2:00PM Water Cooler 1/24/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Ford Motor Co.’s latest quarterly results are sending a shudder across the automotive sector. Profits dove to $116 million from $2.5 billion a year earlier as executives said upheaval in U.S.-China trade relations sent costs up while Brexit hurt sales and manufacturing operations in the U.K.” [Wall Street Journal]. “The broad impact of U.S. trade policies on a top manufacturer are a warning sign for companies with global supply chains and customers around the world. Ford was already restructuring operations in Europe while betting big on trucks and SUVs in the U.S., but those efforts may not be coming fast enough.”


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


Harris (1):

Do read the quote. (See here at NC for Matt Karp.)

Harris (2):

“Economic Downturn Will Be Hurdle for Trump” [Charles Cook, Cook Political Report]. I’ll skip the thesis to get to this remark: “Listening last week to The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein interviewing Fed Chair Jerome Powell at the Economics Club of Washington, one couldn’t help but be impressed by Powell and reassured by his steady hand on the monetary-policy tiller with choppy seas ahead. While the Fed is technically not a fourth branch of government, in many ways it is, and it’s arguably the one that in recent decades has been the best run. We’ve had some awfully impressive people sitting in that chair, from Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke to Janet Yellen and now Powell.” • Oy.


Retweeted by AOC:

Lee Carter:

Senator Sanders?

Let me know how this works out:

2018 Post Mortem

“Liberal ‘dark money’ groups spent more in 2018 than conservative groups” [Roll Call]. “For the first time since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which struck down campaign spending limitations for corporations and unions, liberal “dark money” groups outspent conservative groups, according to a new report from Issue One that analyzed data from the Center for Responsive Politics…. Liberal groups spent about 54 percent of that total in the 2018 cycle, with conservative groups only spending 31 percent. Nonpartisan or bipartisan groups made up the remaining 15 percent. The liberal dominance is a marked shift. In 2016, conservative groups that don’t have to disclose their donors outspent liberal groups 4-to-1, according to Issue One.” • Ka-ching.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Wowsers (1):

Well, I’m glad to know what the purpose of the Blue Wave was; rehabilitating the Republican Party, apparently (as I’ve been saying: Liberal Democrats are all about appealing to suburban Republicans, not expanding the base). In 2008, at the Democratic National Convention, Obama had the Preamble to the Democrats’ platform document (IIRC) revised to reflect this exact policy. So this has been the liberal Democrat strategy for a decade. Forgotten nothing, learned nothing.

Wowsers (2):

[Puts head in hands].

“Why There’s No Liberal Federalist Society” [Politico]. • See the two tweets above. There doesn’t need to be; the liberal Democrat leadership outsourced policy. See ObamaCare.

“Campaign workers demand minimum wage, progressive culture from 2020 Dems” [McClatchy]. “Unionizing. Paying interns $15 an hour. Ensuring time off. Institutionalizing salary transparency. To staffers on presidential campaigns past, who were long accustomed to brutal hours and low pay, that was the stuff of liberal fantasies. But this cycle, there is an intensifying conviction among progressive operatives that internal campaign culture should reflect the very values that 2020 Democratic hopefuls passionately tout on the trail.” • Good!

“Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America 2018 Annual Report” [Googledocs (sigh)]. “We believe in democracy from below. As such, our chapter leadership consists of and is elected by its dues-paying members.” • Contrast how membership in the duopoly parties works. This is an impressive deliverable. Also, this:

In February we mailed out Valentine’s cards to all members and non-member attendees inviting them to attend our visioning session at the February 12th membership meeting. We asked attendees to shout out what they wanted to see in a socialist Utopia while we wrote down each of the 68 responses. Each attendee got five (5) sticky notes on which to write their names and “voted” for which suggestions they wished to work towards by sticking them next to the idea. The ideas were combined into categories and ranked according to the votes they received. The following categories were created, with the votes received listed in parentheticals:

  1. Labor Issues (30)
  2. Clean Elections/Transparency (29)
  3. Health Care (27)
  4. Anti-Imperialism (22)
  5. Economic Justice (22)
  6. Justice System Reform (19)
  7. Infrastructure (17)
  8. Foreign Policy (14)
  9. Education (11)
  10. Social Equality (7)
  11. Housing Justice (6)
  12. Environment & Science (5)

I don’t know if Southern Maine is representative, but it’s nice to see “Labor issues” at #1. The report also includes interesting stats about DSA generally.

Houston’s DSA prosecutor. Thread:

Stats Watch

Leading Indicators, December 2018: “Pulled down by last month’s stock market rout and by dramatic slowing in ISM manufacturing orders, the index of leading economic indicators slipped as expected” [Econoday]. “The LEI is a composite of 10 separate indicators several of which are being delayed by the government shutdown and are being estimated by the Conference Board: building permits as well as factory orders for both capital goods and consumer goods all of which were nearly flat in the December report.” But: “Because of the significant backward revisions, current data cannot be trusted. And this month, there are even bigger caveats” [Econintersect]. Conference Board caveats: “Please note that due to the government shutdown, data for manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials for November and December and building permits were not published for December. The Conference Board has forecasted these series in order to publish a preliminary Leading Economic Index. Data for manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft for November are from the advance report for Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories & Orders. In addition, The Conference Board is postponing the regularly scheduled annual benchmark revision of the composite indicators until all underlying data are available.”

Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index, January 2019: “Growth in the Kansas City manufacturing composite buckled in December but held steady at a subdued level in January” [Econoday]. “Details not showing strength, however, are key ones. New orders slowed… Export orders are the weakness here… And the sample is working down backlogs noticeably…. Regional diffusion indexes had been running at strong levels the past two years and some still are like the Philly Fed. But others have clearly slowed with the orders decline in this report something to keep an eye on.” And: “Kansas City Fed manufacturing has been one of the more stable districts and their index is now well below the range seen in the last 12 months” [Econintersect]. “Note that the key internals declined with new orders barely in expansion and backlog now deeply in contraction. This is a much worse report than last month.” And: “So far, most of the regional surveys have indicated slower growth in January than in December (and December was the weakest month for the ISM index in over 2 years)” [Calculated Risk].

Jobless Claims, week of January 19, 2019: “Despite a significant rise in claims by furloughed workers, initial jobless claims fell [very sharply] in the January 19 week and are under 200,000 at 199,000. This is the lowest showing in nearly 50 years when the labor force was half the size it is now” [Econintersect]. “Historic lows have been a constant theme of jobless claims data for the past couple of years and that initial claims are making even greater lows is perhaps the greatest economic surprise so far in the first quarter and of the government shutdown.” And: “This was lower than the consensus forecast” [Calculated Risk].

Purchasing Managers’ Index Composite (Flash), January 2018: “The PMI manufacturing sample is reporting noticeable acceleration in activity so far this month while the services sample is reporting steady and moderate growth” [Econoday]. “Strength is centered in manufacturing…. Other than last week’s nosedive in consumer sentiment, the government shutdown, now extending more than a month, has yet to upend the economic data which are increasingly pointing to January as a solid and respectable month of growth.”

Chemical Activity Barometer: “January 2018 Chemical Activity Barometer Year-over-Year Growth Again Slows” [Econintersect]. “The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) posted a 0.3 percent decline in January on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. This marks the barometer’s third consecutive month-over-month drop and suggests a slower rate of U.S. economic growth.”

Apparel (1):

Apparel (2):

Shipping: “The biggest parcel carriers in the U.S. are facing new competition from one of their mega customers. Amazon.com Inc. is rolling out a new round of parcel-delivery services to its merchants without the fuel charges and fees that FedEx Corp.’s and United Parcel Services Inc. impose… which can effectively cut overall shipping costs by around 30%” [Wall Street Journal]. “Amazon’s move steps up its efforts to offer home-delivery for merchants from its warehouses, and the volume will also help Amazon cut its per-package costs by spreading expenses across a larger network.”

Shipping: “Canadian Pacific wows ’em with a sub-57% operating ratio” [Freight Waves]. “In the fight to have the lowest operating ratio (OR) among Class 1 railroads, Canadian Pacific just took first prize. The company, in announcing its fourth quarter 2018 earnings Wednesday, said it had an OR of 56.5 percent during that period. That is an improvement of 370 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2017, and is well under the 60.3 percent reported by CSX (NYSE: CSX), whose reports of sub-60 ORs earlier in mid-2018 set off the process that had other railroads adopting precision railroading (PSR) practices. But while much of the focus in precision railroading tends to be on service cuts and cost reductions )at least in its initial stages), Canadian Pacific had a quarter that was growth-oriented. Its revenues were up 17 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017.”

Shipping: “Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s factory is learning how to fix itself. The world’s largest beer maker is using wireless sensors to predict when motors at its Fort Collins, Colo. brewery might malfunction… It’s called predictive maintenance, and the idea is to measure vibrations and automatically compare them to the sound of a normal functioning machine. It has widespread applications along supply chains—especially as the technology becomes more affordable. Aside from factory machines, sensors can be used to monitor temperature-controlled warehouses and equipment, as well as the status of trucks and other forms of transportation” [Wall Street Journal].

The Bezzle: “Deliveroo users are getting defrauded – and it could be fined millions for it” [New Statesman]. “I immediately called Deliveroo to say that it wasn’t, in fact, me who ordered £100 worth of food in the space of ten minutes in three separate orders; and told them that the fraudsters had changed my email address, so I couldn’t even get into my account to look at where it was sent. I was told that they would investigate, and I would be sent an email asking for more information immediately. I was not… so I did what any journalist with a modest Twitter following would do, and tweeted. What I thought would happen was that my case would be bumped on the list, and maybe I’d get my money back sooner (or, indeed, at all). What actually happened was that my replies, DMs and email were all immediately flooded with people who had been a victim of the same fraud, saying, yes, this had happened to them too and no, Deliveroo had never refunded them. Of the roughly 40 people I spoke to, not a single one had been refunded by the delivery service; those who did get their money back had got it from their bank.” • Deliveroo may have violated the GDPR, in which case they could be fined millions of pounds.

The Bezzle: “In any event, Williamson also said the latest reading suggests the partial government shutdown has had little impact on the U.S. private sector so far” [MarketWatch].

An Apple spokesman confirmed the redundancies to CNBC, but said the company hasn’t given up on the project. ‘We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever,’ they added.” • “Most ambitious.” Sounds sporty.

The Bezzle: “Wag founders ditch dogs for bikes with $37 million in funding” [TechCrunch]. “Wag founders Jonathan and Joshua Viner are leaving dogs behind for bikes. Wheels, the Viner brothers’ new electric bike-share startup, is announcing $37 million in funding from Tenaya Capital, Bullpen Capital, Naval Ravikant and others. The Viner brothers departed dog-walking startup Wag last year to start a fund focused on consumer startups. The departures came after Josh Viner was replaced as Wag CEO by Hilary Schneider, a former Yahoo executive. Now, the brothers are moving on from the fund and taking a stab at bike-share.” • Failure is impossible!

Tech: “Google Privately Urged Narrower Protection for Activist Workers” [Bloomberg]. “During the Obama administration, the National Labor Relations Board broadened employees’ rights to use their workplace email system to organize around issues on the job. In a 2014 case, Purple Communications, the agency restricted companies from punishing employees for using their workplace email systems for activities like circulating petitions or fomenting walkouts, as well as trying to form a union. In filings in May 2017 and November 2018, obtained via Freedom of Information Act request, Alphabet Inc.’s Google urged the National Labor Relations Board to undo that precedent.” • I don’t see why. Isn’t Google reading its employees mail? To enhance shareholder value?

Tech: “Phone damage” [Reuters]. “Cracks at Apple are appearing in Asia’s supply chains. The iPhone-screen maker Japan Display is in “advanced talks” for a financial lifeline with investors including a Chinese state-backed fund… Weak sales of handsets have hurt. Any such support for the Tokyo-listed company would point to the severe ripple effects of Apple’s woes, and herald pain for other suppliers like Taiwan’s Foxconn…. Bleak forecasts for smartphone sales this year are a further headache. Japan Display, which relies on mobile devices for 60 percent of total sales, in November cut its full-year revenue growth forecast from up to 20 percent to between 5 and 15 percent.”

Mr. Market: “A Brief History of Some of the Market’s Worst Fat Fingers” [Bloomberg]. “Even as global financial systems become ever faster and more complex, things can still go rapidly awry thanks in part to simple human error.” • Quite a list…

The Biosphere

“Large influence of soil moisture on long-term terrestrial carbon uptake” [Nature (Alan)]. “The influence of soil-moisture variability and trends on the long-term carbon sink and the mechanisms responsible for associated carbon losses remain uncertain. Here we use the data output from four Earth system models9 from a series of experiments to analyse the responses of terrestrial net biome productivity to soil-moisture changes, and find that soil-moisture variability and trends induce large CO2 fluxes (about two to three gigatons of carbon per year; comparable with the land carbon sink itself1) throughout the twenty-first century.”

“Global patterns and dynamics of climate–groundwater interactions” (PDF) [Nature Climate Change]. From the abstract : “Current understanding of the global-scale sensitivity of groundwater systems to climate change—as well as the resulting variation in feedbacks from groundwater to the climate system5,6—is limited…. We show that nearly half of global groundwater fluxes could equilibrate with recharge variations due to climate change on human (~100 year) timescales, and that areas where water tables are most sensitive to changes in recharge are also those that have the longest groundwater response times. In particular, groundwater fluxes in arid regions are shown to be less responsive to climate variability than in humid regions. Adaptation strategies must therefore account for the hydraulic memory of groundwater systems, which can buffer climate change impacts on water resources in many regions, but may also lead to a long, but initially hidden, legacy of anthropogenic and climatic impacts on river flows and groundwater-dependent ecosystems.”

“Corporate America Is Getting Ready to Monetize Climate Change” [Bloomberg]. “Most of the largest U.S. companies by market capitalization submitted information to [CDP, a U.K.-based nonprofit that asks companies to report their environmental impact], and the vast majority say the [climate change] threat is real and serious: Of the 25 companies whose submissions were reviewed by Bloomberg, 21 said they had identified ‘inherent climate-related risks with the potential to have a substantial financial or strategic impact’ on their business. Many of those risks related to the effects of climate change on companies’ ability to operate. One of the most commonly cited risks was not enough water.” • Paging Dr. Michael Burry…

Health Care

“Trump vows to end balance billing” [Modern Health Care]. “President Donald Trump on Wednesday threw his support behind curbing balance billing practices, saying his administration has “stopped a lot” of industry pricing tactics already. ‘We’re going to stop all of it, and it’s very important to me,’ Trump said as cameras rolled during the portion of a roundtable discussion on healthcare with his top deputies and patients from around the country with stories of unexpected high medical costs. Senators from both parties are currently working on legislation to stop insurers and hospitals from leaving patients to foot the bill for high and unexpected medical bills. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and HHS Secretary Alex Azar both touted policies already implemented by the administration, including last year’s new expansion of association health plans to the new requirement for hospitals to publish the prices of procedures and the forthcoming final rule for drug makers to disclose their list prices on their TV ads.” • Association health plans are bad news, and I’ll believe it when I see it on balance billing, but the publishing the prices of procedures and disclosing drug list prices are exactly the kind of “transparency” tweaks liberal Democrats love, because they enourage “smart shopping.” So there’s at least some hilarity here.

Our Famously Free Press

“The Art of the Pan: What’s the Point of a Bad Review in 2019?” [The Ringer]. “A truly vicious pan, a merciless slam, a full-scale ethering is born of a righteous fury that can transmute into pure joy.” • Paging Marie Kondo!

Guillotine Watch

“Mark Zuckerberg once killed a goat and served it cold to Jack Dorsey” [MarketWatch] (original). The money quote:

What was your most memorable encounter with Zuckerberg?

[DORSEY:] Well, there was a year when he was only eating what he was killing. He made goat for me for dinner. He killed the goat.

In front of you?

No. He killed it before. I guess he kills it. He kills it with a laser gun and then the knife. Then they send it to the butcher.

A . . . laser gun?

I don’t know. A stun gun. They stun it, and then he knifed it. Then they send it to a butcher. Evidently in Palo Alto there’s a rule or regulation that you can have six livestock on any lot of land, so he had six goats at the time. I go, “We’re eating the goat you killed?” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “Have you eaten goat before?” He’s like, “Yeah, I love it.” I’m like, “What else are we having?” “Salad.” I said, “Where is the goat?” “It’s in the oven.” Then we waited for about 30 minutes. He’s like, “I think it’s done now.” We go in the dining room. He puts the goat down. It was cold. That was memorable. I don’t know if it went back in the oven. I just ate my salad.

“I just ate my salad.” Good practice for the Mars colony, I suppose, with a little technology transfer…

Class Warfare

“Ocasio-Cortez is right: Rich must pay more to help close America’s wealth and income gaps” [USA Today]. “What has been lost in the dust-up is that the wealthy pay relatively little in taxes compared with their peers in other developed countries, and the congresswoman is correct that they will need to pay more if we are going to continue to provide the quality public services, infrastructure, health care and economic equity all Americans truly deserve.” • Hard to imagine this appearing in USA Today even two or three years ago.


“Union Membership Hits Historic Low As Wage Gap Looms” [Safe Haven]. “Membership in labor unions fell to just 10.5 percent last year to arrive at a figure that is the lowest since 1983, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started tracking it for the first time…. The public has had an increasingly positive view of labor unions in recent years. A 2018 Gallup poll showed that 62 percent of Americans approve of labor unions today, a 15-year high.”

“The risk of thinking of your job as a higher calling” [Medium (Stephanie)]. “Good things can come from companies tapping into the common need for a higher calling—productivity levels go up and people feel better about themselves, the paper concludes. So leveraging this form of employee loyalty or pride—through rhetoric, for example—is not dodgy in and of itself, when the work holds authentic meaning, but it becomes fraught when the cause is manufactured or misleading. When that happens, and research has also found that employees easily detect such cases, employee trust and engagement is eroded and the staff becomes less committed.”

News of the Wired

“We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it” [NewScientist]. ” We may finally have found the long-elusive cause of Alzheimer’s disease: Porphyromonas gingivalis, the key bacteria in chronic gum disease. That’s bad, as gum disease affects around a third of all people. But the good news is that a drug that blocks the main toxins of P. gingivalis is entering major clinical trials this year, and research published today shows it might stop and even reverse Alzheimer’s. There could even be a vaccine.” • Big if true (though I’m not sure I like the flavor of product placement). Perhaps readers can comment on the methodology?

“The cult of rotary mixers” [Resident Advisor]. “If you’re a DJ who likes to scratch or mix lots of records quickly, a rotary mixer is probably not for you. Yet rotaries have amassed a cult following…. And yet, rotaries do not necessarily equate to great sound. Using a knob to control sound is not intrinsically a good thing. But vintage models hold a legendary space in DJ culture. Nowadays, newer rotary mixers, such as the ARS MODEL 6700, are among the best-sounding on the market.” • Well, I thought this article was going to be about rotary cement mixers, and I was wondering whether anybody had recently driven one through the doors of some finance ministry.

But no!

* * *

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 (petal):

Petal writes: “Taken this morning in NH.” I can almost hear the snow ticking against my parka!

* * *

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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. Oregoncharles

      Yes, it certainly does. Baking soda is excellent for getting tea stain off of pottery, so it should work on your teeth too, but it tastes so nasty I’ve never used it for long enough to find out. YMMV. It shouldn’t mess with the microbiome the way bleach would.

      I’ll have to check out that theory on Alzheimer’s, but it just seems so unlikely – and too easy, though gum disease isn’t easy to control..

      1. Xihuitl

        I’ve been brushing my teeth with baking soda for years. Tastes salty. Works great. Use if for washing my hair also. (Make a paste.) Basically I use baking soda or vinegar (cider or white) for cleansing almost everything.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My tea teacher is like 95 or there about, and I remember one day she told us to drink like 6 or 8 bowls of ocha, or green tea a day, and we’d be like healthy like her.

      Googling just now, I find there are articles discussing 6 to 8 cups of tea a day. Readers are welcome to check them out.

      PS – what we tea ceremony practitioneers drink is match tea – tea power whisked with hot water. So, the imbiber also takes in whatever good stuff in the organic green tea leaves themselves.

    3. XXYY

      What about just brushing your teeth and going to the dentist regularly? Do we need an expensive new drug with unknown side effects?

      Gum disease is not normal or inevitable.

      1. jrs

        you need to brush on your gums where the gums meet the teeth, or so the dentist hygienist told me,not just the teeth.

      2. Eureka Springs

        For some it is inevitable. Gum disease can be inherited. By my mid thirties my dentist who had worked on several generations of my family told me time was limited. I had my first cavity a few years later and by my mid forties chose to go full denture rather than live with gum disease or submit to multiple very expensive surgeries which would likely give me an extra ten years at best. I remember asking those in the denture clinic about how unusual it must be to work on someone my age. They all laughed out loud while rolling their eyes.

        1. kareninca

          “I remember asking those in the denture clinic about how unusual it must be to work on someone my age.”

          I can empathize. The periodontist looked in my mouth, and then asked me, “Is there longevity in your family?” Not really an agreeable question.

          I’m having the expensive surgeries. My problem is due to the structure of my gums (which I inherited, obviously), so the surgeries may help a bit.

          People who think it is strictly a matter of good hygiene are clueless; genes can make a big difference.

      3. Annieb

        Prevent gum disease by doing all four of these
        1. Eat Whole Foods
        2. Water Pik
        3. Floss
        4. Brush

        And to remove stains, try oil pulling. Look it up. It works.


        1. kareninca

          I did all of those things. However, they did not work. It turns out that my gums cover my teeth in a way that prevents proper cleaning. No amount of effort on my part can affect that, and that includes oil pulling. So I am having gum surgeries to fix this.

          It is almost too late; I’ve already lost a lot of bone (and so will probably lose teeth anyway) since it took so long for the periodontist to figure out what the problem was (it was actually his 78 y.o. hygienist who told him, and he has enough self-esteem to listen to her). But people who can’t afford gum surgeries are out of luck.

    4. ewmayer

      Nothing to do with preventing one-thing-or-another, but my favorite evening decoction for many years has been:

      In large pot, slow-simmer a mixture of green tea and mulling spices (I use a roughly 2:1 ratio), once cool, add splash of red wine according to taste. Can be served hot, warm or cold depending on weather and preference of imbiber. I usually make 2 gallons at a time and store the excess in a large jug in the fridge.

      (Aside: I get a great price on 1kg boxes of Chinese gunpowder green tea at a local shop. The name refers to the pelletization … in days of yore gunpowder for cannons was similarly in form of peppercorn-sized pellets stored in large wooden barrels).

    5. Mojo

      Having read “The End of Alzheimer’s”, I’m firmly convinced that there are multiple (36+) “causes” of Alzheimer’s. The pathway from the mouth to the brain is certainly one way for pathogens to enter the brain, but that’s just one.

  1. Geo

    publishing the prices of procedures and disclosing drug list prices are exactly the kind of “transparency” tweaks liberal Democrats love, because they enourage “smart shopping.” So there’s at least some hilarity here.

    Smart shopping:
    “Hello, I seem to be having either gastrointestinal pains, an appendicitis, or possibly kidney failure. I’m not sure exactly since I’m not a doctor but looked up my symptoms in WebMD. So, I’m shopping around at different hospitals to find the best prices… oh, wait, I think my insides just erupted…”

  2. Henry Moon Pie

    Re: Goat eaters

    Billionaires are weird, huh?

    My own goat story:

    Back in the late 70s, my spouse and I were living in an old adobe in the Sangre de Cristos next door to a family that consisted of husband, wife and adult daughter. They raised sheep and goats. We would often see the daughter sharing a cigarette with an old buck she called “Larry.” Larry was also quite skilled at climbing trees.

    These folks were among the best neighbors we’ve ever had, and they were always sharing things with us. One day, the daughter brought over something freshly slaughtered and wrapped in butcher paper. It was even labeled. “Larry.”

    1. crittermom

      I was once given a young goat that was named Dinner, as that’s what he was intended for.

      I took him as a companion to my lone horse at the time, & renamed him Dusty.

      Those same people tried to give me a piglet later (even with a bow around its neck) but I refused it.
      I knew I would never slaughter it & didn’t need a 300# pet pig in the future, either.

      I was also offered a young bison at a later date for a good price, but same story.

      Although I lived among ranchers for a couple decades & enjoyed filming them, I knew I would never make a good one.

      1. Wukchumni

        Goats are typically raised here to unintentionally be tucker for mountain lions, here’s my favorite local tale from last year:

        About five to six miles up the South Fork, residents have reported losing several cats and three goats to a mountain lion. A chicken coop was also plundered.

        One South Fork resident reportedly fired a shot recently at a mountain lion while it was carrying off the hindquarter of one of her cats. The mountain lion stopped, gave the shooter a defiant look, then disappeared into the brush.


    2. Quentin

      Goat is delicious, of course if properly prepared. Check out the recipes on You Tube, for instance.

      1. polecat

        There was a mexican restaurant in Sacramento that was in business back in the 80’s called El Chorro, across the street from the Sacramento Bee, that had listed goat taco’s on the menu. As I recall, they were pretty tasty .. That was one of my all-time favorite dives !! … and was always packed with customers.

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      My next door neighbor at LSU had a pet goat named Dixie. I remember how tough the goat felt. Like it could def hurt me. Lol

    4. Preferences

      David Cameron ex-Prime Minister of the UK would disagree. He prefers pigs. Hea REALLY prefers pigs.

  3. ambrit

    Rotary cement mixers!? Those are for “effete practitioners of transactional construction!”
    I remember using a shovel to mix cement up in a big trough when helping Dad build something. And by mix, I mean sand, concrete, lime, and gravel.
    The purpose of lime in the mix: https://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-much-lime-should-i-add-to-a-concrete-mix
    The new Portland cement method: https://images.homedepot-static.com/catalog/pdfImages/2c/2cd086ef-e650-44c8-a0d1-f5fc3ce4418b.pdf
    (We also lived in a factory seconds Tesseract Terrace multinit. In a closet.)
    As for driving a cement mixer through a front door. That size mixer is of the size to be towed off of the job until the overdue paychecks come in.

    1. tegnost

      I just finished a mortared cordwood shed. I t had a interesting mix 9 sand 6 soaked sawdust 3 portland and 3 lime. I was pretty skeptical at first but by the end I liked it a lot (the mortar i mean, not so sure about the firewood thing, that’s going to be a wait and see, mold is an issue here and most straw bale homes in the pnw struggle with that, and as I was selecting wood I threw away a lot of moldy pieces…cob is really the best option and incorporates the sawdust in the mix among other things). I had to mix by hand because the soaked sawdust held variable amounts of water and it was too easy to over water. It was kind of epoxy like in that when it kicked the consistency changed into creamy perfect mortar, and the wet sawdust gave it about 4 hours of work time, granted it was 50 degrees but I iiked that work time. The wet (course) sawdust also is said to add water to the mortar during curing and reduces shrinkage. The high volume of lime is to lighten the color, but some people use it instead of portland since portland has a high carbon footprint, but much more complicated to work with, slaking and all.

      1. ambrit

        Moisture is a significant factor in building here in the Lower North American Deep South as well. I have seen medium sized slabs covered by wet burlap and other water holding materials during simmer to slow down the curing time. (I misspelled ‘summer’ in the previous sentence. However, the typo is so appropriate for the Southern summer weather that I’ll keep it.)
        I’ll testify to the deleterious effects of over watering cement mixes.
        Do you ‘seal’ the surfaces of your wood? I’ve helped spray seal the logs in a log cabin house in Louisiana. The mix was toxic, it had copper napthenate in it and I had to wear a respirator while spraying it on.

        1. tegnost

          they say you’re not supposed to seal the ends, but seal wherever the mortar touches so the mortar doesn’t get sucked into the wood creating weakness and a crack between wood and mortar, but it’s just against s.o.p. to expose the end grain…cheap material though. That mix is for filling in post and beam, not load bearing

  4. Daryl

    RE: Pelosi. Compare LBJ:

    “It is important that the United States remain a two-party system. I’m a fellow who likes small parties and the Republican Party can’t be too small to suit me.”

    1. JohnnyGL

      You see, I read it differently. I think she’s just calling for regime change in the Republican Party.

      1. tegnost

        I think she’s just going full feudalism and trying to unite the professional class in one party over us rubes, but it’s kind of dumb because there are a lot more of us. Basically now 1/3 of each party rule over the lesser 2/3 of each which is slipping in effectiveness so she wants to join forces. She should go and be the better republican that she wants to be and we’ll find someone who wants to be a democrat for her seat and position.

        1. polecat

          Yeah .. that’s my thinking as well. There really very few differences between the edges of the bruising Purple Party ….
          To root for one or the other is to miss the Game !

        1. integer

          The D party has voted down a bill that would allow federal workers to be paid during the shutdown twice, all the while shedding crocodile tears over the plight of the workers, or hostages, as they now refer to them. This isn’t about a border wall, the only thing they care about is making Trump look bad in front of his base.

          1. notabanker

            I’m not going to defend anyone involved in this clown show. But if I was Emperor for a day, I’d sentence McConnell and Trump to life in Alcatraz for treason and hand out free tickets and ferry rides to every furloughed Federal worker.

          2. marym

            It was a bill to pay only those forced to work, not all the workers.


            Steven Dennis @StevenTDennis
            Ron Johnson now offering to pay all of essential workers says he disagrees with shutdown strategy though he voted against opening the government for 2 weeks. Schumer insists on paying everyone and reopening the government through Feb. 28.
            Ron Johnson refuses.
            Shutdown continues.


            1. integer

              The following articles appear to suggests otherwise:

              House rejects GOP measure to pay workers but not open government The Hill (01/17/19)

              The House rejected a GOP measure to pay furloughed workers but keep the government closed in a 222-195 vote.

              Six Democrats voted for the GOP measure, offered as an alternative to a Democratic bill to reopen the government.

              10 Democrats break with leaders, support GOP bill to pay workers during the shutdown Washington Examiner (1/23/19)

              Ten House Democrats voted with Republicans in favor of a motion to scrap a Democratic bill to fully fund the government and instead make sure federal workers are paid as the shutdown continues.

              Democratic leaders decided to call up a bill Wednesday to fund the entire government. But just before the final vote, Republicans made a motion to erase that bill and instead vote on a measure to ensure federal workers are paid.

              The GOP motion failed 200-215, and these sorts of last-minute motions fail every time.

              But winning more than 10 votes from the other side of the aisle could be a sign that Democrats are increasingly looking for a way out of the shutdown, which is hurting federal workers with each passing week.

              I’m not sure. Perhaps someone here who knows the details can conclusively resolve this?

                1. integer

                  Fair enough, however voting in favor of paying 420k out of the 800k furloughed workers seems like something the D party would do if they were truly concerned about the situation. Even better, the D party could just introduce their own bill to pay all federal workers immediately without any strings attached. Like I said, crocodile tears.

                  1. marym

                    The Democrats have been introducing bills to pay all the workers. These bills would also re-open the government, which Republicans now prefer not to do.

                    Voting for any of the Dem bills that would re-open the government would be something Johnson would do if he were truly concerned about the situation, rather than about prolonging the shutdown, selectively supporting or harming segments of the workforce, and contributing to dismantling parts of the government Republicans don’t care about.

                    Motives of the Dems are questionable on almost every issue almost all the time, but responding to hostage-taking isn’t a path to any kind of governance.

    2. flora

      re: Pelosi


      Most of the Republicans I know would find more honor in being a dying lion than in being a young jackal. Not to imply that the current dem estab is made up of scavengers.

  5. NotTimothyGeithner

    Joe Biden is making a strong pitch for that one guy who kind of knows Michael Bloomberg in New Hampshire.

    1. Jen

      Thus supporting my wager that, should he run, Mr. Bloomberg will receive fewer votes than Vermin Supreme.

    1. Geo

      Someone who thinks that because they are often used by someone that means they are liked by them is the definition of a tool. Biden is a very useful tool that thinks his Republican colleagues like him.

  6. allan

    More NLRB news: University of Chicago Appeals Recognition of Library Union to 7th Circuit [Maroon]

    In early December, the NLRB issued a final ruling in favor of the Student Library Employees Union (SLEU). On December 18, the University of Chicago asked the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to review that decision.

    In its ruling, the NLRB had dismissed all remaining objections to the certification of SLEU, which is affiliated with the Teamsters Union and hopes to represent student workers in libraries on campus. This meant the University had exhausted its legal options within the NLRB review process. …

    SLEU condemned the appeal, arguing it was only a way to delay the inevitable start of bargaining. …

    Most NLRB cases are not appealed to the courts, which makes it difficult to tell what the outcome of the process will be. According to William Herbert, a distinguished lecturer at Hunter College and an expert on labor law, the courts usually defer to the NLRB but can be persuaded otherwise. …

    In completely unrelated news, UC’s president is hanging this week at Davos and a prominent member
    of the Board of Trustees drops $238 million on a pad in NYC:

    … A hedgefunder has just bought the most expensive home in US history — a $238 million four-story condo on Central Park South in a building dubbed the billionaires’ bunker.”

    Ken Griffin is a globe-trotting house collector who also owns a $58.75 million condo in Chicago; a $60 million penthouse at Faena House in Miami; $250 million worth of land to build a Palm Beach compound and a $122 million London mansion. …

    1. ambrit

      This cat obviously doesn’t believe in global warming. All the mentioned places, except for Chicago, are in primary global sea level rise ‘impact zones.’
      The analogy between now and pre-revolutionary France gets more appropriate every day. These hedgies and associated ilkers are filling the function of “Clueless Aristocrats” in the modern world.

        1. allan

          Just noticed that the NYC place is 24,000 ft^2, so the price comes out to $10,000/ft^2.
          Seems like an even better argument for a wealth tax than Paris Hilton is for an estate tax.

  7. Mark Gisleson

    I disagree strongly about campaign unions even though I’ve met some of the members of Randy Bryce’s (first in the nation?) campaign staff. In my not very humble opinion, they organized because they saw out of state pros raising tons of money much of which stuck to the fundraisers’ fingers. In real time I complained on social media that the pros running Bryce’s campaign had him running on national issues that helped with fundraising but would kill him in the general election.

    So a union was formed to give the campaign workers a cut of what we could call grift if someone we didn’t like did it. Organizing campaign workers also assumes a hostile relationship with the employer who, in this case, was not the candidate (does that still happen?). Bryce’s workers did in fact need a union.

    That should never happen. Staff and leadership should work as a team. Sacrifice should be expected (rewards should come later, when you’re recuperating). And well paid staff will result in a further freezing out of volunteers. Try to volunteer for a campaign sometime. Good luck getting something to do besides making phone calls.

    In the past, well run campaigns made better people out of their staff, encouraged meaningful participation by volunteers and by doing so earned the respect of the rest of the party and their community while growing positive feelings about their candidate. And the people who ran those campaigns had a half-life because you can only run a couple of big campaigns before you have to take time off. When I see old campaign hands being brought in, I see the people who never gave it their all and never risked burnout.

    Dismiss my thinking as antediluvian, but back in the day when Democrats were Democrats, we used to win elections that mattered. Now not so much. But mostly, some things are more important than getting paid and back when I had a Rolodex it was filled with names of activists who would always be there for the party and who never expected anything for it other than better elected officials. The party no longer has time for this kind of freebie labor, not when connected people need to get paid. Unionizing the help will just lock in the grift, in my opinion.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Good luck getting something to do besides making phone calls.

      What exactly would you do as a campaign volunteer? You could go in after call time time and help with data entry or cleaning the office. Those aren’t done during operational hours. Everything else has to be done by a reliable person not someone who can simply blow it off, and if all you want to do is wave signs in a safe neighborhood, go home. All you really do is distract useful volunteers. If you want to set up your own little activity, knock yourself out.

      Campaign field staffers aren’t babysitters either. They are probably there because they are insane, but they have little time to themselves and they don’t need to waste it on someone who wants to talk about the news.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Volunteers aren’t “reliable people”?

        The wheels have completely fallen off the bandwagon. Simply because you do not understand how to RECRUIT and USE volunteers doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be done.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          No, they aren’t. Volunteers have things like kids soccer practice or jobs, hence they aren’t reliable.

          I’m asking for your suggestion because you seem to think campaigns need some kind of activity beyond voter out reach. I offered up data entry and cleaning the campaign offices, but those are after 9pm activities.

          Campaigns don’t want to organize sign waving activities because everyone will want to go, and what they won’t be doing is something constructive. If you want to make a sign, have at it. Again the field staff isn’t there to host a debate or supper club. They are there to make sure people have their registration up to date, find people who need rides, and largely prepare for GOTV operations.

          Offer up your idea for a volunteer activity that campaigns refuse to offer volunteer opportunities. Don’t keep it a secret.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            All such activities should dovetail with the local community’s issues, existing grassroots organizing, awareness of staff deficiencies and an opportunistic eye for usable talent.

            No two districts or campaigns are exactly alike, all have different talent pools to draw on.

            I can’t help but think that any generic advice I’d give you would sound patronizing. It’s basic stuff (RESPECT EVERYONE, NO ONE IS WASTING YOUR TIME, EVERYONE SHOULD LEAVE FEELING GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES). At the very least, learn to say: “I’m sorry but we’re still gearing up and we’re not ready to put you to good use yet, but please leave all your contact information.” And then that database NEVER gets touched by the fundraisers.

            If you cite a specific place to me, I can be more specific but the number one rule of getting votes is to target the actual voters. National ads do not do that, period. They can only work a specific audience but in so doing almost always reinforce resistance from others who disagree but might still vote Democratic if exposed to the right local issues that D’s are good on.

            Mark dot Gisleson at the google mail address that (like their search function) is getting crappier. email me about districts you know and I’d be glad to help strategize.

            Soccer practice? Quite honestly, most of the best volunteers are singles or people in mature relationships (empty nesters are great). Volunteers with serious constraints on their time go on a different list. And volunteers with time and skills should be shamelessly exploited.

            The best part about volunteers? You can almost always recruit a quality volunteer to manage the other volunteers.

  8. Oregoncharles

    Several items trigger my contrarian impulses, so this may be a longish comment. One of them, Pelosi’s remark:
    “”To the Republicans in the crowd, I say: Take back your party,” ”
    To Be Fair, this reflects the way legislation is supposed to work, especially in our vaunted “2-Party System.” That is, as a negotiation between two (or conceivably more) sides that represent somewhat different principles or theories of government. We see it as revealing precisely because we don’t think they’re all that opposing. And to be fair to the Republicans, Trump did win the election, after a fashion, so supporting him makes political sense.

    Then there’s: ““Campaign workers demand minimum wage, progressive culture from 2020 Dems” ”
    This comes under “be careful what you wish for,” because while it appeals to fairness, it reflects a drastic change in the nature of campaigns. The premise has been that campaign workers were essentially politically-motivated volunteers being paid just enough so they could work at it full time. That visualized a campaign as a citizens’ movement, and a very temporary one. Professionalizing campaign workers, as here visualized, means that campaigns are a business, not a movement. It also tends to make them permanent. That is realistic, but not exactly a positive development. It legitimizes the dominance of money.

    Of course, my reaction to the second one reflects experience with a party that rarely can afford to pay people at all.

    1. XXYY

      Professionalizing campaign workers, as here visualized, means that campaigns are a business, not a movement. It also tends to make them permanent.

      In essence, a labor union wants a contract that states the conditions under which the work will be performed, requires negotiations to change the contract, and provides remedies if one side breaches the contract. That’s it! Write down the rules, and then follow the rules unless we both agree to change them.

      This is an extremely reasonable arrangement, except to those people who are used to having all the power and making all the decisions unilaterally. To hear all the bitching and moaning from certain people about the dread prospect of labor unions, you would think there would be fingernail extraction and waterboarding involved, not just making and agreement and holding to it.

      It’s not that tough.

  9. Olga

    Just fyi: Lilly Adams is the grand-daughter of Ann Richards (former TX gov, who – unfortunately – lost to shrub (who she – unfortunately – under-estimated, as we all did)). I wonder what Ann R. – who was the “real deal” would say to all this.

  10. prodigalson

    I’m not even sure where to start with the bucket of depression outlined above. My vote goes for Zuck and the goat though.

    This guy DEEPLY terrifies me, I think people don’t consider how much of a threat the Zuck is. All the stories other celebrities share about Zuck are exactly on this same theme. He seems to be “American Psycho” material. It’s always some variation of him wanting to hurt people or things for fun or to establish power and dominion over them. He reminds me of the rich serial killer character in the movie version of “the girl with the dragon tattoo.”

    He’s exhibit A for why billionaires need to be taxed back down into normalcy, or at least reach of the law.

    I fear we haven’t heard the last of Ol Zucks ambitions, he seriously worries me more than even people like Bezos.

    1. Joey

      Agreed. He totally must’ve wanted to see if his guest would eat raw goat, as even a techie millennial would recognize cold meat isn’t cooked. A non-sociopath would have quickly pan-braised. Joe dropout would have at least microwaved. But a sociopath would set the lion snack down and behold his powers over other.

      1. Joey

        Correction: he could have been drunk, or tried roasting for the first time and underestimated the difference between surface and internal temperatures, or read that overcooked goat is ruined….

        I only agree it’s terrifying, while acknowledging my inability to see into the hearts of strangers. (Working on my internal consistency).

        But you wonder WTF. Seriously? Cold goat?

    1. polecat

      Smart Congreii … and almost all of them,to a man, womex, or they … in their various capacities, wish to sit on the Irony Throne !

  11. Summer

    Shipping: “Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s factory is learning how to fix itself. The world’s largest beer maker is using wireless sensors to predict when motors at its Fort Collins, Colo. brewery might malfunction…”

    They can do a lot it seems…except enjoy a cold beer.

  12. nippersmom

    RE: the Chanel clip
    1. I haven’t seen that much blue eyeshadow in one place since the seventies
    2. that last outfit looked like a costume from the Ice Capades

  13. Summer

    Mark Elliott @markmobility

    Billionaire @MichaelDell on @AOC’s 70% marginal tax rate on millionaires:
    “Name a country where that’s worked — ever.”
    Co-panelist and MIT professor Erik Brynjolfsson: “The United States!”#Davos2019 https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/01/23/billionaires-davos-hate-alexandra-ocasio-cortezs-percent-tax-rich/?utm_term=.cc24715dab28

    Here’s the thing…is the guy that said “name a country…” that stupid or do they just go around doing checks to see how stupid they can keep other people?

    1. RUKidding

      It seems to me that the insanely greedheaded super mega rich end up being completely out of touch with what the reality is for the rest of schlubs trying to eek out a living. In other words, they’ve drunk their own Kool Aid, and they don’t want to let go of their most cherished of fantasies about the perfidy of taxes.

      So yes, in a sense they are just that stupid, imo.

    2. notabanker

      I met Dell briefly, and worked directly with some of his direct reports, way back when they were the new kid on the block taking on IBM and Compaq. Big corps were very slow to adopt their PC’s as they were viewed as inferior consumer machines. They still had the gritty garage business personas and hadn’t forgotten where they came from. They were genuinely PO’s and frustrated that the likes of IBM could use politics to win contracts. Years later they became the beacon for not just pc but tech manufacturing best practice and Dell’s tech celebrity became Jobs-like. Since then he’s been courted by every global tech and fin services firm imaginable, the people he originally surrounded himself with are gone enjoying incredible wealth and he jets around with the global elite.

      I was actually surprised when I first saw this quote, but after thinking about it for a couple of minutes, not so much. After decades of people blowing smoke up your behind, I guess you start to believe it. It’s a shame really, because those original folks I met back then couldn’t stand what Dell has now become.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Name a country where it worked? How about the United States until 1980 when Reagan got in and reduced it to 50%. As the rate kept on dropping, the wheels for America started to drop off. I bet that even a Reagan 50% tax rate on everything over $200,000 earned would be acceptable to the bulk majority of Americans now.

      1. polecat

        You know, in a different part of the multiverse, the commandos and special forces would be going after the havoc-wrecking greedy oligarchic bastards and bastardetts … instead of incensed, frustrated, intruded upon foreign folk .. but we don’t reside in that universe, unfortunately.

    4. Nakatomi Plaza

      But what if Dell really didn’t know that tax rates were at 70% just fifty years ago? I’d almost prefer to think he’s lying to make his argument because if Dell – a non-elected billionaire in a position to shape policy that will effect the entire country – doesn’t know some basic details about our recent economic history, how stupid must he be? Certainly too stupid to contribute to any serious conversation about tax policy. Yet he’s on a panel discussing an issue he barely understands?

      1. notabanker

        Dell is definitely not stupid, but he probably prepped for the panel by reading a brief that was put together by at least dozen people with specific expertise and then consolidated down by some key advisors into relevant points / blocks. I’ve worked on these types of briefs and it always goes through layers of filtering. Sometimes the important stuff makes it in, sometimes it gets cut. And then you never know if they are going to read the whole thing, just stick to the PR talking points or go completely off the ranch. I know of CEO execs that meticulously rehearsed exactly what they are going to say and heavily coached on exactly how to respond to questions and I’ve also seen them go completely off point and wing it. Sometimes that works, sometimes not.

        In this case, I would bet he shot from the hip and a PR advisor lost it when he did. Keep in mind, these people are coached up, often for ulterior motives that have nothing to do with the particular topic at hand, or are asked to give a view on a topic not because the are experts, but for their perspective in their businesses. Like they are asked to give a view on Chinese foreign policy and their answer is not based on good policy but on a specific contract or relationship they are trying to build in China, as an example.

    5. Jen

      “Name a country where that’s worked — ever.”

      The real question is, for whom? Dell probably wouldn’t be a billionaire (cue world’s smallest violin playing my heart bleeds for you), but for the 99.9999999999999999999999999% who aren’t and won’t ever be?

      That would work. Totally.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      People tossing ‘softball’ charges underhanded like that are really making Putin seem better than he really is.

      Are these tossers working for Putin?

    2. John

      Seems more and more obvious. Trump is always kissing Putin’s behind. What would make the boss happier than tearing down the US government from within?

  14. The Rev Kev

    Nancy Pelosi: “To the Republicans in the crowd, I say: Take back your party”
    In further news, Pelosi no longer accepts Trump as President and talks directly with Mike Pence as her nominated President instead.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Well, there’s gratitude for you. After he gave her such a nice reference to be Speaker and everything. Some people just have no manners at all.

  15. allan

    Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Part Two: The Case of the Dental Hygiene Hijinks

    Jared Chausow @jchausow

    A 53 year-old homeless man was arrested after trying and failing to use a counterfeit $20 bill to buy toothpaste and food. @ManhattanDA prosecuted him, a jury convicted, and he was sentenced to 4-8 years in prison. Ct. of Appeals just reduced it to 3-6.

    Goldman outside counsel Cy Vance proving once again that no crime is too big to not be prosecuted
    and no crime (or not) is too small not to be prosecuted. Manhattan, you elected him, he’s yours.

  16. Scoaliera


    The Maduro government has waged a violent crackdown on Venezuelan civil society, violated the constitution by dissolving the National Assembly and was re-elected last year in an election many observers said was fraudulent. The economy is a disaster and millions are migrating. 1/3

    The United States should support the rule of law, fair elections and self-determination for the Venezuelan people. We must condemn the use of violence against unarmed protesters and the suppression of dissent. 2/3

    But we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups—as we have in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil & the DR. The US has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American nations; we must not go down that road again. 3/3


    1. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for that link. And now we know what a Sanders Presidency would have looked like. Just like all the others. Either he has no clue about all the US’s attacks on Venezuela (at age 77) or else he is “saving his powder” along with all the other Democrats by going along with Trump. Because that always works. Tough luck if you are a Venezuelan peon though.

    2. Richard

      Condemning without really condemning. “The US has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin America, we must not go down that road again”
      Why? What exactly, in fullness, is our disagreement with imperialism? That’s what’s missing from that statement. And it is missing for a very good reason, Sanders is not really an anti-imperialist. Maybe it seems impossible for any national politician to actually take such a position right now, but it would be the forward thinking thing to do. As a nation we are avoiding this conversation, probably because the only reasonable conclusion you can draw is that our foreign policy is fundamentally evil. But that idea meets resistance everywhere in usa, not just the corridors of power. Maybe Sanders is right to soft pedal a little, if that is what he’s doing. But we sure could use a leader that can speak about imperialism more candidly.

    3. ChrisPacific

      You’d think he would have figured out by now that ‘fair elections’ are the ones producing a result acceptable to the USA. If that’s true then even the election part is optional (see: Saudi Arabia).

      And the constitutionality of the dissolution of the National Assembly was addressed at length in a comment on the other post.

    4. Unna

      Thanks for this. If I’m permitted I’ll repost a comment I made today under “Fears of US backed Coup”. “Tweets” from two politicians who have the moral integrity to say the truth about this, one Canadian and one American:

      ***Here’s the statement of Niki Ashton, MP NDP who ran for leader last time, but, I think is still a bit young for the job. But maybe in due time. She certainly knows how to take a position:

      “PM Trudeau sides with Trump’s regime change agenda and Brazil’s fascist President in support of someone calling for a military coup in Venezuela. No! We cannot support an agenda of economic or military coups. #HandsOffVenezuela” https://twitter.com/nikiashton/status/1088303987248562176

      Or, say, this other political leader, Tulsi Gabbard, from a different country:

      “The United States needs to stay out of Venezuela. Let the Venezuelan people determine their future. We don’t want other countries to choose our leaders–so we have to stop trying to choose theirs.” https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1088531713649713153 ***

      So let’s see what else Bernie does. And where’s Liz Warren? As they say, so clarifying.

    5. Unna


      “Where Are Democratic 2020 Hopefuls on the Trump-Backed Coup Attempt in Venezuela? Of the major Democrats or progressives who have declared–or are expected to–only Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders have made statements. We will update the story if others speak out.”

      And: “On Thursday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called recognizing Guaido, “an appropriate step.” ” So Schiff’s an American Empire Loyalist along with the rest of them? Shocking….

      It’s interesting that Turkey and Mexico oppose the coup attempt.

    6. Unna

      So Jagmeet Singh, party leader of Canada’s Federal NDP, finally got his mind right and denounced Trudeau and his support of Trump’s coup attempt in Venezuela:

      “‘Canada should not simply follow the U.S.’s foreign policy, particularly given its history of self-interested interference in the region,’ Singh said in a statement. ‘The question of who is to lead Venezuela should be in the hands of Venezuelans. All countries should be free to make their own democratic decisions through free and fair elections, independent of authoritative pressure or foreign interference.’ ” https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/singh-ndp-liberals-venezuela-1.4991913

      The article notes that this was only after Niki Ashton and other NDP MPs had denounced Trudeau/Freeland/Trump’s coup recognition in unequivocal language. Also, a Globe and Mail article reported that Freeland had been in contact with Guaido over two weeks before he declared himself president. So this coup has been planned for awhile now with Canada a full participant. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-freeland-spoke-to-venezuelan-opposition-leader-two-weeks-before-he/

  17. Lunker Walleye

    Apparel 1

    For several years I’ve fantasized about a similar technology for interior walls. Start with white walls and project different colors or patterns in exchange for paint and wallpaper. One would have to work out details to preserve furniture, upholstery, art and accessory hues. No doubt someone is working on this concept. This is not to denigrate painters. I admire the work they do and wish I had their skills.

    1. Alfred

      The late C. Ray Smith implemented this idea in the 1960s He published examples in his book, Supermannerism.

      1. Lunker Walleye

        Better be careful of what I wish for! Haven’t read that but now it is on the winter reading list.

  18. Musicismath

    FWIW, there’s now an update at the bottom of the New Statesman Deliveroo story that suggests that, whatever the company’s shortcomings are in this respect, they don’t amount to a breach of GDPR. Deliveroo are denying that their customer data has been breached.

  19. Ignacio

    Spain is pushing the EU for a common position supporting Guaidó in Venezuela and against Maduro. The spanish right is salivating. PSOE had strong links before with presidents like Carlos Andrez Perez and never liked Chavism. Everybody forgets that those governments were extremely corrupt as almost certainly will be the next (whoever is next president in Venezuela). Venezuela is an extreme case of the Dutch Disease.

    Sanders correctly said that US should not intervene in regime change as it has been previously done (Chile, Guatemala, Brazil…)

  20. AusGunner

    Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting to see an RA article on NC, let alone one about rotary mixers. Incidentally the best club in my hometown in Australia has a rotary mixer which has a minor cult following and often gets touring djs excited when they come to play a set.

Comments are closed.