2:00PM Water Cooler 11/9/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


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


“Bernie Sanders Opens Up About New Democrats in Congress, Taking on Trumpism” [Rolling Stone]. Sanders: “I absolutely believe that from day one, the Democrats in the House have got to come out with a progressive agenda that speaks to the needs of working people. And that leads to — as you know, the Medicare-for-all bill I introduced, which is to be implemented over four years, lowers the eligibility age from 65 to 55, covers all of the children, and lowers the cost of prescription drugs. My guess is that about 80-percent of the American people would support a proposal like that. It’s wildly popular. And that’s what the Democrats have got to do. They’ve got to raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, they’ve got to make public colleges tuition-free and they’ve got to lower student debt. All of these proposals are enormously popular. And they’re good public policy.”

“Kamala Harris Is Effectively Draining Money from Stacey Abrams” [Paste]. “Why didn’t Kamala Harris just share the Actblue link that Stacey Abrams created? All that money goes to Abrams, who needs every last cent to fight Brian Kemp’s authoritarianism. Why create a new donation link to help fight voter suppression in Georgia where half of the donations go into the pocket of a California politician?” • Because Harris gets to keep half the money her own link. That’s why. Same structure and mentality as the Clinton Victory Fund.

2018 Post Mortems

Results are still trickling in:

“Why Aren’t Democrats More Excited About the 2018 Results” [Amy Walter, Cook Political Report]. “Yet, here we are two days later, and Democrats aren’t exactly swinging from the chandeliers…. Democrats wanted this election to be about more than just winning the House or the Senate. They wanted 2018 to be a total rebuke of Trump. A wipe out of epic proportions all across the country. That didn’t happen…. The other reason Democrats aren’t as fired up about the 2018 election is that it failed to deliver an obvious frontrunner for 2020…. What 2018 did do, which is why Republicans aren’t disheartened by Tuesday’s results and Democrats are less than ebullient about them — was show just how similar the Electoral College map looks to the one in 2016.” • There’s another reason: Now Democrats have to govern, even if as part of “divided government.” They hate that.

“The Suburbs — All Kinds Of Suburbs — Delivered The House To Democrats” [FiveThirtyEight]. “75 percent of Democrats’ gains came from these predominantly suburban districts.”

“The 2019 Congress will have more Southern Democrats. But they won’t have much clout” [McClatchy]. “‘Southern Democrats’ often still evokes the image of a white conservative, but the region’s Democrats are a diverse group. That makes it hard to promote agendas that can be sold easily.” • That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

“Millions in masked money funneled into 2018 elections” [Open Secrets]. “The 2018 election cycle has attracted record spending by partially-disclosing groups that give the appearance of reporting at least some of their donors but, in reality, are little if any more transparent than other ‘dark money’ groups…. By deploying novel tactics to mask their financial activities, these groups have been able to keep donors secret while giving some illusion of more transparency. Partially-disclosing groups have already reported $405 million in 2018 election spending, according to federal election records analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics.”

“Liberals Prevail in State Supreme Court Elections” [Governing]. “In races that were largely overshadowed by high-stakes U.S. Senate, House and gubernatorial contests this election season, moderate-to-liberal judicial candidates made a strong showing. They prevailed in state supreme court elections in Arkansas, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Ohio. Conservatives, for their part, cheered results in Alabama and West Virginia. The highest-profile victory for Democrats came in North Carolina, where Democrat Anita Earls defeated Republicans Chris Anglin and Barbara Jackson.”

“Will Progressive Caucus Support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker?” [Rolling Stone]. I’d be surprised if the headline wasn’t a Betteridge’s Law violation. Here’s a great quote from Steny Hoyer: “I had the opportunity to sit down with Alex, as she calls herself, last week, and I found her to be very reasonable, very bright, very able, and very willing to work together to accomplish objectives. And the democratic socialists party or group in New York” — referring to the New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America — “endorsed her one month before the campaign — before the election. It wasn’t as if she started with that. She says she’s a Democrat. That’s what she told me, and that’s what I believe: She’s a Democrat.” • “Alex, as she calls herself.” So awesome.

ME-02: “Exit polling gives Golden an edge in 2nd District ranked-choice count. See each candidate’s road to victory.” [Bangor Daily News]. “The spotlight is now on the 8 percent of voters who picked a nonpartisan candidate as their first choice in the 2nd District race…. Though Poliquin has a lead now, that crucial group of independent voters leans heavily toward Golden, according to an exit poll of 534 voters in eight 2nd District municipalities on Election Day administered by the BDN during the first statewide ranked-choice voting election in U.S. history…. Nine-tenths of voters expressing a preference between the party candidates chose Golden over Poliquin in our exit poll. Poliquin’s lead over Golden stood at roughly 1,500 votes with 22,500 votes going to left-leaning independents Tiffany Bond and Will Hoar, according to unofficial returns reported to the BDN by late Thursday. Golden is expected to overtake Poliquin’s lead in the reallocation because of heavy support from that pool of voters, according to the exit poll.” • See, there’s still a horse-race story here! So the press can stop whining that results are “slow” with ranked choice voting.

* * *

New Cold War

Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down:

“Russia Seen Adopting New Tactics in U.S. Election Interference Efforts” [New York Times]. “Russian accounts have been amplifying stories and internet ‘memes’ that initially came from the U.S. far left or far right. Such postings seem more authentic, are harder to identify as foreign, and are easier to produce than made-up stories…. ‘They are baiting Americans to drive more polarizing and vitriolic content,’ [Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab] said. ‘Any given solution needs to focus on basing our politics on facts, first and foremost, and to focus on what holds our country closer together.'” • Clearly, moar centrism is the answer (especially when, this being the Atlantic Council, centrism means McCarthyism and war with Russia). And what does the Atlantic Council have in mind as a “solution”? Because “focus on what holds our country closer together” is redolent of Third World authoritarianism.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Roger Stone: “I’m certainly guilty of bluffing and posturing and punking the Democrats. Unless they’ve passed some law against bullshit and I missed it, I’m engaging in tradecraft. It’s politics” [WaPo].

Stats Watch

Producer Price Index, October 2018 (Final Demand): “There is unexpected life in October’s producer price report [with results that] easily top Econoday’s high forecasts with the overall gain the sharpest in six years” [Econoday]. “But the reversal underway in the price of oil, quickly moving from over $70 to under $60, looks to take a lot of steam out of November’s inflation reports.” And: “The Producer Price Index increased year-over-year. Food and energy prices were two of the major factors in this increase – and services inflation rose lead by trade services. The growth in inflation was more than expected” [Econintersect]. And: “The figures indicate that price pressures in the production pipeline are advancing steadily” [Industry Week].

Wholesale Trade, September 2018: “[R]ose… slightly higher-than-expected” [Econoday]. “The stock-to-sales ratio remains unchanged for a third straight month.” And but: “Overall, I believe the rolling averages tell the real story – and they declined this month” [Econintersect]. “Inventory levels this month are are the high side of normal – and close to recessionary.”

Consumer Sentiment, November 2018 (Preliminary): “[S]teady and strong” [Econoday]. “The cut-off date for today’s report was Wednesday this week which includes some responses following the mid-term elections. But the report notes that these later responses showed no significant change from responses earlier in the month.” And: “Preliminary November 2018 Michigan Consumer Sentiment Again Down Slightly” [Econintersect].

Real Estate: “Leading Index for Commercial Real Estate Declines in October” [Calculated Risk]. “The Dodge Momentum Index moved 4.2% lower in October to 150.5 (2000=100) from the revised September reading of 157.0. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. October’s shortfall was the third consecutive monthly decline…. According to Dodge, this index leads ‘construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.'”

Retail: “There’s a reason so many Amazon searches show you sponsored ads” [USA Today]. “These are sponsored posts, paid by the manufacturer to get better placement on the top e-commerce site, and if you think you’re seeing a lot more of these this year, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. There are more ads than ever on top of the products you are searching for, which are ranked based on sales performance and other factors…. According to research firm eMarketer, Amazon will bring in $4.6 billion worth of revenue for sponsored ads this year, up from $1.8 billion in 2017. The company is on track to grow these ads to $10.9 billion by 2020…. ‘Amazon is benefiting from the fact that, on Google and Facebook, consumers may be researching a product, but on Amazon they have the benefit of being at the purchase decision,’ says Monica Peart, an analyst with eMarketer…. Matt Mickiewicz, the co-founder of Hired.com, vented on Twitter that shopping had become a tougher experience for him on Amazon. ‘Between all the sponsored ads, and identical products being sold under 10 different brand names, it’s become a frustrating experience.'” • The deterioration in search results seems more rapid than Google’s.

The Fed: “The Fed Is Putting the Powell Put In Its Place” [Bloomberg]. “The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee was not expected to alter monetary policy, nor was it expected to signal any shift in strategy going forward. So, the central bank succeeded in making this meeting as boring as humanly possible. … The common theme linking these omissions is that they might have given the Fed an excuse not to go through with raising rates next month as currently planned. Indeed, there are plenty of people out there who believe that any or all of them provide a reason, rather than an excuse, to defer from rate hikes. As I have said before, there must be a ‘Powell Put; (named for Fed Chairman Jerome Powell) at some point. When asset prices fall enough, it can be justifiable for a central bank to intervene to stop those declines from having an impact on the economy. But the strike price of that “Powell Put” is a lot lower than the current price of U.S. equities. At this point, the Fed could be at least mentioning that it is watching out for some of the more obvious potential systemic risks out there, but it is not.” • The URL is more clear: “the-fed-won-t-bail-out-the-stock-market”.

Honey for the Bears: “02 November 2018 ECRI’s WLI Growth Rate Index Slips Further Into Contraction” [Econintersect]. “The current forecast is a slight economic contraction six months from today.”


“Rural America’s Own Private Flint: Polluted Water Too Dangerous to Drink” [New York Times]. “There are no precise water-quality surveys of the galaxy of private wells that serve 43 million people in the United States, but sampling by the United States Geological Survey has found contamination in about one of every five wells… Wells contaminated by bacteria or hazardous microorganisms can be blasted with chlorine and other disinfectants. But there is no easy fix for nitrates. The Armenia Growers Coalition, a group that represents three big farms in the area, including the 3,000-cow Central Sands Dairy, is delivering bottled water to people and has offered to pay for water-treatment systems.” • That’s nice.

“Brown, Newsom Win Brief Truce in Brewing California Water War” [Courthouse News]. “Yelding to the governor’s office, California regulators on Wednesday agreed to postpone a restoration proposal that would reduce water for cities and farmers during droughts in hopes of spurring last-minute negotiations among the plan’s critics…. Just minutes after being elected the next California governor, Newsom along with Brown sent the five-member board a letter urging postponement until December. They promised to bring all of the interested parties to the bargaining table….. For nearly a decade the water board has been preparing the river flow amendments to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, which hasn’t been updated since 1995. It wants more water to remain in the San Joaquin River watershed during droughts in order to improve water quality in the state’s critical water-savings bank, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. To get more snowmelt water to wind down from the Sierra Nevada and into the delta, the plan calls for major cuts to San Francisco’s take of water from the Tuolumne River in Yosemite over 100 miles away, along with expected cutbacks for some Central Valley farmers. The goal is to boost water quality and improve long-dwindling salmon and fish populationss… The water board was supposed to act on the proposal Wednesday, until Brown and Newsom stepped in. Now it promises to reconvene and act on the plan Dec. 11 if the governor and governor-elect can’t finagle a compromise.”

“Baltimore Becomes First Major City to Ban Water Privatization” [Food and Water Watch]. “Baltimore voters made history today by voting in favor of passing ballot question E, a city charter amendment that bans privatization of the city’s water and sewer systems. The Baltimore City Council voted unanimously to ban water privatization earlier this year. As of 11:15 p.m., Baltimore voters voted 77% in favor of this amendment with 91 percent of precincts reporting. This confirms Baltimore is now the first major city in the country to amend its charter to prohibit the sale and lease of the city’s water and sewer system.”


“Shell, Total Are Big Oil Standouts as Investors Can Track Carbon” [Industry Week]. “Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA are the only companies among the 10 biggest oil and gas producers in the world which disclose how their carbon emissions will decline over time, according to the first analysis of its kind by managers overseeing more than $9 trillion of funds. The Anglo-Dutch and French majors are the only companies among Big Oil to have set long-term plans to significantly reduce their carbon intensity — or the level of emissions per unit of energy produced. They are also the only two companies to disclose emissions from their sold products, the biggest portion of their impact on the climate…. That’s according to a new report by the Transition Pathway Initiative, a global program to cut climate risks, which is supported by managers including CalPERS and BNP Paribas Asset Management.”

“The Extremely Fast Peopling of the Americas” [The Atlantic]. “[A]bout 14,000 years ago, the southern lineage of early American Indians spread through the continent with blinding speed. In a matter of centuries, these people had gone down both sides of the Rockies, across the Great Basin, and into Mexico’s highlands. Within a couple more millennia, they had zipped down the Andes, through the Amazon, and as far south as the continent allowed. ‘Once they were south of the ice, they found a territory that was open, vast, and full of resources,’ says Moreno-Mayar, who is based at the University of Copenhagen. ‘They were adept hunter-gatherers, so they expanded very quickly.'”

Class Warfare

“Billionaire Bonanza, 2018: Inherited Wealth Dynasties in the 21st Century United States (PDF) [Institute for Policy Studies]. “In 1982, the combined wealth of the Forbes 400 totaled $92 billion, or about $242 billion in today’s dollars. That’s less than the combined wealth of just the top three wealthiest people on the Forbes list today. The combined wealth of the entire top 400 today adds up to $2.89 trillion, more than the GDP of Great Britain, the fifth-largest economy in the world. Half of this wealth comes from 45 individuals. The average wealth on the 2018 Forbes list is $7.2 billion, up 7.5 percent from 2017. Three individuals—Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett—still own more wealth than the bottom half of the country combined.” • And they’re doing a heckuva job….

“In Iowa, Pioneering Undergrad Workers Union Keeps Growing” [Labor Notes]. “At a small liberal arts college in rural Iowa, students who work in the libraries, mailroom, and other campus workplaces have undertaken an ambitious organizing drive. Two years ago, 350 dining-hall workers at Grinnell College made history when they formed the first union of undergraduate workers at a private college. Now hundreds of other student workers on campus are campaigning to join then. Without lawyers or an international union behind them, these young workers represented themselves at the National Labor Relations Board, up against high-powered ‘union avoidance’ lawyers and university administrators—and won. They’re set for a November 27 election. Grinnell, founded by abolitionists and once a stop on the underground railroad, has a reputation for its commitment to social justice. Yet this October, Grinnell’s lawyers outrageously claimed that a union would ‘erode the egalitarian nature’ of the college, creating a ‘caste system’ and turning student workers into ‘an underclass of serfs.'” • Grinnell took on the Slave Power — and won. Now, the Wage Power?

News of the Wired

“2018 iPad Pro review: ‘What’s a computer?” [Ars Technicha]. An exhaustive review of Apple’s new iPad Pro, both hardware and operation system. Recall that Tim Cook would like to you replace your Mac and do real work on an iPad. No. “iOS is excellent software for phones, but it is not up to the task of driving creative professionals’ power user ambitions on a tablet—not even close. Copying, pasting, and editing text is an enormous hassle if you’re doing anything other than scribbling a couple of notes or shooting off an email….. [And then there is the] iPad Pro’s frustrating limitations of the USB-C connection and the lack of OS-wide support for external drives. This stuff is essential for power users, and iOS just doesn’t deliver. The problems here are surprising in part because they are very un-Apple. The company’s pitch to consumers and professionals alike has always been about the advantages of end-to-end integration, and that includes software and hardware built to work well together. But iOS feels like it is built for a completely different device, given that the new iPad Pro’s ambitions are much greater than those of prior iPads, or of the iPhone.” • A machine where copying text is a pain isn’t a general purpose professional’s tool. It’s as simple as that. I can’t help but wonder if Apple’s financialization has something to do with this. An OS — if I may so denote iOS — that makes storage and monitor vendors write their own drivers…. Well, that’s Windows 98. It’s not Apple (“It just works”). Or wasn’t (“No, it doesn’t”). I can’t help but think Tim Cook decided that stock buybacks were more important than devoting software engineering resources to developing an OS for tablets that a professional would regard as something more than half-assed.

“Against software development” [mtz]. This:

To those who have a choice:

Refuse to work on systems that profit from digital addictions.

Refuse to work on systems that centralize control of media.

Refuse to work on systems that prop up an unjust status quo.

Refuse to work on systems that require unsustainable tradeoffs.

Refuse to work on systems that weaponize the fabric of society.

Above all, refuse to work on systems that understand and manipulate people, but offer no affordance for their subjects to understand and manipulate them.

* * *

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 (AB):

AB writes: “The California Buckeye is one of the first of the year to green up and blossom. Come spring, I’ll send you another photo. It is also first to drop its leaves. I recently learned that its blossoms are favored by native bees but toxic to the European honeybee. Alas, I have neighbors with honeybee hives and planted the tree before learning of the plant’s toxicity. Admittedly, I have nativist tendencies, but I do like my neighbors personally and applaud their urban beekeeping efforts.” I would have thought European honeybees would learn to avoid it. Beekeepers?

* * *

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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. Wukchumni

    If the acorn harvest failed, which was 2/3rds of the various Yokut Indian tribes edibles, the fallback was buckeyes-which were poisonous-unless you went through a rather laborious process to rid them of their toxicity, didn’t taste very good and were only about 30% protein compared to 80% protein in acorns.

    A ‘starvation’ staple.

    1. Rosario

      Makes me think of the Cycad sago whose pith can be eaten in a bind. Full of toxins (really really bad ones) unless thoroughly washed in a powdered form.

      It has been eaten by Pacific Islanders with no other food options for millennia.

      1. Wukchumni

        The main use of the buckeye was in the river, where fish were poisoned by it and then floated to the surface for easy harvesting.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Acorn flour was the staple food in Octavia Butler’s Parable series set mostly in southern Cali.

      1. Wukchumni

        Not a very good acorn drop this fall in the Sierra foothills, not that any humans depend on them now.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          you hafta process acorns, too…to render them edible.
          Tannins screw up homo sapiens’ gut.
          putting the shelled nutmeat in a basket in a running brook is adequate.

          In my time lurking around the south texas medical center, I’ve picked up all manner of acorns: burr, “water”(white oaks I don’t have a name for), various red oaks, live oaks…and numerous mountain laurels, too.
          some other, native and not, landscaping plants were in seed, so I picked them, too.
          Neighbor cleaned out his horse barn again…just need to go to the dump and leave the trailer down there. fill some pots and we’re golden.

    3. Xihuitl

      Just made an acorn cake. An upside pear acorn cake actually. White oak flour. Red oaks have more tannin.

      Acorns (properly leeched and ground into flour) have an amazing flavor — aroma of molasses and chocolate.

      Wars were fought over oak trees.

    1. curlydan

      I was thinking something similar. Just need to add a “yet” to the end of “the Fed won’t bailout the stock market”!

  2. hemeantwell

    Re the Ipad pro, I recently bought the previous version to access some music progs. I thought I’d make it more versatile and put Office 365 on it. Word can only have one file open one at a time. If you want to check another file, it’s Close, Open, Close, Open. As I write this I had to go back and check to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

    Dunno about your financialization idea, but here I wonder if Bill G is trying to make Tim C look like an idiot.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Word can only have one file open one at a time

      Yep. A platform without a serious windowing system isn’t a suitable for professional work. I can’t believe Tim Cook is trying to sell this blather (well, sadly, I can).

  3. allan

    Partying Rioting like it’s 2000.
    No word yet on which high-end clothing they were wearing:

    Ryan Nobles @ryanobles

    Protests breaking out in Broward County over the vote tabulation controversy there… shouts of “lock her up” directed at the SOE Brenda Snipes. #FLGov #FLSen #FLPol

    This should make the careers of several future SCOTUS picks.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is it the only place in the country to have one box of votes discovered the next day?

      1. marym

        Box left at Broward polling place didn’t contain ballots, elections office says

        Just like many other boxes across the county, this container in question held supplies — not ballots, said Dozel Spencer, Broward’s director of voting equipment center operations.

        Speaking to reporters Thursday night, Spencer said these boxes are used to hold provisional ballots. But when the polls close, the ballots are transferred to a zippered bag and taken to the elections warehouse in Lauderhill.

        1. allan

          After Scott requested investigation, law enforcement says no voter fraud allegations found [Politico]

          After the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Thursday night it would investigate two local election officials at the request of Gov. Rick Scott, the agency now says that because no voter fraud allegations were made, it is no longer pursuing an investigation. …

          Scott and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson are now separated by just .18 percent of the votes cast. If that margin holds, the race would end up in a manual recount under Florida law.

          If it’s allowed to take place. They hate us for our freedoms.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I don’t think the person who brought attention to that box hates freedoms.

            We should give him/her the benefit of the doubt, for now.

          2. Skip Intro

            Sneaky use of the phrase ‘voter fraud’ which is the virtually-unheard-of crime of illegally voting. The allegations have so far been Election Fraud or tampering with the election or ballots en masse

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Hopefully that is the case and nothing happened overnight.

          Still, they could have been more thorough, which can inspire confident.

          1. marym

            There’s no indication from the story that anyone wasn’t thorough, just that the teacher who found the box didn’t happen to know the procedure, which is that once the ballots have been transferred, the boxes

            …remain at polling sites with the election machines and other equipment until they’re picked up by the Broward elections office. “We pick up all our supplies,” Spencer said. “It takes eight days to deliver everything [to polling sites]. There’s no way I could pick up everything in two days.”

      1. integer

        Jill Stein weighs in:

        Signs that something’s rotten in Broward:

        -still counting votes 3 days after the election
        -46K votes found day after election
        -people caught on tape loading ballots into rented truck
        -election supervisor destroyed @Tim_Canova vs Wasserman-Schultz 2016 ballots against court order

        1. Darthbobber

          There are dozens of counties in half a dozen states still counting ballots. Which is not at all unusual.

          And votes being tabulated is not votes being “found”.

          Tape? Link?

        1. allan

          Appointed in 2003 by Jeb Bush.
          To modify the old joke, chutzpah is appointing an incompetent elections commissioner
          and then accusing her of voter fraud.

  4. Skip Intro

    I believe the Atlantic Council should always be referred to as “the Saudi-funded Atlantic Council”.

    1. hunkerdown

      I would suggest “the NATO lobbying group Atlantic Council” or “the defense industry public relations group Atlantic Council” or “the treasonous lying warmongers Atlantic Council”.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        yes. any of those would do.
        I am disgusted by such transparent nonsense(atlantic council, et alia) being so widely trumpeted as the historia officionale.
        a copy of christopher lasch(culture of narcissism) leapt off the shelf the other day(one thing i like about big cities is the presence of book stores)
        I’ve read half of it sitting in the car(cold, wet) at the extreme edge of the hospital campus at 3:30 am drinking coffee and chain smoking.
        I figger my perfect world is libertarian socialism…but I agree wholeheartedly with much of what Lasch says, so far.
        and that was in 1979.
        we’re home, now…and in two hours, with two woodstoves of three blazing,I’ve got the house warm(the platinum salt chemo drug causes cold sensitivity and cold induced neuropathy).
        4 days gone with the last inpatient chemo.
        now…with government healthcare provision…we’re gonna be clinic: whole day in san antone, instead of 4.
        there are no automata in our house…everything is hands on. Heat, toilet(composting…manana,lol), lights, cat(pissed!)…and whatever is missing when we’re gone that causes that empty coldness…deep space-like…that invades a house with nobody in it.I’ve walked the place with a beer or two and a hogleg joint…utter silence, but for the critters.
        It is good to be home.

        1. RWood

          Try John Ralston Saul:
          “The Unconscious Civilization”
          And Ronald Wright:
          “A Brief History of Progress”

        2. Fiery Hunt

          Feel your peace whenever you can, Amfortas.
          Hard times.
          But for those with souls, hard times bring clarity. Clarity about simple things like cold. And home. And those things that make us go on.

          Be comforted, Amfortas, where or when you find it, knowing you are one of ours, one of many.

        3. ambrit

          Having ‘simple’ things to do can be a blessing. Disconnect the ‘higher’ cognition centres and relax into the flow.
          I don’t know what the agnostic’s analogue of prayer is, but I’m doing it for you and yours.

  5. clarky90

    Re; ““Russia Seen Adopting New Tactics in U.S. Election Interference Efforts” [New York Times]. “Russian accounts have been amplifying stories and internet ‘memes’….”! (Oh my!)

    The NYT has evolved into a conspiracy-theory Neo-National Enquirer! (Way more fun to read now, than its old pontificating self)

    Here are inspirational ideas for the NYT editors;

    “… the legendary bombshell Rita Hayworth declares that she has come back to life after being a zombie for two years…”


    This takes me back to my childhood, of reading tabloid headlines while while waiting in the market checkout.

    1. Darthbobber

      It just gets sillier and sillier, as the snake begins to devour it’s own tail.

      The whole “cunning rooskies stirring generic unrest” meme wasn’t the original one. They had to fall back on it when the facebook and twitter data proved completely inconsistent with a direct effort to support Trump as such.

      What they claim to see here is perfectly consistent with a campaign to generate and hopefully monetize clicks and viewers. Everybody with a clickbait strategy in politics and culture war land goes for amplifying rw, lw, or identitarian stuff.

      Because neither milquetoast centrism nor long-form analysis go viral, for different reasons.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > cunning rooskies stirring generic unrest

        Not that I’m foily, but I’m also reminded of the old tactic of accusing others of doing what you are doing, except worse.

        I mean, doesn’t the Facebook standard for takedown, “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” define what both Democrat and Republican strategists are selling? As well less savory actors?

        1. Darthbobber

          And facilitating exactly this IS the Facebook business model. Easy enough to prevent bogus astroturfing operations that pretend to be other things across the board, but nobody seems to be proposing to do anything so radical. The platform is awash with prefab, synthetic products pretending to be people.

        2. ambrit

          Do you, with your extensive experience of American politics, mean to tell us that there are ‘actors’ less savoury than Democrat and Republican strategists?! Is such a thing possible? Which way to the fainting couch?

    2. Phacops

      Who needs Russians when we have our home grown propaganda bureaus?

      Am visiting my aged mother to check things for winter and she has been watching a virulently right wing network, OAN. Rarely have I heard such political perversity, though I haven’t even tuned in to see what Fox news is up to recently.

      It reminds me of Gleichschaltung. But I keep on being told by the commentariat that “IT” can’t happen here. An insecure people are a gullible people. Probably a feature of the Neoliberal project . . . humm. . . . that was started in Austria, too.

  6. Watt4Bob

    Against software development.

    Refuse to work on phony systems that are actually financial plays designed to bilk stupid investors.

      1. Procopius

        Yes. For several years I followed soc.culture.thai. I had some excellent advice from alt.fitness. What did you have in mind? That there were no ads and nobody was harvesting your data?

    1. Craig H.

      He interned at google. I presume he did a lot of refusing while he was there.

      “I prefer not to”

  7. nippersmom

    Email this afternoon from the Abrams campaign:

    Today is our LAST DAY to find and count every single provisional ballot.

    So if you cast a provisional ballot on Tuesday, we need you to call our Voter Protection Hotline at 1-888-730-5816 immediately. Our team can tell you if your ballot was counted, and if it was not, we can help you with next steps.

    And please, help us spread the word to every Georgian you know. Forward this email to your friends, post on Facebook, call your relatives. Everyone needs to know this information.

    We’re going to make sure every vote is counted.

    Thanks for your help,

    – Team Abrams

  8. divadab

    Re: California Buckeye – it greens in the winter, and drops its leaves and goes dormant in the summer – because the mediterranean-type California climate is dry in the summer and rain only falls in the winter. An in-place evolution in contrast with its larger relative, the midwestern buckeye.

    We forget in our globalizing ways that landraces are intimately tied to location.

    1. Lee

      California is home to so very many purposefully or unwittingly introduced species that the natives are either extinct or scarce on the ground. Much of this is made possible by one of the most extensive, complex, and politically contested water management systems on the planet. I quite like my homely drought resistant natives.

  9. marym

    Jeff Sessions Dealt Police Reform One Final Blow On His Way Out The Door

    One of the former attorney general’s final acts was to make it nearly impossible for federal civil rights lawyers to rein in police abuse.

    Hours before he resigned as the nation’s 84th attorney general, Jeff Sessions signed a memo that sharply curtailed the ability of the federal government’s civil rights attorneys to rein in unconstitutional policing.

    The Justice Department announced on Thursday evening that Sessions, prior to his departure on Wednesday, had signed a memo that effectively eliminates the use of so-called consent decrees, the court-enforceable agreements that the Obama administration had used to curtail patterns of police abuse in cities like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore.

    After he became attorney general, Sessions conceded that he’d never read the high-profile investigations conducted by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, but nevertheless believed they were “pretty anecdotal, and not so scientifically based.”

    1. neo-realist

      Would a different Attorney General in a democratic administration have the power to revoke it?

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        you may be mistaking “democrats”, here, for a collection of idealists, with integrity and stuff.
        in the real world, they would lay upon the floor, not wanting to provoke the barbarians.
        one might think that undoing the various amendments in the Bill of Rights(in this case, those regarding Due Process) would take the ratification of Other Amendments.
        not a mere memo from a fossilised get-off-my-lawn-type.
        did Obama(he of the cape, and rainbows) restore Habeas, and I missed it somehow?
        cries of “Law and Order” look silly when uttered by folks with so little regard for the Constitution, as amended.
        (for instance….a long term peeve of mine: it took a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw booze…and another to legalise it. where is the similar mechanism that outlaws weed?)

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I believe I remember reading that sometime in the 1930s, a Narcotics Control Act was passed and signed. Part of it involved setting up a List of Drugs to be assigned to one of several schedules according to how dangerously abusable and/or addictive they were deemed to be. I believe it was the FDA which was given to power to put any drug it liked under any Schedule category by decree, perhaps under scientific cover expressed as “reasons”.

          So marijuana was deCREED by deCREE to be worthy of assignment to Schedule One. I don’t know if a current president could instruct a current FDA head to remove marijuana from the Schedule 1 list.

    2. HotFlash

      So, a last-minute memo from J Sessions is, unh, settled law? I would take it as battle lines being drawn.

    3. marym

      Reply of sorts to comments above – based on a few minutes exhaustive research :)

      I think the consent decrees were used by the Obama DOJ as a way to settle lawsuits they brought for civil rights violations. So it would just be a policy decision to engage in the lawsuits in the first place, and how to resolve them. From the Marshall Project:

      President Obama’s Justice Department has made liberal use of its powers to investigate law enforcement agencies accused of a “pattern or practice” of violating civil rights. The Obama DOJ began 23 investigations and entered 11 consent decrees mandating reforms in Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland and other cities, far more than Presidents Clinton or George W. Bush. In the introduction to a 2008 paper published by the Alabama Police Institute, Sessions condemned such interventions as an abuse of federal authority.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What is Amazon’s policy regarding who in their corporation can have access to such information?

  10. flora

    re: “2018 iPad Pro review: “What’s a computer?”” [Ars Technicha].

    From the article:
    First and foremost, iOS does not office file system access for external drives over USB-C. Frankly, that’s ridiculous. Yes, apps can access files on external drives under certain conditions if they’ve been specifically built to do so, but that’s not enough. No device that calls itself “Pro” should ship without this basic capability. Apple has for a while offered a “Files” app for browsing file systems, but it doesn’t work for this.

    A little background on the current state of competition among MS, Apple, Google, and Amazon: The hot competition is in Cloud storage and software-as-a-service. That’s where the bigs are concentrating development. They want you to use their storage servers, not your own external hard drives or devices.

    With that competition in mind, the idea that Apple would sell a device that I think is essentially a ‘smart terminal’/front end processor (that they call a computer) to interface with Apple’s Cloud file storage servers isn’t totally far fetched, imo. It’s also, I think, a “back to the future” step of centralized computing data storage/ processing and remote (now ‘smart’) terminals. Nothing wrong with that model if it’s presented for what it is. Sounds like Apple is trying to present it as something else, leading them to confuse the idea of what a computer “is”. imo.

    1. Skip Intro

      The SAAS/Software Subscription model is the next big thing! It is like a digital version of enclosure, taking away ownership of your tools and even data, and turning product owners into renters. Not only does it ensure a revenue stream by holding files hostage either in a cloud service, and/or through old-fashioned file format lockout, it also lets software companies cut back development budgets, and avoid all the inconvenience of competition and innovation. Pioneered by Autodesk and Adobe, it is surely coming to a tool you rely on soon.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > a digital version of enclosure, taking away ownership of your tools and even data, and turning product owners into renters.

        Yep. No doubt that is the model for robot cars and EVs as well. Rather like John Deere, except your car won’t take you to work if you haven’t paid your subscription… Or maybe if you have, but the algos don’t like your behaviors…..

    2. HotFlash

      Apple would sell a device that I think is essentially a ‘smart terminal’/front end processor (that they call a computer) to interface with Apple’s Cloud file storage servers

      You mean, a device like ChromeBook?

    3. charles 2

      A Big screen Ipad Pro can connect to much more than a file storage server : Remote Desktop client apps on iOS such as Remotix or Citrix are mature and reliable, with support of bluetooth keyboard (no need to buy expensive apple keyboard BTW…) and bluetooth mouse. From there, provided one has an internet connection with low latency (LAN or WAN), one can of course connect to a cloud instance but also to a powerful home computer, such as the last iteration of the Mac Mini, so it is not necessarily back to the future.
      It is a much safer (your data stays in your server at home or in the office, not in an airport lounge or the back seat of a taxi), more evolutive, and ultimately cost effective setup. In regard to the latter, replacing a server for better performance is cheaper than replacing a laptop for better performance, and you don’t really need to upgrade to the last version of the iPad if your power usage is mainly through “smart terminal” use. I have a 3 years old Ipad Pro first gen together with a 10 years old Mac Pro and I feel no pressing need to upgrade any of them soon…

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Provided one has an internet connection with low latency (LAN or WAN), one can of course connect to a cloud instance but also to a powerful home computer, such as the last iteration of the Mac Mini, so it is not necessarily back to the future. It is a much safer (your data stays in your server at home or in the office, not in an airport lounge or the back seat of a taxi)

        The home server option sounds good, actually. But The Cloud strikes me as madness. For one thing, why on earth would I hand over all my data to an enormous corporation* (and, being foily, thence to the intelligence community?) For another, if I have physical storage, I’ve bought it. I’m not renting it. For a third, it’s surely not sustainable. We seem to be assuming that the infrastucture of the internet — the data centers, the node, the undersea cables, even the satellites — is going to be around forever. If there’s anything we know about how the United States handles infrastructure, we know that assumption is false, even leaving climate change out of the equation.

        NOTE * For example, Flickr changing its terms of service to limit storage, and deleting photos over the limit, oldest first. Any reason that can’t happen with cloud storage? Of course not.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I read about Flickr years ago when it turned out that any fotos posted there meant that Flickr owned the copyright for it. It came out when an Asian-American girl had a foto taken at a Christian camp and months later some friends said that they saw her foto on a mobile ad as a model. They had cropped all else from the foto of her, reversed the image, and then sold it to an ad company without her knowing anything about it. When this came out lots of professional photographers, who had there work posted on Flickr, freaked and took it all down. It was at that point I said to hell with posting images or anything personal online.

          1. ambrit

            The depressing thing in this is that there is a cohort of the population for whom a ‘Presence’ online is the self perceived sum total of a personal existence.
            I’m tempted to post a comment on Daily Kos with the tag line; “I was sent here by the RNC.” Then watch the ‘system’ get tangled up in itself. I would characterize it as a “self licking ice cream cone,” but ‘online’ there is no tactile sensation. (No gustation?) For all it’s hyped ‘we will take over your existence’ propaganda, where is the VR device to simulate taste and touch? Cyborgs?

  11. Summer

    “The deterioration in search results seems more rapid than Google’s.”

    A person searching and researching is showing agency. The internet now being designed is to show you what the platform wants you to see and deliver you to the advertisers. The crapification of personal computers and phones are all the same.

    Will it change? No. These designs are for the kiddies coming up who will never know what agency they lost.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > These designs are for the kiddies coming up who will never know what agency they lost.

      Yep. I’m so old I remember when the web freed people up and empowered them (as it certainly did for me), rather than trussing them up and delivering them to advertisers.

  12. BoyDownTheLane

    In re: Apple et alia:

    From what I read, an iPad pro might be a wonderful tool to take on the road (but I don’t get out much since my hemiplegic event of a decade ago). Someone is going to have to bring help (it’s heavy, and I may yet “Phil Swift” it to my desktop) to take away the vintage iMac acquired in 2008: it is capable of writing its own CD’s and DVD’s, a self-publishing tool that seems to have been retro-engineered out of existence.

  13. Darthbobber

    “Now democrats have to govern, even if only as part of divided government. ”

    Really? Isn’t there ample precedent for avoiding anything of the kind?

    1. Oregoncharles

      They have the ideal situation: controlling only the House, all they can really do is posture. And maybe investigate; those may be posturing, too, but the powerful always have something to hide.

      1. ambrit

        I’m sure that there are lots of Lobbyists hanging around the ‘K’ Street corners willing to do it for the Democrat Party.
        H—! I’m somewhat convinced that Milton, in “Paradise Lost” described the creation of the first ‘Think Tank;’ the Netherworld.

  14. BoyDownTheLane

    With regard to Massachusetts referendum question #1 on hospital RN staffing ratios:


    “… Our findings confirm that nurses spend substantial time troubleshooting recurring operational problems, interrupting care and creating patient safety hazards. RNs are an expensive and scarce resource to use in this manner, when their greatest value is in direct patient care. The findings suggest that more attention by hospital management is needed to redesign work flows to permanently solve persistent operational failures that take nurses away from direct patient care,” the researchers explain.

    The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.”

  15. curlydan

    The suburb House of Rep seat gains for the Democrats, while somewhat welcome for the change of “leadership”, are unfortunately scary for what we know the Democrats will “learn” from this. I think we can forget any agenda aimed at truly helping the working class. I suspect it will all be about roping in more soccer moms from here on out.

      1. Carey

        “Don’t forget all the great new wars the CIA Democrats have in store for us.”

        For us and *on* us, I’m guessing.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s like going native.

          But that will distract from Medicare-for-All, etc.

          Sanders, however, in an interview, said we could, at the same time,

          1. Investigate Russia


          2. Do Medicare for all, and other things

          But I am not hopeful the victorious House Democrats will listen to him.

          1. ambrit

            Ah, but that throws the term “going Native” in a negative light. A relic of Imperial thinking.
            I too am not in the least hopeful about how this new ‘Democrat Party majority’ will govern. Indeed, I’ll suggest that the Democrat Party nomenklatura are averse to learning from their mistakes.
            Indeed, a cynical person would determine from the preponderance of the evidence that the Party nomenklatura, of either wing of Gore Vidal’s aptly named “Property Party”, has aims and ends divergent from the aims and ends that would accrue benefits to the generality of the population.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > I’ll suggest that the Democrat Party nomenklatura are averse to learning from their mistakes.

              I don’t think they even admit to mistakes. Remember that there was been no post mortem published for Clinton’s 2016 debacle. I’m just waiting for the piece that claims that the 2018 suburban results proves that Clinton’s 2016 strategy was correct (and only failed because of Russia and, of course, Susan Saradon [makes ritual warding gesture]).

              1. ambrit

                Yes fellow consumer! (TM) /s
                Why, that ‘woman,’ (insert Patriarchal witticism here,) was one of the ‘stars’ of that arch-Evil Satanic Screed, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show!”
                Nuff said!

              2. Corbin Dallas

                Uhh. wasn’t “shattered” and “what happened?” and all the michael moore writings and most of DSA and many, many leftists a “post-mortem” or are you referring to an official document?

                1. ambrit

                  Don’t confuse the Democrat Party apparat with Leftists. I’m not sure if the two populations overlap at all.

              3. Procopius

                They don’t need a post-mortem. They are satisfied that blaming Russia, Russia, Russia is sufficient. Even though the Concord Consulting case seems to suggest that Mueller has no evidence to support actual court cases, the MSM are doing their job of making sure that doesn’t attract any attention.

            1. ambrit

              That’s the beauty of commenting. Of times the “meat” of the comment is vacuous or shallow. I gaze into the mirror sometimes and shudder.

            2. tegnost

              lawton chiles walked across florida. “Sure Steny, wanna have a strategy meet over dinner? Come on over to the Camp…i have a big blue tent!”

          1. ambrit

            Yes she can! What the unlamented ‘O’ did not do.
            There are some commenters and lurkers on this site who live in or near her district. Any of you know how such a “stunt” would go down with the home folks?
            Really, is AOCs core base made up of aspirationals or working class is what I’m asking.

    1. JTMcPhee

      No one offering a #gofundme to cover AOC’s transition period? “Billions for campaign bribes to Established Legislators, not one red cent for Alex, as the Established already know her.”

      1. JTMcPhee

        Well, someone is stepping up: “Celebrity chef José Andrés on Friday offered Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) a place to stay in Washington after she previously said she wouldn’t be able to afford D.C. rent until her lawmaker salary kicks in.”. https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/416002-jose-andres-offers-ocasio-cortez-a-place-to-stay-after-she-said

        One has to wonder how AOC will turn out, once she is in the belly of the Beast. I had personal high hopes, a long time ago, for Patty Murray, in her sneaker-mom guise. Did not take long for her to swap them out for Ferragamos and all the other perks. “The Pharma 13—Never Forget Who They Are,” http://leftgear.co/2017/01/13/pharma-13/. An exemplar and precursor of the now-Dem strategy of getting votes from suburban professional women?

        1. makedoanmend

          “…One has to wonder how AOC will turn out, once she is in the belly of the Beast…”

          The system, evolved over decades in a specific modern ethos called neoliberalism, is bigger than AOC and will in most probability swallow her and those like her. As a single legislator and new to boot, she isn’t really that powerful. If she is lucky, she will find someone to take her under her/his wing and show her the ropes. It is then up to her to “adjust” to the situation. If she becomes too immersed in the culture/system too early, and doesn’t leave that system from time to time to regain perspective, she will most probably become an a non-entity.

          There was a very good and insightful article years ago about the lead singer from Midnight Oil music band who got elected as a member of the Australian parliament. His big issue was Aboriginal rights. When he was finally forced to choose between two bad legislative options, one of which hurt Aboriginal rights less than the other, he realised how impotent he was against the system as it had developed and the general ethos of the population which encouraged the system through democratic means. He left.

          If AOC and those like here wish to have some concrete material impact on their nation, she and they are only taking the first baby steps. They need to have a long term vision and the fortitude to follow it. They also need to learn to be beaten time and again and come back fighting. Many will give up and become cynical and take the lucre, or just leave.

          And of course those who voted for her might think she makes too many compromises or is “inefficient” and vote for someone else who gets things done, even if the things that get done hurt the average voter in the long run – i.e. Populism.

      2. Big River Bandido

        I highly doubt such a thing would be legal. Duncan Hunter was indicted, after all, for using campaign funds for personal use. Quite likely, a GoFundMe page would violate campaign finance or conflict-of-interest laws.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Is that still a going concern? Bill didn’t open up in Harlem because it was trendy. It was all he could afford until after Kerry lost when HRC for President became viable. Bill was basically employed as Jeff Epstein’s wing man. In an alternate world, 2016 could easily have been a referendum on whether 12 years of Kerry/Edwards is enough.

        HRC in that world is never SoS, a position with more cachet than value since 1948. She’s stuck as a do nothing Senator.

  16. allan

    Lawsuit challenges Arizona state Rep.-elect Raquel Terán’s citizenship, cites no evidence [AZ Central]

    An anti-immigrant activist has filed a lawsuit falsely claiming that Arizona state Rep.-elect Raquel Terán isn’t qualified to hold public office because she is “not a legal citizen of the United States.”

    The lawsuit, which cites no evidence for the claim, was filed by Alice Novoa on Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court. Terán has a U.S. birth certificate, according to court records from a similar lawsuit that Novoa filed against her in 2012.

    Terán, D-Phoenix, was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in Tuesday’s midterm elections. She posted on social media Thursday night to protest the lawsuit after she said she was served with the papers at home. …

    Novoa, a perennial Republican candidate and conspiracy theorist, has alleged there’s a secret plot by immigrants to recapture the southwestern United States for Mexico. …

    … Novoa hasn’t paid any filing fees. She requested her fees be waived because she claims she doesn’t work and has no income. The court has waived or deferred more than $650 between the two cases. …

    Keep your government hands off of my court fee waivers.

  17. Jason Boxman

    Honestly, I’ve always found trying to shop on Amazon to be garbage. But I guess their extensive metrics tells them their UI works, or they’re so entrenched now, it doesn’t matter. You have nowhere else to go, anyway.

    I use Amazon’s wish list to keep track of stuff I might want and read reviews, then always buy somewhere else.

    1. RopeADope

      That Cook article was pretty bad.

      What 2018 showed was that running 1992 Bush style campaigns like 2016 Hillary Clinton only works in the Imperial core around DC. Democrats picked up 9 seats with that tactic but that could just be a temporary phenomenon because of Trump’s current team of foreign policy ghouls. Another 13 seats across the country were picked up by the Dems because the GOP rammed Koch puppet Kavanaugh into the Supreme Court and GOP women revolted against their party. Another 13 seats were not about any tactics but were because of redistricting and Trump failing to live up to false promises to the non-racists. That left only a handful of House seats across the nation that were because of local issues or failures of Democrats to adjust their msg from Imperial core candidates to those that better suited the area.

    2. Big River Bandido

      if we were to project the statewide results onto an Electoral College model, Democrats [sic]strong showings in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan would be enough to make up for losses in Ohio, Iowa, …

      Amy Walter seems to say that Democrats can no longer win in Iowa because it’s just too darn conservative. Walter’s “analysis” makes only the barest of allusions to a governor’s race in which yet another neoliberal multimillionare — this time a retail and insurance executive — failed to inspire Democrat voters. This passes for erudition, when I could have told you back in June that Hubbell didn’t have much of a chance.

      Meanwhile, the partisan ratio of Iowa’s U.S. House delegation flipped from 3-1 Republican to 3-1 Democrat — and the two candidates who managed pickups weren’t much better on policy than Hubbell, but they at least managed to gin up enough excitement to flip those 2 seats.

  18. Wukchumni

    >“Brown, Newsom Win Brief Truce in Brewing California Water War”
    As always, water is for lying over & whiskey is for lying under~

    The real issue in the Central Valley is Big Ag is losing money on account of sinking really expensive wells that kept vast orchards alive in the midst of the drought, with the proviso that future crops would pay for the loans they took out (we’re talking million dollar wells going down thousands of feet) but the tariffs killed their kind of capitalism and many are experiencing what are called ‘red ink’ years.

    There’s a lot of farmers about to go tilt if things don’t improve, a big shakeout.

  19. Wukchumni

    Not sure if the power was turned off by the utilities or some other entity in the wildfire in Malibu et al, but there’s no gas available to those evacuating on account of, and traffic is pretty jammed in places, plus no cell phone contact.

    We’re far away in Whittier, and tops of palm trees here are sashaying 3 feet from center, to & fro. The Santa Anna winds holding sway over the southland.

    1. scarn

      That fast and furious wind will die down tonight and tomorrow. The views over the Pacific are lovely when the smog is blown out past the islands – but not so great when the same wind blows tons of smoke out to sea. We are off with the kids to Joshua Tree NP for the extended weekend, and I expect the weather to be perfect for desert exploration and meditation.

  20. ambrit

    The article fron ‘The Atlantic’ shows up a common problem today with archaeology and any study of ancient human culture and remains: Political Correctness.
    The peopling of North America is not a cut and dried event. There are competing narratives which all have solid support. The pre-Clovis group has some good evidence from the east coast of America to support the idea that people came across to America from europe by boat, in a manner similar to how modern arctic indigines travel. Thor Hayerdalh’s ‘Kon Tiki’ theory has been diminished by academic competitors, but not totally debunked. Given the rapid increase in the global sea level during the early human historic period, (roughly 400 feet between 12,800 BP and 11,600 BP,) the sites of most probable human habitation sites will be below the ocean’s waves today.
    The “official” version: https://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/gornitz_09/
    The emphasis on ‘cultural outreach’ and other forms of anthropological political correctness evident in the Atlantic article masks a political power struggle within contemporary science. Is the aim of “official” science the pursuit of knowledge or the promotion of some ethos?
    I should not be surprised, but this piece in one of the American “Thought Leader” publications gives me reason to be unoptimistic about American Science.

    1. Wukchumni

      To further confuse things, wrecks of ancient Roman ships have been found on the east coast of South America. They must’ve been trying to go to northwestern Africa and got blown off course…

      Artifacts found in a bay near Rio de Janeiro may mark the wreck of a Roman ship that could have reached Brazil 17 centuries before Portuguese adventurers discovered the region, according to a leading underwater archeologist.

      A large accumulation of amphoras, or tall jars, of the type carried by Roman ships in the second century B.C., has been found in Guanabara Bay, 15 miles from Rio de Janiero, according to the archeologist, Robert Marx, who is a well-known hunter of sunken treasure.


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Roman soldiers also settled in China…or could have.

        See Liqian, Wikipedia, and goolge the Discovery magazine article ‘No Romans Needed to Explain Chinese Blondes.”

        1. Oregoncharles

          There’ve been redheaded mummies found in the Sinkiang desert, associated with a horse culture. The Indo-Europeans went far and wide, and were probably responsible for introducing horses to China. The Chinese tend to deny this.

      2. ambrit

        My favourite is the Mayan temple that was bulldozed to build the Cancun airport that supposedly had iron rebar in some of the archwork. The style was reported to be similar to Greek construction methods of a contemporary period.
        That no one from europe or africa in the ancient days was blown across the Atlantic by chance and survived to tell someone the tale defies probability. Ships of the Phoenecians at the least were recorded as making the journey from home ports in the Mediterranian out the Strait of Gibralter to locations on the French and English Atlantic coasts. There is evidence that ports on the Atlantic coast of North Africa were also visited by such traders.
        The exploratory voyages of Pharoah Necho II :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necho_II

        1. Wukchumni

          We were in Sicily-the happy hunting ground for ancient Greek temples, and one of them came down in an earthquake eons ago, and it laid bare the ‘rebar’ construction methods used in keeping a rock building in place, fascinating stuff.

      3. ambrit

        Great Googly Moogly! I just tried to do a Google search for Mayan Temples destroyed during the building of the Cancun airport and encountered nothing but a congeries of consumerist crap! Nothing but outright and semi-concealed advertorials for Vacationland Cancun! S—! Is it any wonder that America is sc—–!
        It is past time for the Internet to be taken away from the commercial concerns.
        Free the Net!

        1. Richard

          I wish I could find a search engine that worked like google used to work. It’s like they briefly show us this vastness of knowledge, for a few years, and then shut off the lights.

          1. ambrit

            My idea is that “they,” for whoever is acting in an ‘enclosing’ manner saw how liberating a free Internet was and ran the other way in fear for their own privileged positions in the social matrix.
            The constant struggle to assuage basically unsatisfiable appetites is an excellent way to cede control of your life.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I believe there is a site in Brazil that has remains of people from Africa, not just in the last few hundred years, but long, long time ago. I don’t remember the name of it just now.

      If so, that would be truly global – from Europe, Africa and Asia.

        1. ambrit

          Friend, care should be taken with usage of the term “controversial.”
          Today, as I tried to adumbrate earlier, the entire field of history, whether literary or archaeological, is infested with the ‘political correctness’ sickness.
          Roughly speaking, if evidence contradictory to “settled” dogma is propounded, the usual preliminary counter is to cast the evidence and or the personnel involved as a ‘heresy’ and as ‘heretics.’
          I believe that in logic this is called the fallacy of an “Appeal to Authority.”
          Be ye of good cheer beside the Great Ocean!

      1. Synapsid


        Sounds like Lagoa Santa. The Africa claim was a couple of decades ago and based on characters of the skull. The remains were named Luzia.

        DNA work published this week (there’s a lot of it on settlement of North, Central, and South America) shows descent from Asia via Beringia then Central then into South America. The line goes through the people using the Clovis technology in North America.

        1. ambrit

          There is serious controversy about the origins of the clovis ‘technology.’ It could be an offshoot of the european ice age solutrian ‘technology.’
          What is fascinating about this is the wide range of assertions made from a fairly small set of evidence. Now, if DNA samples were taken from several hundred sets of human remains, I would be more reassured as to the reliability of the assertions.

          1. Synapsid


            Start here:

            Go to Eurekalert and in the headbar click on News, then select Archaeology. Read the abstracts of the published papers by a number of groups, each having published this week DNA-based work on the peopling of the Americas. Researchers from several countries have been cooperating; one of the teams draws from Denmark, the US, Germany, and Brazil, as an example. DNA work on skeletal material from about forty individuals from a wide span of time and geography is a part of what I drew on for my post to MLTPB.

            The idea of Clovis technology being derived from the Solutrean of SW France and adjacent Spain was presented in detail in the book Across Atlantic Ice, by Dennis Stanford, head of the Paleoamerican Archaeology Division at the Smithsonian, and Bruce Bradley, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Exeter. Both are highly respected in their fields and neither is subject to enthusiasms. There is a time gap of some 6000 years between the two technologies that has not been closed.

            Stanford and Bradley widened their approach by collaborating with Stephen Oppenheimer, a senior research scientist at Oxford and one of the top workers with DNA in unraveling the spread of humans across the planet. Oppenheimer is a long-term friend and colleague and he sent me the paper for review. The DNA support for the Solutrean / Clovis hypothesis looked likely to be a rich field for work on the question, with a particular mitochondrial type found only in the Mediterranean region, and in the drainage area of the Great Lakes here in North America, pointing toward its being correct in spite of the time difficulty, but subsequent work on the Kennewick Man from Washington state, on the other side of the continent, showed the same mitochondrial type present in him. At present the difficulties in supporting the hypothesis have led to its not being thought likely to be correct.

            1. ambrit

              Thanks for the information. I will pursue it further.
              Is this the same Oppenheimer who wrote “Eden In The East?” If so, I have the book and like the theory.
              Is the idea of human populations moving out from the Sundaland now submerged landmass towards the East and West still a working hypothesis?
              The problem of the Younger Dryas event(s) is still being studied and debated. Indeed, why posit that human ‘civilization’ started after the end of the last Ice Age just because the evidence for an earlier ‘Dawn of (Civilized) Man’ hasn’t been found yet?
              Thanks again.

              1. Synapsid

                Hi ambrit.

                You’re very welcome, and yes, it’s the same Oppenheimer. “Eden in the East” is his first book; he’s written two since: “The Real Eve” (“Out of Eden” in the UK, I believe) and “The Origins of the British”.

                “The Real Eve” describes the spread of humans over the whole world, and part of the story is what he presents in “Eden in the East”. He’s done much of his field work over the years in SE Asia but his interests are a good deal wider, and he and his colleagues present one of the main pictures of the occupation of the Pacific by the Polynesians.

                Subsequent work on the spread of our DNA over the world hasn’t caused much change in the picture Oppenheimer presents in “The Real Eve”. The book is a fine synthesis and includes a huge amount of data. I’d say the same about “The Origins of the British”, which is an eye opener, again based on a comprehensive survey of the published data.

                1. ambrit

                  Thank you again. “The Real Eve” is new to this benighted dweller in the Mirage.
                  Somehow, the title “The Origins of the British” sounds like a cross between a Forensics Procedural and a neo Lovecraft tale. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing.)
                  Both books are now on my to buy list.

  21. curlydan

    On the billionaires: $92B in 1982 to $2.89T in 2018 is a 10.0% CAGR. S&P over the same time is about 9.2% growth. You’d think geniuses with billions and power could use that for more than a 0.8% gain.

    1. Wukchumni

      Comparing the dude to the CEO of Orwells Fargo?

      Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man.

  22. Wukchumni

    Watching 6 fellows on tv news fighting an encroaching wildfire near what looks to be a $2-3 million palatial estate in Calabasas. There’s a large swimming pool with 50,000 gallons, and the best they can do is a bucket brigade, where half of the piddly amount of water they attempt to douse the fire with, is wasted.

    If they had only spent around $800 on a gas powered water pump with 100 feet of 1 1/2 inch hose delivering 195 gallons per minute, a few hundred feet further in reach in terms of soaking the ground on fire, they’d be on easy street.


  23. The Rev Kev

    “The Extremely Fast Peopling of the Americas”

    I’m trying to imagine what it was like for those first peoples that arrived in North America. That continent alone is about 25 million square kilometers in size and it was all empty once of people. They must have been a culture of explorers, constantly pushing for the next horizon. Can you imagine what it must have been like for the first scouting parties to come across such places as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone park, Niagara falls, the Mississippi river, those massive tress that Wukchumni talks about. Everything new with nothing to compare it to previously encountered. It must have been one of the greatest unwritten tales of exploration in history.

    1. McGardner

      The numbers are quite varied, but it seems as though there were between 700k and 7,000k native americans in what is now the continental u.s. in 1492. Even taking the high number, that’s like one NYC populating the whole country, sea to shining sea. Was there ever any doubt that situation wasn’t going to withstand historical migratory patterns? I don’t know… I’m sticking with Columbus Day.

      1. ambrit

        After 1492, we have to factor in the incredible death rates of the introduced diseases. Small pox and it’s ‘friends’ put paid to the extant American populations, pre La Conquista. The pre Conquista population levels were consistent with so called “primitive” technology, and the continent’s carrying capacity.
        As a Choctaw Indian woman I knew once put it to me; “The White Man’s secret weapons; whiskey and small pox.”

    2. Oregoncharles

      Over a couple thousand years, but yes.

      It was a hunter’s paradise: the animals had no idea those puny two-legged things were dangerous. Coming at the end of the Ice Age, when the climate was changing drastically, they managed to wipe out most of the megafauna. In the meantime, they were living high, for foragers. Their main problem was figuring out what was edible and what was dangerous in one new territory after another.

      Exciting times.

      1. ambrit

        The idea that roving bands of hunter gatherers wiped out entire species of megafauna in a matter of centuries is in dispute. Indeed, at the boundaries of the Younger Dryas period there is not only a carbonaceous boundary layer called the ‘Black Mat’ indicative of massive wildfires, but it marks a boundary below which there is ample evidence of humans hunting megafauna, and above which comes a millennia or so of no evidence of either. The humans returned, and the megafauna did not.
        My main reservation with the ‘hunters killed them all’ theory is the sheer size of the herds of big galumphing beasts. A modern analogue is the near wiping out of the North American Bison. For centuries, the plains Indians lived off of the herds of buffalo. They did not hunt them out. It took a deliberate policy enacted by the American Government, coupled with a superior killing technology, the rifle, to effect the near end of the massive herds of bison. All this was to destroy the Indians and their culture by removing their traditional source of food.
        Around the Younger Dryas period, some massive ecological disaster seems to have wiped out the majority of the North American magafauna. The same disaster looks to have almost wiped out North American humans as well.
        We are learning something new every day. Fitting it all into the present ‘official’ narrative is the hard part. The hardest part is when the evidence suggests that “Everything You Know Is Wrong.” Academic ‘Rice Bowls’ are involved.
        Rant over.

          1. ambrit

            Yes. And if the available evidence is any guide, there were some rather ‘unique’ megafauna as well.
            Doesn’t the “Wallace Line” mark the boundary between Australian and ‘the Rest of the World’ living beings?
            As the olde maps warn; “Here Be Monsters.”

        1. Synapsid

          Hi again ambrit.

          Recent work in Oklahoma has narrowed the time between the Clovis and the subsequent Folsom technology to about a century, and the archaeologists there are expecting that newer finds will decrease it still more.

          It’s worth notice that Folsom appeared and spread during the Younger Dryas, well before its end; and also that the bearers of Clovis technology shifted to other modes as they spread south, ultimately to South America. For that matter the Gault site in Texas shows a different technology stratigraphically below Clovis. The site is rich in material and has been worked very carefully for years now, by Mike Waters and his teams at Texas A and M. The stratigraphy is solid. Waters is one of the best, I think.

          The oldest well-dated and widely accepted site in the New World is still Monte Verde, in southern Chile, at 14 600 BP. Dillehay has finally returned there to check out what may be something older but I haven’t seen results yet. Dennis Jennings has done solid work at Paisley Caves, east of the Cascades in Oregon, and has confirmed dates of at least 14 200 BP, maybe older; well before Clovis anyway.

          1. ambrit

            Greetings Synapsid;
            Interesting about the Clovis to Folsom change over. Absent some obvious signs of an incursion by new populations, diffusionism would seem to be the best explanation for the change over from one ‘technology’ to the next. Does “genius” strike independently multiple times in a historical period, or do the changes stem from one discovery and spread?
            Isn’t the Gault site somewhat compromised due to the decades of unsupervised digging sold off by the original site owners? The original ‘professional’ excavation was done back in 1929-1930 I’ve read, then decades of treasure hunting until the site was ‘tamed.’ So, does Waters have a fairly undisturbed horizon at some part of the site? That Waters can bring some order out of the mess the Gualt site he encountered was is a testament to his skill.
            The news of artifacts below Clovis is exciting.
            I’m still curious to see if any usable remains can be recovered from underwater sites on the continental shelves. Of course, just finding any artifacts and remains on land is hard enough. Maybe we’ll have to engineer amphibious humans to do the underwater work in the future. Absent that, a wearable technology that can filtre usable amounts of oxygen from the water will do.

            1. Synapsid

              Hi ambrit.

              The upper layers at Gault were indeed loused up by pothunters though they didn’t reach as far down as the Clovis level. Later dig-ups may have so it’s fortunate that it’s a large site–you can start at an undisturbed spot. This is a standard response to a standard problem with pothunting at North American archaeological sites, if the site is large enough.

              14C and OSL dates on the stratigraphy are concurrent in the areas Waters and teams have worked with, and they show older-with-deeper.

              I don’t know of any skeletal remains from continental shelf settings yet but there was a young woman’s skeleton found in a coastal cave in Belize. I don’t recall the age (I blame advancing maturity) but it was old enough to attract much attention.

              1. ambrit

                I remember reading about the cave maiden. The Maya sacrificed people into the cenotes, but that is a lot later than the period we’re talking about.
                Also, here is: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5412635/Mayan-human-remains-discovered-underwater-cave.html
                Underwater cave human remains from about 9000 BP.
                Also, the Florida sinkhole discovery from a few years ago.
                Read: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/160513-first-americans-clovis-mastodon-florida-page-ladson/
                I wonder if the initial dating of the remains has stood up? If so, it’s significant.
                All the cited examples are of artifacts recovered from protected areas. No tidal action to disturb the remains.
                I have read of megafauna bones being recovered from underwater in areas near what would have been the mouths of rivers when the sea levels were lower. I’d think that human hunter gatherers, and later agricultural communities would locate at such places for the density of game available plus the added food source of river and ocean fish.
                Perhaps Ballard was closest to being right when he tried to find remains preserved by the hydrogen sulfide nature of the lower depths of the Black Sea. Hypoxic water won’t cause much decay in organic matter. There might be our best chance for usable human remains dating back to the ice age period.
                Read: http://www.blackseascene.net/content/content.asp?menu=0040032_000000
                That’s Europe however. North America seems to be where the ‘action’ is today.
                Oh, and don’t blame “advancing maturity” too much. We all get to that point, just at different rates. Me, I fight against ‘creeping maturity’ every step of the way.

                  1. ambrit

                    I’m going to have to go and pin Eurekalert to my favourites toolbar.
                    Thanks for taking the time. I love this subject.

          2. gepay

            There is Pedra Feruda, Brazil https://misfitsandheroes.wordpress.com/tag/pedra-furada/
            or http://www.athenapub.com/10pfurad.htm
            Ample evidence of people from Africa coming by boat during the last glaciation = charcoal dating from 35,000 to 60,000 years ago.
            But it was researched by a Brazilian archeologist during the 60s with subsequent research confirming – it didn’t help that the Brazilian was a woman. Although refutations were stated by North american archaeologists – none of them came to investigate. The Clovis ideology is too encased in the mainstream archaeology. Only recently is Pre-Clovis being accepted in little baby steps – https://www.thoughtco.com/pre-clovis-sites-americas-173079 – notice how Pedra Feruda is not mentioned.

            1. ambrit

              Yes. The ‘stickey’ sites are slighted. The issue of funding for fieldwork is key. When administrators who made their reputations through now ‘settled’ versions of “reality” come to positions of power within the academic community, one can understand when a ‘conservatism’ of thought ‘nudges’ them to favour funding for projects that reinforce their pre-existing biases.
              Many real ‘breakthroughs’ in science happen despite the kindly ministrations of ‘official’ academia.
              Most humans seem to be highly resistant to change.

  24. John

    Copying and pasting text on an iPad is not that hard. Especially with the Pencil it is rather easy.

    It is true, the iPad is focussed on single tasks. When you are working on one document/image/drawing/presentation/song/video then it works rather well. If you’re workflow uses lots of different applications or documents at one time then macOS is much better. In addition, macOS can work with far more fonts and wider variety of file types.

    For a pro-user an iPad will clearly not suffice. However, for many, many people an iPad is sufficient. Moreover, the iPad is much better than macOS when you need more intimate interaction with your content as when reading or sketching.

    I see the iPad as a complement to a Mac, not a replacement.

    A problem with experts reviewing the iPad is that they want to force the iPad to do what they have learned to do rather than learning what they iPad is good at. I recall when the iPad first came out and so many people complained that they couldn’t type on the on screen keyboard. Then I saw my high schoolers typing on that as fast as I could on a real keyboard. I guess they never read that what they were doing was impossible.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Copying and pasting text on an iPad is not that hard

      I use the iPad for hours a day and copying-and-pasting text is horrible*. Something a professional does hundreds or thousands of times day shouldn’t be “not that hard.” It should be seamless perfection. And I shouldn’t have to buy a special tool to perform basic functions!

      * It is not, as you say, something the iPad is “good at.”

  25. Carey

    Post-election, it seems to me that the establishment Dems played it about perfectly: no blue wave (aw, shucks!) so no need to deliver to the ‘base’; but enough gravy for the looting class that the money
    continues to flow. So cool! /s

  26. Pat

    Interesting to see that the Brain trust from 538 podcast chose for their top tier primary draft: Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kristen Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar.
    Whereas I don’t think any of those choices would beat Trump unless there is a crash.

    But then I also think all of those analysts will be floored with how demand for real Medicare for All is going to grow exponentially the next few years, irregardless of education and suburban locations.

        1. Pat

          Considering that Biden was from and from the banter is always high on Nate’s list AND that his entire operation is about the horserace I think that can be taken as almost a given.

          This was for the podcast that will be released for Monday. It will be interesting to check out the edit.

        2. johnnygl

          But they’re quite useful to get a sense of how the confidence level the DC establishment is feeling.

          Post-2016 debacle, nate silver made a full-blown confession that he saw bernie as front-runner for 2020. The rest of the 538 crew disagreed with him, of course, denying any changes needed to be made, but you could see the doubts were creeping in.

          Post-midterms, the dc establishment feels like they’ve peeled off enough educated suburban women to get the job done, and they feel like they’ve got the left flank contained.

        3. Skip Intro

          It worked so well for them in 2016… at least real drug dealers know not to sample their own product.

      1. Pat

        Oh he got mentioned as second tier along with Mike Bloomberg, almost more of a throwaway and just before they really struggled to come up with names. Dropping odds was mentioned by the guy who should know that Sanders consistently polls as the most popular politician in America. Sadly the audience was far more enthusiastic about Warren and Harris, although it was a Clinton crowd.

        I should also point out that Russia didn’t get any love while as a throwaway on Arizona’s seeming increasing blue condition Comey was listed as the factor that lost it for Clinton. (And another throwaway was the Clinton campaign spending so much effort on Arizona and Georgia because they knew those areas were amenable to Democratic ideas as if they were just early.)

    1. JBird4049

      “Kamala Harris Is Effectively Draining Money from Stacey Abrams” Gavin Newsom pulled something similar with his gun control proposition which was almost identical to what the governor had just signed into, Newsom pushed for and mentioned his proposition constantly. Sometimes he was asked why all the effort over a duplication for which he never gave a straight answer. A state proposition is different because put into the state constitution unlike the laws created by the state legislature which makes it difficult to even modify because you usually need another proposition done though statewide elections to do so.

      I did some research on the specifics of the proposition and found nothing strange beyond the pointless duplication. However, I did some research on the PAC created to receive funding to get the proposition passed. The PAC existence, its creation and involvement by Newsom was all normal. However, because it involved the Gunz the proposition got lots of support and money, and Newsom got tons of free publicity.

      As much as I am a gun rights supporter it was still understandable and I still supported Newsom. I am a Californian and it was all normal. All good. But I was still very curious about what would happen to all the likely excessive, unneeded, and unnecessary donations to the PAC.

      Would you believe most of the donations for Gavin Newsom’s PAC on gun control didn’t go to that? Some of it did of course, but much of the donations for the proposition ultimately went to Newsom’s own campaign PAC per the little noticed by-rules of the proposition’s PAC. It looks to me like Gavin the Weasel set up the whole gun control proposition for his then next election campaign. Free good publicity and lots of effectively under the table funding. He lied to and betrayed his fellow Californians trust. All legal, but very slimy.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      So we’re going to impeach Trump because he treated Stormy Daniels better than the Clinton’s treated Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick? I mean, isn’t it altogether kinder and more gentlemanly simply to pay one’s interlocutor off, rather than hiring enforcers like James Carville and David Brock to smear them on television?

      1. ambrit

        It’s all just a matter of envy.
        While Trump is reviled as “grabbing women by the p—y,” there is nothing more desirable to the ‘Opposition’ than grabbing one and all of us “by the b—s!”
        Sorry for the descent from the Parnassan heights of my usual genteel usage. /s

  27. JCC

    Some Diebold, Kemp, GA History

    ….Diebold had entered the voting machine business just a few months prior with its acquisition of Global Election Systems, a company founded by three criminals….Global’s Senior VP was a convicted felon, Jeffrey Dean, who had served time for sophisticated crimes involving “computer tampering.” …Soon after hiring Dean, Global hired convicted cocaine trafficker John Elder to oversee punch card printing in several states.


    At first, it was easy to brush aside complaints by small but noisy groups that e-voting invited vote-stealing.

    …Avi Rubin, professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, says devices like Diebold’s can be rigged– without detection.

    “There are major flaws in the security design of the software,” said David Dill, a computer scientist at Stanford University in Southern California.

    In June, The Brennan Center for Justice, a non- partisan New York think tank, said systems like Georgia’s “pose a real danger to the integrity of… state… elections.”

  28. r. clayton

    An OS — if I may so denote iOS — that makes storage and monitor vendors write their own drivers…. Well, that’s Windows 98.

    I have almost no experience with Apple product, but most device vendors write drivers because the vendors are the only ones with access to the proprietary interfaces needed by the drivers (plus vendors presumably have the people most capable of writing drivers that work the device at peak performance). The problem with Windows 98 (and other Microsoft OSs) was almost no protection between device drivers and the rest of the OS. A poorly written device driver could lob bits around the kernel until they hit a tender spot and crashed the OS. I wouldn’t expect Apple to have a protection problem, given how anal they are when it comes to including third-party components in their product (cf. the app store).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > drivers

      I may be using the wrong term. Perhaps I should have said API for drivers. Whatever Apple did to make sure “plug and play” “just worked” on the Mac, they did not do for iOS. I was looking seriously at the new iPad because it can connect to external monitors (if you have the right cable, snicker) and that would make photo editing really neat (since “dodging and burning” are very much swipe-style operations). But there’s no plug-and-play, so I can’t even be sure my monitor will work. From the article:

      It’s a similar situation with external displays. Yes, there is OS-wide support for mirroring the iPad Pro’s native resolution on external displays. But extending to a display instead of mirroring requires app developers to specifically implement support for that. I’ve no doubt that very popular and high-profile pro apps will do just that, but this should be built right into the operating system like it is on, say, a MacBook Pro.


  29. Amfortas the hippie

    regarding contaminated rural water wells:
    1. a Cafo Operation or a large industrial dairy, is not “Farmers”. ADM, Cargil and Monsatan/Bayer, are not “Family Farmers”.
    That the distinction seems so difficult even for authors who genuinely care about actual farmers is exhausting.
    2. testing well water for “everything”—nitrates, ecoli, and on and on—is prohibitively expensive(at least in Texas). if you can’t test it, it’s hard to make it a broadly appealing political issue.
    this might be an example of a long term strategy of the Right…like Nixon’s report on pot…just defund the study, and don’t look over there.
    3. if you want to do some value added thing on the farm…be it jelly making, jarring up honey, or running a prix fix, reservation only sunday gourmet dinner in the barn—you need a commercial kitchen. inspected.
    one thing the inspectors require is routine water testing. That it’s so damned expensive is a barrier to entry.

  30. Big Tap

    Lambert is somewhat Rickrolling us.

    “New Cold War
    Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down:”

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