2:00PM Water Cooler 1/10/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, this is short of business news because I got caught up in a mini-essay on Sanders.


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


Who did this:

The Warren advisor who said “Sure, take the DNA test! What could go wrong?” moved over to Beto’s campaign? Oh, and congratulations, Beto, for having dental. So many don’t!

“Is Joe Biden A Disaster Waiting To Happen?” [WGBH]. “Those who know Biden defend him as a genuine good guy, whose occasional flubs are misinterpreted or blown out of proportion. But even they concede that those “Uncle Joe” moments are unlikely to stop—just this past May he referred to women benefiting from a training program as “from the hood”—and that they are likely to land him in trouble with primary voters. In fact, several political pros who worked or volunteered for Biden’s 2008 campaign have told me they are unlikely to do so this cycle—in part because they know the embarrassments are coming.” • Never mind condemning a generation to debt slavery, or voting for the Iraq War. “Those who know Biden”? Cf. Matt 7:16.

“Top Bernie Sanders 2016 adviser accused of forcibly kissing subordinate” [Politico]. “The woman did not report the incident at the time because the campaign was over. But over the past several months, [convention floor leader Robert Becker], who is not on Sanders’ payroll, has been calling potential staffers and traveling to early primary states to prepare for another presidential run — activities that Sanders’ top aides did not endorse, but did not disavow, either.” • Apparently, nobody seems to have written Sanders a letter. Odd.

Lambert here: Since the story will be weaponized, I’m going to put questions of truth or falsity aside. A few comments: (1) It was inevitable that #MeToo would merge with oppo. Now it has. A narrative initially framed as applying to a toxic campaign culture generally (whatever “toxic” means) has oddly, or not, been applied, at least in national venues, only to the Sanders campaign. (Contrast the two sex and meth deaths at Clinton donor Ed Buck’s house, where coverage has remained local to Los Angeles.) (2) If Sanders and his campaign-in-waiting think this line of attack will go away, or can be dealt either by pointing to improvements made in the Sanders Senate 2018 campaign or by keeping relentlessly on-message regarding policy, they are naïve in the extreme. (4) There will be more. That’s what Operation Mockingbird and Cointelpro tell us. From today’s post on the “Integrity Initiative“: “[Simon Bracey-Lane] appeared on the American political scene as a field worker for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential primary run, earning media write-ups as the “Brit for Bernie.” Now, the young operator was back in the US as the advance man for a military-intelligence cut-out that specialized in smearing left-wing political figures like Jeremy Corbyn.” Anybody who thinks Bracey-Lane was the only sleeper in the Sanders campaign — or DSA, for that matter — is also naïve in the extreme. There were surely more. Some of them will be anxious to share their stories (and then go on book tours). The same will be true of political mercenaries generally. (4) The Clinton operation dealt successfully with respected party elder Bill Clinton’s workplace abuse issues and rapes by attacking the women The Big Dog abused and assaulted. (James Carville: “Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”) Hopefully the Sanders campaign can do better. (5) Doing better than the Clintons would imply not counter-attacking the accusers. If it were possible, I’d “shoot the messengers” (“#MeTools”) doing the weaponizing; I think that’s the recommendation 2016 Sanders advisor Adolph Reed has been working up to (see this important article from Reed I flagged yesterday: “There’s no point trying to communicate with those whose resistance stems from such material investment; no matter what their specific content, their responses to class critique always amount to the orderly Turkle’s lament to McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—’This is my f*cking job!'”) It’s not clear to me that shooting the messengers will work, though it would be interesting to know how trusted the press is by the Sanders base. (6) It’s also not clear to me what Sanders should do, other than hire somebody to deal with the matter, ideally a person both identitarian-proof and ruthlessly effective. Sanders also needs to get the idea firmly fixed in his mind that he is not in the Senate now, and there is no comity.

“The 5 Key Constituencies Of The 2020 Democratic Primary” [Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight]. Hmm:

Just as with the Republicans in 2016, the concept this time around involves considering five key groups of Democratic voters. Here are those groups:

  • Party Loyalists
  • The Left
  • Millennials and Friends
  • Black voters
  • Hispanic voters (sometimes in combination with Asian voters)

You’ll notice that these groups aren’t mutually exclusive. A 26-year-old Latina who identifies as a democratic socialist would belong to groups 2, 3 and 5, for example. There might be modest tension between some of the groups — for instance, between Party Loyalists and The Left — but it’s possible to imagine candidates who appeal to voters in both of those constituencies. (Ohio’s Sherrod Brown or Massachusetts’s Elizabeth Warren might appeal to both The Left and Party Loyalist voters, for example.) Indeed, whichever candidate wins the Democratic nomination is going to have at least some buy-in from all five groups, even if some groups don’t buy in beyond considering the nominee the lesser of two evils against Trump.

So rather than thinking about “lanes,” we’re taking a more pluralistic approach with the Democrats.

I always hated the concept of lanes. That said, these “groups” are surely not granular enough. “Hispanics,” for example, includes reactionary Cuban exiles and UFW members.


“Black Caucus sees power grow with new Democratic majority” [The Hill]. “‘The Republican Party needs to understand that the makeup of the United States has changed,’ CBC Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said. ‘The Republican side of the aisle looks like the America of the past.'” • Amd–

“The Diversity Hustle” [Black Agenda Report]. “Just because they look like us does not mean they are for us. We have to stop falling for the slick marketing schemes used by Democrats and Republicans, one where they parade new faces and personalities to make us believe that we are making progress. A merry-go-round that has different colored and different genders of jackasses and elephants is pure deception, putting new mannequins in window displays and keeping policies intact does everything to perpetuate fraudulence and does nothing to fix the underlying problems. Sadly, this dubious ruse keeps working every election cycle.” • Truer words.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Nice appropriation of the DSA logo:

I sure hope those roses were grown locally, because otherwise the optics on greenhouse gases are very bad.

“Progressives have a new theory of everything” [White House Watch]. “The new unified theory of progressive politics is that desperately needed changes along an entire spectrum of otherwise unrelated issues are all dependent on the same thing: reducing the way money and intense partisanship interfere with the fundamental exercise of democracy. That’s why groups committed to such varied causes as the environment, civil rights, stopping gun violence, LGBTQ issues, human rights, just foreign policy, free speech, health care, corporate accountability, abortion rights, collective bargaining, immigrant justice – you name it – are enthusiastically joining with good-government, voting rights and campaign finance organizations in support of H.R. 1, the House Democrats’ 571-page democracy restoration plan.” • AFAIK, HR1 does not mandate hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public. So the voting machinery remains in the hands of, well, crooks. I’m also not sold on “small donors,” because I think that, now that the campaign operatives have turned small donor contributions into a mere technique, it’s classist. Money is still speech, just speech for “small” donors in addition to large ones. Why not be honest and simply restrict the franchise to property owners? I would prefer to see a short campaign cycle, mandated limits to spending at the least, and public funding at the most. I would also like to see published polls forbidden for some period of weeks before the vote, and the prohibition of digital advertising entirely. Sure, that’s a subsidy for print newspapers. But that’s a good thing. And let us encourage a rebirth of public speaking!

Stats Watch

The 2019 stats are about to come in, and until my fingers internalize this, I will occasionally type “2018,” as I just did (and fixed).

Jobless Claims, week of January 5, 2019: “Government shutdown or not, the very first indications on employment conditions in 2019 are positive” [Econoday]. “Though Federal workers are a wild card, today’s report points, especially for first-time claims, to steady and favorable conditions in the labor market.”

Wholesale Trade, November 2018: “Note this report is likely to be delayed due to the government shutdown” [Econoday].

Housing: “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency Rate Declined in November” [Calculated Risk]. “Fannie Mae reported that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined to 0.76% in November, from 0.79% in October. The serious delinquency rate is down from 1.12% in November 2017…. This is the lowest serious delinquency rate for Fannie Mae since August 2007.”

Tech: “Software patents poised to make a comeback under new patent office rules” [Ars Technica]. “[T]his week the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) proposed new rules that would make it easier to patent software. If those rules take effect, it could take us back to the bad old days when it was easy to get broad software patents—and to sue companies that accidentally infringe them.” • Bad bad bad,

Tech: “Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility)” [AWS]. “Amazon DocumentDB implements the Apache 2.0 open source MongoDB 3.6 API by emulating the responses that a MongoDB client expects from a MongoDB server, allowing you to use your existing MongoDB drivers and tools with Amazon DocumentDB.” • Well, so much for MongoDB’s little business.

Tech: “I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone” [Motherboard]. “[A]t least one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries, ranging from car salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters.” • So when we say “dumb phone,” what exactly is dumb about it?

The Biosphere

Lambert here: I’m renaming the “Gaia” category to “the Biosphere.” I was considering “The Jackpot,” but I want to include links about beautiful and interesting things in the natural world, too.

“How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution” [New York Times]. “This extravagance is also an affront to the rules of natural selection. Adaptations are meant to be useful — that’s the whole point — and the most successful creatures should be the ones best adapted to their particular environments. So what is the evolutionary justification for the bowerbird’s ostentatious display? Not only do the bowerbird’s colorful feathers and elaborate constructions lack obvious value outside courtship, but they also hinder his survival and general well-being, draining precious calories and making him much more noticeable to predators.” • I don’t want to be snarky about this, but shouldn’t beauty be adaptive? I don’t think scientists are so much “rethinking” evolution as expanding their understanding of its scope.

“Arborists are bringing the ‘dinosaur of trees’ back to life” [Quartz]. “Imagine scientists reviving giant creatures that once roamed the Earth. Well, that’s what arborists are doing today, only they’re cloning saplings from the stumps of the world’s largest, strongest, and longest-lived trees—felled for timber more than a century ago—to create redwood “super groves” that can help fight climate change….. Already, super saplings from the project are thriving in groves in Canada, England, Wales, France, New Zealand, and Australia. None of these locales are places where coastal redwoods grow naturally, but they all have cool temperatures and sufficient fog for the redwood.” • Fascinating. I didn’t know redwoods self-cloned!

“The Best of a Bad Situation” [n+1]. Long, as usual with n+1. This caught my eye: “The first decade of the 21st century yields some fine specimens of humans actively grappling with the oncoming catastrophe without quite knowing how close it would be. Elizabeth Kolbert’s pieces for the New Yorker in those years were framed as various encounters and profiles with archaeologists, glaciologists, climatologists… By 2009, Kolbert turned to explaining the Anthropocene and climate change through the die-off of charismatic megafauna…. Even Kolbert seemed to have caught the mood: by 2017 or 2018, the ratio of her long features to weekly or daily comments flipped in response to the slew of the government’s many outrages.” • Another way of saying this is that politically, the environmental movement looks a lot like a debacle. The Green New Deal is an encouraging sign, but only that, and rather late in the day….


“First up for Snyder when term ends: Waterfall tour of the U.P.” [Free Press]. • They don’t have to drink their water out of bottles on the Upper Peninsula!

Class Warfare

Training the workforce for precarity (1):

Training the workforce for precarity (2):

“Study: Head Start improves kids’ lives. But we’re still finding out just how.” [Vox]. “Since Head Start was rolled out on a county-by-county basis and had age-eligibility guidelines, it’s possible to compare children who were just a year too old for the program to children who were eligible. Using this approach, the study finds that Head Start looks like a stunningly cost-effective program — since kids who attended preschool do better later in life, government revenue is actually increased by sending kids to preschool.” • An odd test, but never mind that.

“Bruce Weber Named in New Lawsuit, Accusing Him of Molestation, Sex Trafficking” [The Fashion Law]. “Almost exactly a year after model Jason Boyce filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bruce Weber, the famed photographer has been slapped with another, even more damning lawsuit, centering on his alleged practice of sexual assault. According to the case, which was filed in federal court in New York, by five male models, Weber – “the ‘gatekeeper’ to success in the male modeling industry” – is “a serial sexual predator who used his power in the male modeling industry to fraudulently and forcefully entice aspiring male models into engaging in abusive commercial sex acts.'” • Power, as I keep saying, is gender fluid.

From 2017, still germane. This is not a national emergency:

Note also that averages conceal. Life expectancy is only dropping for the 90%, not the 10%, let alone the 0.1%. Take comfort in the fact that everything’s going according to plan!

News of the Wired

“So long, Macbook. Hello again, Linux.” [Richard Mavis dot info]. • You’ll like this, if this is the sort of thing you like.

“What is Pillowfort, and how is it different from Tumblr?” [Daily Dot]. • Ditto.

“Book Review: The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions” [Slate Star Codex (Off The Street)]. “So how do scientists ever switch paradigms? Kuhn thinks it’s kind of an ugly process. It starts with exasperation; the old paradigm is clearly inadequate. Progress is stagnating… Then someone proposes a new paradigm. In its original form, it is woefully underspecified, bad at matching reality, and only beats the old paradigm in a few test cases. For whatever reason, a few people jump on board. Sometimes the new paradigm is simply more mathematically elegant, more beautiful. Other times it’s petty things, like a Frenchman invented the old paradigm and a German the new one, and you’re German. Sometimes it’s just that there’s nothing better. These people gradually expand the new paradigm to cover more and more cases. At some point, the new paradigm explains things a little better than the old paradigm. Some of its predictions are spookily good. The old paradigm is never conclusively debunked. But the new paradigm now has enough advantages that more and more people hop on the bandwagon.” • Interesting read!

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (Re Silc):

Olhão Portugal. Lovely wintry scene lemons!

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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. dcrane

    Re: MeToo threat to Sanders.

    What Bernie has to do is stay relentlessly on his widely appealing message. Maybe that’s a lot easier said than done, but one of the few good signs from the Trump win is that opposition research zingers no longer necessarily control who wins. If your policy is what the people want, not even Access Hollywood takes you out.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its a tricky one to deal with, especially if its likely to be a co-ordinated series of attacks (I’m assuming these accusations are not good-faith, even if there may have been some jerks in his campaign). I think constant apologising looks bad, but equally, he can’t go on the attack. Trump could brush it off because, lets face it, who thought Trump was a gentleman with an excellent HR policy? That type of attack was never going to succeed on him.

      I would agree the best policy for Sanders would be to do what he does best – stay relentlessly on message, and say that if sexual assaults took place, thats a matter for the police, and if there was a problem with more low-level sexism, he will deal with it in a fair and open manner. Being dragged into a constant round of apologies won’t look good. But I suspect that this line of attack is running up against a jaded public – the only ones excited by it are those who would never vote for Sanders anyway.

        1. ambrit

          Honeys for the Beary Bros!
          Sanders needs surrogates to do the ‘dirty tricks’ needed to kneecap the “accusers.” Arms length counter measures. Sanders meanwhile stays on message. Absolutely no apologies. Don’t set a precedent.

      1. JohnnyGL

        “I think constant apologising looks bad, but equally, he can’t go on the attack.” — I’ve seen politicians shrug off a lot more than I thought they could.

        It’s important to address the issue, but not overreact. People are REALLY a lot more cynical about the media circus these days. As long as there’s nothing that involves him personally having either minimized or covered up any incidents, he’s probably able to shrug off this non-sense.

        As Russia-gate continues to unravel (at this point, Nate Silver’s taking shots at the stupidity), I’d only expect the cynicism to increase. Robert Mueller’s got some very high expectations on him and I don’t think he’s likely to be able to deliver the hammer blow that team dem wants. The disenchantment is going to set in over the next year or two as some people realize they’ve been had (others will remain true believers to the bitter end).

        Also, as the rottenness of the campaign unfolds against Sanders, don’t be surprised if Republicans start seeing him more sympathetically. A lot of Repubs have blinders on when looking at their own party, but are quite clear at seeing Team Dem for the corrupt liars they often are.

      2. dcrane

        Agreed with all of your reply. I should have said as well that I am assuming that these accusations are not an indicator of a real problem with Sanders’ attitude toward women and sexual harassment issues. And if somehow they were, I would be looking for Sanders to show that he had learned, rather than rulig him out, since he’s obviously the best candidate out there right now for the people generally, as far as I’m concerned.

        1. Octopii

          Lots of anger out there for Bernie. Not deserved in my opinion, but it’s out there. Putting him up as the nominee will be very risky.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            There is some anger out here for the antiBernies as well. If an antiBernie is put up, the risky will be just as bigly.

    2. XXYY


      The worst thing Sanders or his team can do is get sidetracked. This is exactly what his opponents want to happen.

      Luckily he is extremely good at staying on message no matter what.

        1. Octopii

          I’ll vote for anyone who isn’t Trump, assuming he makes it through his term and runs again. I’m not willing to cut my nose off to spite my face. Better to vote for Bernie in the primary and vote for the eventual nominee in the general – even if the unthinkable happens and it’s Hillary again. I don’t care.

          1. ambrit

            If it’s Hillary/Michelle 2020, I think I’ll write in Hitler and have done with it. America will officially be ready for a dictator.

          2. pretzelattack

            to me, voting for biden or booker or harris or whoever would also be cutting off my nose. i’m voting for anybody that isn’t a republican or a centrist democrat. if the democrats want my vote, they’re going to have to offer something more than reheated rhetoric they don’t even believe themselves.

            and when i say “centrist” i mean right wing, because that’s what they are. i don’t see the republicans currently risking a war with russia to hang on to their party control (but then they don’t need to).

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And the same lesson goes for naked pictures or dance vidoes from years ago – opposition zingers no longer necessary control who wins.

      Just ignore them.

    4. Lee

      And the statement by the alleged perps accuser, in so many ways, simply does not pass the smell test:

      “Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organisations shouldn’t earn the highest office in our government,” said the woman, naming the aide.

      I’m wondering what candidate or who in life could pass that test. Who hasn’t known, worked beside or been associated with people who have done bad things we knew nothing about until after the fact?

      And yes, Trump is living electoral proof that broad appeal on economic policy, wrongheaded or not, so long as it is convincing, will trump other concerns. Being convincing on economic policy is Sanders’ strongest weapon.

      1. dcblogger

        It must have been a horrific experience, so I don’t blame her for feeling that way. There is a reason Weaver won’t be managing 2020. It is possible to find her sympathetic and still support Bernie.

        1. ambrit

          When it comes to politicos, we have a triple standard. One is the Public persona. Two is the Private persona. Three is the Political persona.
          So, Bill Clinton can be a back slapping ‘Good Old Boy,’ and a libidinous sexual predator, and a Third Way savant. All this rolled up in one meat puppet.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      The reason these zingers don’t win over the Trump fans is that the Trump fans already know that the sources of all these zingers are Trump’s enemies. And Trump’s enemies are their enemies. And any such zinger makes them hate their enemies even more.

      The only way that Sanders and the Sanders fans can afford to Ignore and write off all these Hillary Willary Woke zingers coming from the Brock Liberal Democrats and their Identy Group lackeys and stooges is if Sanders and the Sanders fans decide to accept all these Woke SJWs as being Sanders’ enemies and therefor being their enemies as well. If they decide to treat the Woke SJW Hillary Brockists as their evil enemies to be fought and crushed if possible, then any such weaponised #MeToo smears will encourage them to greater heights of burning hatred.

      As long as Sanders and the SanderBackers don’t understand that the enemy is to be crushed, exterminated and destroyed, they will always be vulnerable to these Hillary-Willary Woke Brockist #MeToo attacks.

      This will be Sanders’s Darwin Finals. He will either pass them or flunk them.

      1. dcblogger

        baloney. the only way Sanders win is to hold on to his supporters in 2016 and bring in millions of new voters, either people who were to young to vote in 2016 or people, who for whatever reason, do not usually vote in primaries. Very difficult, but totally doable.

        1. Cal2

          The White Working Class, shortened to WHIWOC, or “Why-woke.”

          Bernie’s on the ballot? We vote. If not, we stay home.

          Or, Bernie can just walk over to the Green Party, split the vote and Trump wins again.

          Bernie or bust. Trump can have it.

          Trump being reelected is the only thing that will resurrect the Democratic Party.
          Vote accordingly.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Upon reflection, it is not just on Sanders to survive the coming waves of weaponised #MeToo smears and all the other SJW smears the Clintonites will dispatch their DaveBrock Flying Monkeys to deliver.

        It is on us too. Each of us individually and all of us collectively. And each of these attacks should be dissected in detail throughout blogs like this so the most possible people can read it. All of Sanders’s supporters whether young or old will have to vaccinate themselves against these ClintoBrockazoid politica-intellectual HIV virus attacks.

  2. DJG

    See the Guardian web site, where the LiveBlog for Politics picked up an AP story about Sanders apologizing. Now, this being Bernie, he’s trying to get way out in front of the issue. Yet I know from listening to various people that a significant slice of upper-middle-class “liberal” women are out for revenge on him. After all, he robbed Hillary. I suspect that some of the underlying pressure to bring up the stories now is coming from that contingent.

    Which will then go on to explain how Kamala Harris’s political / sentimental rise in politics really wasn’t a tad, errrrr, odd.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      “a significant slice of upper-middle-class “liberal” women are out for revenge on [Sanders]”

      They are the target audience. However the recent sexism accusations re: the 2016 Sanders campaign are being field tested by professional political ‘consultants’ and their friends in the MSM. It’s a game. Played at a club that you are not in. And the peevish “Liberal Church Ladiez” they are targeting aren’t in the club either.

      If the problems revealed in these articles were severe enough to warrant coverage, the newsmedia should have run these pieces 2 years ago. Even one year ago. Articles on sexual harassment in a presidential campaign would have been timely during the outing of Weinstein and immediate rise of #metoo. Instead, they’re running them now. Putting reporters on this beat now, just as the 2020 Presidential campaigns are beginning to gear up.

      The underlying character assassination motive is a bit hard to ignore given this context.

      1. NotReallyHere

        Excellent comment. It is trial baloon time. Throw a lot of mud and see what looks likely to stick when the real game starts.

        Earlier comment that Bernie should insist on “report to police or it didn’t happen” policy is also good. Maybe coupled with a personal accountability clause for all employees that civil liability rests with individual for inappropriate behavior and the campaign retains the right to sue.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Exactly correct. And this is one of the early Darwin filters which Sanders and the official campaign and staff and supporters will either pass through or be stopped by.

  3. lyman alpha blob

    Not a good look for Zuckerberg having the hospital with his name on it grossly overcharging ER patients –

    How did he manage to partner with the one hospital whose ER is not ‘in network’ for any insurance?!?!? Grifters gotta grift and all so is this problem due to lack of due diligence from Zuckerberg’s foundation or is this a feature rather than a bug? It all makes one wonder whether Fleecebook gets the patients’ medical info as part of the deal made with the hospital…

    1. Lee

      This is a confusing situation. As I currently understand (or misunderstand) it, the hospital has prioritized serving the underserved, as in those without private insurance. So, it has eschewed negotiating prices and obtaining network status with any private insurer. Unfortunately, this fact does not seem to be generally known and those in need of emergency medical care are usually in no condition to be making wise consumer choices even if they are conscious. This seems to be a particularly cruel form of means testing. Without your knowledge and after the fact, you are found ineligible.

      1. Cal2

        “the hospital has prioritized serving the underserved”
        meaning the tens of thousands of homeless who have headed for San Francisco, a city which now spends north of $45,000 per year on each homeless person, including housing etc.
        When you subsidize something, the numbers increase, what a surprise.
        “NHOR” is the hospital insurance code for the homeless. “No Hope of Recovery.”

        “The researchers determined that 40 percent of homeless people in San Francisco had one or more emergency department visits in the prior year (three times the national norm). However, 7.9 percent of these patients, the high users, accounted for 54.5 percent of the visits. Frequent users of the ED (defined as those with four or more visits in the previous year) were more likely to have substance abuse and mental health problems than overall ED users and represent an extreme example of the complications of homelessness, according to the researchers. ”

        1. pretzelattack

          when you evict old people and poor people, you also subsidize homelessness. i’ve read the majority of homeless people in san francisco are from california.

  4. polecat

    18,000 red roses to be delivered by the madamn speaker to Walter Reed Hospital ??

    That’s a lot of potential blood letting right there, as I doubt that they were all de-thorned ..

    1. nippersmom

      Pelosi has made it clear she has no problem with blood-letting, as long as it’s not her blood.

    2. ambrit

      How bloody much did those roses cost? That’s the ‘wrong step’ here. Highly visible extravagance. And then sending the roses over to the VA, an entity the self same politicos are stealthily working to dismantle. Form over substance. As I said on a previous day: Politics as performance art.
      It reeks of arrogance and gangsterism. The mobs back in the bad old days supposedly sent elaborate flower arrangements to the funerals of their “departed’ competitors.
      Also, as someone mentioned the other day about the picture of ‘Chuck and Nancy,’ our favourite “punk” politicos, Nancy looks perfect for one of the aliens in “They Live.” She also promotes the same agenda: OBEY.

      1. Pat

        You mean the hospital that the government is pointedly not funding because the supposed grown ups in the room essentially think that giving the supposed toddler a time out while not bothering to put out the fire is a fine choice. (And yes, I get that McConnell is playing it both ways, but frankly so are Chuck and Nancy – there is not one of them actually interested in anything but political posing).

        1. The Rev Kev

          Well, I don’t know. Looking at the roses in that image. they seemed an awful lot like a reddish shade of burgundy to me.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I remember from reading the “Book of Tea,” that it is best to avoid flowers unless it’s necessary, for cutting flowers is to kill (or something like that).

      And we know today that plants are not without thoughts or feelings.

  5. nippersmom

    Is Joe Biden A Disaster Waiting to Happen?

    Some of us would say Joe Biden has already been a disaster.

  6. BobW

    Bowerbird – I recall reading that the entire point of a wasteful display was to demonstrate that the male could “afford” it and so was a desirable mate. The same with peacock feathers. Extrapolate to humans at your own risk.

  7. flora

    Lambert here: Since the story will be weaponized, I’m going to put questions of truth or falsity aside. A few comments: (1) It was inevitable that #MeToo would merge with oppo.

    I’m starting to think the assault charges against Assange were a beta test for a weaponized #MeToo now merged with whatever oppo is needed to maintain the status quo. imo.

    1. flora

      adding: I guess the current status quo doesn’t want to talk about how the current Wall St./monopoly/tax status quo is wrecking Main Street and your kid’s public school and your own access to affordable healthcare.

      1. Pat

        Hell going back to Assange, they weren’t even willing to talk about the clear attack on freedom of the press and still aren’t. And that should have scared the bejesus out of the media, if they were still a ‘free’ press.

    2. kernel

      I prefer to frame it as “It was inevitable that Oppo would use, abuse, coopt, and undermine #MeToo”. IMHO, Al Franken was 1st big casualty of this. Though the general phenomenon is much older, for example:
      – accusations against Scott Ritter after he spoke out against invasion of Iraq
      – accusations against UK Ambassador Craig Murray after he spoke out against torture ( see https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/01/the-uk-government-manufacture-of-false-sexual-allegations/ )

  8. clarky90

    Re; “…the fact that everything’s going according to plan!”

    Coke, PepsiCo, Nestle, McDonald’s have been funding a group to shape global obesity policy…

    They are using The International Life Sciences Institute to keep sales up in China. The International Life Sciences Institute shapes CCP policy to focuses on the role of exercise, not diet, in obesity.


    “Experts/academics”, who recommend “exercise more” to solve our woes, are often the paid stooges of the Junk Food Industry. Modern people are fat, diabetic, depressed, heart diseased, cancer ridden because of LAZY!, (not poisonous food and drink).

    The “move more” line, does (superficially) makes sense….. But, is a cynical diversion from the murderous, chemical mammoth, pooping in the room.

    The people spoon-feeding us information, are expert at leading us to obsess about the petty; so we do not notice the ubiquitous neo-substances that are destroying our bodies, our families, our communities, our environment……

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      “Excercise more” can be marginally useful by itself, but it is really force-multiplied by doing ” eat processed poison-food less” at the same time.

    1. ambrit

      Somehow I got the impression that the hamster as originally presented was a visual pun for Trump’s self aware hair. The Great Orange Furry Monster.

  9. Jason Boxman

    On switching to Linux, it’s worth noting his particular use case:

    But I have switched from Gnome to i3. Over the years I’ve migrated from graphical to text-based applications for most things, and when you spend most of your time on a command line or some other text-based, keyboard-driven interface, tiling window managers are amazing.

    So not your typical user. And if you work exclusively in the terminal, it’s a workable choice.

  10. Louis Fyne

    —I sure hope those roses were grown locally, because otherwise the optics on greenhouse gases are very bad.—

    Year-round roses are a nice allegory about the truth about trade policy that people, even self-described liberals, are unwilling to acknowledge.

    No reason that roses can’t be grown in California or Florida. But that’s expensive.

    Hence “free trade” + cheap jet fuel + negative externalities dumped onto developing world locals = year-round red roses for $14.99/dozen at my national chain grocer and local Mega-Lo Mart (unless it’s 2/15).

    People want their cake, avocados and roses year-round and eat it too—-only deplorables who drive trucks are the real energy hogs. *sarcasm*

    just being honest.

    1. Pat

      Forget the roses, the flowers that send me wondering how much transportation must be subsidized and indulged are the peonies you can see at bodegas in the winter. Mind boggling.

      1. Harold

        Peonies in bud keep forever under refrigeration, I understand, one reason they have always been popular in the cut flower industry.

    2. jrs

      shrug, I don’t buy avocados out of season, on the occasion I buy flowers they are local or at least rain forest safe. I don’t want any of it so much as a livable planet.

      I know what you mean though there is a part of the well off middle class whose main concern with the government shut down is it’s impact on flying!

      1. Moshe Braner

        And as they fly to a vacation on the other side of the world they write yet another screed on how the gasoline used in average Joe’s commute should be heavily taxed to stop climate change.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      This could be a teachable moment.

      Under Protectionism, expensive roses would be grown expensively in California and Florida. The higher ( low but still highER) wages paid to rose growers in California and Florida would enable those rosegrowers to spend their rosegrowing wages back into the Protectionized American economy. If liberals didn’t like the higher price of Protectionized domestic roses, they could be informed as to how the higher price includes a “higher wage tax” for the protectionized American workforce which grows the Protectionised American roses.

      Then again, if all the SanderSocial Democrats and all the Trumper Deplorables found a way to vote for Strict Protectionist candidates at all levels of government, and were actually able to walk America OFF the Corporate Free Trade Globalonial Plantation; then it wouldn’t matter what the liberals think. If the liberals didn’t like it, the liberals could all emigrate.

  11. Craig H.

    Beto at the dentist is missing those clamps that keep his eyelids open and the guy with the eye dropper. Otherwise it looks very familiar.

      1. ambrit

        Don’t forget that at the end of “A Clockwork Orange,” Alex, the character who underwent the ‘eye dropper’ routine, returned to being an amoral, murderous punk, with the full approval and connivance of the ‘authorities.’

        1. todde

          the book ended differently with Alex being fully ‘redeemed’.

          Of his own accord.

          I know of one gang member growing up that is now a cop, another that is a security guard for an oil pipeline. He trains attack dogs.

          they both found Jesus.

          1. ambrit

            I forgot how many film versions of books switch up the endings.
            The two ‘droogs’ who ran with Alex in the movie version became police themselves, but stayed punk.
            Kubrick had a cynical streak.

            1. todde

              The two ‘droogs’ who ran with Alex in the movie version became police themselves, but stayed punk

              Yep, I was thinking life imitates art

              1. ambrit

                I’m having an intense feeling of deja vu about this thread.
                Anyway, Frank Herbert wrote a piece about the making of the de Laurentis film version of the book “Dune.” It was made in Mexico, mainly in studios in Mexico City. Herbert wrote that one of the things he learned from the experience of being around the filming for some time was that the largest and best organized criminal gang in Mexico City was the Federal Police.
                Film Noir can be almost documentary in nature.

                1. kurtismayfield

                  Police are inevitably corrupted. … Police always observe that criminals prosper. It takes a pretty dull policeman to miss the fact that the position of authority is the most prosperous criminal position available.

                  Frank Herbert God Emperor of Dune. It was published a few years before the movie.

        1. ambrit

          With Hillary as the dentist! Imagine, Laurence Olivier playing Hillary, not even having to be in drag either.

  12. ewmayer

    o “How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution” [New York Times].” — 2 days, 2 inane pop-evolutionary-biology pieces (yesterday was the “miracle of the floating medusa” piece.

    Here the NYT: “This extravagance is also an affront to the rules of natural selection. Adaptations are meant to be useful — that’s the whole point — and the most successful creatures should be the ones best adapted to their particular environments. So what is the evolutionary justification for the bowerbird’s ostentatious display? Not only do the bowerbird’s colorful feathers and elaborate constructions lack obvious value outside courtship, but they also hinder his survival and general well-being, draining precious calories and making him much more noticeable to predators.”

    Let us recall what the theory of Darwinian evolution really says in just 10 words:

    Heritable traits yielding reproductive advantage spread through populations over time.

    IOW, the *only* meaningful metric of success in this process is passing on one’s genes and having one’s progeny live long enough to do so as well. Adaptations are useful in a natural-selection sense according to the same metric, *not* whether they enhance an individual’s chances of long-term survival. Now for sure, a long life correlates with reproductive success if said individual sires multiple sets of offspring, but for short-lived species who at best can expect to sire at most 1,2 or 3 sets and where most males never get to mate at all, “burning the candle at both ends” to boost one’s odds of mating with a female mkes perfect evolutionary sense. For a male praying mantis, getting eaten by the female post-mating could also be considered to “hinder his survival and general well-being”, yes? Males who demonstrate the ability and energy to engage in elaborate courtship displays [or support extravagant plumage or large manes, or, or, or…] are also necessarily healthy and vigorous, which typically has a genetic component. The species-specific length of the pair-bond also matters hugely – in species where the male and female typically hook up just once and the female is left to raise the young, all she gets from the male is his genes and maybe a shelter in which to raise their offspring, so one would expect the show-me-how-good-your-genes-are contests in such species to be especially brutal.

    1. divadab

      That’s why light skin was advantaged in higher latitudes – it provides essential Vitamin D all through life but the negative effects of melanoma only affect the elderly past their reproductive prime. I.E. any downsides have no effect on reproduction.

    2. ewmayer

      It should be added – the NYT pieces does mention this ‘strictly utilitarian’ old-evolutionary-fogey viewpoint, to set its tale of ‘the new breed of evolutionary theorists who champion capricious mate-choice beauty-based-on-arbitrary-quirks-having-nothing-to-do-with-mate-fitness’. But there is a glaring omission in this new approach – OK, suppose some female gets born with a mutation that causes her to really go for guys who nave/do X, even though having/doing x is inimical to their survival. Sure, if all the femmes are like this the guys got no choice but to play along, *but* – how would such a counter-survival female-choice trait ever become dominant? It wouldn’t, because after first appearing it would be competing with ‘traditional’ female aesthetics, which are less rad but on average lead to more offspring.

      Also, it should not escape our notice that there is a kind of academic-publication-based ‘natural selection’ at work here: which is sexier in terms of getting published, grant-funded and fawned over by science writers at the likes of NYT – someone working to investigate one of the myriad of details in traditional evolutionar theory, or someone advancing a ‘bold new hypothesis which turns the old paradigm on its head?’ IOW there are rewards for being ‘interestingly wrong’. How do you thing string theory came to dominate modern theoretical particle physics work? Because the old-fashioned ‘theory must make falsifiable predictions’ standard has been thrown out by the mathematical-beauty-fetishists in terms of some non-physics-grounded aesthetic of ‘mathematical elegance’. Sure, the most satisfying physical theories are those which both predict reality-as-we-know-it and have mathematical elegance, but the latter by itself is no predictor of the former.

    1. Summer

      Self driving Tesla collides with autonomous robot….

      Just to let everyone know: this includes video of incident. :)

        1. Summer

          Exactly. It didn’t slow down for the woman in Arizona either.

          It also had to make noise on impact and when it hit the ground.

          The cars can not HEAR well. Essential to driving safety. Basic sh–!

  13. Quentin

    What kind of grotesque, unctuous sycophancy is this?: 25,000 roses at about $15.00 a dozen = $31,250. Is this for real. Couldn’t the ‘Kos Community’ think of a more charitable use for all that money. And what did Pelosi do with 7,000 roses anyway? Have her minions distribute them throughout the Capitol building. She must have been very, very embarrassed by such extravagance. Imagine what’s going to overcome the first Democratic woman president.

      1. ambrit

        Up above it’s asserted than one can get roses for $.63 per when bought in lots of a hundred. That’s one H— of a mark-up.
        This has permanently destroyed any respect I had left for Kos. He might have destroyed the brand entirely with this.
        I now associate Daily Kos with ‘Stunting.’ (Yes. Pun intended.)

  14. RMO

    “The Diversity Hustle” includes Bernie Sanders as one of “a slew of “I’m one of you” scam artists (who) will flock to Iowa to push their qualification through the prism of identity.”

    Really? At the same time I can go read anti-Sanders pieces from Democrats deriding him as being an old white male (therefore, the enemy) and with implications that he’s just gotta be racist and sexist – as are anybody who supports his policies. He’s not some sort of savior but to say he’s a scam artist out for the money is just plain stupid – even if there wasn’t years of evidence demonstrating he has pretty solid ethics and principles the plain fact is there is a hell of a lot more money (and power) available for a lot less work for anyone willing to cave in and become part of the D/R machine.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Conservative friends believe Bernie used campaign funds to buy himself a mansion.

      Like the screen says when one gets blasted in some VR shoot-em-up, “YOU DIED”.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, we need to remember that this is the Black Agenda Report we are talking about.

      They are insanely jealous of Sanders for getting attention they will never get, and they are bitterly hateful towards Sanders beCAUSE he was not a sheepdog for millions of people into the BAR marxist agenda. They are hatefully envious of anyone who will get something majorly useful done without recruiting people into BAR’s cult-of-Marxism.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Thanks for explaining. Finally got around to finishing the piece, which I liked a lot, but couldn’t exactly understand why Bernie was on the list. The only people he DOESN’T speak for are the 1% and their acolytes in the 9.9

  15. Darthbobber

    Pity the #metoo stuff is being whipped up exclusively against Sanders, because an in-depth look at the rolling semi-hallucinatory circus you fall into as a volunteer for most campaigns would be quite entertaining. In my experience, campaigns attract quite the grab bag of people, of varying degrees of decency and stability, operating under minimal to frequently nonexistent supervision. Its a strange environment, and like being in a war, it interrupts normal life , tosses a bunch of disparate people into close proximity, and further disrupts the normal standards of behavior of “settled” life. A good deal of what I read about this seems perfectly believable (as far as the minute part that is factual goes), but it also fits in with things I’ve seen on MOST political campaigns (including McGovern 72). Preposterous to see it as a Berniebro thing. And after once again weaponizing a real issue for purposes utterly unrelated to it, everybody involved can affect surprise when a significant fraction of the population becomes dismissive of the real issue itself.

    1. voteforno6

      Yeah, they might be playing with fire on that one…I have no doubt that pretty much every decent-sized campaign sees varying degrees of similar behavior. I’m sure there are some stories to tell about those particularly brotastic Obama campaigns but, you know, he was scandal-free and all that.

      1. Hepativore

        The Democratic establishment might even go so far as to try and smear Bernie Sanders as some sort of pervert or dirty old man like they did with Al Franken to get him out of the way. I would expect various made-up allegations of Sanders being guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault from random people put forth to bury him in a landslide of media hysteria

        …and of course Russia!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Its a strange environment, and like being in a war, it interrupts normal life , tosses a bunch of disparate people into close proximity, and further disrupts the normal standards of behavior of “settled” life

      Rather like disaster relief.

  16. divadab

    Re: Kuhn and paradigm shift – thanks for a very useful reminder of a book I read almost forty years ago in a course on the philosophy of science. Kuhn never gets old, neither does Karl Popper. (Well, nor do Rabelais or Shakespeare, but whatevs….)

  17. foghorn longhorn

    From the department of interesting stuff.
    Bezos soon to be ex-wife of 25 years, will get 7.5 million per day from her bethrothment, if she gets half.
    So Bezos has averaged 15 million profit per day the last 25 years.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Extra news. Bezos is already upgrading to a younger, hotter version. Bezos now realizes that there is a market for the delivery of wives, husbands and partners for Amazon to fulfill. Added bonus – they can self-deliver!

  18. Montanamaven

    For what my opinion is worth, I don’t believe one iota of the Bruce Weber accusations. I know him. He is a friend and one of the nicest sweetest people I have ever met. I was with him on a photo shoot in Montana with old and young cowboys. Fun and joyous. My rancher husband and I had many a wonderful evening with he and Nan sitting around a fire or swimming in a waterhole with his beloved golden retrievers. He was honored in Florence for his artistry, a few blocks from the David. Yes, that nude statue. And Yes, his photographs of hunky guys get a lot of attention, but then there are all the many photos of females stars, female cowgirls and female shop girls. He recently did a series of pictures of the anti-gun violence rally at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Unglamorous. His work is vast and of a variety of subjects. And he is a champion of obscure photographers. He is a truly gentle giant of a man and artist. This makes me terribly sad.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Truly sorry you have to see a friend go through this. They say though that it’s often the last person you would expect in these cases.

  19. dcblogger

    The best thing that I can think of for Sanders is to have sympathetic third parties remind everyone that this is not a problem unique to Sanders. The complaints against his campaign are credible, I believe them. And it takes a lot of courage to come forward with this information. Sanders has taken appropriate action. Lets see if other campaigns do likewise.

      1. Cal2

        How about Groping Joe Biden, a man who loves to stroke little girls’ hair and cheeks, kiss them, put hands on them, hold them, warn them about dating until after 30 and who has the temerity to do all that in the capitol in front of video cameras with dozens of young women?


  20. none

    > “Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organisations shouldn’t earn the highest office in our government,”

    What about the candidate himself? *cough* Bill Clinton *cough*.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life”

    It must be amazing walking through one of these forest of these massive redwood trees. Saw one tree in an old photograph from the 1920s that was so massive, that a tunnel was bored through it so and you could see a car driving through it.

    1. windsock

      There was a tree in California like that in the 1980s. I drove through it with two Aussies. Great times (also getting lost in the fog on the beach).

  22. Kurt Sperry

    ““Book Review: The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions”- Here’s Freeman Dyson on why it took so long for physicists to appreciate James Maxwell’s 1865 electromagnetic field theories:


    He applies the lessons to QM, but the principles are more universal. Breakthroughs that involve new ways of thinking will never be easy to propagate.

    1. ewmayer

      As I recall, Einstein was keenly appreciative of Maxwell’s E-M field equations because they were the only physics equations which were already relativistic – they needed no subsequent modification (as did gravitation and the original 1920s formulations of QM) to “take account of relativity”.

      [Aside: fun exercise for the math/physics geeks out there: convert Maxwell’s equations into the form of a classical 2nd-order wave equation. Fun with the curl operator!]

  23. Alex Morfesis

    Dear Bernie Sanders…hopefully you will not do an al gore and just let the other side win…the ships have been burned and there is only one way forward from here…for the record…not exactly a huge fan…moi…more groucho…as in 10dance groucho…you closer to karl…but….

    you hire Anita Hill and Monica Lewinsky to investigate any and all claims…Anita Hill is an attorney and you waive any attorney client issues…and then you hire them for your campaign…there is only one choice…all in or stay home…

    yours truly,

    2nd peasant of ithaki…

  24. Unna

    This Ed Buck thing really stinks. I was going to write a comment last night on the LA Times article and the one linked within it, but now the OUT article adds additional facts. As I remember the LA Times article said that in 2017 the responders-cops entered to find a dead man (Gemmel Moore) in Ed Buck’s apartment where there was also a large amount of drug paraphernalia. Now we find out that the paraphernalia was:

    “ A coroner’s report described that there were, “24 syringes with brown residue, five glass pipes with white residue and burn marks, a plastic straw with possible white residue, clear plastic bags with white powdery residue and a clear plastic bag with a ‘piece of crystal-like substance,” on the night that Moore died.”

    The article goes on to say that Buck has never been charged with any criminal offence. OK now, and where do I begin? First thing, a mess of serious drug paraphernalia associated with ingesting and injecting potentially life threatening drugs is found in Buck’s apartment. That alone gets Ed Buck arrested and quick ride in handcuffs to the county jail for the crime of possession of drug paraphernalia. The drug paraphernalia, alone, gets the cops a search warrant to do a thorough and meticulous search of Buck’s apartment for drugs. Drug dog anyone? There’s a possible homicide here. What’s the chance Buck has all that stuff laying around and no drugs? Maybe he flushes the stuff before the cops come, but none of the articles I’ve read say anything about a search warrant.

    Then the article says that they found 24 syringes with brown residue. So what was the brown residue? Never says. Don’t they send stuff off to forensic labs where Buck lives? Same with “white” residue. Wonder what that is. What sort of concept is “possible” white residue? It goes to a lab. It’s either something or nothing. Then we have a “piece of crystal-like substance”. What? They don’t know? Since Moore died of meth, let’s do a profound leap of logic and guess that this is a piece of meth. The article says: “In July 2017, 26-year-old Gemmel Moore died of a crystal meth overdose in Ed Buck’s apartment.” Unless the meth was in Moore’s pocket or something, that means felony possession of meth on Buck. When I launch my life of crime selling meth to rich white guys, I’m setting up my operation in Ed Buck’s jurisdiction.

    So why is everybody so focused on Buck either being innocent, or guilty of some homicide when there are numerous serious crimes right there, in plain view, so to speak. Buck is guilty of possession of the paraphernalia and probably of the meth. It was all in his apartment, presumably with his knowledge, so he doesn’t have to “own” it to “possess” it.

    As to possible homicide, it does look like the cops investigated Moore’s habits, friends, etc, but just think: they found 24 syringes and five glass pipes, all with residue. Now is that the amount of stuff Moore had as his walking around “kit” (is that the word) to do drugs? So maybe some or all of it was “owned” by Buck. Then this: “Moore was Black, gay, homeless and sometimes worked as a sex worker….” You don’t have to be Robert Mueller, er scratch that, Hercule Poirot to see what the relationship between Moore and Buck was. Moore had a pretty hefty habit for a homeless guy with no money. Wonder where he got his stuff and what he might have had to do for it? Oh, and depending on what “residue” means to these people as in, “clear plastic bags with white powdery residue,” the residue itself can make up a felony possession charge. Was it tested? What was it? No wonder people are outraged. There is so much I don’t know here, of course, so count this comment as throwing out some late night ideas.

    Pardon for the long comment. Conclusion: It’s nice to have friends in high places.

    1. Unna

      I want to emphasize that to bring a charge, you’d have to know exactly where the paraphernalia was situated in the apartment and the news articles don’t say. How did they find it, with a warrant(?), the articles don’t say but they were indeed found. I don’t know if Buck is guilty or not, but we have enough in the news to have a strong suspicion that a lot is not right here. And it doesn’t take much to bring that charge. Where was all the residue found? There’s a dead man here and now a second dead man. If they had successfully charged Buck even for a relatively “minor” crime, if that was all they could do, he would have been brought into the system, hopefully had some intervention, and maybe the second man would still be alive.

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    Base on a recommendation here some time ago, I bought and read The Secret Life Of Trees.

    I can’t remember whether it discussed growing redwoods or sequoias in Europe and elsewhere. Whichever of the two trees it was, the author noted that redquoia trees planted outside their native home grow for about 150 years and then die. Perhaps people introducing redquoia trees to new areas should study all possible aspects of where they live now to see if missing soil life or etc. should be planted along with them.

    Meanwhile, one hopes these clones are also planted all over America’s own former redquoia zones.

  26. cm

    Imagine if Sanders had a fair race, and subsequently beat Trump. He could have filled 3 Supreme Court positions in his first term.

  27. Moshe Braner

    “I would also like to see published polls forbidden for some period of weeks before the vote…”
    – I would like to see voting results in national elections, both official and exit polls, forbidden on election night until all polls in all states are closed. Otherwise results from the East Coast influence voting on the West Coast.

  28. JD

    Party Loyalists
    The Left
    Millennials and Friends
    Black voters
    Hispanic voters (sometimes in combination with Asian voters)

    The key thing about this list is there is no conservative wing. That’s the first rule of the center-left: there is no center-left. They are, at best, “Party Loyalists,” notwithstanding the fact that Blue Dogs vote against the party more than progressives do, and that the largest anti-party effort recently was from Moulton and his gang. You can always tell what faction someone is from by what faction they leave off their list of factions.

  29. ElViejito

    Good to see mention of

    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    on its 50th anniversary. I believe it will remain relevant a while longer.

    1. Yves Smith

      Bullshit. Juanita Broaddrick had contemporaneous witnesses. And flight logs show Clinton spent an entire weekend on the Lolita Express, with the length of time due to his being in a port of call where Jerry Epstein would “refuel” his underage sex slaves.

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