We Were Told” [Mainly Macro]. “The Global Financial Crisis required a strong and quick recovery to avoid the dangers of populism. Austerity prevented a strong recovery, and it was undertaken as a cynical attempt to reduce the size of the state. The subsequent populist mood was directed towards the right by politicians and the media playing on racism and xenophobic fears. This was fertile ground for disasters like Brexit and Trump to happen. This suggests that even if we could go back to the world as it was before Brexit and Trump that is not enough to stop similar disasters happening again.”

Stats Watch

Consumer Credit, September 2018: “Consumer credit growth slowed more than expected… below Econoday’s consensus range” [Econoday]. “[D]espite strong employment, consumers were cautious in September after splurging a little in August and chose to pay down some of their credit card debt instead. While it may be a plus for household wealth, the thriftiness exhibited is not a plus for consumer spending and the GDP.” • Perhaps, for some reason, the month of October is branded in their memory…

Jobless Claims, week of November 3, 2018: “Initial jobless claims are steady near historic lows” [Econoday]. “The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged at only 1.1 percent and underscores that of all the elements of the economy, the labor market is arguably the strongest.”

Capital Investment: “Reduced Numbers for Combined U.S. & Canadian Industrial Spending” [Industrial Reports]. “[C]ombined U.S. and Canadian planned capital spending reached only $22.81 billion in October compared to September’s $64.09 billion… Planned U.S. project spending plummeted in October with $17.04 billion in planned investment compared to the September total of $55.66 billion. Canadian planned investment showed a smaller drop in October with $5.77 billion in spending, down from $8.43 billion in September. Projects in both nations ranged in value from $500,000 to $2 billion.”

Shipping: “Rail Week Ending 03 November 2018: Combined Movements Up 2.6% for October” [Econintersect]. “Rail improved this week but the overall rate of growth in 2018 has slowly decelerating.”

Shipping: “The cost of a failed delivery continues to rise, survey shows” [DC Velocity]. “[Logistics technology provider Convey, Inc] surveyed more than 1,500 shoppers as part of its third annual consumer expectations study and found that the majority link shipping with brand allegiance. Nearly all of the consumers surveyed (98 percent) said that shipping affects brand loyalty, and 84 percent said they are unlikely to return to a retailer after just one negative experience, a 34 percent increase from 2017, the company said.” • Talking their book, but thinking about it, that’s how I’d act.

Shipping: “Top carriers have polarised view on scrubbers” [Splash 247]. “Just four of the world’s top 12 container carriers have committed to install scrubbers on a significant part of their fleets, according to research carried out by Alphaliner… Of note among the very biggest names in the sector is Cosco and ONE’s decision to date to avoid scrubbers and LNG, leaving them to rely on low sulphur fuel options come the January 1, 2020 launch of the sulphur cap.”

Transportation: “Bombardier plummets most in three years as hopes dim for turnaround” [Montreal Gazette]. The deck: “Plan to slash 5,000 jobs and sell two businesses for $900 million.” More: “The Canadian manufacturer is working off US$9.5 billion in adjusted debt, which was largely incurred as it poured money into two aircraft-development programs plagued with delays and cost overruns. The Global 7500 private jet is set to debut next month, marking the end of the company’s heavy investment cycle. Bombardier ceded control of the CSeries passenger plane in July to Airbus SE, which renamed it the A220.”

The Bezzle: “Op-ed: Wisconsin Deal With Foxconn Was as Bad as They Come” [Industry Week]. “While the Foxconn fiasco is a particularly egregious example, the whole approach of paying companies to relocate is coming under increasing scrutiny. Lots of cities and states play this game — estimates of total local corporate subsidies range from $45 billion to $90 billion a year. Most of this is in the form of tax credits. The bidding war for what Amazon.com Inc. calls its second headquarters is a prime example. Fundamentally, corporate welfare is a zero-sum game — if all cities and states could simply agree not to give any incentives, companies would still have to put their offices and factories somewhere. What’s more, the money often gets wasted…. Perhaps the best approach for state and local governments is to focus on creating the right conditions for businesses to move in, by doing the things that most businesses can’t or won’t do.” • E.g., infrastructure.

Tech: “How to measure Apple’s success without unit sales” [247 Wall Street]. “The whole thing is a mystery, and until the company posts the new schedule Luca Maestri promised last week, it will linger like a bad odor over the market. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Investor Relations website. No sign as of Thursday morning.”

UPDATE Tech: “Hundreds of people have taken to Reddit to complain that Apple is ‘nickle and diming’ them with its new products” [Business Insider]. “A thread on Reddit has hundreds of comments from users complaining about prices for iCloud storage, dongles, and other examples where it feels like Apple has cut corners and pushed costs to consumers.” • Removing the replacement nib from the new Apple Pencil. That’s really cheesy. $8.98 for a two-pack, for a part it must cost less than a penny to make. No wonder Apple’s margins are where they are.

Supply Chain: “A growing number of manufacturers are trying to cut shipping costs and eliminate bottlenecks by making their supply chains much, much shorter. The largest share of manufacturers in at least a decade is spending to expand facilities…, and many are looking to place factories closer to their customers” [Wall Street Journal]. “Propane products maker Ferrellgas Partners LP has added plants in Alabama and California to cut delivery routes and save some $3 million in annual transportation costs, calling the freight savings ‘extraordinary.’ Window and door maker Anderson Corp. is spending $105 million to build a plant near Phoenix, where it has a growing concentration of customers and suppliers. Creating such clusters is common in big manufacturing operations, but the growing investment in multiple factories suggests many companies believe jammed distribution networks will be here for the long haul.”

Supply Chain: “Brexit certainly seems to be building up demand for warehousing in the U.K. London-based goods supplier Associated British Foods PLC is joining the rush of companies preparing to stockpile parts and products in case of post-Brexit shortages…., a potentially costly strategy for the maker of Twinings tea, Primark clothing and Patak’s sauces” [Wall Street Journal]. “The ‘just-in-case’ supply chain strategy is part of the increasingly anxious planning that British companies are undertaking in case the U.K. exit from the European Union comes without an agreement over complicated trading and customs procedures.

Infrastructure: “The time is now for Congress to finally get moving on transportation infrastructure” [Logistics Management]. “[W]ith Republicans continuing to run the Senate and Democrats now in control of the House, the need to meet in the middle to give transportation infrastructure the funding (and attention) truly required, there is no time like the present to get things moving. It benefits all of us, no matter who you pulled the lever for in the voting booth yesterday.”

Infrastructure: “Infrastructure outlook brightens with split House, Senate” [The Bond Buyer]. “A new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives could mean an increased chance of a major infrastructure spending package, including a possible return of direct-pay bonds similar to Build America Bonds, according to lobbyists and market participants…. The split control of Congress might bode well for progress on federal infrastructure legislation, because there is common ground between the two parties on that issue. But the issue of how to pay for the agreed-upon spending could keep anything from materializing.” • Single party control can’t do the job, so split control can? I dunno… I suppose you could argue that both parties will want to show they can govern, and Pelosi did signal bipartisanship, but it’s not clear to me that Democrats want to govern, given that hysteria (Sessions; Acosta) switched on after the mid-terms almost as if a switch were thrown.

Mr. Market: “Defense Stocks on Safer Ground After the Midterm Elections” [247 Wall Street]. “24/7 Wall St. has tracked the post-midterm moves of many of the key defense stocks. The major defense stocks were almost unilaterally higher after the results were known. Admittedly, this was after a very solid gain in the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 indexes, but the biggest fears about defense spending were voted on by the equity market as having been largely overblown.”

Health Care

Good news:

All those PA districts. That’s encouraging, if PA is a battleground (again) in 2020.

“When Medicaid Expands, More People Vote” [New York Times]. “[N]ew body of evidence that strongly suggests that giving people coverage through expansions of the Medicaid program increases their likelihood of participating in the next election. Medicaid expansions seem to raise both voter registration and voter participation, at least temporarily…. ‘We can confidently say: When you expand Medicaid eligibility, participation goes up,’ said Jake Haselswerdt, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri, who wrote one of the papers.” • Nobody could have predicted that concrete material benefits, especially for the working class, would correllate to electoral success [snort].

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Officials: Ronald Reagan LSD probe bigger than you think, 14 nuke sailors snagged” [Military Times]. “Fourteen sailors from the nuclear reactor department of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan face disciplinary action in connection to LSD abuse, Navy officials confirmed this week.” • What could go wrong? More Seventh Fleet problems….

Class Warfare

“The Trouble With Uplift” [The Baffler (Hana M)]. “[T]he insistence that disparities of racial access to power are the most meaningful forms of inequality strongly reinforces the neoliberal view that inequalities generated by capitalist market forces are natural and lie beyond the scope of intervention. And second, if American racism is an intractable, transhistorical force—indeed, an ontological one, as Ta-Nehisi Coates has characterized it—then it lies beyond structural political intervention. In other words, Coates and other race-firsters diminish the significance of the legislative and other institutional victories won since Emancipation, leaving us with only exhortations to individual conversion and repentance as a program. This is why, for example, Coates and other proponents of reparations seem unconcerned with the strategic problem of piecing together the kind of interracial popular support necessary to actually prevail on the issue.” • Grab a cup of coffee, because this is long. But it’s a must-read, the best Reed yet.

News of the Wired

“MacBook Air 13″ Retina 2018 Teardown” [iFixIt]. Bottom line: 3/10 on repairability. And: “Soldered, non-serviceable, non-upgradeable storage and RAM is a serious bummer on a $1,200+ laptop.”

“The Golden Age of Amateur Radio” [KE6MT]. “I’ll probably write more about this in other posts, but I believe that we are indeed in the midst of a golden age for amateur radio. Never before have we had such easy access to information, parts and kits needed to get on the air and to experiment. From microcontrollers to easily available parts and information, never have there been more possibilities for experimentation. With ingeniously-designed inexpensive kits, it’s easier than ever to get on the air. Whether it’s VHF/UHF, HF, microwave, or all of the above—if you’re interested, you can do it. I’m not the first person to say this. My friends over at the Ham Radio Workbench podcast have talked about it several times. On top of all that, if you look in the right places, the “ham spirit” is alive and well. There are people that will go out of their way to help you explore this great hobby. I’ve had the good fortune to meet several of them. I try to pay it forward whenever I can.” • It would be handy if data could be transmitted too, at least to 1995-style HTML standards but I’m guessing bandwidth is far too low.

* * *

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 (MG):

A “cork oak” from the Botanical Garden in Dublin, Ireland.

* * *

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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. drumlin woodchuckles

      Europeans are supposed to be “smarter than this”. Why are Europeans, farmers or otherwise, falling for this?

  1. Seeing Good?

    LSD and warships: I guess the true crime is that the psychedlics reduce the antagonistic and aggressive relations to your surrounding.
    Can’t have people walking around loving earth and mankind. That may lead to something… sit down so you won’t fall…good!

    1. Daryl

      If only they had used safe, government approved alcohol. That has never caused problems in combination with operating giant ships.

    2. Summer

      This is a long term thing that has been going on in the Navy.
      Back in the 80s, I was in college and met up with an old high school friend who was in the Navy. He had LSD and said it was popular with Navy members because it was undetectable with normal drug tests, easy to hide, and helped to battle boredom.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        Yep. Is it still only us and Pakistan with a Dry Navy? That’s what I was told back in the 80s when they gave me a tour for free because of my major. (What a bunch of Suits was my overall impression.)

        What I heard from someone who had used the Navy for bennies was that ‘Klingon Bird of Prey off starboard bow’ written in the logbook didn’t result in any kind of feedback. And cheap, compact, impossible to test is why it’s been the squid choice since it was invented.

        Since Reagan got the whole drug-testing-to-hold-a-job racket going, I’ve always thought “Aren’t you a sh!t manager if you can’t tell that your employees are drunk and stoned?”

        And, further, if you are that crappy, maybe you shouldn’t screw with a system where you pretend to pay them and they pretend to work? It’s the merit that just ain’t so that’s the problem.

    3. JohnnySacks

      Why not? The mind numbing boredom segues to fish food 20 minutes after the first cruise missile is launched on Iraq.

      1. GF

        Was the LSD use happening during the Fukushima meltdown when the ship sailed into the very highly radioactive plume that has resulted in many illnesses of crew members?
        The ship was out of commission for a couple of years after that too while the Navy cleaned it by pouring all the polluted cleaning material liquids into San Diego Bay. And there are 16 other ships contaminated that haven’t been decontaminated yet:
        (From 2016) – https://www.rt.com/usa/335559-navy-nuclear-contamination-fukushima/.

    4. Craig H.

      I cannot imagine a worse setting for an LSD trip than a navy ship.

      Wonder how they got the evidence. LSD is as close to undetectable contraband as there is. Undercover anti LSD military police?

      (on another note that cork oak is gorgeous. Looks like it could be a lord of rings movie star.)

    5. ObjectiveFunction

      I once met a Harley Davidson engineer who was at one of the great Summer of Love rock festivals (Airplane, Iron Butterfly, etc.), then steered a carrier out the Golden Gate while still tripping. All American hero.

      “These are great days we’re living, bros! We’re Jolly Green Giants, walking the earth. With guns.”

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Can’t have people walking around loving earth and mankind

      As long as they aren’t doing that near a nuclear powerplant. There’s a time and a place or everything….

  2. jo6pac@caldsl.net

    I received this email just awhile from PM explains why they aren’t there at this time.

    Publishing at Wall Street On Parade has been interrupted due to a family health emergency.

    Best regards,

    Pam Martens

  3. ambrit

    About the Navy LSD case. Most ex-military I have conversed with over the past decade or so have admitted the prevalence of drug taking behaviour in the services. What makes me wonder is the levels of the psychoactive drug being used. I’ve read about “micro dosing” LSD to improve cognition. Can that be a factor here?
    Secondarily, what were they thinking? The Nuclear Propulsion department of a naval vessel would be obviously the highest priority section of a warship as far as security goes. Perhaps nuclear warheads rate higher, but not much else would, I’m willing to bet.
    Perhaps though, the trigger stimulus for drug taking is the constant knowledge that you are on a sitting duck in the event of a ‘real’ war.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Maybe we should distinguish between high school acid and well, clean acid.

      After imbibing I was amazed by people talking about their high school experiences (Aside from the new insights on Mandalas, etc.). Once a freshly post-high school acquaintance hooked me up, and I found out it was just brewed for speed. Contrarywise, an older friend once spent a week tripping with some friends because he could, and yah he’s doing fine.

      I’ve never been to sea on a ship, only boats, which are fun–but only drink at the dock Natalie. I personally find tremendously boring, repetitive tasks that require constant vigilance to be much easier to handle with some good quality psychedelics. Everyone who stays enlisted has some idea about organizing their time.

      Not often you see a drug bust that doesn’t have dollars in the headline.

      1. ambrit

        I’ll bet the Navy is scared that the headlines will read: “Transdimensional Beings Take Control of Navy Nukes.”
        I hear you about the difference in quality of ‘product’ available. I’ve ‘experienced’ the old Owsley stuff. Mellow is the world….

  4. marym

    Re: There’s a lot of good news at the state and local level

    (Excerpts: tweets in the thread have a bit more detail)

    Coloradans overwhelmingly voted to enact Amendment A, removing prison slave labor from their state constitution.

    Louisianans voted to approve Amendment 2, requiring a unanimous jury verdict before any felony conviction.

    Floridians supported restoration of voting rights for most people who have been convicted of a felony and completed their sentences. [Amendment 4]

    Floridians also approved Amendment 11, allowing the state legislature to apply criminal justice reforms retroactively.

    Over 85% of voters in Alabama’s Cullman and Morgan Counties approved referendums that ban their sheriffs from pocketing funds designated for feeding prisoners in the county jail.

    Long thread includes candidates based on issues they support, as well as ballot initiatives.

    The Appeal @theappeal
    Criminal justice reform is on the ballot. Tonight we will be tweeting the results of key races for Governor, prosecutor, and sheriffs, plus ballot initiatives across the country.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Over 85% of voters in Alabama’s Cullman and Morgan Counties approved referendums that ban their sheriffs from pocketing funds designated for feeding prisoners in the county jail.

      Sorry, I know other stuff is more important but really? They had to have a referendum on this in 2018? Really??

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, in Alabama it has been a routine matter for the county sheriff to steal supplement their salary from whatever budgeted food money they did not use to feed the jail scum inmates from the very beginning. So I am guessing that’s something like two centuries.

        Apparently one of the sheriffs managed to build an actual mansion complete with a pool using his five figure salary and the “leftover” commissary money. This triggered the proposed law being put to a vote.

        1. John Zelnicker

          November 8, 2018 at 5:46 pm

          The sheriff’s food provision system was created during the Depression allowing the sheriff’s to “keep and retain” any unspent jail food money. They are also personally responsible for any shortfalls. The food-provision accounts are considered personal accounts of the Sheriff and if one dies in office any balance in the account becomes a part if their estate.

          The money comes from government payments for inmates; less than $2/day for federal prisoners, more than that for state and county ones.

          The egregious case that motivated those referendums was one Todd Entrekin, Sheriff of Etowah County (pop. 104,430 in 2010). He took over $750,000 from the food fund over a period of three years. It was likely more than that as $250,000 annually is the maximum reporting requirement.

          Entrekin apparently used the money to buy a beach house for $740,000. His annual salary is $93,000.

          1. JBird4049

            Thanks for that NPR link. It is a good article.

            For less than $2 a day you can maybe feed enough decent food to a large house cat; what are they feeding the human sized inmates? White rice and beans?

            1. John Zelnicker

              November 9, 2018 at 1:21 am

              Rice, beans, and vegetables mostly. One Sheriff was sued by the federal government for feeding inmates meat only once a month. Another fed the inmates corn dogs for a full month (he got a good deal and split it with the sheriff in the next county).

              Also, the food supply contracts the sheriffs make are not subject to open bidding like most other government procurement. Alabama government says the sheriffs can do it cheaper that way.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Entrekin apparently used the money to buy a beach house for $740,000.

            Of course, on Wall Street that’s chump change. It doesn’t take much to move people up the power curve, does it….

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Apparently ordinary citizen-people are beginning to understand and fear the random and arbitrary ( apart from the upper class bias) nature of the legal enforcement system. So they are coming to realize that . . .

      The bed you make for prisoners is the bed you lie in when you go to prison.
      The bed you make for arrestees is the bed you lie in when you get arrested.
      The bed you make for suspects is the bed you lie in when you get suspected.

  5. ChiGal in Carolina

    Thanks, JP, for sharing the sign idea, I will definitely use and pass it on.

    Yikes–all wishes for a speedy recovery to the notorious RBG.

    So the suburban white women strategy worked? And though some progressives won, a lot of higher profile candidates (Abrams, Jealous) were frozen out by a combination of voter supression and D party failure to support?

    Looks like the take-away for Pelosi & Co will be to continue their strategy despite the materialization of a Blue Dribble instead of a Blue Wave.

    Lotta grass-roots pressure and small $ donations gonna be needed going forward to grow the right kind of numbers. Consensus I am hearing is that we gotta fight the Ds but we ALSO need to keep fighting the Rs.

    The latest post-election Intercepted features Chris Hedges. Revolution, he says, but NONVIOLENT; Antifa serves the State in his opinion. But prepare for the worst–it’s not gonna be like the Women’s March for long: if we truly challenge TPTB it will look like Standing Rock or Oakland.

    And another vote for the Reed piece: a must read!

  6. Big Tap

    “Throwback Thursday: Did Green Party candidate cost Democrats the Arizona Senate race?

    Latest vote tally for Arizona Senate race from NYT. Expect if Sinema loses after the recounts the attacks will be directed at the Green party costing her the election. That’s how the Democrats roll. Never mind all the voters who stood home they couldn’t convince to vote or Green party voters who never vote Democratic.


    1. PhilK

      Did Green Party candidate cost Democrats the Arizona Senate race?

      I sure as hell hope so !!!

      As Big Tap says above, the Democult will blame them anyways, so why not?

    2. Darthbobber

      Fun facts: before becoming a democrat and a member of the blue dog and problem-solvers caucuses, Sinema’s first run for the legislature in 2002 was as the candidate of the green party. By 04 she had switched to the dems.

      (I use dems as an abbreviation a lot, but autocomplete likes to change it to everything from demand to demon. On my phone earlier I must have hit the floor instead of the d key, so it helpfully gave me females.)

      1. John Zelnicker

        November 8, 2018 at 5:30 pm

        I must have hit the floor instead of the d key

        Another autocomplete fail? ;-)

    3. Wyoming

      Most likely not. As Sinema appears to be likely to win.

      Current vote counting shows Sinema in the lead by a few thousand votes and the vast majority of the votes remaining to be counted are Maricopa County which should favor her.

      It will be about 4 more days of counting. The R’s are clearly running scare as they have, of course, already filed suit to try and get some of the votes not counted – same old same old.

      It is so easy to hate these people.

  7. Carolinian

    “But both pre-election polls and the national exit poll suggests that a lot of [Greens] wouldn’t have voted at all, if they’d been forced to pick between the two major candidates.”

    I have to confess that, having voted Green in the last election, I didn’t vote this time. There were some Democratic candidates, but at some point it’s hard to get motivated by lesser evilism. And when you are constantly forced into the alternative of voting for a candidate with no chance of winning that too begins to seem a pointless gesture. Apologies for being such a poor citizen…..

    I will vote in two years (not for Trump). Two years is a long time in politics.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I left the whole state ballot blank except for the Democrat running against Angus King. And the only reason I voted for that guy was because of an article I read the described him as a borderline Communist who the state Democrat party wasn’t giving any support to.

          1. Chris

            Australia has preferential voting for both Senate and House of Reps. The Senate election is a whole of state vote for 12 Senators, and there may be 50 or 60 candidates from a dozen or so major and minor parties, as well as independents. We can either vote “above the line” (pick one party, and use their pre-announced preference allocation) or “below the line” (number your preferred candidates from 1 to at least 12, and up to the total number on the ballot). “Above the line” is obviously much easier, but I always vote “below the line”, simply because of the pleasure it gives me to give a particularly smarmy RWRNJ my final preference.
            Does that count as a “hate vote”?

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      There was a proposal to give control of our municipal utility to god-knows-who. So I went. Ended up voting along most of the Democratic sheet that was sent along. First such cheat sheet from our county DP in forever.

      I’m not thrilled by ballot initiatives.

      I want to think that the Florida Democratic Party has some omerta where they’ve decided it is better to do their best to never win a statewide office. But it’s far more likely they are just idiots yet elites.

  8. Pat

    It might be interesting to find out the breakdown of atttitudes of the new voters that appear after the Medicaid expansion, as in socialized medicine/Medicare for All supporters vs. those who despise that some undeserved poor have better or any healthcare and want it gone because the new voter cannot afford it.

    I know of two people who have actively suppressed their incomes by refusing and/or being unavailable for work to keep their medicaid eligibility. Both have major health issues, something I thankfully do not and one of them actually struggles to find enough money to feed themselves during those periods when they have to limit their work.

    While more and more people are finally getting that our health care system is broken and slowly are coming around to single payer, too many still buy the idea that the system is broken because of ‘deadbeats’ and regulation. Believe me, any clear knowledge or even anecdotal knowledge of people like my acquaintances would only make those unwilling to admit they had been deceived want to punish the ‘deadbeats’ for the system’s greed, corruption and sadism by eliminating them and what little regulations there are.

    I wish I weren’t so cynical about these things. But unfortunately we have, think tanks, a media AND both political classes willing and able to protect the profits and power for those that benefit keeping people insured but without real healthcare.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I use to kind of agree with the idea the problem we have is too many people believe in this “deadbeat” narrative, but the problem is too many people believe the “good” leaders share their values.

      Marijuana is a great example. Without any political leadership, there was a time where legalization polled at 45% in the 90’s. With no support from the establishment. Democratic partisans will make excuses for Obama/Holder’s decision to not reschedule including “you’ll upset all the churchies”, but the real problem is people using a little bit of pot aren’t going to donate as much money as an industry being propped up by government intervention whether its Big Pharma or prisons.

      I’ve talked to a lot of voters over the years, and outside a few quilting circles, not one of Obama’s voters in 2008 gave a damn about the differences between single payer, public options, or McCain’s healthcare plan (ACA). What they knew was health care prices are hideous and access is difficult. Both candidates (McCain pitched ACA even then) had to address the issue. Obama won along with all the Dems supporting a much better plan than ACA, so they should have had no problem passing that plan. There would have been no push back about deadbeats except from Republicans who will make that argument if the corpse of Ronald Reagan came back and endorsed Obama.

      The lesson of “The Emerging Democratic Majority” wasn’t that the Democrats will win for anyone who read past the book jacket (not an attribute of “West Wing liberals”). It was the “dead beat” argument can’t win an election against a positive alternative. The nominal center left party doesn’t need to worry about the “gods and gun” crowd or what William F Buckley will say. The whole New Democratic schtick was we need to move to the right to win elections because of all the hillbillies. 2006 and 2008 demonstrated that. The problem is people blame poor people instead of blaming the decision makers.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The whole New Democratic schtick was we need to move to the right to win elections because of all the hillbillies.

        And now New New Democrat schtick is that we need to move to the right to win elections because of all the wealthy educated white suburban women. Never change, Democrats. Never change!

    1. MartyH

      @AlfaBeta … contesting, occasionally, is a way to keep skills up, too.

      On the issue of HTML and bandwidth … 56Kb transfers are perfectly reasonable with a little research and finding the right modem. Hams also run long distance WiFi links (legally) at higher power than your in-house base station. Low-speed feeds to local “bulletin board” systems then accessable via WiFi locally? Totally doable.

      1. ultrapope

        What you and Lambert are talking about sounds a lot like amateur packet radio (AMPRNET), which has been around in some form or another since the 70’s. The Wikipedia page is a great start https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMPRNet. There’s also a site for those interested as well https://www.ampr.org/ I’ve always been super fascinated with AMPRNET but I just don’t have the time to actually get involved with it.

        The use of long range WiFi seems to be where the future of this lies but I assume there are some physical limitations. VHF and UHF bands seem to be the choice for long range communication. An interesting idea would be to build a local WiFi mesh network for say a city of something and have a node that could provide access to other mesh networks via VHF, UHF. Not sure what the point would be but a nerd can dream, damnit!

        1. naked turtle

          I also came to say that the answer was packet radio. I don’t know that much about it, but have heard about it as a way to transmit data over ham radio for years. I would think the point would be for either disaster scenarios (no power for wired networks or cell towers), and also for setting up ad-hoc data links in areas that don’t have any infrastructure. Both areas where voice-only ham radio is also useful.

        2. KPC

          There are physical limitations in this finite world including this junk.

          They are called radio waves and, in Spanish, we call it “choque”. E.g., when you run out of this very limited number of radio frequencies, one rapidly ends up with jamming the radio waves.

          So, VHF, UHF, Wifi and wireless garage door openers are of physical necessity limited, dude.

          This “new tech” sources in the year 1870.

        3. JCC

          The primary physical limitation is bandwidth. The higher the frequency, usually the more data that can be be transmitted.

          From https://ham.stackexchange.com/questions/10556/do-fcc-regulations-limit-digital-data-rate

          In general, the HF bands impose symbol restriction number (3) above limiting data to a symbol rate of 300 baud. A notable HF exception is 28.0 to 28.3 MHz where restriction number (4) above applies, raising the symbol rate to 1200 baud.

          On the 6 and 2 meter bands, restriction number (5) above applies, limiting the data to a symbol rate of 19.6 kbaud.

          From 219 to 220 MHz, restriction number (13) above applies, limiting the data transmission to a bandwidth of 100 kHz – a notable regulatory exception.

          From 222 to 225 MHz and the entire 70 cm band, restriction number (6) above applies, limiting the data to a symbol rate of 56 kbaud.

          For all frequencies higher than the 70 cm band, restriction number (7) above applies, effectively removing any symbol rate restriction.

          ampr.org is interesting in that it it administers the IP Internet Addressing system, the block, 44.7 million addresses that are exclusive to Amateur Radio.

          The Linux Kernel actually has had this range available in the software ip stack for many years and there is a lot of user level software available to take advantage of it. And there are numerous amprnet gateways to the internet available for those who wish to participate (I ran a gateway for a few years, a great learning experience). All you need is your license.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > On the issue of HTML and bandwidth … 56Kb transfers are perfectly reasonable with a little research and finding the right modem. Hams also run long distance WiFi links (legally) at higher power than your in-house base station. Low-speed feeds to local “bulletin board” systems then accessable via WiFi locally? Totally doable.

        So there is a way to bypass the ISPs, then.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Wait a minute, wait a minute. People talking among themselves over radio waves without some tech billionaire getting the right to shut them down or censor what they are saying or getting a cut of each transmission? Why that would be chaos. It can’t be allowed!

  9. Sutter Cane

    Re: Beto 2020

    The fact that this talk started immediately after his loss to Ted Cruz says a lot about the Democrats, little of it good. I know it was an impressive showing for a heavily red state, but the rank desperation is an unflattering look for the Dems. That Democrats are so eager to throw in with Beto, a neoliberal very much in the Clinton mode, shows that they have learned nothing and changed not at all.

    They are looking for an Obama-style savior who can win on personality, so that they won’t have to actually address any issues or take stands on anything.

    1. JohnnyGL

      It’s not ideological, they don’t care what ideas are in his head or on his agenda….it’s the consultants and their media contacts.

      Their metrics of winning are based around fundraising targets, not votes at the ballot box. They’d have pushed the ‘Beto for prez’ idea regardless of whether he won or lost. Votes don’t matter to dollar-dems, only fundraising.

      There is NO other explanation for Nancy Pelosi being anywhere near a leadership position. She rakes in cash and loses elections.

    2. Darthbobber

      Beto 2020 will most probably consist of a run for Cornyn’s seat in Texas. This would follow the old southern political school in which you run once to become known and again to win.

        1. Darthbobber

          And Karl Marx was married to a daughter of the von Westphalens.

          And FDR was…
          The drawbacks of O’Rourke are independent of his marriage.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Will he ask Trump for his tax returns?

          In return, will Trump ask for his prenuptial agreement?

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Agreed. The fact is I think the Dems would rather run one of the Castro brothers in ’20 if they’re going to support a Texan. They’ve already made noises in that direction, possibly because the lads fit into their agenda of getting Republicans to vote Dem.

        Because what you never hear in all the identity politics narratives is that many Latinos are quite conservative. Indeed, look at the number who voted for Cruz. They are not and never have been the kind of voting bloc African Americans are supposed to be. And they can be as racist as any deplorable, as any city cop can attest.

        As for dismissing Beto as just another neoliberal, his voting record says otherwise. He may, in fact, be an actual centrist, as opposed to the right-center ilk that is the Democrat establishment. I never considered him a leftie, but he was unquestionably better than Cruz. Heck, my cat is better than Cruz.

        People need to get over the idea there’s going to be some huge overnight sea-change in which millions of people who don’t have a clue about how the country really operates will suddenly swing sharply left and vote for Green candidates. Ain’t happenin’. And dismissing any candidate who has the sense to know you don’t turn the tanker on a dime is shooting oneself in both knees.

  10. Fiery Hunt

    Barbara Lee has been my House Rep since first elected. And while she will forever win points for that no vote…and EVERYONE gives her that credit…she has done absolutely nothing to address any of the real issues in her district. Income inequality, outrageous housing costs, the homeless, tech surveillance, tech tax breaks, online vs. local business sales tax (and the loss of small businesses), health care costs, infrastructure boondoggles like the Bay Bridge, etc, etc…on all of these, she’s nowhere to be heard or seen.

    She’s been trading on that no vote for 20 years.
    Dellums did the same thing.
    Had one big moment/issue and just coasted to a nice cushy life.

    1. nowhere

      Just curious… seeing as this list is largely local issues, what votes was she supposed to cast to change their outcomes?

      1. Fiery Hunt

        Votes aren’t the only power Congresscritters have…and these issues aren’t all local. Where is Lee in the Medicare for All fight? Awol.

        Besides jawboning an issue, say like affordable housing, and maybe pushing some local politicians toward some solutions…how about writing some legislation? You know, like Sanders did to Amazon?
        Lord knows, the giant tech companies around here could use some “guidance” to being better “citizens”…

        Can’t even come up with one thing she’s done, legislatively or issue pushing.

  11. Mark Gisleson

    LSD charges are fascinating. Must have been a snitch. LSD is out of your system and undetectable even before the trip is over, and you can hide a lot of doses in a very small space.

    But what I really like is that they couldn’t find any deterioration in work done by their suspects.

      1. johnnygl

        Stacy Abrams may still get it done. She’s weirdly disciplined, dogged for a democrat. I hope she keeps fighting to get those votes counted. The suppression in Fulton Co. seems obnoxious, by all indications.

  12. clarky90

    “Scott Adams – The National Temperature, Jim Acosta…”


    At the very end (39 minutes) Adams, speculates that the gruesome murder of Khashoggi, by the Saudis, could give POTUS an opening to negotiate Peace in the Middle East. Trump has announced that he is preparing a strong response.

    Scott Adams has previously demonstrated some powers of prescience!

    Peace in the Middle East. Imagine………..

    1. JTMcPhee

      Nice thought, but the US Empire can in no way bring “peace in the Middle East.” The Kingdom Of Saud, the Israelites, Erdogan and a bunch of other players will still be there, the long tail of human conflict that goes back what, 20 millennia? And weapons will flow in, the CIA and sneaky-Petes of various other countries playing their games, the NGOs and corporate interests that want chaos and petro profits and arms sales, all will be pushing their own games. Let us not forget the virus “we” helped infect the place with, all the war bands of “fighters,” who for religious BS or “revenge” or the fun of Allahu Akhbar killing or because it’s the only job that pays (via bricks of shrink-wrapped $100 US bills or ransom or extortion) will continue to do their thing. And that’s just a small assortment of reasons why “peace” there, in all the many conniving, corrupt and war-loving parts of the area, is not going to happen.

      So even if Trump and May and Macri and the rest ordered a stand-down and walk-away, the seeds of anomie and antagonism and opportunism were planted long ago, and well watered with blood.

      And remember, the US Mlilitary does not even try to define “war” in its massive “Dictionary of Military And Associated Terms,” http://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Doctrine/pubs/dictionary.pdf , even though the word is used in many contexts many hundreds of times. And “peace” is likewise undefined, except as part of a compound notion, in concepts like “peace operations,” and “peacekeeping,” which are essentially miltary in nature, or “peacetime,” which patently in context is just “the time in which we prepare for more war, while protecting the security and advancing th interests of (the Empire.)” If the language does not even comprehend the words, how the hell can there be anything but more of the existing state of horror, writ ever larger?

    2. knowbuddhau

      Now who’s trippin’? None of the parties involved believes in peace. And it’s not for such a banal reason as $$$. That’s taken as proof of the “righteousness” of their warring ways, to be sure, but there’s a bigger question: If life’s a holy war, how dare you preach peace, you traitorous, blaspheming heretic!

      Adams is delusional if he thinks Trump has a hope in hell of bringing peace to a place whose leaders really don’t want it.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      I got very annoyed when Scott Adams cancelled his written readable blog and went over to rambling stream-of-consciousness you tube broadcasts. I sat through a couple minutes of one and got so bored as to never go back.

  13. marym

    From transcript of Trump’s press conference yesterday (questioner is Acosta before the mic dust-up referenced in today’s Links)

    (emphasis and footnotes added)

    Q As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S.

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for telling me that. I appreciate it.

    Q Why did you characterize it as such? And —

    THE PRESIDENT: Because I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion.

    Q But do you think that you demonized immigrants in this election —

    THE PRESIDENT: Not at all. No, not at all.

    Q — to try to keep —

    THE PRESIDENT: I want them — I want them to come into the country, but they have to come in legally. You know, they have to come in, Jim, through a process. I want it to be a process.[1]

    And I want people to come in. And we need the people.

    Q Right. But your campaign had — your campaign —

    THE PRESIDENT: Wait. Wait. Wait. You know why we need the people, don’t you? Because we have hundreds of companies moving in. We need the people.[2]

    [1] Requesting asylum is a process.
    [2] ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Exactly. A journalist decided he had the right to not only challenge the president but continue to badger him because the answer wasn’t suitable to feed the outrage machine. And wouldn’t shut up. And refused to surrender the microphone.

      And is being revered by all the media mouthpieces and the McResistance flunkies as the video, carefully edited to show only what supports the outrage, goes viral.

      Say what you will about the New York Post, as a former journalist who really did try to be unbiased, I had to agree with this take.

        1. Kurtismayfield

          I can’t believe they didn’t see it..

          Trump believes that we need more workers. This is hysterical considering how real wages haven’t budged in decades. If we needed more labor then hours worked or salaries would have increased substantially.

          The wage suppression must continue until morale improves.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Even here, there are willing, not-enough-pay-for-Americans international workers (and deserving victims of imperialism and global neoliberalism) who are not being heard – they live too far…in China, the Middle East, Africa, etc.

      1. JTMcPhee

        EB, you have an interesting take on the encounter. “Badgering the president?” Oh, who the hell cares any more, it’s all tribal, and since when is it the case that reporters are supposed to defer and not challenge a bullshitter who is bullshiting his way through the day, playing the press like an accordion? Helen Thomas was always shy, retiring and ‘respectful” of the “right” of the president to “say the thing that is not so,” and obliged only to put forth the narrative? And also, since when are journalists supposed to be “unbiased?” What that means, if I read the zeitgeist right, is just to do that BS about “presenting both sides,” that somehow any more always comes up aligned with pumping the neoliberal narrative? Like the folks at Politifact and NPR do? And the various outlets of the corporate media do? Obsequiousness in a reporter is no virtue. Having a viewpoint is necessary, And obviously any more if a “reporter,” most of whom are more scribes that just post the stuff they get on their faxes from the PTB, wants to have a job in the morning, it’s best to “go with the flow.”

        Seems to me the #metoo aspect of this encounter, who touched or “violently manhandled” whom is weighing a lot more heavily than daring to question what the president said, terming this an “invasion” and sending armed troops to “defend the border” against some mopes trying to escape from what the Empire has set in motion over many generations. Dog whistles and red meat and Kayfabe are hallmarks not of republic, but something else.

        I’d say journalists, whatever that means any more in the Homeland of Bernays, have not only a right but a duty to investigate and prod and press the questions on the people who rule us. As much as the system will allow. Which “freedom” ever more is less and less.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Was he around the WH and did Acosta ‘badger’ Obama (who was pretty good at BSing) differently?

          That can provide a baseline for comparison.

          1. Fiery Hunt

            PrimeBeef with the perspective!

            I don’t want “showmanship” from reporters…I want them to use their medium to clarify issues, not mud wrestle. Talk about what the Empire has done to cause the migration…put things in context, not just “Trump is a meanie!”

            Is that too much to ask?

            1. JTMcPhee

              So was Acosta just being a “showman,” then, in pressing the Showman in Chief for an answer to a fact-based question? I guess I am missing something here, or the Narrative is stronger than I think.

              Maybe the version I have seen was “doctored” by the media who we are invited to excoriate, but I think this is a decent rendition of the “exchange:” https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/11/07/trump-scolds-jim-acosta-as-a-rude-terrible-person-during-heated-exchange-at-news-conference

              Trump is basically telling “reporters’ to sit down, take notes on the message he is putting out, and shut up. That is not “reporting” if they meekly go along.

              I’d want to ask Home if it’s true that the Empire is planning to make war on Iran, and preparing for a first strike on Russia with nuclear weapons just as soon as they are in the inventory… and a bunch of other stuff besides. But now, who dares to do that?

              From “the exchange:”

              “I tell you what,” he said, “CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you working for them. You are rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN. Go ahead. You are a very rude person, the way that you treat Sarah Huckabee Sanders is horrible. And the way that you treat other people is horrible. You should not treat people that way.”

              After Acosta, NBC News White House Correspondent Peter Alexander tried to begin his question with a defense of Acosta, but Trump interrupted him. “I’m not a big fan of yours either, to be honest,” Trump said. “You are not the best.”

              The president then returned to attacking Acosta, saying, “Just sit down, please. Well, when you report fake news — no. When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.” Ibid. (Pot calling the kettle black, much?)

              I would call that scary stuff, but then what do I know?

              1. Todde

                I never really considered CNN a voice of the people.

                More like the Mouth of Saruon.

                Im conflicted.

                I concede your point tho. President shouldn’t be calling out the press like that.

              2. Fiery Hunt

                I guess my perspective is to ask…
                What was the point of that exchange?
                “Are you demonizing immigrants?”
                Really?!? What answer did he think he was going to get? “yeah, sure, of course I am…”?
                Not seeking clarity, just clicks.

                And yes, at a Presidential press conference, you don’t get to heckle, argue or badger. Ask insightful questions, hard questions but keep it professional and respectful. Write or report what you see or think afterwards but the actual press conference is not about the journalists.

                Adversarial journalism is not a thing. And the MSM is not practicing journalism, investigatory or otherwise.

      2. John

        A journalist was doing his job trying to get information from a president who is a lying sack of crap.

    2. KPC

      President Trump is stone cold correct in this exchange.

      I say this from Central America and a bit more… . You people need to grow up and help fix this mess.

      No one wants to leave their home! No one wants violence, save those of evil nature as, perhaps, discussed by Dra. Hannah Arendt.

      Did anyone notice the remittances back home to Mexico are way off? Why do you think this is so? Did no one notice the interference in our homes via USA?

      Why are your unemployed not helping in your farms and slaughter houses? Do you not have people in need of work? Why is this so?

      Talk to us.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        Remittances are off because of 2 things; less work (as in so many more are on the books hence less under the table, cash work ) and higher costs of living (can’t send home the money you need for rent here). US corporations have long exploited cheap labor and are loathe to pay a decent wage for backbreaking and dangerous jobs. (ever seen what a carver does in a slaughterhouse?) Why bust your hump for peanuts when you can do very little (retail, food service ) for the same peanuts. And finally, those that can’t find/want legal peanut jobs will try hustling in the grey/black markets…Ebay, Uber, “sidework”, odd jobs and the like while trying to cash in on the welfare state thru food stamps or unemployment. .
        Just cuz they’re “unemployed ” don’t mean they’re not working.

        Did I cover it?

  14. pjay

    Re “‘A Red Line Crossed’: Nationwide Protests Declared for Thursday at 5PM After Jeff Sessions Fired”

    Not the Onion, but the “progressive” Common Dreams staff.

    Did not want to comment. Felt I had to. Yet the words won’t come.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      On first read, it looks like an honorable thing…standing on principal…defending the rule of law.
      Maybe it is.
      It would be welcome if it was…I’ve been beat over the head a lot the last 3 years by team blue for being principled on such things(ie:”if kkk doesn’t have free speech, neither do you”, etc)

    2. petal

      One of my friends is posting from the protest in Boston. “no one is above the law” etc etc. Right. Where have they been the last oh, 10 years or so? sigh. Biting my tongue in half.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > no one is above the law

        Except bankers.* And war criminals.**

        * Obama: ~”I stand between you and the pitchforks.”

        ** Obama: ~”Look forward and not back.”

  15. Jeremy Grimm

    Now that the election is over, and the endless commercials and advertisements have ebbed — is there any way the Supreme might declare a limit on Corporate ‘free speech’ something like the old “No yelling ‘FIRE’ in a crowded theater or maybe adjudlesslate a national media noise control ordinance?

  16. Kokuanani

    Re Jealous’ loss in the Maryland gubernatorial election: I don’t know how things went around the rest of the state, but here in the MD suburbs bordering DC, EVERY story on Jealous in the Washington Post remarked that 1) Hogan had raised tons more money than he had; and 2) Hogan was ahead in the polls, with many Democrats supporting him.

    I think some of this was a “class” thing: Jealous, who is black, was supported by AA voters in Prince Georges County & Baltimore, heavily black areas, while Hogan, who is white, white, white is, well, supported by the suburbs and rural areas. [Note: there were no overtly racists ads — at least none I saw, although one painted Jealous as “dangerous” and “radical.”

    However the Washington Post endorsed Hogan [early], and I was reminded of this as story after story had the “Hogan’s got more $$$ and is ahead in the polls” line in it. Plus, MD Dems are really lazy [Steney Hoyer is one of them], and Ben Cardin, who was running for Senator, is lackluster. So no excitement and energy to support Jealous.

  17. LarryB

    Why all the b*tching and moaning about Apple? Everybody knows what Apple is and what they do. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. It’s not like Apple is a monopoly and you have no choice.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Because Apple is a trillion dollar company that has an outsized influence and helps set the “crapification” trend.

      See: Gresham’s law.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      Same reason we beech about the Democrats and Google. They used to be darned adequate at their purported goal. Now they are huffing their own fumes.

      Google since 2010 feels like living through Flowers for Algernon. Things entirely other than search keep Google nailed to the perch. And that’s a problem, because they have not made the transition from pre-internet knowledge that was typed into the web and the knowledge being generated by the internet. And that hurts us all, just as MicroSoft constantly squashing better uses of software and computing devices made today a crappier place.

      Windows 95 was Mac 84 (without the built-in networking), but yearly system updates that do nothing but crapify can bite my bum. The Mini I’m writing this on is dead to Apple. But after repeatedly pounding my face against Ubuntu, I have a faster machine that I don’t have to do anything about for 3 years. Going to try new hardware and Mint next. The folks at Mint apparently have discovered that there is a universe of computer users out there for whom two days implementing a common desktop feature is not their idea of a hot weekend. Weird features like a screensaver.

  18. Darthbobber

    Bloomberg piece on the tough map for females in 2020. (similar to all the early voices of despair I ran into in a Tpm thread last night. They look at that huge swath of states the GOP has to defend and just can’t see any path forward. But then they also can’t imagine a different strategy or kind of candidate.)

    Besides NC and Iowa, you have states like mt and WV, where they just reelected their weak candidates. Presumably a state you can hold is not literally unwinnable? Especially if you can see your way clear to a candidate who offers something? They also came close enough to the GA governorship and Texas senate seat to presumably like their chances there, especially if we’re in an economic downturn by then.

    But alas, there ARE a lot of states there that lack sufficient affluent suburbs to be won based on THAT strategy. Bubble thinking presently seems to attribute the resistance of those areas to chosen dem candidates as just irredeemable racism, so they throw their hands up in the air and say “what can you do? ”

    Once the republicans win a state once or twice, democratic thinking is usually to just see a fixed and immutable redness there, and to act helpless. Their opponents, in similar situations in the past, proceeded otherwise.

  19. chuck roast

    Re: Wisconsin Deal With Foxconn.
    Yeah, the big scams create all the fireworks, but the locals are well versed in their own shell games. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is all the rage in my last locale. Developers get to use the public purse for their own infrastructure needs while the local school board becomes too timid demand that deteriorating schools be fixed because citizens feel over-taxed. So, the school board back-doors the citizenry by pushing municipal bonds to fix the schools that should have been fixed as a matter of operation and maintenance. The citizens don’t get that it’s more expensive in the long run to pay for the fix in this manner, and their taxes will go up even more.
    Today Fidelity is offering participation in 72 new municipal bonds from around the country. Many of these are from school districts who appear to have no concern with mortgaging their future. The old days of a G.O.’s and a few revenue bonds are long gone.
    Everybody gets in on the grift.

    1. chuck roast

      Oh, and this just in…pardon the rave.
      The Bowdoin College endowment just hit $1.6 billion. I mention this only because last week Bowdoin College issued bonds through the Maine Municipal Bond Bank for a tidy sum. Of course the presumption is that the State of Maine, one of the poorest states in the country, will backstop (there is that word again) these bonds with the full faith and credit of the state. A nice low interest rate and a double tax credit.
      It’s a great life

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Many citizens can’t afford it.

      There was a link this morning about median US wealth being less than Ireland’s.

      Then there was that old news about most Americans (citizens likely) having less than $1000 (or was it $400) cash to meet an emergency.

      Not sure it they can handle taxes going up more in the long run.

  20. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “The time is now for … transportation infrastructure” — Transportation infrastructure spending is ‘bi-partisan’ — to the extent we really have two parties — but I have some qualms about opening up the government coffers to spending on transportation infrastructure.

    First I remember a short opinion piece in the IEEE Spectrum in the 1980s making a fuss about Ronald Reagan’s increases to the wheel-weight limits for interstate freight. Being neither a trucker nor civil engineer I can only raise the question whether it might make sense to lower wheel-weight limits unless there’s been some revolutionary change in the longevity of the Macadam and/or concrete commonly used for road building.

    Second I think we already spend a pretty penny on transportation infrastructure … it’s just that we get a lot of shaft for our money and not much action at the pointy end of the spear.
    “What this suggests Smith argues, is that the key to higher US costs is “general inefficiency — inefficient project management, an inefficient government contracting process, and inefficient regulation. It suggests that construction, like health care or asset management or education, is an area where Americans have simply ponied up more and more cash over the years while ignoring the fact that they were getting less and less for their money.” [https://adamtooze.com/2017/06/06/americas-political-economy-inefficiency-construction-politics-infrastructure/]

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Adam Tooze stated in the above reference: “Megaproject cost comparisons is a cottage industry in which the blogger Alon Levy is the most important voice.” I just took a quick look at Levy’s website: [https://pedestrianobservations.com/] and I think it might be well worth a second look.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      If somehow it became cheap, to bean counters, to run on rail, we would save a lot of capital investment. But right now moving tons around by rubber is so much more efficient. Because Interstates don’t need maintenance.

  21. hemeantwell

    I will be very surprised if the Democrats can walk (do hard work on policy; see the effect of concrete material benefits at “Health Care,” below) and chew gum (RussiaRussiaRussia; emoluments; tax returns) at the same time.

    This is where a Left caucus is indispensable. More or less, they will need to blow off the “if you can’t win, don’t bring it up” excuse that corporatphilic Obama apparently operated on and independently formulate a comprehensive package of positions that they take to the electorate. This will turn them into pariahs in the eyes of the Dem leadership, but that is also something they can take to the electorate. The Dem leadership will try to make them appear to be ineffective in sloshing money to their districts but that can be dealt with. The first duty of politicians need not be to get reelected.

    1. pretzelattack

      well that blog is virulently pro clinton, so people that read and comment there regularly probably hate sanders. it’s the alternative to admitting clinton was an awful candidate.

        1. Todde

          Probably about as many who believed Obama was born in Kenya.

          Its groupspeak i suppose. Like i secret handshake TeamBlue/Red

    2. Darthbobber

      He got some grief for this, though not a huge amount. “People who aren’t racist but are just uncomfortable voting for a black person” is probably not the best construction he ever came up with, but given that he endorsed both Abrams and Gillum, and made some speeches in Fla for the latter, and was encouraging them to keep at it, I think some allowance gets made for context. Not as if he referred to African-American males as superpredators or something.

      He would have been better off just skipping that whole line, but he at least understands that just shrieking that the opponent’s voters, as opposed to the opponent or their campaign, are irredeemable racists, which is clearly the tack the blog in question prefers, is about as self-defeating as it gets.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Apparently we are now supposed to think Bernie is a racist

      The usual suspects at work again. This is exactly the same tactic being used against Corbyn: Smear him as anti-Semitic. I don’t think you need to baffled, unless you’re assuming good faith.

    1. allan

      This is your periodic reminder that Andrew McCarthy is a FISA-loving, national security surveillance state hack – unless the targets are Republicans. From 2013:

      Andrew McCarthy: Snowden a Criminal

      Americans should not compare the National Security Agency’s collection of phone and email records to the other scandals rocking Washington, former U.S. prosecutor Andrew McCarthy says.

      “The IRS scandal, Benghazi, and this use of investigative power to go after journalists — they have one thing in common that’s completely remote to these new allegations,” McCarthy told “The Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV.

      “They are unilateral executive branch shows … [In the other cases], it’s been the Obama Administration who abused power and there’s not much that can be done about that or challenged about that.

      “[The] surveillance and collection intelligence initiatives that go back to the Bush Administration are matters of law . . . Those laws provide for exacting oversight by both Congress and the judiciary.” …

      For the GOP, hypocrisy isn’t a tactic, it’s a deeply held philosophical belief.

      1. pjay

        Everything you say is true, and I have no love for any of these guys. Yet the article cited by EB above is valid, and the Mueller probe *is* BS — that’s the bizarre politics of the U.S. today. If Whitaker came in, shut down the “Russia Russia” probe tomorrow, and started investigating the Clintons (as he claimed he wanted to do at one time), I’d be thrilled. Yet I hate all these guys. How screwed up is that?

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          Try out ‘méconnaissance’. We’re not evolved for trusting more than 100 people. Nobody else is either. We just assume everyone got to the party before us.

  22. Darius

    Matt Stoller’s Twitter feed is on fire about Democrats writing off rural America. Obama campaigned on antitrust then did the opposite. In particular, he zeroes in on McCaskill and Donnelly’s utter uselessness to their rural constituents. Disagrees with Heitkamp, Tester, and Warner but gives credit for some initiatives that have actually benefited their constituents. McCaskill and Donnelly were pure sellouts relying on the Trump horror to pull them through.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Liberal Democrats would rather pass a Constitutional Amendment to abolish the Electoral College and give DC and Puerto Rico statehood than appeal to rural voters. It’s astonishing.

  23. Montanamaven

    How do you answer the “pragmatist” response by liberal/Dem friends? “I can understand and sympathize MM why you cannot find anyone deserving of support, but I am more pragmatic.”

    1. Darthbobber

      Losing constantly is not really that pragmatic. I think the word they’re looking for is either blinkered or milquetoast, depending on the individual.

      Or perhaps, if they are part of the demographic the party actually does try to serve, they really see no problem.

    2. Donald

      If they are polite to you then just give your reasons. It is your right to express your views by not voting. People have been constantly beaten over the head with the idea that you have a duty to support the Democrats, which takes all the pressure off them. By this reasoning they have no duty to be worthy of your support. This seems backwards to me.

      Personally I do vote lesser evil. But I hate the bullying. People who demand that you vote Democratic or else be denounced as a bad person are the opposite of pragmatic. This may not apply to your friends, but I have seen plenty of the nasty “pragmatic” sorts online who seem blissfully unaware of their own fanaticism.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t do well in these real-life situations because I get angry too easily, so take this with a dose of salts:

      “The abolitionists weren’t pragmatists. They believed that slavery was wrong in principle. Who won the Civil War?”

  24. ewmayer

    Re. Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee as a “strong antiwar voice”: well, that may have been true up until the Trump Derangement Syndrome took hold and she bought into RussiaRussiaRussia hook, line and sinker:

    “Today, I objected to the certification of Electoral College votes based on overwhelming evidence from our intelligence community that Russia interfered with our election. This chilling report confirms what we have known to be true: the Russian government hacked our electoral process to benefit Donald Trump’s campaign. Despite grave concerns from senior intelligence officials and indisputable evidence, the president-elect continues to protect Vladimir Putin and deny this real and pressing national security threat aimed at the heart of our democracy.”

  25. Darius

    Regarding Ryan Cooper on House Democrats and trench warfare, I hope they make a big early push for reviving the Voting Rights Act. If they don’t think Republicans will bite, at least make them have to vote against it. However, I’m expecting their control of the House to be an even more frustrating abdication of leadership than the Obama administration.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thinking back to the last Florida debacle in 2000, the Republicans staged a “bourgeois riot,”* and stopped the recount.

      Faced with a Republican effort not to halt a recount, but the count itself, the Democrats stage…. mass protests to support Jeff Sessions:

  26. edmondo

    AT LEAST 11 more districts are now represented by single payer reps! Please welcome these new cosponsors/districts to our movement! #SinglePayer

    When I first read this I was amazed since I recalled that none of the three Pennsylvania Democrats supported it before the election. I went back and re-checked their websites. Only one mentions M4A and she supports it “as a goal” but the immediate need is to strengthen the Affordable Care Act.. Another one has more pictures of Obama on her website than is seemly so again, she wants to fix ACA as a priority.

    Methinks that tweet was a BS story but I didn’t really have the heart to check on the rest of the subjects.

  27. lyman alpha blob

    RE: A Red Line Crossed’: Nationwide Protests Declared for Thursday at 5PM After Jeff Sessions Fired

    I’m so old I can remember when ‘resistance’ types were protesting because Sessions was being hired. Interesting times…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think we’re looking at something like Harry Frankfurt’s distinction between lying and bullshit: The liar knows what the truth is; the bullshitter doesn’t, and doesn’t care.

      It’s not that the Democrats have principles that they compromise on; it’s that they don’t know what principles are, and don’t care (or, in the argot, a “big tent”).

      I don’t know what the correct word for this latter condition might be, alas. Doublethink?

  28. allan

    Rick Scott sues Broward elections supervisor over delay in counting ballots
    [Miami Herald]

    Rick Scott filed suit against Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes over the county’s delay in completing its count of the votes from the midterm election. Scott sued as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, not in his capacity as governor of Florida. [glad the Herald cleared that up]

    Scott followed up by lashing out at Snipes in an extraordinary press conference at the Governor’s Mansion on Thursday night. …

    Scott claimed “left-wing activists have been coming up with more and more ballots out of nowhere.” …

    I blame Eric Holder and John Ashcroft for not giving Scott the long stay at Club Fed he so richly deserved.

  29. Adam Eran

    A reminder of Ralph Nader’s prediction: “The Democrats could blow it again. They blew it in 2010, ’12, ’14, and ’16, against the worst Republican Party that Kafka could ever imagine. Cruel, vicious, ignorant, Wall Street-indentured, warmongering, anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-consumer, anti-children — these are their votes in Congress. Why aren’t the Democrats landsliding them? They’ve lost the state legislatures, the majority of state governors, the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court and the executive branch. Because they’re still dialing for dollars and that’s the most important thing.” Previous NC link from Salon.

    1. How is it legal

      (I should qualify – since I’ve noted here that I may well be homeless in less than a year – that the post I linked to is not mine, it’s Arthur Silbers’ (who doesn’t know me) Power of Narrative post. He lives in Heartless Blue [Red, Purple]™ Southern California, I live in Northern California (Ro Khanna’s Heartless Blue [Red, Purple]™ District 17.)

  30. BoyDownTheLane

    Pertaining to the story about LSD on board the nuclear aircraft carrier: those who applauded the availability or denied the seriousness of the issues of psychogenic drugs long used in covert ops and distributed by the CIA on a nuclear warship are idiots. Or at least they can be said not to have read Albrelli’s book “A Terrible Mistake”: .

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Wow, thats one major screw up. Between the Russians losing their only big dry dock and these incidents it seems navies these days are as much a hazard to themselves as others.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Accidents happen all the time in the military just like in normal life. The Oz navy had a carrier named HMAS Melbourne that sank not one but two ships in its career – the HMAS Voyager and the USS Frank E. Evans. Put the words military fails into YouTube and you will see the sort of stuff that happens

  31. Savita

    RE: Amateur Radio.Sounds nice in theory – I’m all for it – but reality is ham as we knew it is actually fading away completely.
    You clearly haven’t heard of SDR – Software Defined Radio. Everything from the antenna down can be – as the named goes – defined by software, instead of hardware. One just needs a soundcard, for about $10 the whole world of radio can be opened up via your computer. The software is all free open source.
    Teens in their bedrooms are taking it over. It’s the new generation of Amateur Radio with accessibility light years beyond our parents wildest dreams




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