2:00PM Water Cooler 2/1/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


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


Booker (1): “Cory Booker to head to Iowa soon after his presidential announcement” [Des Moines Register]. “Booker has been finalizing his Iowa leadership team, assembling a group of high-profile staffers that includes former Iowa House Democrats’ Caucus Director Mike Frosolone; former NextGen America Iowa State Director Haley Hager; Martin O’Malley’s 2016 Iowa Caucus Director Joe O’Hern and Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director Tess Seger.”

Booker (2):

I’m sure Booker would have announced on MLK Day if Harris hadn’t cut him out, given the Civil Rights-era imagery. Although today is the first day of Black History Month.

Booker (3):

“Conversations.” Centrist mush. (Indivisible does not and never has supported #MedicareForAll, despite organizing to “save” ObamaCare.)

Booker (4), then:

Booker (5), now:

Booker (6):

Booker (7): “Corey Booker: The Second Coming of Obama” [Black Agenda Report]. From 2012, still germane: “Now that Barack Obama is a lame duck who can’t run for the top office anymore, it’s as good a time as any to speculate on who will take his place as the Black politician that rich white folks feel they can truly trust. One name stands out: Cory Booker, the 43 year-old Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, whose rightwing background and connections are far deeper and more intensely ideological than Obama’s. Indeed, if there had been no Barack Obama, Cory Booker would have been Wall Street’s choice as the First Black President. “He’ll be our second,” said a New York hedge fund partner, quoted in a recent Bloomberg News article. The Lords of Capital love ‘Cory,’ and call him by his first name. That’s how he raised $7 million to win Newark’s City Hall for the second time, in 2010. He has since amassed more than $250 million from wealthy capitalists, including the founder of Facebook, mainly for the Newark public schools. They’re willing to pile all this cash on Booker’s plate because he is ideologically committed to the privatization of public education and to government that serves the rich.”

Booker (8): “A ‘lane for hope’? Democratic primary to test Booker’s message of optimism” [McClatchy]. “Love. Unity. ‘Courageous empathy.’ For years, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has preached the politics of inclusion and optimism…. ‘Especially given the history of Barack Obama in this state, there is definitely a lane for hope, for inspiration,’ said Norm Sterzenbach, former executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party. ‘And it’s a proven message that has worked with Iowa Democrats in the past.'” • Be that as it may, I finally figured out why I hate the “lane” metaphor so much: It reduces candidates to a single attribute. Horse-race analysts used constantly for candidates of the crowded Republican field in 2016, and will no doubt do the same in 2020, the moloch from the Future which has devoured 2019, because the quantum of stupid never decreases, it just moves around.

Klobuchar (SB):

Another liberal in love with tax breaks. Quite a lot of dunking in the responses: “I think we all agree that the problem with education is that children don’t have a good place to store the huge sums of money they’ve saved for it and end up speculating in volatile assets and risky real estate deals.”

Howard Schultz:

Mike Duncan did the (pertinent) History of Rome and (the even more pertinent) Revolutions podcasts. Not the guy you want expressing full-throated opposition.

Sanders: “In Vermont, Jackson and Dukakis Virtually Tie in Delegate Contests” [New York Times]. From 1988, still germane. Sanders supported Jackson, not Gore: “Lyman Hunt of Burlington, who took the podium to speak in support of Mr. Gore, said, ”I resent intruders who would undermine and destroy the Democratic Party.’ One voter, Helen Malloy, yelled from the back of the auditorium, ‘We want unity among ourselves, not with a group of outsiders.’ Several minutes later, she approached Mayor Sanders as he was returning to his seat after casting his vote and slapped him on the cheek. The Mayor, who at first appeared to think that the woman was about to greet him, looked stunned. ‘I don’t think that was very nice,” he told her.” • Never change, Democrats! Never change!


“Collins brings in most money of her career after Kavanaugh vote” [Bangor Daily News]. “After she delivered a pivotal vote that helped seat Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, Maine Sen. Susan Collins had the best fundraising quarter of her career, shattering her previous best with the help of a flood of out-of-state money.


A propos of nothing, I love the Closed Caption crawl: I can read what she said without turning up the sound and risking constant noise pollution from autoplay. But do note the commentary from Kelton and other MMT commentators.

Health Care

“Democratic Presidential Candidates Endorse New ‘Medicare For All’-Branded Cigna Insurance Plan For Only $400 Per Month” [The Onion (RH)]. • One of those Onion one-liners. Nevertheless…

“Wondering what’s going to be in the 2019 Medicare for All bill being prepared by Rep. Jayapal?” [PNHP, Facebook]. “The most contentious part of the bill might be that it does not ban for-profit entities from participating, removing HR 676’s call for a buyout of for-profit providers. This has been an important piece from a quality and cost perspective. At least from the cost side, I see HR 676’s buying out the for-profits as creating a dramatic increase in short-term transition costs in order to accomplish meaningful long-term cost reduction. From a quality perspective, I’m doubtful but hopeful that the bill will have language that somewhat mitigates this concern. Historically, that’s rarely been effective. So in sum, I have some substantive concerns, but this is a democracy and I’m ready to get behind this bill full throttle.” • So I am somewhat re-assured, but I still need to see the text.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Firm’s close ties to Georgia stir concerns about voting system purchase” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. “The latest moves fueled suspicions that cozy connections between lobbyists, Kemp and other elected officials will lead to ES&S winning a rich contract to sell its computerized voting products to the state government, even though 55 percent of Georgia voters said in a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this month that they prefer a cheaper system where paper ballots are filled in by voters. After Kemp faced allegations from his opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, that he used his position as Georgia’s secretary of state to run an unfair election for governor last year, he’s now being accused of tilting the procurement of voting machines toward ES&S, which is the state’s current election company.” • If Stacey Abrams were still in this fight, instead of swanning about the Beltway with Neera Tanden, she’d be in a position to make a name for herself by having actually accomplished something, by fighting and winning a critical battle for “our democracy.” (Note that HR1, oddly, or not, does not mandate hand-maked paper ballots, hand-counted in public.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, January 2019: “Very strong demand for labor is the key takeaway from what is a very noisy employment report for January” [Econoday]. “The standouts in the payroll data are construction and trade & transportation… Government payrolls, despite the shutdown, added 8,000 as furloughed workers, on the expectation that they would receive back pay, were categorized as employed in this part of the report…. Adding to the noise are annual benchmark revisions in today’s report which, all quirks aside, points unmistakably to unusually strong demand for labor and health for the economy.” And: “January 2019 BLS Jobs Situation – Much Higher Growth Than Predicted” [Econintersect]. “Notes the following from the BLS: ‘Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors. Also, household survey data for January 2019 reflect updated population estimates.'” And: “The graph shows the nominal year-over-year change in “Average Hourly Earnings” for all private employees. Nominal wage growth was at 3.2% YoY in January” [Calculated Risk]. “Wage growth has generally been trending up…. Some of the quirky aspects of the employment report were due to the government shutdown (rise in the unemployment rate, sharp rise in “Part Time for Economic Reasons” workers, and the sharp rise in U-6.) My guess is most of the rise in Part Time was related to private sector workers getting fewer hours due to the shutdown, however some of the increase might be related to government workers taking part time jobs to pay the bills (as a reminder, the establishment report is for jobs – and government employees on furlough taking part time jobs would be counted as having two jobs).” • The last (and other) time that Calculated Risk used “quirky” was in 2016, of median household income.

Institute For Supply Management Manufacturing Index, January 2019: “Both the manufacturing PMI and the ISM are telling the same story, that growth was solid in January and accelerated from what was a soft December” [Econoday]. “Small sample manufacturing reports have been mixed in recent months especially the regional reports some of which have moved into contraction. But today’s two reports, not to mention strength at mid-month from the Philly Fed’s report, are pointing to a solid 2019 start for the factory sector.” • Go figure.

Purchasing Managers’ Manufacturing Index, January 2019: “The manufacturing PMI finished January at the mid-month flash of 54.9, a reading consistent with a solid pace of growth and tangible acceleration from December” [Econoday].

Construction Spending, November 2019: Rose sharply [Econoday]. “The gains in this report underscore the surge in construction payrolls in this morning’s employment data, and though the residential sector is limping along non-residential building, especially on the public side, is solid.” But: “The rolling averages declined – and last month was significantly revised down. Also note that inflation is grabbing hold, and the inflation adjusted numbers are in contraction” [Econintersect].

Wholesale Trade, November 2018: “Inventories at wholesalers may be rising faster than desired” [Econoday]. “How strong year-end demand was is still uncertain given the shutdown-related delay for many indicators including December retail sales.”

Consumer Sentiment, January 2019 (Final): Up from mid-month but down steeply from December [Econoday]. “The drop in confidence readings has been the biggest negative in January’s of economic data. This points to a psychological impact from the shutdown though the shutdown’s actual impact on the economy, judging if nothing else than on this morning’s employment report, may prove minimal.” And: “Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin, makes the following comments: ‘Consumer sentiment remained at month-end at its lowest level since Trump was elected. The end of the shutdown caused only a modest boost in the Sentiment Index. The typical impact of such “crisis” events is short lived, with consumers quickly regaining lost confidence. That is unlikely to occur this time as the deadline for resolution has only been extended until mid February. If the standoff continues into late February, it could foster sustained declines in economic optimism among consumers'” [Econintersect].

Retail: “Amazon sales outlook falls short after record holiday quarter” [Reuters]. “Amazon.com Inc on Thursday forecast first-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates, warning that new regulations in India had created uncertainty around one of its key growth markets and saying it would step up investments in 2019.”

Retail: “Swatch Sees Weakening Demand in the Critical Chinese Market” [Bloomberg]. “Swatch Group AG fell the most in more than two years after Switzerland’s largest watchmaker reported market turbulence in China that contributed to a slowdown in the fourth quarter. The stock fell as much as 8.2 percent, the steepest decline since July 2016…. Swatch’s cheaper brands face increased competition from the Apple Watch, and the company is finding it needs to expand in e-commerce to lure more millennial shoppers.”

The Bezzle: “Criminals Are Tapping into the Phone Network Backbone to Empty Bank Accounts” [Vice]. “Sophisticated hackers have long exploited flaws in SS7, a protocol used by telecom companies to coordinate how they route texts and calls around the world…. This activity was typically only within reach of intelligence agencies or surveillance contractors, but now Motherboard has confirmed that this capability is much more widely available in the hands of financially-driven cybercriminal groups, who are using it to empty bank accounts…. The news highlights the gaping holes in the world’s telecommunications infrastructure that the telco industry has known about for years despite ongoing attacks from criminals. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the defensive arm of the UK’s signals intelligence agency GCHQ, confirmed that SS7 is being used to intercept codes used for banking…. ‘We are aware of a known telecommunications vulnerability being exploited to target bank accounts by intercepting SMS text messages used as 2-Factor Authentication (2FA),’ the NCSC told Motherboard in a statement.” • This didn’t happen when we had the far more “convenient’ idea of “bank branches.”

Tech: “The smartphones people in China are buying instead of the iPhone” [Abacus]. “[I]t’s been a bad time for almost everyone selling in China. People just aren’t buying as many smartphones as before. Last year’s third quarter saw a year-on-year decline in overall shipments, according to market research firm IDC. But if you look at the top five, Apple experienced the steepest drop. And contrary to the American market, Apple isn’t the dominant brand in China. Instead, it trails four domestic companies — most of which don’t sell in the US. Here’s a look at who they are.” • Vivo, Oppo, Huawei, Xiaomi.

Tech: “The 5G Famine Isn’t the Only Thing Worrying Nokia” [Bloomberg]. “Put the champagne back on ice. The telecommunications industry’s 5G bonanza has been delayed. Nokia Oyj said that spending on next-generation 5G equipment by mobile carriers will be ‘soft’ in the first half, and flat overall for 2019. Growth will return in 2020. The Europeans simply don’t see the demand yet. Augmented reality headsets and self-driving, web-connected cars aren’t going to become mass market products any time soon….. The story is slightly different in North America, Nokia’s biggest market. Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. see 5G as a competitive differentiator which will enable them to sustain the high prices they charge consumers.” • I’m sold!

Tech: “What Is 5G?” [PC Week]. “Verizon and AT&T both launched preliminary 5G services in late 2018, but neither is broadly available nor meaningful for much more than bragging rights… 5G brings three new aspects to the table: greater speed (to move more data), lower latency (to be more responsive), and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once (for sensors and smart devices)… 5G home internet is also much easier for carriers to roll out than house-by-house fiber optic lines. Rather than digging up every street, carriers just have to install fiber optics to a cell site every few blocks, and then give customers wireless modems.” • And then expose the smart devices to the Internet through the router….

Tech: “Sony’s profit disappoints as weaker games biz overshadows record result” [Reuters]. “Profit in the gaming business fell 14 percent as the popularity of exclusive titles such as “Marvel’s Spider-Man” failed to offset shrinking PS4 console sales…. ‘The gaming business, which has been Sony’s profit driver in the last couple of years, is set to peak out ahead of the launch of the next gaming console,’ said Ace Securities analyst Hideki Yasuda. ‘That’s inevitable due to product cycle.”

Honey fpr the Bears: “Factories Offer Mixed Omens for Global Growth as Year Begins” [Bloomberg]. “Stabilization of the global economy remained mixed at the start of 2019, with countries across Asia and Europe reporting further weakness in manufacturing as American factories showed signs of improvement…. It’s a shaky time for world commerce, with companies waiting to hear if the U.S. and China can find a resolution to their trade dispute and prevent an escalation of the tit-for-tat tariff battle of 2018. The International Monetary Fund cited trade as a major risk when it downgraded its forecast for the world economy in January.”

The Fed: “Fed Whiplash Leaves Traders Betting Next Policy Move Will Be Cut” [New York Times]. “A move to tighten policy in March was already seen as a long shot, but the Fed’s tone on Wednesday cast doubt on the prospects of any rate increase this year, after nine hikes since 2015.”

The Biosphere

Thanks, Obama:

“How Police Are Preparing for a Standoff Over Enbridge Line 3” [The Intercept]. “In 2017, Enbridge began construction on the tiny portion of Line 3 that cuts into Wisconsin. Local police reports describe two security firms, Raven Executive and Security Services and Securitas, keeping tabs on protesters and reporting their activities to law enforcement. It was the protests in Wisconsin that sparked the multistate coordination led by Minnesota. The state’s fusion center developed a reputation as “the keepers of information for the Enbridge protests,” as one sheriff’s analyst put it, receiving information on Line 3 opponents from police departments in at least three states. While fusion centers were originally established to facilitate counterterrorism intelligence-sharing, they have increasingly played a role in monitoring, interpreting, and criminalizing political activity.” • As with Black Lives Matter and Occupy.

“What happened when Oslo decided to make its downtown basically car-free?” [Fast Company]. “[W]hile business owners initially worried about the city creating a ghost town that no one would visit, the opposite seems to be true; as in other cities that have converted some streets to pedestrian-only areas, the areas in Oslo that have been pedestrianized are some of the most popular parts of the city, Marcussen says. Last fall, after hundreds of parking spots had been removed, the city found that it had 10% more pedestrians in the center than the year before. ‘So that is telling me that we are doing something right,’ she says.”

“Gene Drives Reach Mammals” [Nautilus]. “Conservationists and bioethicists often regard the packages of engineered DNA called “gene drives” with a mixture of wonder, excitement, and dread. Gene drives violate the normal rules of inheritance by making sure they get passed down to all of their host organism’s offspring, not just to half of them; they therefore have the unnerving potential to rapidly and irrevocably alter a population…. That has now changed. In a paper appearing this week in Nature, biologists at the University of California, San Diego demonstrate for the first time that current gene drive technology also works—at least up to a point—in a mammal: the mouse.” • Maybe Dave Asprey will wish to try it out on his off-string, if any.

Our Famously Free Press

“In 13 Years of Education Reporting, So Much Has Changed” [New York Times]. “I’ve been reporting on education for 13 years, but I am absolutely stunned by the extent to which teachers’ strikes and walkouts are now a day-to-day part of my job. The Los Angeles action was the eighth mass teacher protest I’ve reported on in just 11 months, shutting down schools for one million students across the country…. I was at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, when one of the hottest tickets was to a panel discussion in which rising stars in the party, including Cory Booker, then the mayor of Newark, spoke harshly of teachers’ unions and their opposition to charter schools… Back then, it was hip for young Democrats to be like Barack Obama, supportive of school choice and somewhat critical of teachers’ unions. But now, the winds have changed pretty drastically.” • I would be surprised to learn that Booker (or Harris) has any receipts on supporting teacher’s unions at all. Or any union. Readers?

“The Deep Pathology at the Heart of a Scandal at Der Spiegel” [The New Yorker]. Of a fabrication scandal, the perp being a star reporter, award-winning Claas Relotius. ” Christoph Schwennicke, a former Spiegel reporter who now runs the German magazine Cicero, criticized what he called ‘Schnibbism,’ named for Cordt Schnibben, an editor who developed a section for Der Spiegel that emphasized story and auteur-driven reportage. Schnibben established a school in which ‘the reality is just the material out of which you produce a story,’ Schwennicke told me. ‘Like you’re a Hollywood writer, and you’re writing the script for a movie.'” Against Schwennicke: “The argument, in the end, can’t be, don’t write beautifully,’ the Spiegel reporter told me. ‘We are doing stories. That’s our work, to tell things and make people want to read it. And it’s an art to make people want to read it. It’s a profession.'” • No. Reporting should be a craft and a job, where there are standards. And unions persons. You want to tell stories, move to Hollywood and try to get work as a scriptwriter. Or start writing fiction. Get ouf of the newsroom, which is about news, not stories.

Guillotine Watch

“Here comes another Seattle coffee CEO with outsized ambitions” [Seattle Times (tegnost)]. “But no known human has accomplished what [Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey] proclaims as his goal: living to the age of 180. Buffed and bare-chested, the 45-year-old Asprey appears in the latest issue of Men’s Health under a large headline that declares, ‘The Bulletproof Coffee Founder Has Spent $1 Million in His Quest to Live to 180.’… Beyond the buttered coffee that is its core product — and Asprey’s books, which are everywhere in the company’s Westlake Avenue cafe — Bulletproof 360 markets items such as a $1,495 vibrating platform (The Bulletproof Vibe Whole Body Vibration Plate). According to Men’s Health, Asprey also pitches ‘five-day, $15,000 brain-training retreats that promise to raise your IQ and put your mind in the same state as that of a Zen monk who’s been meditating for 40 years.'” • Sounds like it would all work out great on Mars…

News of the Wired

“Do Things Matter?” [Popula]. “When the options are limited to the ‘nothing matters’ of fascism and the ‘back to normal’ of neoliberalism (and even notions that see themselves to the left of this but will not restore the habitability of the planet in any significant way) there isn’t much else left to do. As Frederic Jameson once said someone said, ‘It is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism,’ and so I figure why not make things easy? Just kidding. No, sorry, I’m not.” • Well worth a read.

“Inside the Apollo Guidance Computer’s core memory” [Ken Shirriff’s blog]. “Core memory was the best storage technology in the 1960s and the Apollo Guidance Computer used it to get to the Moon. In addition to the core memory module itself, the AGC required several modules of supporting circuitry. The AGC’s logic circuits used early NOR-gate integrated circuits, while the analog circuits were built from discrete components and sense amplifier ICs using cordwood construction. The erasable core memory in the AGC stored just 2K words. Because each bit in core memory required a separate physical ferrite core, density was limited. Once semiconductor memory became practical in the 1970s, it rapidly replaced core memory. The image below shows the amazing density difference between semiconductor memory and core memory: 64 bits of core take about the same space as 64 gigabytes of flash.” • Beautiful, almost steam age-looking, machinery


* * *

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 (via):

ChrisAtRU writes: “I follow Colossal on everyone’s least favourite social network and this came across my feed. If you’re looking for plant entries (and you’ve not seen this particular offering before), they’ve got some gorgeous looking fungi in here.”

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So do feel free to make a contribution today or any day. Here is why: Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of small donations helps me with expenses, and I factor that trickle in when setting fundraising goals. So if you see something you especially appreciate, do feel free to click below! (The hat is temporarily defunct, so I slapped in some old code.)

Or Subscribe to make a monthly payment!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

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. Lee

    Guillotine Watch

    “Here comes another Seattle coffee CEO with outsized ambitions” [Seattle Times (tegnost)]. “But no known human has accomplished what [Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey] proclaims as his goal: living to the age of 180.

    Paging James Fixx, white courtesy telephone, please.

    1. Geo

      Worked with a guy who was enamored with “life hacks” like this. Meal replacement powders, parasite cleanses, supplements, micro-dosing, and whatever other fad some tech bro billionaire was shilling. He’d constantly push them on us and I tried a few. Of th m all, Bulletproof was the nastiest and made me feel like a fat crackhead. The coffee is rank, the butter and oil are greasy, and the aftermath is terrible.

      My guess is these idiots who want to live forever would die off at younger ages if it wasn’t for their massive wealth allowing them proper medical treatment to deal with their stupid fad experiments.

      1. Lee

        I think the reintroduction of the hula hoop as a cure for obesity and whatever ails you is an idea whose time has come again.

      2. Craig H.

        Butter + coffee doesn’t sound as bad as kale.

        (This leaves much room to still suck mightily).

        My grandparents used to tell me about cod liver oil. Google tells me this is still sold. I wonder how old the users are on average.

        1. Chris

          Kale gets a bad rap. Like anything you eat, it depends on what you eat it with, and how you prepare it. Include kale with meals that have a light sweeter note? It balances things out. Add kale to a soup? It makes it smoother and delicious. Saute kale in bacon? On in coconut oil? It tastes great! Don’t be a hater until you’ve tried it.

          1. Yves Smith

            Kale salads are perfectly fine, as is cooked kale. If you like spinach, you’ll like kale.

            What specifically got kale a bad rap was that the Armed Services figured out it was far and away the healthiest veggie and would tolerate tons of cooking. So the troops got a lot of it in WWII.

            They would not remove the stems. Cooked stems are really bitter.

            So if you do cook kale, remove the stems and all will be well.

        2. Yves Smith

          FWIW, I am told that in Norwegian hospitals, cod liver oil is part of the treatment. For everyone. The one person I know who took is regularly is 91, but so is my mother, who smoked for 14 years, loves fried food, and is a couch potato (but she never ate much, was very thin until her old age and now is only on the high end of normal).

      3. jrs

        I don’t drink coffee, I don’t drink butter. OTOH Queen Elizabeth is still alive, so maybe tea with cream is the real secret to longevity.

        Yea medicine allows a certain amount of crazy, how much drinking butter would be popular if you couldn’t always take statins if it got to that point … and in the mean time Alka-Seltzer.

        1. Synoia

          OTOH Queen Elizabeth is still alive

          You cannot beat a low stress lifestyle, good food, a good night’s sleep and plenty of exercise.

    2. Ook

      Just looked at the picture of Dave Asprey in the Bulletproof Coffee article. He’s only 45, but looks much older already, so something isn’t working according to plan.

  2. Jim A.

    On the AGC. Keep in mind that ~4k (modern measurement is of bytes rather than words) is even smaller that it sounds because there was no disk drive.

  3. Rosario

    RE: Guillotine Watch

    Where’d all the Qin Shi Huang types go?

    The worst thing about these (Neoliberal?) types is how boring they are. They have to make their BS seem like it is legit so they never completely shoot for the moon. 180 years, pfft…I want one of them to come along and say they are going for immortality. Then we’d all see their craziness for what it is.

    1. Mildred Montana

      This guy commutes by private plane from Victoria, B.C to Seattle. I don’t think Mother Earth wants him around for another 135 years.

      But that’s the thing with these life-extending narcissists: They never ask anybody else if it’s okay if they live to 180.

    2. Procopius

      Doesn’t Peter Thiel at least imply that by completely replacing his blood with the blood from younger people every so often he will stay forever young?

  4. JohnnyGL


    Killer Mike interviewed on the Breakfast Club.

    Great line from him at minute 34 regarding the interaction between race and class…”Getting called n- don’t hurt as much when your dad drives a ferarri.” And he goes on to point to the struggle that black working class parents have and the much rougher hostility they face than wealthier black people in majority white neighborhoods.

    1. Geo

      It seems he’s got some great ideas to share but I really wish he’d drop the “Killer” from his name. Not exactly the best optics when trying to communicate beyond a niche group that knows the backstory or is into hip hop culture. It delegates him to merely preaching to the choir as anyone who isn’t in that niche won’t take a guy named Killer seriously.

      1. Baby Gerald

        Right? And maybe he can shave off that beard and stop wearing hoodies and gold chains and for dog’s sake, who’s gonna listen to a guy who wears his hat backwards? And while he’s at it, he might want to lose a little weight and stop swearing so much. Then the racists might start listening to his ideas and change their minds. /sarc

      2. JohnnyGL

        Killer Mike is pretty clear that he’s going to be himself and let people just deal with that. He’s also decided that his serious messaging is to be directed at a black audience, first and foremost.

      3. integer

        The word “killer” is used, in some circles at least, as a synonym of “good” or “excellent”. For example: “That’s a killer new pair of kicks* you’re, rocking. Where did you get them?” Of course, I’m not sure what Killer Mike’s intention was in prefacing his name with the prefix “Killer”, perhaps it’s meant to be a double entendre, but I tend to agree that if one is going to get involved in politics then it’s time to drop these kinds of affectations.

        * Another word for “shoes”.

        1. integer

          Oh, and “rocking” is another word for “wearing”. FWIW I’m sure many here are already aware of the aforementioned usages of these terms, but thought I’d make it clear in case any readers aren’t.

    2. Baby Gerald

      Thanks for this link, JohnnyGL. There’s a great long-format interview with Killer Mike on Joe Rogan’s podcast. I’ve only been tangentially aware of him since he was a Bernie supporter in 2016. I’m not an avid hip hop listener (the last album I bought was Outcast) but after that interview I bought two of the three Run The Jewels albums to get myself caught up. Check it out here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/w7HMOsRUFS8

      He’s a truly inspiring person and someone who is doing real and positive things for his community, for his friends and his neighbors. He has amazing perspective and keen entrepreneurial instincts and he drops mad rhymes, to boot.

      1. Carla

        Have to agree with Geo above: “Killer Mike” would be much more inspiring if he changed his name. I really like almost everything he says, but his chosen moniker is deeply offensive.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I no longer trust men in suits (women in pantsuits).

          On a more serious note, we live in a post Obama society. The man in the suit (Obama) played to long term fears and issues in black America (more so in 2012 than 2008). I’m going to guess the Democrats created a situation where many the average Democratic style candidate regardless of skin color will not be listened to.

          I like Killer Mike a great deal, but its important for people to remember politics is a process for everyone. Killer Mike with his own style (which doesn’t seem to be fake beyond his rap persona; i’m sure its rehearsed and refined but not fraudulent) which presents a different face beyond the Al Gore face or if they want to mix it up they go tieless for a more casual environment where they would discuss hackeysack.

          We need more “Killer Mikes”. They could be hillbillies, “sons of the soil,” or WASPy types but as long as they aren’t John Kerry where they treat Americans like they are exhibits to be visited or have a show put on for. To rebuild what had been assembled in 2006 and 2008, we need genuine people similar to Sanders.

      2. JohnnyGL

        Yeah, I saw him on Joe Rogan, too. Only got 1/2 way through it. I’ll finish up later. Mike’s pushing his new Netflix show. It was fun and funny, but not spectacular. I enjoyed it. He makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and has fun doing it.

        The interview above is better, in some ways, than what I saw on Rogan, if you’re looking for more intense debate because DJ Envy pushes back on Mike’s ideas and they get a little heated, but stay civil and keep the back and forth going for a decent bit.

        I thought it ended up boiling down to a debate of DJ Envy advocating individual and familial success vs. Killer Mike’s idea of entrepreneurs that embed themselves in a community and build stronger institutions in that community.

        I could hear Yvette Carnell in the back of my mind saying, “DJ Envy’s offering an individual solution, Mike’s at least focusing on community.” Yvette would say Mike’s solution isn’t enough, we can’t get communal uplift through indvidual entrepreneurship. There HAS to be a political solution. Mike would probably agree.

      3. JohnnyGL

        Also, the last album you bought was Outkast because Outkast is/was one of the best hip-hop groups ever. :)

        1. Baby Gerald

          I just finished the Breakfast Club video and have to agree with you, JohnnyGL. It’s more focused and covers more ground in less time, particularly on entrepreneurship and education. Mike’s defense of public school education and educators is full-throated and sample-worthy. Big props to Nina Turner given by everyone in the studio at the end, as well!

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Getting called n- don’t hurt as much when your dad drives a ferarri

      “If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power. Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude.” –Stokely Carmicheal

  5. Summer

    Re: I just learned that Cory Booker got himself elected president of the Jewish student society at Oxford during his Rhodes scholarship.
    Booker is a Baptist.
    He must be some campaigner”
    I had a friend in college born and bred in small town Texas that was elected head of the European Student Association.
    She threw great parties.

  6. Chris

    I was thinking the other day about how ignorance is bliss and how most of us who follow this site have committed to its opposite. What things do you all enjoy to relieve the frustration of knowing and learning how the world really works and the truth behind what the media refuses to discuss plainly?

    For me, I’ve been watching older movies with my children. I think that the 80’s movies Buckaroo Bonzai and Real Genius were weirdly prescient when it comes to our current situation.

    For music, there’s been a lit of dust bowl era and hard times blues that seems to fit my mood lately.

    And because I think the people here would appreciate it, and the humor and art are so joyful, I’ll recommend a webcomic I think is a great balm for the problems we discuss here while also discussing similar issues in it’s story: Atomic Robo .

    I know those who learn history are doomed to watch others repeat it, but that doesn’t mean we all have to suffer while we watch. What diversions do other people enjoy in this censorious and savage time?

    1. Wukchumni

      Loved Buckaroo Banzai when it came out (and where is the promised sequel?) and just watched it again last week.

      Have we all turned into Dr. Emilio Lizardo?

      1. Chris

        We’re all still obsessed with Russia apparently?

        I love the scenes where the US govt is arguing over why they need the rocket car for national security and how everybody has a gun. Even the kid! It could have been about today.

        1. Richard

          And the president in some kind of enormous, whirling back brace machine, never explained.
          No need, no need…
          The mystery, as usual, is much sweeter

    2. bun

      heh, had this very same conversation with a colleague at lunch. he reads just Der Spiegel, me, oh a couple dozen blogs,etc. He is unconcerned with the state of the world, me, i often have trouble falling asleep. he thought maybe he should read more – I suggested that maybe wasn’t a good idea.

      as a scientist it’s in my blood to want to understand more. but in this case i dunno.

      so i enjoy watching my kids grow, and think about preparing them for what i was unable to prevent. it helps, a bit.

    3. Janie

      I don’t have cable and rarely watch anything on TV. I work in the yard as much as weather allows, converting grass and ornamentals into edibles, removing ivy and wild blackberries that came with the property and modifying the clay with lots of organic matter. Makes you not care about much more than a shower, some wine and cheese and the latest on NC before early bed. Good night, all.

    4. Jessica

      Big scale sci-fi (Peter F. Hamilton, Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds, Dan Simmon’s Hyperion Canto) and ‘ordinary folks’ space opera (Becky Chambers).
      Lots of physical exercise

  7. Ptb

    Re: apollo AGC

    Core memory as a concept is elegant, but the read / write / addressing circuit they made? I have a newfound respect for the astronauts, putting their lives in the hands of … *that* … crazy blob of patch wires.

    Went to the freakin moon and made it back. No way.

    (Nice modular design tho – they were prepared to detect and swap any part of it failing.)

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Surprisingly, magnetic core memory is inherently radiation hardened. Can’t say that about most IC memory (unless it is fabbed out of, say, germanium on sapphire).

      Used to show my students a magnetic core memory board, saying, “This is what we used the last time man left Earth’s magnetosphere.”

  8. pjay

    Interesting Cory Booker comments today. First Harris supports M4A, and now Booker is “more populist of late” according to Matt Stoller. I have to say I’m a little surprised at Stoller’s credulity here. I’m more inclined toward the BAR assessment. When corporate centrists all of the sudden start sounding “populist”…

    1. Anonymous

      it’s pretty hard to reconcile Booker (#5) with (#4). And, wish he would apply the same reasoning he uses in (#5) toward M4A.

    2. thump

      As I recall, Obama also campaigned against big ag and then did squat about it in office. Voters may not be so impressed with Booker.

  9. ewmayer

    Re. The Fed: “Fed Whiplash Leaves Traders Betting Next Policy Move Will Be Cut” [New York Times] — So last year Wolf Richter’s site tipped me off to “brokered CDs” as a way to get access to the highest yields with all the FDIC protections of regular CDs, and the option of selling early in a decently-liquid market, should one desire to do so for any reason. (Though doing so in the kind of rising-rate environment the Fed said it was committed to until very recently would incur a loss, since these instruments only guarantee principal+interest when held to maturity). The trick last year was trying to gauge how firm the Fed’s commitment to several years more of regular rate hikes was, and also whether a major economic slowdown was coming soon. Anyhow, last fall pulled the trigger on a 3-year brokered CD from Morgan Stanley offering 3.05% APY. That quickly lost ~1% principal over the next few months and another Fed quarter-point hike, but just rechecked for the first time this year and I see it has recovered smartly, principal is now back in the black. Not saying this to claim any special investment acumen, rather, to offer a window into the markets’ expectations, namely: according to Fidelity the current top-rate on a 3-year brokered CD is back down to 2.90%, indicating that the markets have done an about-face in their future-hikes expectations.

      1. ewmayer

        …Which is a mere 3x the recent-historical doubling time of my rent! :(

        Still, going from oo to a mere 24 years’ doubling time on non-casino-style investment products is progress of a kind.

    1. JohnnyGL

      2018 was one of the worst years for fixed income instruments of all types in a long, long time. Probably since the mid-90s, maybe?

      Do you find the brokered CDs more attractive than bonds or bond funds? If so, why? I mostly use the latter. Wondering if I’m missing something.

      1. ewmayer

        The brokered-CD-versus-bond-fund issue struck me as somewhat of a six-of-one-half-dozen-of-the-other deal – which likely conveys my lack of sophistication here. If there’s some compelling reason to go with a bond fund, I’m all ears – or at least will be again, in around 32 months. :)

        1. johnnygl

          Vanguard ETFs have super low fees (vanguard is a mutually-owned non-profit that has crushed fees across the retail investment industry) and are passively managed.

          BND, VCLT, and EDV are my favorite ETF tickers. You can use BND as the backbone of your holdings and use the other two to chase for some extra yield (in return for some risk, of course).

    2. curlydan

      I haven’t tried brokered CDs, but I buy and re-invest a lot of 4-week T-bills through treasurydirect.gov. When I get an interest payment that could actually buy not only a decent lunch but even a decent dinner, it feels a lot better than the pennies my bank pretends to give me each month.

      1. Screwball

        I do the very same thing. 4 4 week T-bills started a week apart where one rolls over each week and re-bought. Since this account (checking with a known regional bank) pays ZIP interest – this is like free money. :-)

        This also keeps X grand out of their bank they cannot use to lever into something else – so it kind of screws them at the same time.

        I call it “Operation **** the Banks.”

  10. Summer

    Re: “Do Things Matter?” [Popula]

    Sounds deep…until you ask yourself is this the kind of advice the privileged children of the Ivy’s are getting.

    Then you have to wonder if what’s being said to these young women amounts to: “What YOU do doesn’t matter.”

    1. clarky90

      “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”, Aleister Crowley,


      “English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century.” Crowley is “a Prophet”, lol

      I am stunned by the current, pervasive, normalization of depravity in Western Culture. When I was young, Crowley was dismissed as a Satanic, Black Magician, socio/pscho path. Pure evil.

      Why are Uni students deeply in debt? Why is USAian healthcare unaffordable? Why are USAians sleeping rough? Why is the USA in a state of perpetual war in the East? Why is everything like CalPERS?………….?

      Because “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”. We are being herded up “The Serpentine Ramp”, into the Æon of Horus. God Help Us…..

    2. jrs

      It strikes me in a different way. Like “nothing you do matters” until you can’t pay rent …

      That’s why people weigh their decisions because they matter on that level (but there’s always a lot of chance involved). And “nothing matters because climate change” just sounds like yes on the collective and humanitarian and existential level that is the most important thing. But we’re not even talking about that, we’re talking about at the level of individual personal decisions. And I can’t imagine not caring if one is able to afford a roof over their head, the supermarket, seeing a doctor if one is sick, being able to get a job rather than being long term unemployed, that all matters in the here and now. And I wonder what kind of privilege is detached from that … it sounds young, and dumb, and inexperienced in the realities of life as it is in this @#$# up society.

      There is a certain type of middle class privilege that thinks the most important thing is that that job that pays the bills is fulfilling and allows one to travel and … yes that is whatever … so completely whatever. And the astute young from that background may see through such empty dreams in a time of ecological collapse, bound up as privileged life is in an unsustainable system (as all our lives are, but we don’t all have much choice). A better world might be possible (well if nature doesn’t take care of all first), but it’s not made up of such strictly individual dreams which are the empty dreams of being the exception to the rule in an economic system that is killing us all. But that’s not the more legitimate fears that motivate so many which are about daily survival.

  11. Tim

    “Democratic Presidential Candidates Endorse New ‘Medicare For All’-Branded Cigna Insurance Plan For Only $400 Per Month”

    I know they think it’s satire, but I personally don’t like The Onion giving them any ideas like that.

    1. albrt

      $400 per month would be a bargain. Under Obamacare I pay $1200 a month for nothing (actually nothing x2 because $1300 provides nothing for two of us).

  12. Skip Intro

    On AOC, I think her point about pharma profiteering of public investment is good even if it is not 100% in line with MMT. It is good politics, and I think the proper follow up would be along the lines of the Kelton response of creating a public good with the investment, rather than just a financial return. But that public good should specify that drugs/patents based on publicly funded research should be made available to the public and institutions of the country that funded them at the cost of production plus a reasonable profit of, say 12%. But what of the testing you say? That should be 100% publicly funded and administered. The pharma cartel has proven that it cannot really be trusted with clinical trials anyway. They could save the money, and we could have reliable results and avoid corrupting our clinicians.

    1. Grebo

      Being subjected to US cable TV from time to time the first way I would look to save Big Pharma some money would be to ban drug advertising, as in Europe.

      Ask your doctor if BAN DRUG ADVERTISING is right for you.

    2. Yves Smith

      I didn’t see any indication of where AOC intended to go with this and IMHO the MMT types are massively projecting.

      I’ve written repeatedly about the massive subsidies the US gives to Big Pharma. Free license of NIH-funded R&D is a biggie but not the only one.

      My point has been just like banks, these companies get so many subsides that they should not be seen as private companies and they should be regulated heavily. The fact that US companies get massive US subsidies, price gouge their own citizens, and sell their drugs way cheaper overseas because other countries negotiate on price should never have been tolerated.

  13. dcblogger

    I am reading Jeff Weaver’s Bernie Won. Highly recommended. Is anyone else reading it? I am fascinated by his account of online trolls. It seems the campaign was monitoring how the planning sessions on 4chan then manifested themselves on Twitter, Facebook, Instantgram et al.

    1. Baby Gerald

      Thanks for the tip, dcblogger. I’m going to have to read this and compare it with what Bernie himself says in his latest book, Where We Go From Here in which he repeatedly and with apparent conviction blames his loss on those dastardly Russians. It’s disheartening in the extreme, especially when coupled with his latest bits about Venezuela and how bad a guy that Maduro character is. Even if he’s doing it simply to please the DNC higher-ups, it’s just unsettling to read.

  14. Wukchumni

    The arctic blast wreaking havoc across much of the U.S. was cold enough to shut down a nuclear reactor, thanks to a rare phenomenon called frazil ice.

    Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. shut one unit at its Salem nuclear plant in southern New Jersey early Thursday after intake screens froze over, restricting the flow of water needed to cool the reactor, according to spokesman Joe Delmar. A second unit at the station on the Delaware river was powered down because of the same problem.


    I’ve never heard of frazil ice outside of Yosemite NP.

    Here’s a video:



    1. Rosario

      Stakes aren’t quite as high I suppose, but frazil ice is a problem for small-hydro as well. With low depth intakes typical of small hydro, trash racks (similar to the screens in nuclear except they keep junk out of turbines) with narrow slots can also be glazed over cutting off significant flow to the units lowering production. I have heard this can be an annoyance in Wisconsin. There is a lot of small hydro up there.

      Difference is, in nuclear the screens are pretty much just that, screens. The openings are very narrow (<1/4") as opposed to most small hydro applications, where gaps rarely are smaller than 1/2" except for the most environmentally sensitive rivers.

    2. Skip Intro

      ‘Civilian’ nuclear generators are like a heavily armed Goldilocks… the weather has to be just right. If the water is too warm, as happened to a plant in CT a couple years back, they have to shut down because of insufficient cooling.

  15. Wukchumni

    That Sonicsgate video has me wondering if Schultz won the Presidency, would he move the country somewhere else, if there was a profit in it?

    1. RMO

      Absolutely not!

      Well, as long as everyone in the country agreed to become his personal slave and give him everything they owned – then he may consider not selling it.

  16. Rajesh K

    “The smartphones people in China are buying instead of the iPhone”. One of the brands: Oppo is also huge in India and South East Asia.

    Apple really has no pull in Asia beyond people who like to show off. Not Crazy Rich Asians more like Upper Middle Class Asians.

    1. curlydan

      amusingly, Oppo pronounced in Chinese (at least when I hear their Chinese commercials) sounds a lot like how a Chinese person might pronounce “Apple” in English…or at least, that’s what I always thought.

      They seem to try to rip off Apple quite often, giving me a chuckle.

      1. Conrad

        Oppo sponsor the Indian cricket team as well. Good way to get visibility in another billion person market.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “What happened when Oslo decided to make its downtown basically car-free?”

    Can you imagine what some car manufacturers would make of this news and how they would squaw to Washington? I can see it now. Trump announces the 2019 Making Inner Cities Safe For Cars Again Act with sanctions against countries that let their cities remove cars from city zones. Astroturf groups made up, supposedly, of local city business owners demanding that the cars come bank. Think tanks producing papers how car-free zones are socialism in disguise. Rachel Maddow calling it a Putin plot because she is Rachel Maddow.
    When I was traveling through Germany I saw a lot of cities dedicate their inner city to pedestrians and it was great. You would have markets establish themselves there, there would be food-stalls cooking roasted chest-nuts and you could mingle with people. It showed me how just because people were pushed out of city centers by cars last century does not mean that it has to stay that way.

  18. Elizabeth Burton

    give customers wireless modems

    Yeah, Sprint already tried this, shipping us a “magic box” touted as a “signal booster.” Since they’re high on the 5G bandwagon, I can’t help wondering if the Magic Box wasn’t intended as a way to test theirs, since the description of how 5G works is essentially what they told us about their gadget.

    Only problem: It should ideally be placed on a windowsill. I have three windowsills (small apartment), one of which is on the far side of the bathtub. The other two face the complex courtyard and are favorite launchpads for Young Cat.

    Now I read that it’s the military and law enforcement and the spy guys who are really the ones gung-ho about 5G. Hmmm.

  19. BobWhite

    Just had Tyson involved in the same recall 2 days ago… her goes another one:

    Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation Recalls Breaded Popcorn Chicken Products Due To Possible Foreign Matter Contamination

    “Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, a Mt. Pleasant, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 58,020 pounds of not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) breaded chicken products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically rubber. ”

    Maybe it was not in there by accident?
    Gives me yet another reason to be happy with my Vegan diet… :-)

  20. rjs

    here’s my take on the household survey

    reflecting the effects of the government shutdown, the January household survey indicated that the seasonally adjusted extrapolation of those who reported being employed fell by an estimated 251,000 to 156,694,000, while the estimated number of those unemployed rose by 241,000 to 6,535,000; which led to a rounded 11,000 increase in the total labor force…however, those numbers were skewed because a number of federal workers were classified as employed but absent from work, who also should have been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff…about those workers, the BLS says they are accepted as recorded & no ad hoc actions are taken to reassign survey responses…further complicating the results, the benchmark revision to the civilian noninstitutional population indicated that December’s population had been overstated by 800,000, which meant that the population dependent metrics all had to be adjusted for that revision….with a January population increase of 151,000 on top of that, that meant the number of employment aged individuals who were not in the labor force decreased by 639,000 from previously published figures to 95,010,000, the labor force participation rate increased from 63.1% to 63.2%, and the employment to population ratio, which we could think of as an employment rate, increased from 60.6% in December to 60.7% in January…at the same time, the increase in the number unemployed was large enough to increase the unemployment rate, as it rose from 3.9% to 4.0%, and it would have even been higher had the aforementioned furloughed federal employees been properly classified…meanwhile, the number of those who reported they were forced to accept just part time work, which includes many of those federal employees, rose by 490,000, from 4,657,000 in December to 5,147,000 in January, which was enough to increase the alternative measure of unemployment, U-6, which includes those “employed part time for economic reasons”, from 7.6% of the labor force in December to 8.1% in January…

    obviously, it’s certainly possible i might have missed something…meanwhile, the establishment survey was much as reported elsewhere…

  21. Pat

    Regarding Booker’s ability to campaign impressively. Do not discount the snake oil salesman. He might have a very different style than Donald Trump, but Booker is very very good at capturing audiences. I have seen it in action. There really is such a thing as charisma, and charisma that doesn’t entirely translate to video.

    Booker in person is magnetic and captivating. He can make an audience think he is talking to each of them individually. And one on one he is even better. I watched a rather extended one on one, where the woman he was speaking with probably not only wanted to have his children but would have given her first born to him in a heartbeat. I don’t know how much that would work in a handshake line, but give him five minutes…

    Kamala Harris might have had a willing and excited audience largely based on ‘she’s a woman AND she could beat Trump!’ when I saw her. But Booker wasn’t even running for President when I saw him, it was still Hillary’s turn. The audience for him liked him when they got there, but after seeing him they wanted him to be running for President now and they wanted to work for him.

    Do not discount the charisma factor. It will hide a multitude of gaffs, lies and deceptions. I’m really hoping that the early states vet him before meeting him and will have those ‘huh, what? He’s blowing smoke’ realizations when they do. But if that doesn’t happen…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Do not discount the charisma factor.

      It would be ironic if Obama poisoned the well. Stoller in 2012: “The Source of Barack Obama’s Power to Trick Us Comes from Our Willingness to Be Tricked.”

      Then again, if Beto is any indication, there’s a significant portion of the Democrat electorate that desperately wants to believe in a Leader. Famously, “O’Rourke is like the guy who is all sweet and nerdy but holds you down and makes you cum until your calves cramp.” Same with Booker?

  22. Jeffersonian

    Joining “unions” and “our famously free press”: I’m a member of a union at an oil refinery in Denver. We are currently negotiating a new contract, it isn’t going well. In the past we have agreed with the company that we would shut down the refinery safely if we strike, we wouldn’t just walk out the gate and allow a fire, environmental incident, or harm to non-union personnel who were left there. This time we have a new plant manager that wants to go back to the bad old days and is forcing the engineers and a few operations supervisors to continue to run the plant if we strike. Almost none of these people have any experience actually operating the process they have been assigned to. And the risks are obviously quite high. This “Contingency Team” is terrified. But they are too afraid to object, this is the oil industry afterall, rock the boat, get fired.

    I’ve tried contacting the Denver Post 5 TIMES and have received no reply. You are stopped at the entrance and can go no further without an appt., which you can’t make when no human picks up the phone or responds to your email.The refinery is actually about 1/2 mile behind the Post’s building, I’ve told them there is potentially a Deepwater Horizon type of event in the making directly behind them, and no response. Incredible. I suppose they are too busy writing about Trump’s latest tweet to actually do important journalism in their own community.

  23. Synoia

    5G brings three new aspects to the table:
    greater speed (to move more data), Maybe for extra $
    lower latency (to be more responsive), bullshit, show me the hops removed
    and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once (for sensors and smart devices) To spy on you

    5G home internet is also much easier for carriers to roll out than house-by-house fiber optic lines. Rather than digging up every street, carriers just have to install fiber optics to a cell site every few blocks, and then give customers wireless modems.” good luck with that multi-gigabit point-to-point wireless and rain.

    That lower latency requires re-engineering the Internet backbone. I’m positive that will be complete before the second coming.

    As an aside – The last US telecom manufacturing company was Western Electric. There are currently no US telecom supplier companies.

    There is one Chinese, one Finn-German, One French-American and one Swedish.

  24. Oregoncharles

    Funny about the antidote: I just saw an excellent film about fungi, called “The Kingdom.” Fungi are one unto themselves, parallel with plants and animals, and according to the film, grew on land before either.

    I saw it projected at a local political event, the “Ecofilm Festival,” but it would be worth looking up.

  25. Oregoncharles

    On the Enbridge pipeline: ” the tiny portion of Line 3 that cuts into Wisconsin”
    If you look at the map, that’s actually N. Dakota. It cuts across the corner getting from Canada to Minnesota. Don’t know why it says Wisconsin, more than once.

  26. Jeremy Grimm

    Strange — there don’t seem to be any comments on the SS7 hacks. As I recall the SS7 protocol offers a substantial path into control over a telecom switch, essentially an old backdoor into the telecom backbone. From “Criminals Are Tapping into the Phone Network Backbone to Empty Bank Accounts”:
    “The news highlights the gaping holes in the world’s telecommunications infrastructure that the telco industry has known about for years despite ongoing attacks from criminals. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the defensive arm of the UK’s signals intelligence agency GCHQ, confirmed that SS7 is being used to intercept codes used for banking.”
    The takeaways from this should be: 1) ignore UK in the article since SS7 is also used in US telecom switches and 2) the telecom backbone — which I believe embeds the Internet backbone — is vulnerable to attack at many scales.

  27. How is it legal

    This seems to have been caught in spam last night (US time), trying again today:

    Re: yesterday’s (01/31/19) water cooler quip regarding Kamala Harris:

    Like a vat-grown gene-splice of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

    Or, maybe:

    Like a vat-grown gene-splice of Barack Obama, Narendra Modi, and Hillary Clinton.

    Narendra Modi, the Republic of California, and the US™ Government, are joined at the hip.

    As to Corey Booker (priceless, seems he’s been aspiring towards being POTUS, by any means necessary, since he was born to his IBM Executive parents), and his Israel Government/Military networking, at Yale (post Rhodes), per wiki: Booker was a founding member of the Chai Society (now Shabtai):

    Shabtai has deep connections to Israeli political, military, and judicial figures ….

Comments are closed.