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2:00PM Water Cooler 2/21/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Politics

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

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

2020

Sanders (1), lol:

Let’s have a good clean fight here. No holding, no low punches, no biting, gouging or rabbit punches.

Sanders (2): “How the Revolution Could Devour Bernie” [The American Conservative]. “But the modern Democratic Party is like a parade marching leftward so rapidly that it is hard for anyone, even Bernie Sanders, to keep up for long.” • Bizarrely reproduces most of the conventional (and wrong) wisdom against Sanders, and ends with this even more bizarre pronouncement. The editor of the American Conservative has apparently never heard the maxim “Know your enemy.” Or perhaps he thinks he does.

Sanders (3): “Bernie Sanders Just Released His Tax Returns. Read Them In Full” [Document Cloud (MR)]. • Impressive timing.

Sanders (4): “Bernie Sanders to sign ‘affirmation’ he will run as a Democrat in 2020” [CNN]. “Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to sign a party pledge affirming that he will run for president as a Democrat in 2020 and serve as one if elected, senior campaign adviser Jeff Weaver told CNN on Wednesday. The Democratic National Committee said on Tuesday that it planned to meet in the coming week with the presidential primary campaigns and distribute a form to the candidates, who under bylaws agreed on last August will be required ‘to affirm in writing’ that they ‘are a member of the Democratic Party, will accept the Democratic nomination’ and ‘will run and serve as a member of the Democratic Party.'” • When I mentioned how the liberal Democrats punched the left in the mouth at the last DNC meeting, I forgot the loyalty oath part. Of course, Bernie is a Democrat (“Paris is worth a mass”). I’d like to see the text of the affirmation, though. 10-to-1 they screwed it up, because that’s what they do.

Sanders (5) “Bernie Sanders announces 2020 presidential campaign” [WSWS (JB)]. “There has been no shortage of experiences with ‘progressive’ and ‘pro-worker’ Democrats, and they always end in disaster. The Democratic Party is the graveyard of all progressive social movements. Sanders is once again seeking to lead the working class and young people into a political dead end.” • Past performance is no guarantee of future results. More seriously, you go to the race with the horse you have, not the unicorn you want. There are plenty of good results imaginable from a Sanders run, beyond even basic reforms. The Democrats in from the start of abolition were a “graveyard of social movements.” Ultimately, they split.

Sanders (6): “Daily Kos Democratic Presidential Primary Straw Poll: February 19” [Daily Kos (JF)]. The results:

• These results seem remarkable to me, since Kos purged his Sanders supporters in 2016. JF comments: “If I read the DNC rules correctly, Sanders wins the nomination with these numbers. Any candidates with less than 15% receives no delegates and they are re-tabulated in proportion to the remaining percentages, ie.. 73% to Sanders, 27% to Harris. Obviously this is an oversimplification and needs to play out state by state, but the DNC is in real trouble if this plays out on a large scale. They need like a 45% to 35% Sanders lead over Harris to introduce the 15% super delegates on the second vote and sway it over.” And on that same 15% threshold–

Harris (1): “#InvisiblePrimary: Visible — The Difficulties in Harris Locking Down California” [Frontloading HQ (JF)]. “If one is in the Harris campaign, then, California is absolutely part of a path of least resistance to a similar delegate advantage (assuming there are also victories — actual or relative to expectations — in the early states). But that sort of 80-100 delegate advantage in California alone is unlikely. In the past, it has required the winning candidate to approach or exceed 60 percent of the vote statewide in a contest with a significantly winnowed field. Now, strange things — atypical to past nomination cycles — may occur with a less winnowed field and a 15 percent threshold stretched across the allocation of statewide and congressional district delegates.” • JF comments: “Something to think about here is the [DNC] 15% threshold. Let say you get 4 candidates that take 10% each of the vote. A 30% to 30% tie between the remaining two actually is a 50% allocation each of the delegates. Also the district strategy is interesting, although I haven’t done the math. 75% of the delegates will be apportioned by district results, 25% at large. I wonder if that could result in an overall disproportionate allocation to statewide results. Harris doesn’t need a large percentage of the vote, she just needs a larger percentage than Sanders and a diluted field to take the majority of delegates.” Thanks for the arithmetic!

Harris (2): “Harris hires ex-Clinton aide Ruiz and several other women of color” [Politico]. “We value diverse backgrounds and experiences because they give our campaign vibrancy and fresh perspectives about the many challenges all Americans are facing,’ campaign manager Juan Rodriguez said. ‘Sen. Harris has a history of elevating and amplifying all voices to ensure that nothing is seen through only one narrow point of view.'” • The “pursuit of identity politics” part seems clear enough, but are these staffers also “pot-smoking joy seekers”? That’s a litmus test for me.

“Who’s Running for President in 2020? [New York Times (Furzy Mouse)]. • With handy chart. What a prospect we have before us!

“Everyone’s Running — And That Could Be Dangerous For The Democrats” [FiveThirtyEight]. “As should be pretty intuitive, larger fields are correlated with more prolonged nomination processes in which both voters and party elites have a harder time reaching consensus. Below is a table comparing the number of candidates in each past cycle against the share of the overall popular vote the nominee eventually received. I’ve also included a more subjective measure of whether party elites were able to get their way. I consider the party to have decided — that is, for party elites to have gotten their preferred choice — if there was a clear front-runner in endorsements in advance of the Iowa caucuses and that candidate won the nomination. And I consider the elites to have failed if a factional candidate who lacked broad support from the party establishment won. ”

Obama Legacy

“The Obama Presidential Library That Isn’t” [New York Times (DG)] “The four-building, 19-acre ‘working center for citizenship,’ set to be built in a public park on the South Side of Chicago, will include a 235-foot-high ‘museum tower,’ a two-story event space, an athletic center, a recording studio, a winter garden, even a sledding hill. But the center, which will cost an estimated $500 million, will also differ from the complexes built by Barack Obama’s predecessors in another way: It won’t actually be a presidential library. In a break with precedent, there will be no research library on site, and none of Mr. Obama’s official presidential records. Instead, the Obama Foundation will pay to digitize the roughly 30 million pages of unclassified paper records from the administration so they can be made available online…. Some scholars are alarmed by the decision. ‘The absence of a true Obama presidential library will have the effect of discouraging serious and potentially critical research into the Obama presidency,’ said David Garrow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and the author of “Rising Star,” a nearly 1,500-page biography of Mr. Obama.” • That’s not a bug… Remarkably, or not, the Times, very late to this story, manages to erase all the local opposition (NC, 2015) to Obama’s Stately Pleasure Dome. DG comments: “President Rhetoric rhetorically promised an archive and delivered a large Holiday Inn. Now the NY Times is shocked, shocked, I tell you, to discover the same.” • That’s hardly fair. What Holiday Inn has a sledding hill?

Realignment and Legitimacy

“How migration of millennials and seniors has shifted since the Great Recession [Brookings Institution (MR)]. “Recently released migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 5 year American Community Survey identify major metropolitan areas that attract age groups dominated by millennials and baby boomers for the period 2012-2017 compared to earlier periods. They show that the top regional magnets for young adults (ages 25-34) do not overlap with those that are attracting seniors (ages 55 and older) and for both groups, the recent magnets differ from those prior to the Great Recession.” • The big sort continues…

“The Red Menace Is Real” [Jacobin (MR)]. “Had Trump passed some version of universal health care, he would have probably secured a second term, increased the GOP’s domination of Congress, and left the Democrats wandering the political desert for a generation in the political realignment that followed. But because Trump has no real ideology, save getting nondescript ‘wins’ and lining his own pockets, he embraced the establishment wing of the Right and proceeded to govern as a stock-standard, if more extreme, Republican. Over the past two years he’s hemorrhaged supporters betrayed and disappointed by his embrace of radical neoliberalism, his approval rating has dwindled to historic lows, and his support has calcified where it was always going to go: the GOP base of Evangelicals, the wealthy, and the upper middle class. All of which is why Trump is terrified of Bernie Sanders’s presidential run and the democratic-socialist movement he represents.” • I’m not a telepath, so I don’t know if Trump is terrified, or even capable of terror. But yes, The Republic really dodged a bullet.

Stats Watch

Durable Goods Orders, December 2018: “The 1.2 percent headline rise in December durable goods masks weakness for business investment” [Econoday]. “New orders for core capital goods sank an unexpected 0.7 percent that falls well below Econoday’s consensus range. Magnifying what may be an emerging pivot lower for capital goods is a sharp downward revision to November…. The factory sector was the economy’s star performer in 2018 and, on the surface at least, ended the year in strength especially for autos. But the weakness in business investment, and its negative implications for future productivity, point to hesitance among businesses which is consistent perhaps with easing indications for business confidence.” • Not good in a capitalist economy, but my impression is that capital goods are sporty.

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, February 2019: “The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing survey was really the first to take off following President Trump’s 2016 victory. But indications among anecdotal surveys, whether those tracking businesses or consumers, have been sinking from two year highs and they now include the Philadelphia Fed” [Econoday]. “Though one month of data is only one month of data, this report does fit in with the other regional manufacturing reports that have been showing consistent weakness since late last year.”

Purchasing Managers Composite (Flash), February 2019: “Is there trouble appearing in manufacturing? The PMI manufacturing flash for February slowed” [Econoday]. “However large the service sector is, manufacturing and its exposure to global demand is considered the leading sector for indications on general economic conditions and the move lower for this report’s headline, together with the negative showings for capital goods orders in this morning’s durable goods report along with the contraction posted in the Philadelphia Fed, may heighten concerns among Federal Reserve policy makers for the risk of visible slowing in the first-quarter economy.”

Leading Indicators, January 2019: “Economic data, outside the jobs market, have been softening as has the index of leading economic indicators” [Econoday]. “The turn lower does point to slowing growth for the first-half economy.”

Jobless Claims, week of February 2016: “Claims pivoted higher early in the year largely on the effects of the government shutdown. With those effects now having waned, claims data are pointing to continued and unusually strong demand for labor” [Econoday].

Existing Home Sales, January 2019: “The biggest disappointment of the 2018 economy was the nation’s housing sector and the first definitive indication on 2019 is not favorable” [Econoday]. “The yearly median price gain of 2.8 percent marks the slowest annual result since 2012, which is no surprise given clear slumps underway in Case-Shiller and FHFA price data. Trouble in housing has only been a minor theme in the Fed’s economic assessment though more reports like today’s could raise their level of concern.”

Retail: “County Officials, Activists Say Amazon Executives Have Failed to Engage with Arlington Community” [ArlNow (MR)]. “But activists opposed to the project argue that the company can’t simply work with the business community and Arlington’s professional class, when Amazon’s arrival threatens so many low- and middle-income people in the area. Expert opinions are split on just how much the company’s 25,000 highly paid workers will drive up rent prices in the county, but the changes to the housing market will almost certainly force some people to leave their homes.” • They can’t? Really?

Retail: “The Times Editorial Board Completes Amazon’s Tag Team” [Hmm Daily]. “We are in the midst of a capital tantrum, in which people and corporations come completely unhinged at even the mildest suggestion that they should slow down their unchecked looting of the economy. So Jeff Bezos flipped out at the prospect of having to negotiate a slightly less predatory deal, and the Times joined him in flipping out.” • This is a fun piece.

The Bezzle: “Elon Musk: Tesla will have all its self-driving car features by the end of the year” [CNBC]. Musk: “I think we will be feature complete — full self-driving — this year. Meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention, this year. I would say I am of certain of that. That is not a question mark.” • Big if true.

Concentration: “Antitrust as Allocator of Coordination Rights” (PDF) [Sanjukta Paul, SSRN]. “Indeed, because antitrust has effectively established a state monopoly on the allocation of coordination rights, we ought to view coordination rights as a public resource, to be allocated and regulated in the public interest rather than only for the pursuit of private interests.”

Tech: “Zuckerberg to meet UK culture secretary amid ‘digital gangster’ report” [Yahoo Finance]. “‘The British public have legitimate concerns about their safety and security online and, as a responsible government, we are taking action,’ said [Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)] Secretary of State Jeremy Wright in a statement sent to Yahoo Finance UK…. The meeting is part of a series Wright and Digital Minister Margot James are conducting this week. They will be also meeting with executives from Twitter (TWTR), Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Youtube, Snap (SNAP), and Tinder (MTCH) on the West Coast of the US.” • Hard to think this isn’t Brexit related…

The Biosphere

“Lawns Are an Ecological Disaster” [Gizmodo]. From 2018, still germane. “Influential native gardening writer Sara Stein perhaps summed up the absurdity best: ‘Continual amputation is a critical part of lawn care. Cutting grass regularly—preventing it from reaching up and flowering — forces it to sprout still more blades, more rhizomes, more roots, to become an ever more impenetrable mat until it is what its owner has worked so hard or paid so much to have: the perfect lawn, the perfect sealant through which nothing else can grow—and the perfect antithesis of an ecological system.'” • Plus cutting the lawn is work. Why do it? One thing you can also do to help out the index is fight fight with your local zoning board and/or homeowner’s association to disfavor lawns with respect with property values, and favor gardens.

“China and India lead in greening of the world through land-use management” [Nature]. “Satellite data show increasing leaf area of vegetation due to direct factors (human land-use management) and indirect factors (such as climate change, CO2 fertilization, nitrogen deposition and recovery from natural disturbances). Among these, climate change and CO2 fertilization effects seem to be the dominant drivers. However, recent satellite data (2000–2017) reveal a greening pattern that is strikingly prominent in China and India and overlaps with croplands world-wide. China alone accounts for 25% of the global net increase in leaf area with only 6.6% of global vegetated area. The greening in China is from forests (42%) and croplands (32%), but in India is mostly from croplands (82%) with minor contribution from forests (4.4%). China is engineering ambitious programmes to conserve and expand forests with the goal of mitigating land degradation, air pollution and climate change. Food production in China and India has increased by over 35% since 2000 mostly owing to an increase in harvested area through multiple cropping facilitated by fertilizer use and surface- and/or groundwater irrigation. Our results indicate that the direct factor is a key driver of the ‘Greening Earth’, accounting for over a third, and probably more, of the observed net increase in green leaf area.” • Let’s get with the program!

“World’s biggest terrestrial carbon sinks are found in young forests” [Science Daily]. “More than half of the carbon sink in the world’s forests is in areas where the trees are relatively young — under 140 years old — rather than in tropical rainforests, research at the University of Birmingham shows. These trees have typically ‘regrown’ on land previously used for agriculture, or cleared by fire or harvest and it is their young age that is one of the main drivers of this carbon uptake…. this age-driven carbon uptake was primarily situated not in the tropics, but in the middle and high latitude forests.” • Like second-growth New England forests.

“What is permafrost and why might it be the climate change time bomb?” [South China Morning Post (J-LS)]. “According to Nature and the Harvard Review the amount of carbon sequestered in permafrost is four times that of the carbon already released into the atmosphere from modern human activity…. Some organisations, such as the International Permafrost Association, regularly report on the status of these areas and take initiatives to restore some of the green areas in the Tibetan Plateau. However, there are no clear policies from the local governments or the international community as to how these areas can be preserved to prevent permafrost melting.” • This well worth a read, with excellent graphics. I always think of permafrost as being in the Arctic, but it turns out that the Tibetan plateau is very important, too.

“The $32 Trillion Pushing Fossil Fuel CEOs to Act on Climate Change” [Bloomberg]. “Behind Glencore Plc’s decision to limit coal investment is a little-known, but powerful group of investors. Glencore made its decision after facing pressure from a shareholder network known as Climate Action 100+, which has the backing of more than 300 investors managing $32 trillion. The group was founded a little over a year ago, but has already extracted reforms from oil heavyweights, like BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. While skeptics may regard Glencore’s changes as minimal (the company still stands to reap billions from its huge coal business), the announcement still shows the influence that investors hold at being able to push even the most reticent companies to respond to their demands.” • $32 trillion seems like real money, to me, but I don’t know how much money like that is floating about.

Centrist brutally pw0ned:

A neat thread on apples:

#fieldwork

I have urged that #fieldwork involves a lot of listening. But sometimes speaking is needed too:

Some people are terrified of public speaking. So was Erica Garner. But “I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.” Public speaking is a very useful skill to have.

MMT

“The surprise cult of Modern Monetary Theory” [New Statesman]. “Put simply, MMTers believe that most people mistakenly view the economy backwards. Instead of taxing in order to fund spending, states spend first and tax later. Central to this analysis is that sovereign currency is a creation of the state. Rather than “finding” the money to “pay” for universal healthcare, governments can electronically create money out of nothing. When inflation begins to rise, the state can employ its fiscal lever, taxing excess money out of the economy.” • Mainstreaming continues…

Class Warfare

“Is It Good to Cooperate? Testing the Theory of Morality-as-Cooperation in 60 Societies” [Current Anthopology]. From the abstract:

The theory of “morality-as-cooperation” argues that morality consists of a collection of biological and cultural solutions to the problems of cooperation recurrent in human social life. Morality-as-cooperation draws on the theory of non-zero-sum games to identify distinct problems of cooperation and their solutions, and it predicts that specific forms of cooperative behavior—including [1] helping kin, [2] helping your group, [3] reciprocating, [4] being brave, [5] deferring to superiors, [6] dividing disputed resources, and [7] respecting prior possession—will be considered morally good wherever they arise, in all cultures. To test these predictions, we investigate the moral valence of these seven cooperative behaviors in the ethnographic records of 60 societies. We find that the moral valence of these behaviors is uniformly positive, and the majority of these cooperative morals are observed in the majority of cultures, with equal frequency across all regions of the world. We conclude that these seven cooperative behaviors are plausible candidates for universal moral rules, and that morality-as-cooperation could provide the unified theory of morality that anthropology has hitherto lacked.

From the University of Chicago (!). I think “group” (rule 2) and “superiors” (rule 5) are doing a lot of work, there. But extremely interesting!

“W.Va. teachers end strike after charter school measure expires” [WaPo]. “West Virginia teachers plan to head back to the classroom Thursday after a two-day strike that succeeded in killing a measure to bring charter schools and private school vouchers to the state in the latest showdown between teachers’ unions and charter school backers.” • Excellent. Somebody should ask charter-lovin’ Cory Booker what he thinks of this.

“Researchers spy signs of slavery from space” [Science]. “Doreen Boyd remembers the first time she saw a hint of slavery from space. A satellite image from 2017 of Rajasthan state in India showed a brown oval that looked like a dusty high school track. But it was nothing so innocuous: She knew it was a brick kiln, one of tens of thousands across South Asia that are often run on forced labor. Boyd, director of the data program at the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, realized such imagery could help her tally the kilns, enabling organizations on the ground to target slaveholders at the sites. “You can’t see slavery directly, but you can infer it,” she says… Some 40.3 million people are held in bondage today, according to the latest estimates from the Inter-national Labor Organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. But finding them is hard. Boyd estimates, however, that one-third of all slavery is visible from space, whether in the scars of kilns or illegal mines or the outlines of transient fish processing camps.”

“Wages 2018” [Economic Policy Institute]. Same old, same old:

The Red Menace Is Real Jacobin (MR).

News of the Wired

Crapification:

My Mac repair guy hates the latest laptop, for this reason. Looks like the old-fashioned PC, put together from off-the-shelf parts, is a lot more Jackpot-ready. True, chips may be hard to make, but old chips can always be harvested. Make sure your children know how to use a soldering iron!

* * *

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 plants, from an anonymized email account in an unknown location:

Mr./Mrs./Ms. Email Account writes:

Dear Mr. Strether,

It’s funny that you posted today about the worsening insect problem. I have a terrible flu (actually likely dengue) and was heading to my doctor this am when I noticed our outside tree was filled with swarming bees.

One thing I appreciate about living somewhere no one usually cares about is that a lot of the effects of industrialization are confined to the cities (of which we barely have 1). Several lots in residential areas, especially have flowing flora, once you get out of the undeniably minimal ‘modern’ areas, you’re greeted with often unfettered plant growth, +/- a crossing herd of goats/cows.

Aside from the mosquitoes, of which we have more than our fair share our insect population seems to be withstanding erosion fairly well. I assume this is because, as you alluded, we still have a lot of untainted farmers who physically tend to their lots with their hands and machettes, and tend to stay away from non-natural pesticides.

I will try to inquire further but certainly my parents, and the few farmers I have come into contact with mix their own insecticides. At most we will add a touch of soapy water, but we try to use natural insecticides like from the Neem plant as well. Of course that means we do have occassional problems with pest overgrowth, but we much prefer this balance to the derth about a decade ago when we had tried pre-made sprays.

Sadly I was a little too sick and my camera too poor to capture the bees this am, but enclosed is the tree the especially seem to like, as well as a plantain we recently took off the tree after using only the ‘natural’ spray we use and compost.

More accounts of insect populations from parts of the world that are not the Global North would be much appreciated!

Also, if any NC readers have access to the “online Web of Science database” (which is subscription only), we might be able to pose queries that the Bayo-Wyckhuys review study did not.

* * *

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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.

187 comments

  1. jo6pac

    The pictures are rather large on my computer;-) Just saying

    When I reloaded the page they seem alright.

    1. polecat

      That big mass of green w/ red blooms in the top image appear to be some species of Callistemon (bottlebrush).

  2. Samuel Conner

    Perhaps it’s just my browser misbehaving, but today’s “plantidotes” give me a distinct echo of the “Dr Who” episode “flatline”. I hope there are no aliens in the walls.

      1. Samuel Conner

        In the BBC “Doctor Who” remake, 8th series (Peter Capaldi as “the 12th Doctor”), episode “Flatline”, earth is being invaded by 2-dimensional creatures from a lower-dimensional part of the multiverse, and they are projecting 3D objects, including people, into 2D surfaces (for reasons that are not stated; the Doctor makes charitable assumptions about this at first). Some of the projections looked a bit like the plantidotes did at first.

        I heartily endorse the “reboot” of Doctor Who. The production values are much better than the hilarious productions of the 60s and 70s, the writing is generally good (do avoid “Love and Monsters” and “Sleep No More”, though, surely two of the worst episodes of the reboot, if not for the entire history of the show) and, at least for the first 10 series (to the end of Peter Capaldi’s “12”), the accompanying musical score by Murray Gold (LOL; I left out “l” on first writing) is simply wonderful and IMO is better and better year after year.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That loyalty oath is so vile. Remember the DNC lawsuit. Spiva is the Democrat lawyer:

      MR. SPIVA: [W}here you have a party that’s saying, We’re gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer, and we’re gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are voluntarily deciding, we could have — and we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That’s not the way it was done [yes it was]. But they could have. And that would have also been their right, and it would drag the Court well into party politics, internal party politics to answer those questions.

      What self-respecting person could sign a loyalty oath to an institution like that? It’s a pig in a poke!

      1. Hepativore

        Can the Democratic Party leadership revoke “Democrat” status of a candidate retroactively simply for supporting issues it does not agree with as part of the “loyalty oath”? If this is the case, I hope that the Democratic Party operatives do not try yank the “Democrat” designation of Bernie Sanders as punishment for supporting things like Medicare For All, minimum wage increases, free college, etc.

        How legally binding is it?

        1. notabanker

          Good post on this here:
          https://frontloading.blogspot.com/2019/02/invisibleprimary-visible-is-bernie.html

          Short answer is the DNC chair does have that discretion. Whether they could politically pull it off is a whole different story.

          Also, and this is something that makes me wonder about Sanders, Dems are far better off having him inside and trying to dispose of him in the primary than run as an Independent. I mean, imagine a 3 way race between Sanders , Trump and Harris / or / Biden. That is a complete no win for them.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            are they? i think about ballot access, mainly…i’d love to see bernie give them the finger and run outside the duopoly…but how’s he gonna get on the ballot in every…or even most states?
            they’ve got all that pretty locked up. hell, in texas, there’s really no such thing as a write in any more…they just quietly changed the rules.
            the other problem i foresee with an independent non-duopoly insurgency is media access. he could hardly get on tv in ’16 while running as a dem. are the networks gonna take his money and run his ads if he’s an actual insurgent? to my knowledge, there’s nothing that compels a network to do so.
            to effectively run non-duopoly, the berner ops would have had to begin after losing(sic) the (rigged) primary…and sued all and sundry in the process…and had a 3 year full court press about how they were being excluded by the ‘usual suspects”, who think it all belongs to them.
            i hope the berners are prepared for new and improved shenanigans…and ready to take whatever evidence viral before the Machine can get out in front.(remember “throwing chairs”?,lol)

            1. Inode_buddha

              I would so love to seem him run as an independent *and win* without any MSM exposure…. it would humble them.

            2. notabanker

              Ballot access is a very good point and one I don’t know much about, but at a cursory level it seems doable. And I suppose if the Sanders team went down the independent path and won, he would face a completely hostile Congress on both sides of the aisle.

              This is going to be a dogfight for sure, and I expect some shenannigans that will set precedents. We live in an age where there seems to be no limits on breaking the rule of law or the Constitution.

            3. nippersdad

              Which reminds me of this: https://blackagendareport.com/hr-1-cuts-green-party-campaign-funding-sics-homeland-security-and-political-police-left

              Glen Ford did an analysis of the new voting regs in HR1 and finds that they are specifically aimed at preventing third parties, like the Greens, from getting on the ballot and siccing the FBI on them if they do manage to overcome the new hurdles.

              I think Bernie is going to be able to get the signatures and money to qualify in all of the states, and I do think that the novelty of a third party run would neutralize any black out on the part of the media, but the investigations would definitely be a problem. If they are intent on building on their red scare tactics and turn him into a threat……………

              I guess that is where his own media organization would come in handy, but going there would take both Sanders and the Dems out of the game for this electoral cycle at least. If mutually assured destruction is a bet they want to take they might just live to regret it.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                It does look to me like Sanders is thinking strategically, in terms of what forces defeated him in 2020. He came out of 2016 with:

                1) An independent mailing list (and impressive fundraising prowess, as the first day figures show).

                In 2017-2018 he created:

                2) An independent media operation, outside MSM control, and parallel to liberal Democrat media assets.

                So, in terms of the “commanding heights” that the liberal Democrats have hitherto controlled — the list and the media — Sanders seems to have hauled his artillery up onto adjacent hills of more or less the same height;

                If — emphasizing “if” — Sanders can create, in 2019:

                3) an independent canvassing and GOTV operation at scale (like OFA was)

                then Sanders might as well have created a new Democrat Party within the hollow rotting shell of the old one. The only functionality the Democrat establishment still controlled would be ballot access. Furthermore, if this happens in 2019, I’m guessing the machinery for a ballot access effort in early 2020 as an indepenent, if such is needed, would be in place. (The Democrat “affirmation” would seem to militate against that, however).

          2. Kurt Sperry

            Dems are far better off having him inside and trying to dispose of him in the primary than run as an Independent. I mean, imagine a 3 way race between Sanders , Trump and Harris / or / Biden. That is a complete no win for them.

            I’d strongly disagree. Losing the Presidential election to Trump because Bernie ran as an Independent would be far less traumatic to the DNC-Dollar Dems than having Bernie winning as a Democrat. If Trump is re-elected, everyone in place who survived the first loss to Trump (everyone?) would still have a job and their DNC rice bowl intact, losing elections is normal and survivable. For the vast majority of the people populating the Democratic Party machine, their sweet lives would continue exactly as before.

            A Sanders administration would, in stark contrast, potentially directly threaten the positions of those embedded in the machine, particularly those who had fought him. Trump cannot remove or replace them; a Sanders Administration might well choose to do exactly that.

            Yes they’d love to “dispose of” Sanders during the primary process, that’d be the best outcome, but failing that, having Trump beat Sanders –by whatever means — would work out far better for them than having Sanders beating Trump. Sanders is a potentially existential threat to their positions and their livelihoods; Trump isn’t.

            In the event Sanders wins the Democratic nomination, all the D-machine operatives, staffer, consultants and other lifers who fought him (at least the brighter ones, or the ones who know what’s good for them) will secretly be cheering for a Trump re-election.

              1. Kurt Sperry

                There’s a mighty big difference between having four long years at the helm to do the necessary housekeeping and four months in harried campaign mode. There’s no way Bernie cleans the DNC house between August 2020 and November.

      2. richard

        Selecting candidates in back rooms is such a classic look for the dems
        so retro!
        of course they don’t want lose it
        I like that they can defend oligarchy in court
        in their mealymouthed way (We didn’t do it! But we could have! It’s our club, mom said!)
        but not in public yet
        let’s keep making them try

      3. Stephen V.

        Thank you for this Lambert! The missing link in the evolving Bernie conversation.
        It occurs to me that Spiva and his ilk are getting it both ways:: They are finger wagging at the Court about meddling directly in the political process (verboten ) WHILE at the same time arguing and behaving like a little private club with no obligation to, e.g , honor the intent of the donors and use their finds to support Bernie. Vile indeed.

      4. ewmayer

        Don’t forget “promise to support the eventual nominee, whoever she may be.”

        On the subject of loyalty oaths I recall the Clintons and their MSM minions were also really big on trying to get Trump to swear – in his case I suppose that would be a ‘loyalty oaf’ :) – to respect the results of the general election — a respect they themselves have failed to show ever since said results were tallied and went against them.

    2. Joe Well

      The world human rights standard is “multi-party” (i.e., three or more) democracy. In Cuba, there’s one party. In the US, there’s two.

      Why doesn’t anyone just come out and say that the party duopoly is undemocratic and illegitimate?

      1. JEHR

        In Canada, we have the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the Progressive Conservative Party, the Bloc Quebecois, the Green Party, the New Democratic Party (which gave us universal healthcare), the People’s Party (new), Coalition Avenir Quebec, Quebec Solidaire, Parti Quebecois, People’s Alliance, Marxist-Leninist, etc. We have them all at some time or other. It makes our lives very interesting and exciting!

      2. JeffC

        I forget which African leader was the wit who pointed out that the US has a single party but that in accordance with its tendency to perhaps overdo things, it has two of them.

          1. DJG

            Huey: The earliest that I can find is 2001 in a quote from the Canadian political scientist, Radhika Desai:

            The Right Politics to Come

            A century of the greatest political confrontations in the history of capitalism has ended with the complete surrender of the left. But victory has been paradoxical for the victor: triumph has been accompanied by dissipation. No clear electoral or political dividends have come for parties of the right. This is commonly attributed to nature of the victory itself: the acceptance of the basics of neo-liberalism in all nations by parties of the centre and social democratic left, along with their new closeness to particular sections of the capitalist classes, has simply blurred the old political lines and identities making party system increasingly similar to the US model of two parties of capital (of which Julius Nyerere was known to have said, “The United States is also a one-party state, but with typical American extravagance, they have two of them”). In this sense almost all politics today is the politics of the right, the politics of the classes of property and older parties of the right can no longer expect any special purchase on the political situation. And all parties suffer many problems in common: Disoriented policy, corruption scandals linked to the increase in election expenses, erosion of traditional social bases, and significant sources of dissatisfaction with globalization, not least from among capitalist classes themselves.

            But, this hardly means, as some have ventured to suggest, that right and left have both ceased to exist. Only the left has. As long as there is an order of property to protect, a specifically right politics will remain indispensable and distinctly identifiable, whether or not an organised opposition to it exists. And it is so today. The political polarizations of the 1970s and early 1980s have not been replaced by any centrist politics. Rather the rise of extreme right groups on the other side of the political spectrum, which have no counterpart on the left, underlines the lopsidedness of the current political situation.

            * Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Victoria, Canada.

            Social Scientist, Vol. 29, Nos. 5 – 6, May-June 2001

    3. Roger Smith

      “…will be required ‘to affirm in writing’ that they ‘are a member of the Democratic Party, will accept the Democratic nomination’ and ‘will run and serve as a member of the Democratic Party.’”

      When running for and serving the people isn’t even part of your Party policy. Again, something Sanders should visibly combat that he will probably go along with (not that he’s they only one, Gabbard probably will too).

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Someone recently said that this is the last at-plate.

          I believe this what you’re thinking of:

          He’s not wrong.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Perhaps the Clintonite Obamacrats consider it their secret mission to PROVE that democracy CAN NOT work, deliberately and on purpose.

            Perhaps their next secret mission after that is to steer America into overt Corporate Overclass governance with SJW Identy-Police veneer . . . . in order to prevent Bitter Trumpists from attempting a Populist Dictatorship of their own.

            I believe that possibility should be considered. In light of that possibility, I hope that if the Democrats nominate another Clintonite Obamacrat, that we can make sure that Clintobamacrat candidate is defeated in the election.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the Democratic Party were a SanderSocial Democratic Party, then Bernie would be the good kind of partisan . . . . a Policy partisan.

      The current Democrats are a bad kind of Partisan . . . Identity Partisan Go Team Blue! Partisan.

  3. NotTimothyGeithner

    I would prefer a woman in the VP slot, but Ro Khanna just became one of the co-chairs of the Sanders campaign.

      1. polecat

        I’d rather they get William to reprise his role .. after maybe shedding a few pounds for the veiwer’s sake …

        Khan : “Kirk .. Do you know the Klingon proverb .. ‘that a dish is best served hillarycold’ .. ??” “Well .. In DNC Space, it is Very Cold indeed !”

  4. Joe Well

    @Lambert, after historic reforestation from 1880 to about 2010, New England is now deforesting again.

    Also for anyone who’s interested, I don’t have a link, but New England didn’t have much “forest primeval” (Longellow’s phrase) when Europeans arrived. People had been harvesting and burning forest, on a mostly sustainable basis, for millennia. The historian William Cronon talked about that. At any rate, New England tree species only have an individual lifespan of a few centuries.

    1. Another Scott

      Living outside Boston, I have noticed this. In addition, although not as bad as deforestation, I’ve noticed that homeowners are cutting down more and more trees on their properties and not replacing them. Cities and towns are doing the same for the trees they used to maintain along roads. In addition to removing the trees, this process also reduces shading, increasing the need for air conditioning in the summer.

        1. marieann

          Here in Ontario we are losing our native Ash trees to the Emerald Ash Borer, I lost a lovely one a few years ago.
          I also lost a native Locust tree a couple of years ago to a fungus which it proliferating in the species are they are a very popular tree to plant.

          I didn’t replace the ash but I put in a serviceberry in place of the Locust. Hopefully I can make serviceberry pies if the Robins don’t eat all the berries like they did last year.

          I have another Locust in the backyard….and it doesn’t look to good.

          1. Harold

            I am so sorry about your ash tree. This borer also threatens the beautiful native White Fringe trees (Chionanthus virginicus), I understand. Both are members of the olive family, as are quite a lot of other nice plants, including lilacs. This is very upsetting. A catastrophe, actually.

            Is your locust a honey locust? We have one as our street tree. I am ambivalent about it, because it was supposed to be thornless, but last fall we removed 5 large, “contractor”- sized trash bags full of seed pods off our roof. Evidently it changed sex. The tree was planted shortly after we moved here, as a sapling; that is, we requested that the city plant it. The one down the street from us planted at the same time is not doing as well, it has a hole that goes right through it. My horticulturalist friend says it should be removed. The city does virtually nothing to take care of these street trees, though unpruned they can be a danger.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > homeowners are cutting down more and more trees on their properties and not replacing them. Cities and towns are doing the same for the trees they used to maintain along roads.

        Why are they doing that? Fear of hurricanes? Trees are aging out?

    2. Mark Alexander

      Here in central Vermont, it’s the Forest Service that is doing the most tree cutting. They just announced their intent to cut 10,000 acres in a nearby section of the Green Mountain National Forest. When you ask the local office why they’re doing this, they show you a big map with lots of colored blobs keyed to legends that make it seem like they’re doing the cutting for Nice Ecological Things like preserving habitat, encouraging mixed-age forests, etc.

      Perhaps not coincidentally, one of the employees at the local office also said their budget had been cut dramatically. That tells me that the cutting is likely just a money-making operation.

      In summary, I suspect it’s all just a cover for what will essentially be a clear-cutting operation, which is what happened with a similar project they did recently a few miles north — all to make some money on timber sales.

    3. Harold

      I think Longfellow’s phrase “forest primeval” referred to Nova Scotia. Not New England, strictly speaking. I don’t think Longfellow ever visited there, actually. By coincidence, we passed by what is touted as Evangeline’s village, i.e., the real-life setting of the opening of Longfellow’s fictional tale, when visiting Nova Scotia last August, a first for me.

      1. Wukchumni

        Our forest primeval is chock full of iron fists encased in velvet gloves, and with mere thumb pressure you can push the bark in 1/2 an inch. Pesky humans that seldom live past a century have named the bigger ones that have been around a few thousand years, in the same fashion that a hamster might name a human after another rodent.

    4. Wyoming

      I am pretty sure you are mistaken about the scale of old growth trees in the eastern US during colonial times. While there was a certain amount of harvesting and burning there is loads of evidence regarding the giant trees which were all up and down the Appalachians.

      In the Smithsonian museum and many others there are paintings of colonial America which show trees of a size which just do not exist anymore.

      I used to own a farm house and barn in VA which were build in the mid-1700’s. The beams and boards which were used to build them were clearly from trees much larger than any which exist today. This type of evidence is wide spread through out New England and the mid-Atlantic states. My house had tongue and groove heart pine flooring which was 2 inches thick and 14 inches wide, main beans which were approx 12 by 12 and over 30 ft long and they were not from the heart of the tree, I had joists in the barn of white oak which were quarter sawn and were 12 by 3 and about 16 feet. And so on.

      The wood requirements for building the clipper ships and other types of sailing ships clearly could not have been satisfied by any of the tree stock found today.

      Chestnut trees at one time grew to a size where their branches could cover almost a 1/2 acre and had diameters of 6-8 feet.
      George Washington and other surveyors of the time measured sycamores with diameters from 14 to 20 feet and heights to 120 feet and branch spreads of 140 feet. Some pines reached heights of over 200 feet. Tulip poplars also reached heights of over 200 feet.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Fascinating that. Sort of indirect evidence. You are quite right about the thickness of timber needed for shipping as even the timber for the relatively thin decks was several inches thick.

      2. Harold

        The other thing is that those big trees can get very tall in a relatively short time. An elm tree, for example, takes only 40 years to grow to 100 feet tall.

        The American chestnut, formerly the dominant tree of our eastern forests, could get over 120 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 feet. Around 1900 nearly all of them were killed by disease, though there are still a few lonely specimens left here and there. Sadly, they need a pollinator to produce fruit.
        https://www.nhpr.org/post/granite-geek-slow-hard-road-back-american-chestnut-trees#stream/0

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        I believe that one significant pre-Revolutionary export from the colonies to Britain was ship’s masts — very tall, and very straight. I don’t know what species.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Here is some information about the sort of timbers that were used in the construction of a ship in 1837 that I have been researching and where they were used. It was built in New Brunswick but would be similar for North America in this era-

          Black Birch – Keel, floor timbers and lower planking
          Hackmatack – All other timbers, knees and upper planking
          Live/White Oak – Stems and posts of superior ships
          Pitch Pine – For Beams
          White Pine – Cabins and interior finishings and for masts
          Black Spruce – Yards and topmasts

  5. Morgan Everett

    Made the mistake of looking at the comments under the Daily Kos poll. Good lord, that’s an incredible amount of bitterness about a primary that was won by the candidate most of them supported.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Made the mistake of looking at Daily Kos. Good lord, that’s an incredible amount of bitterness

      With a few tweaks, your observation was evergreen. The Clinton Obama primary days made places like Red State look inclusive by comparison.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      Regarding Lambert’s comments on what that poll indicates: anyone on the web could vote in it provided they were willing to give DK an email address to spam. It does not reflect a distribution of preferences within the Democratic Party. I hadn’t soiled my eyes with the DK main page in ~5 years, and I voted in it. Received a spam email in under 24 hours and promptly designated it as spam.

      If Moulitsas wants to assess the distribution of people v “bots” in that poll, he could hire polling org specialists to review the email address list. They could estimate the percentage that represent individual human respondents. Those estimates aren’t exact, but they could pick out coarsely obvious efforts to “stuff the ballot box”.

      I doubt that he wants to make that assessment. Or make the results known, should he choose to do so.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        My initial thought regarding Lambert’s comment was that it’s all about the benjamins. Sanders just raised a lot of cash, has a proven track record of doing so, and Markos wants a taste. That’s all he’s ever been about. Your mention of the subsequent spam makes me think that’s definitely the reason he’s letting Sanders supporters stick around.

    3. NotReallyHere

      “a primary that was won by the candidate most of them supported”

      The self-entitled rage from the Clinton crowd really is impressive, though. And while its true that most of the Bernie supporters sucked it up and voted for Clinton in the general, there is a real question about the primaries. The evidence for massive vote rigging was overwhelming especially in California and New York.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The self-entitled rage from the Clinton crowd really is impressive, though

        An empty barrel makes the most noise. History has passed them by. The smart ones have gone off and joined Democrat front groups like Indivisible, but there, at least, they’ll actually talk to people outside their bubble.

    4. DonCoyote

      From Paste

      It’s still going to be a massive debacle on every front—the Hillary diehards will throw themselves against the padded walls of Twitter with even greater self-destructive velocity, mainstream media will find a way to outdo themselves on the anti-Bernie beat (even if it will be extremely hard to top iconic moments like “16 negative stories in 16 hours”), and when cable news hosts aren’t putting on their most serious faces to ask “but how are you going to pay for it?”, they’ll probably carry water for the desperation storylines we’ve come to expect: Bernie is racist, sexist, whatever-ist, he loves guns, he’s too old, he owns more than one house, his real name is “Venezuela,” etc. Life inside the campaign cycle will be a living nightmare, and we’re going to endure multiple lifetimes of despair between now and the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, 2020…after which, it will get worse.

    1. Kilgore Trout

      If Sanders wins the primary, how about we settle the election with Bernie taking Trump one on one in a b-ball game, first one to 21?

      1. DonCoyote

        Katie Halper has been suggesting the 1-on-1 b-ball with Trump for awhile, but more as a way to show that Bernie is fit enough/not too old.

  6. clarky90

    Re; ““Elon Musk: Tesla will have all its self-driving car features by the end of the year” and “My Mac repair guy hates the latest laptop”

    Scotty Kilmer (I am a fan!) describes how cars have gone from zero microprocessors to about 50. The Teslas and luxury cars (Mercedes and ilk) can have up to 100. Driving through water or a smash can disrupt this “intelligent net”. A $100,000 car can become un-repairable (disposable)! It is not simply a matter of replacing one “black box”. The microprocessors are distributed throughout (often buried in) the car. It can be impossible to diagnose and isolate the problem; even for the car Dealer with all of their specialized, diagnostic tools.

    Why New Cars are a Rip-off to Repair
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zL7P-etsDI

    “DIY and car repair with Scotty Kilmer. (an auto mechanic for the last 51 years) Expensive car repairs. Car dealership ripoffs. Why electric cars are so expensive. Why used cars are so expensive. Modern electronics have made new cars more efficient but also more complex to fix.”

    The video is 11 minutes long, and informative and entertaining. I drive a 1998 manual Toyota Corona, with wind up windows. This is the sort of car that Scotty, wisely imo, recommends.

    1. Huey

      I am not eager to purchase anything remotely electric, if ever I do reach a point where a reasonable but (new?) old car model becomes affordable (not counting any 0% down/subprime trap loans).

      I must admit to having a hatred for manual car windows however. Is it possible to avoid this without accepting some other crapification?

  7. Wukchumni

    There’s an embarrassment of choices of apple varieties out there, you could plant thousands of different ones if you had the time or place for them, not that most would be suitable for a given climate. Our torrid summers are a proving ground for ones that can’t take the heat, and ones that can. Now, if I could only convince the deer not to be hungry in the fall and pillage the malus palace grounds so effectively, hmmmmm.

    Made apple pie out of fruit from a tree around 125 years old this summer, eking out a living @ 6,000 feet. There wasn’t an apple lower that 12 feet, the tree having done away with the problem of bears attacking it’s laden lower limbs by not having any.

    1. Lee

      Now, if I could only convince the deer not to be hungry in the fall and pillage the malus palace grounds so effectively, hmmmmm.

      Maybe you need a pet cougar. ; )

  8. Carolinian

    Had Trump passed some version of universal health care

    But wouldn’t the Dems have described such an attempt as a Putin plot to make Trump popular enough to cancel sanctions and give the rest of Ukraine to Russia? It takes two to not tango and the Dem attitude toward Trump (excepting war) has always been “whatever he’s for I’m against it.” The Repubs probably wouldn’t have been too supportive either.

  9. Summer

    Sanders (6): “Daily Kos Democratic Presidential Primary Straw Poll: February 19” [Daily Kos (JF)]. The results:

    Tulsi who?

    Can’t help but notice after a post from the other day.

    1. Arizona Slim

      That straw poll graph looks, oh, how to say, a bit scatological. Y’know, like a certain middle digit.

      1. Tvc15

        Funny Arizona Slim.

        I can’t believe we are about to go through all the DNC/MSM shenanigans again. Seems like only yesterday. I’m not sure I can take it and I’m highly skeptical any real change can come by operating within the parameters of their corrupt system. Probably need to listen to Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” again.

  10. Big Tap

    Yesterday some people who contributed to Bernie Sanders with $27 said it went through ActBlue and were concerned if the Democratic party was receiving access to their names. Now we know that Bernie Sanders for the purposes of running as president in the primary will become a Democrat. ActBlue is a Democratic organ. Will Bernie’s contributors names now be complied and given to the Democratic Party for mailing lists since he is a ‘Democrat’? Is there another method of contribution that avoids Democratic party clutches?

    1. Arizona Slim

      Arizona Slim to the rescue! I think I have a solution to this ActBlues-y problem.

      I signed up for Bernie’s list. At the bottom of each email is this mailing address:

      PO BOX 391, Burlington, VT 05402

      I’ll betcha that, if you mailed a check to that address, the campaign would cash it.

    2. Judith

      I donated to Bernie’s campaign in 2016 via ActBlue. At the end of the campaign, they asked if I wanted to continue to be on their mailing list. I said No and never heard from them again. Nor have I ever been pestered by any Democrats. YMMV.

    3. Big River Bandido

      This is no change from 2016, when Sanders’ contributions were handled by ActBlue — as are nearly all “Democrat” candidates. I gave many times in 2016 and always made it clear I would not support ActBlue or other candidates and I didn’t want to receive their spam. It has never been a problem.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If all this is true about the variety of apples, then you have to wonder about the varieties of other fruit and vegetables that has also been lost to modern cuisine. Makes you wonder.

  11. Summer

    Re: “Elon Musk: Tesla will have all its self-driving car features by the end of the year” [CNBC]. Musk: “I think we will be feature complete — full self-driving — this year. Meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention, this year. I would say I am of certain of that. That is not a question mark.” • Big if true.

    I’m sure that can happen. But there’s no mention of “no carnage” along the way.

    1. voislav

      I’d like to see how this plays out. Two obvious questions come to mind. First, how is legal liability going to be handled, is the driver legally liable for any crash that occurs while the vehicle is in self-driving mode? New legislation may be required, which is a big obstacle.

      Second is insurance. Is insurance company going to accept the financial liability and what is it going to cost. Since there is no comparable data on reliability of the full self-driving systems, it’s going to be interesting how risk management will be handled and whether the financial penalty for the early adopters will be significant enough to deter adoption.

      1. Jen

        I do love this bit, from the article:

        “”However,” he added, “people sometimes will extrapolate that to mean now it works with 100 percent certainty, requires no observation, perfectly. This is not the case.”

        In addition, the speed at which the technology makes it into the hands of customers depends on what regulators will allow, Musk added.”

    1. nippersdad

      She had said last week that she wouldn’t endorse until the NY primary. This artlcle is making a lot of very little, IMHO.

      The clincher is the last sentence.:

      “Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner,” tweeted former Hillary Clinton staffer Zac Petkanas. “Let’s see how he likes it.”

      It looks like they are going to try and make sure that he doesn’t like it at all.

        1. Mike Barry

          As Upton Sinclair might say: “It is difficult to get a party to win, when its hacks’ salaries depend upon losing.”

        1. nippersdad

          Maybe because the field will have winnowed quite a bit by then? A strategy for not making enemies earlier than you have to? I really don’t know, but waiting might be the best strategy for her. Sanders isn’t going away, and the rest can fend for themselves.

    2. EricT

      She’s not endorsing anyone at this point. Why even mention Bernie in the headline? It’s just click bait and probably an attempt to wedge supporters away from Bernie.

  12. richard

    I’m so happy Lambert put the presence of “pot smoking joy seekers” on staff, on his litmus test for campaigns!
    I am making a little fun of the psjs designation, but I’d also like to know more about Mr. Harris’ thinking when he said that. There is definitely a point to be made that seeking out joy, as a conscious life goal anyway, is problematic. Often we get less joy and shallower joy when we seek it out. This is my own experience at any rate.

    1. Grant

      One of the most vile people in politics in America, and that is a feat. How does someone like Brock develop into the person he developed into? His entire public life is an attack dog for right wing interests in the two parties that dominate this system, and he does so in the most dishonest and manipulative ways imaginable. A, mentally healthy and relatively normal, person would not have his history and post something like that. They would realize what they look like. Just goes to show that his audience isn’t the general public. He lives in a bubble and that bubble has made him rich and gives him lots of power. If he is the worst person in the room, oh well, he’s got a new addition to the house to pay for, or whatever. So eat dirt.

    2. ChrisPacific

      That has to be one of the funniest things I’ve read today. Pretty much the dictionary definition of projection. I already know what the replies are going to say but I’ll read them anyway for entertainment value.

  13. dcblogger

    I am surprised that Elizabeth Warren did not do better in the Daily Kos poll as she has been a favorite of that community. I am stunned that Bernie did so well given the expulsion of the Bernie supporters in 2016. People want healthcare.

    1. Darthbobber

      I suspect a big chunk of those votes are not from within the bubble. Either that or most of the pro-Sanders people are lurkers, as we used to say. I still have a user ID there and at TPM, but stopped bothering with input eons ago

        1. ChrisPacific

          Yes, that was my conclusion when I did a search on it after seeing it mentioned a day or two back. It’s a good object lesson in the pitfalls of online polling, or pretty much any poll with sample self-selection.

          1. Lemmy Caution

            I believe Kos himself made the point that supporters of any other candidate in the straw poll could have freeped it too (if that is indeed what the Russian Reddit forum did).

  14. James

    Maybe a bit premature but personnel being policy and all; here is my dream Bernie cabinet. It would lock down a winning coalition with a chance for real change, if there would be a free election.

    VP Tulsi Gabbard
    COS or White House Counsel: Keith Ellison JD
    COS or ACOS Nina Turner
    State: Former Senator Jim Webb JD
    Defense: Mari Eder (Retired MG, Army Public Affairs and Training)
    AG: Elizabeth Warren JD
    Treasury: Stephanie Kelton PhD
    Interior: AOC
    Asst Sec: Russel Begaye (President of Navajo Nation)
    Agriculture Ricardo Salvador Ph.D. (Director Food and Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists, Kellogg Foundation)
    Asst. Sec: Cornelius Blanding (Federation of Southern Cooperative Land Assistance Funds)
    Commerce: Rep. Ro Khanna
    Asst Sec: Doug O’Brien (National Cooperative Business Association CEO)
    Labor: Richard Ojeda (Former WV Representative, Retired Army Major)
    Asst Sec: Tefere Gebre (Executive Vice President AFL-CIO)
    Health and Human Services: Abdul El Sayeed MD (Former Professor Epidemiology. Columbia; Director Detroit Department of Health)
    Asst Sec: Rose DeMoro RN (Nurses Union)
    Housing and Urban Development: Chokwe Antar Lumumba (Mayor Jackson, MS)
    Asst Sec: Carmen Cruz (Mayor San Juan)
    Transportation: Diane Jones Allen PhD (University of Texas- Urban Architecture, Public Transportation)
    Energy: Paul Kaleta JD (General Counsel, First Solar)
    Education: Prof. Cornell West PhD
    Veterans Affairs: Stephen Xenakis MD (Retired BG Army, Specialist PTSD)
    Homeland Security: Walter Gaskin (Retired Lt. Gen, Commander Marine Expeditionary Force Anbar Province, Vice Director Joint Chiefs, Training and Education, Fleet Marine Commander)
    UN Ambassador: Deborah Birx MD (At Large Ambassador AIDS Treatment Advocate Retired Col. US Army Medical Corps)
    Press Secretary/Communications: Melissa Harris Perry PhD (Princeton, Wake Forrest, MSNBC)
    National Security Adviser: Larry Wilkerson (Retired Col. Professor, Colin Powell’s COS)

    1. Isotope_C14

      I’m intrigued by your selection of Larry Wilkerson as NSA, He’s far from a leftie, and just because he isn’t the “brain fell out of the head” republican, he’s still a republican.

      NSA should be Medea Benjamin to be perfectly honest. She knows exactly who jeopardizes “American” security.

      1. integer

        Not saying Sanders couldn’t find someone better, but he could do a lot worse than Wilkerson. From Wikipedia:

        On April 2018, Wilkerson explained in an interview with Sharmini Peries of the Real News Network, why he (Wilkerson) believes the U.S. president “can do anything he pleases with regard to the armed forces of the United States anytime he pleases.” That reason, says Wilkerson, “is because the American people are apathetic” and “their representatives in the Congress are… cowards” who, but for “few exceptions like Mike Lee and Bernie Sanders and some of the others,” will not do anything to restrain such exercise of presidential power. He also goes on to state that commercial interests related to oil and gas is why the U.S. would intervene in various places overseas including the Middle East and Afghanistan; and that other reasons for justifying U.S. intervention “is just lying to the American people” and that the U.S. has a long history of lying to justify intervention, giving the examples of the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars.

        In September 2018, Wilkerson further said that the neoconservative agenda regarding war on Syria and Iran also threatens conflict between the U.S. and Russia and the long-term bogging down of U.S. military forces in major conflict. Wilkerson states, “My serious concern is about the way U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and others in their positions of power now are orchestrating a scenario whereby Donald Trump, for political reasons or whatever, can use force in a significant way against Assad and ultimately Iran, because Iran’s forces are there, and ultimately against Russia, because their forces are there in Syria, and this is most disquieting.” The neoconservatives’ military plan, argues Wilkerson, is “a recipe for” the U.S. military being in the region for “the next generation” with significant force “mired even deeper in this morass” and with the “day after day” attrition of dollars and lives…

        In April 2007, Wilkerson was featured in VPRO’s Tegenlicht Dutch documentary The Israel Lobby. He said that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was highly influential in the Bush Administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      A stellar list, but one mistake Obama made was draining the Congress of potential allies. Also, e.g. I totally dig Cornell West but he’s more of a preacher than administrator. Maybe that doesn’t matter if he brings the vision and gets the right people working for him…

      1. Tom Doak

        I’m sure that was not a mistake, but 11-dimensional chess. And of course you may be mistaken which side he was playing for.

        Also, Tim Geithner and Larry Summers were not in Congress.

        1. polecat

          It is a known fact that Berry flunked-out while attending the Vulcan Science Academy … He apparently indulged in too much “joy” …

    3. WJ

      Unfortunately the Democratic Party Loyalty Oath states that the nominee’s cabinet will be chosen by Citibank.

    4. BobWhite

      I like this list…
      One change I would make is have Michelle Wolf as press secretary…
      Would make for an even better correspondents dinner. :-)

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      There is, amazingly, a strong bench on the left. How the [family blog] did that happen?

      Not sure on Melissa Harris Perry, though; I don’t watch TV, so I’m not sure, but isn’t she in the MSNBC crowd? I’d try Margaret Sullivan. She’s gone soft at the Jezz Bezos Shopper, but she skewered the Times brains trust regularly when she was there.

      But let’s not count our chickens!!!!

  15. zagonostra

    “They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

    “Lifestyles of the rich and socialist: Bernie Sanders has 3 houses, makes millions” -Fox News Headline

  16. audrey jr

    Consumer Reports dropped their Model 3 recommendation today. CR has never endorsed any of the other Te$la models.
    I work in La Jolla, my office is right around the corner from the illustrious “Everyone Counts” – except CalPERS integrity – but I digress.
    My point is that I see, on a daily basis, many Te$la’s and the Model 3 in particular. It looks cheap and the paint jobs are absolutely terrible.
    One pulled into our parking lot the other day, a silver colored one, and as I saw the front part of the car facing me as it drove in I thought to myself, “OMG! What happened to that thing?” It was a Model 3, almost brand new, and the paint was so very dull looking in the bright sunshine that I couldn’t believe anyone would take delivery on an upscale car whose paint appeared to be applied by a cheap $299.00 car painting shop.
    Whenever these Te$la’s park next to, say a Honda Insight, the terrible paint on Te$la is even more obvious.
    I believe that Te$la will be gone by the end of this year or by early next year.
    Good riddance..

    1. Carolinian

      Just speculating but I think Teslas use aluminum body panels which could produce a different appearance.

      There have been stories here about how very expensive Teslas are to repair if you crunch one of those body panels.

    2. Angie Neer

      I think you’re seeing cars that have an after-market matte (dull) finish. I’ve seen a few around here. Some people seem to fancy it as a way to set themselves apart from the crowd. Here’s an example.

  17. Jerry B

    ===Elon Musk: Tesla will have all its self-driving car features by the end of the year===

    So are we talking Level 5 i.e a fully autonomous self driving car??? Because from reading several sources we are at least 10+years or more from Level 5.

    Also given Musk’s behavior/issues over the past year and the ongoing well documented production troubles of Tesla, I have doubts about any proclamation Elon Musk makes.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/27/driverless-cars-hype-hubris-and-distractions/

  18. Edward

    The Daily Kos poll consigned Tulsi Gabbard to the “other” category. I think Gabbard is overtaking Sanders as the lightning rod for establishment dirty trips. What does Brock have to say about the attacks on Gabbard?

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Stupid. They should have put her name right next to Bernie’s to see if she could siphon off some votes.

      Most likely they never ever once thought there were that many freethinkers left on their site. Which I quit a long time ago.

    2. Carolinian

      Of course she is. They care far more about foreign policy than things like medicare for all which they have the power to block.

  19. Shonde

    Moved in 2018 from a house in California with a monster sized concrete patio covering the entire back and sides of the house. That patio came with the house and was perfect for the two big OES dogs I currently have. Never had to clip their nails!
    Now I live in a traditional Minnesota house with a big back and front yard lawn. I can convert the front to something better but the big fenced back yard is for the dogs. Lots of concrete is not good for the environment and also expensive. My dogs are boisterous and would destroy any garden in the back. What to do? Plant clover and let it slowly take over? Ideas needed for back yard conversion that would work with my two sometimes hole digging destructive dogs.

    1. Edward

      Witches have a long standing reputation for being socialists and environmentalists. It makes them easy to identify and AOC simple to out.

    2. notabanker

      “It’s been widely publicized that there is a coven of witches that cast spells on President Trump 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

      Is there a GoFundMe for this?

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The word is used for a purpose, like the other word, socialism.

      Each may have different meanings to, say, us here, and the voters being targeted.

      To win, the debate about that label needs to be engaged on that battlefield.

    4. polecat

      Maybe she has the Lord of Light on her side. Lets hope she has better success in picking winners than Melisandra had with Stannis ..

  20. Mark Gisleson

    I got lucky when I moved. My new Mac store is not Apple owned and the owner and staff were more than happy to help me “fix” my Mac with a 3d party solid state drive. All my trips to Apple stores and they never once mentioned common defects in many Mac mini hard drives that cause them to function erratically.

    Apple really is Microsoft now.

    1. notabanker

      They’re smarter than Microsoft, which really sucks. Microsoft figured out how to lock in enterprises but the open platform killed them with consumers. Apple figured out how to lock in consumers and make the enterprises come to them. Once they got ya, they got ya.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        : ) Retired now. I no longer have to use MS Word because clients use MS Word because their employers use MS Word because purchasing managers never got fired for buying Microsoft Office.

        1. Daryl

          There was always that saying floated around “Nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM/Oracle/Microsoft…”

          To which my followup was always: Well, maybe it’s time to start.

        2. aletheia33

          lucky you, i’m still stuck in that. just set up my previous imac with word 2004 on it (still works great) b/c i tried and could not stand using the new word for mac 2016 on my new imac. i’m just lucky i held onto the old imac with the old program on it.

          now, how can i find a non-apple “provider” (as in health care) to help me keep it going? fortunately, as i am very old-fashioned in my lifestyle/tastes, that should be pretty simple.

          i’m using the new imac for internet, video, and everything else now (still not much). just wish i did not have to put the old one in my bedroom for want of any other spot–oh well, i’m still so happy to be free of this piece of junk i’m supposed to pay microsoft a use fee for once a year forever, it’s OK.

  21. WJ

    ‘Sen. Harris has a history of elevating and amplifying all voices to ensure that nothing is seen through only one narrow point of view.’”

    This is how the Harris campaign plans to attack Bernie: he’s an old white guy only interested in class.

    (I realize Sanders is Jewish, but because Harris is a black woman, Sanders doesn’t *count* as being Jewish; otherwise Ruiz’s comment about “one narrow point of view” could be taken as anti-semitic, which it would be if Harris were a white male.)

    1. ewmayer

      Eaxctly right – whereas with a typical ‘narrow’ Dem candidate one might hear only the amplified voices of Wall Street, or of BigPharma, or of PrivatePrisonInc, with a ‘diverse’ candidate like Kamala “RastaMon” Harris, we’ll be hearing the concerns of all those ‘persons’, subject only to the big-$ campaign-contribution checks clearing. Diversity matters!

      1. polecat

        I remember a time not too long ago, in a land not so far away … when most everyone wanted to live in a ‘colorblind’ society …. then the New Democrat$ came to power, and now here we are !

        1. ewmayer

          The new Dem$ *are* colorblind – the only color they can distinguish is green. :)

          It’s all about the Ben[mmmph, as ewmayer gets gagged and dragged off by black-van-load of AIPAC goons for softening-up and re-education as a goyishe Kibbutznik]

  22. Vikas Saini

    The graph of productivity vs wages needs to add a line for total benefits. Then you’d see that health care costs took up a huge chunk of productivity gains. HC is truly a wealth-extraction machine. M4A is barely going to scratch the surface of that…

  23. clarky90

    Jussie Smollett arrest: Chicago police hold press conference, live stream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg9vVMNi4N0

    “”Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was in police custody in Chicago Thursday morning after turning himself in overnight. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and other officials were expected to brief reporters on the Smollett investigation at 10 a.m. ET.

    Viewers can watch the press conference in the player above. Smollett has been accused of faking a hate crime after his story of being attacked by racists fell to pieces.”

    1. polecat

      HA Ha ha ha ha .. oh man ! This is rich !!

      Is it me, or does it seem like there’s been a rash of fake hate incidents perpetrated by individuals amongst the ‘Hamilton’ crowd … since about January 2017 .. ??

      1. Alain de Benoist

        There’s a long list of Hate Hoaxes going around on the internet. My favorite Hate Hoax was by the Israeli Michael Ron David Kadar who called in more than 2000 bomb threats against Jewish targets after Trump’s election. The resulting ritual smears were used for months as evidence of the hate Trump was inspiring.

        In any case there is clearly a much higher demand for hate crimes than there is actual supply. One sure sign of this dearth of actual hate crimes is that the New York Times still has to rehash the Emmitt Till murder. Even yesterday, instead of covering the Smollett Hate Hoax; the NYTs was all over the Till case.

        One positive result of the Hate Hoax phenomenon, when combined with Demographic Change, is that as white Republicans look at a future where whites will be the minority in the US, they are starting to turn against the death penalty. It doesn’t take too much for them to imagine an Idiocracy-style justice system of color where a bunch of MAGA hat wearing white racists would already be on death row for the Smollett “lynching”. It will be interesting to see if the identitarian left in turn react to their coming demographic power by embracing the death penalty.

        1. Yves Smith

          That one drives me nuts. The Jewish Community Center near my mother’s house in Birmingham (to which I have a membership, and this being Birmingham, it has a 70% gentile membership for its gym and pool) got two bomb threats and it now super inconvenient for handicapped people, particularly the ones who use the pool, because they went super high security and now have only one entrance, which is on the other side of a large building from the gym/pool area. They are not willing to admit that the security measures were the result of false alarms and wind them back.

  24. Dale

    Holy Camoly. I read Blinded By The Right years ago and thought then that Brock had gone to a lot of embarrassing trouble to switch his propaganda operation to support the Dems. The comments on this post are razor sharp and merciless. He has become poison, it seems.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Did he go through trouble? The Clintons loved the attention and he received ample funding. Its not like he spent time in the wilderness. Did he build homes with Jimmy Carter?

      How have the Democrats done in campaigns he was involved in? After all, HRC lost twice. Brock was a nasty guy both times, and now Donald Trump is President. Then of course his attacks in the 90’s shifted the Overton Window to the right and helped make Newt Gingrich Speaker.

  25. BoyDownTheLane

    https://www.mainememory.net/sitebuilder/site/283/page/546/display

    “Great Britain had depleted its forests by the 17th century and looked to the tall, straight white pines of Maine and New Hampshire to supply its appetite for timber for wooden ships, especially the old-growth pines for masts.

    To ensure that the best of the mast trees remained available for the Royal Navy and British ship builders, England declared the largest white pines to be the property of the King, marked, protected, and harvested for the government’s use…..”

    And they are still trying to dominate us….

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not quite. It was the massive demands for timber during the Napoleonic Wars that depleted England’s supply. Those wooden ships typically lasted for about 20 years and needed lots of timber for repair, replacement and upgrades creating an insatiable demand. For the rest of the 19th century, the Canadian maritime provinces became something of a powerhouse for ship-building. Most of the ships that came out to Australia during the 19th century seem to have been Canadian built going by my research files as an example. It seems that when ships converted to steam power and iron hulls towards the end of the 19th century that Canada was eclipsed as ship-builders and places like Scotland took up the work.

  26. bun

    “What is permafrost and why might it be the climate change time bomb?”

    Years ago I found myself at an International Polar Year (so important that it lasted two years) conference in Whitehorse, Yukon. One scientist giving a presentation told the audience that if the permafrost melts, we should all go ahead a buy all the SUVs and eat all the red meat and burn all the coal we want, because we’ll be family blogged anyways. Our menial carbon-spewing efforts pale against the carbon the permafrost will will puke out in one big belch (apropos geological time).

    If that ever happens, good luck putting that genie back into its bottle.

  27. Dan

    Public school teachers in Oakland, California went out on strike today. I took my kindergartner and his younger brother down to the picket lines at his school, where there was a great turnout of teachers, parents, and kids with signs, boomboxes, and of course donuts. The mood was great! I challenged my kid’s teacher (a musician) to write a verse of ‘Solidarity Forever’ about schoolteachers and he rose to the challenge!

    Judging by the Facebook and Twitter news, the first day was a major success, with most elementary schools having less than 10 kids in attendance (ours had 5 out of 639!) plus teachers at 10 non-unionized charter going out on wildcat strikes, and a rally and march by thousands that closed down streets in downtown Oakland for a while. The East Bay Times has coverage here: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2019/02/21/oakland-teachers-begin-their-strike-this-morning/

    Rafael Casal (director of Blindspotting) put up a fun video on Facebook that runs down the issues we’re facing. Crucially, this is not just about money for teachers (though they desperately need it) but about class sizes and the impact of charter schools on public education.

    More tomorrow!

    1. richard

      thanks for this news, Dan
      hard to feature why the superintendent would keep schools open
      Is there much coordination between union teachers and non-union charter teachers?

  28. The Rev Kev

    “The Obama Presidential Library That Isn’t”

    Just thought how to describe Obama’s scheme here-

    bait-and-switch
    noun: bait-and-switch

    the action (generally illegal) of advertising goods which are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods.
    “a bait-and-switch scheme”

    I can see the conversation now-

    Obama: I will build my Presidential Library in my home town.
    Chicago: Yes, we want you here.
    Obama: I want you to give me public park lands for free instead of some run down track to redevelop.
    Chicago: Anything you say. Here is our agreement.
    Obama: Surprise, mfs. It’s not going to be a Presidential Library at all.

  29. Wukchumni

    Enquiring minds want to know!

    The National Enquirer has been one of President Trump’s most controversial allies, delivering scathing coverage of his opponents to super market check-out lines and funneling $150,000 to one of his alleged mistresses to buy her silence.

    So it will probably come as a surprise to California state employees and taxpayers to learn they were helping fund those efforts.

    During the 2016 presidential campaign, California’s massive public pension fund, CalPERS, was one of the biggest investors in the debt-laden owner of the National Enquirer, according to public records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

    https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-national-enquirer-20190221-story.html

  30. dcrane

    More accounts of insect populations from parts of the world that are not the Global North would be much appreciated!

    The cicadas are going strong down here in Auckland – all eight or so species that are usually common in my area have been emergent/active as usual this year, and the “big ones” of February might even be louder than usual this time. Of course, if we cut down all the trees, most will certainly disappear.

  31. cat's paw

    “University of Chicago!” – Lambert
    Haven’t read the Current Anthro article yet, but note that the anthro dept at Chicago lives in a different universe relative to the econ dept. Search for Marshall Sahlins’ intermittent contretemps with econ faculty over the years…

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Bruce Lincoln, a Marxist member of the Div School faculty, has been fighting that U of C element for years:

      Some opponents have been so disturbed by the proposal [to name a new research institute after Milton Friedman] that they have recently asked the university president, Robert J. Zimmer, and its provost, Thomas Rosenbaum, to take the unusual step of convening the entire faculty to debate the issue.

      “This is a way to force a discussion,” said Bruce Lincoln, a professor at the university’s divinity school. “We don’t want to accept this as a fait accompli.” The last time the entire faculty met, Mr. Lincoln said, was in 1986 to discuss whether the university should divest its holdings in South Africa.

      Mr. Lincoln was one of the professors who helped organize a faculty petition that gathered 101 signatures against the new Milton Friedman Institute and who met with the president and the provost in June to discuss their grievances.

  32. BobWhite

    “Who’s Running for President in 2020?” NYT
    Some lines really stood out, although not surprising…

    Gillibrand:
    Has transformed herself into a progressive champion in President Trump’s Washington, becoming one of the Senate’s leading liberal voices. – Progressive?

    Sanders:
    Would begin a second White House race with a more extensive organization-in-waiting than any other candidate. – Except for HRC from 2000-2016?

    Gabbard:
    Has drawn condemnation for meeting with Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad… – Beating this dead story some more…

    Biden:
    Is among the best-liked figures in the Democratic Party, known for his down-to-earth personality and his ability to connect with working-class voters. – Except for “young people” = “gimme a break”.

    Booker:
    Enjoys a vast fund-raising base, thanks to longstanding connections to donors around the country. – Place “For Sale” sign on his head.

    Harris:
    Would bring a star power and history-making potential to the race that few other Democrats can match. – Kissing her a*s a bit? (can see who they like)

  33. Oregoncharles

    ““Wages 2018” [Economic Policy Institute]. Same old, same old:”
    But illuminating. The critical juncture is when wages fell off the line of productivity increases, in about 1978 (BEFORE Reagan was elected – under Carter). The never returned to parallel. Now we have another juncture: productivity gains have fallen off to an unprecedented degree – on this chart, since the 50’s.

    There was a recession and stock market crash in about 1977; is that what happened? But it’s significant that it predates Reagan.

  34. RMO

    “JF comments: “If I read the DNC rules correctly”

    I seem to recall the defense they offered in court over manipulation of the last primaries amounted to “We don’t have to follow our own rules if we don’t want to, and can appoint anyone we want as presidential candidate”

  35. dk

    “The surprise cult of Modern Monetary Theory” [New Statesman].

    Speaking of inflation and taxes, and MMT:

    The truth about inflation

    But try this thought experiment: If there were an economy in which inflation definitely had been under-reported over a long period, what would it look like?

    One might expect increasing levels of dissatisfaction among ordinary working people who don’t feel as rich as they’re told they are. Other likely symptoms might include: a long-term build-up of consumer and public sector debt in order to finance ‘normal’ levels of spending; the inflation of speculative asset bubbles; puzzling shortfalls in genuine productivity; a destabilising accumulation of bad risks in the financial system; and the collapse of public trust in conventional politics.

    Remind you of anything?

    https://unherd.com/2019/02/the-truth-about-inflation/

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