2:00PM Water Cooler 2/4/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, I’m finishing up a piece on why we should outlaw private jets, so talk amongst yourselves! –lambert P.S. I really regret this, because there are a lot of interesting stories popping right now, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles!

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

TH writes: “In this plaza beside the Broad museum is a small grove of these 100-year-old Barouni olive trees.”

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Bobby Rae

    Could someone please point me in the direction of a breakdown of competing factions within the US intelligence community? Who is aligned with whom, and their respective budgets, black and otherwise?
    Is there a good source that breaks it down?
    Thanks in advance. It seems they are at odds with themselves.

    1. Skip Intro

      Definitely don’t miss this one:
      The Vice President’s Men

      Which revealed an entirely new subfaction to the world (to deafening silence)…
      Even paranoid conspiracy aficionados who tried to pay attention (at least this one) were surprised.

      Also, the magic number these days seems to be 17, in terms of entities in the ‘intelligence’ ‘community’.

    2. prodigalson

      you could ask Pat Lange over at Sic Semper Tyrannis.

      He and some of his commentors come from that world.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s important to remember individual desks or sections. How are you going to sell a movie script about your time in the CIA running the Australia desk? You don’t have to fabricate but find holes in the security where there could be terrorists.

      Bob Mueller wasn’t arresting isolated Muslim teenagers because they were threats or even if it was how he off. He did it to prove his worth.

    4. integer

      As Lambert said, it is a good question, and it happens to be one that I have spent a fair bit of time trying to piece together an answer for, with the exception of the budget side of things. Perhaps I will share my thoughts on this topic sometime in the future, however I think it would take an article-length comment, a lot of references, and a lot of time (at least 10 hours), to cover all the bases, and would include a lot of unverifiable speculation. If you do ask the question at Sic Semper Tyrannis, I would advise you to be aware of the pro-intelligence-community bias of The Twisted Genius (aka TTG), who sometimes writes articles and is fairly prolific in the comments section. I would also warn you that Pat Lang can, on occasion, be quite acerbic and ill-tempered. Of course, that’s just my view; others may disagree.

    5. Procopius

      I agree with the recommendation above that the most likely place to get worthwhile opinions on that question would be at LTC (ret) Pat Lang’s “Sic Semper Tyrannis” blog. I don’t know if you could get much in the way of detail. Most of the “intelligence” agencies do not compete with each other. The State Department’s Bureau of Research and Intelligence is quite small and really does not compete with the CIA, but should certainly have been included in the “assessment” that asserted without evidence that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. The Defense Intelligence Agency is also pretty specialized, but might be more in competition with the CIA. There was some evidence that the CIA and DoD were at odds with each other in Syria, where groups that seemed to be supported by the CIA seemed to be more likely to ally with ISIS and/or Al Qaeda (Hayat Tahrir al Shams), while groups that seemed to be supported by the Pentagon (the SDF) were less likely to do so and actually fought against ISIS/HTS. We know that in 2012 the DIA warned the State Department (i.e. Hillary) that their support for ISIS was risky. I think competition and bickering were more between departments than between intelligence agencies, but I’m really not knowledgeable of the classified stuff.

      1. integer

        I expect it was the CIA’s Special Activities Division – Special Operations Group that was embedded with jihadi groups in Syria, along with the equivalent groups from MI6, Mossad, and France’s General Directorate for External Security. The other arm of the CIA’s Special Activities Division, the Political Action Group, has no doubt been instrumental in the political destabilization of Venezuela. Here is the Wikipedia article on the CIA’s Special Activities Division, which does state that they assisted “moderate rebels” in Syria, but, for obvious reasons, doesn’t contain any details that would be regarded as sensitive.

    6. Yves Smith

      I’m not sure this can be done in the way you want to do it. Read Janine Wedel’s The Shadow Elite. Many members of The Blob wear multiple hats, so thinking in terms of institutions may be misleading.

  2. Catman

    I’m curious as to what the readership thinks about Abrams doing the response to tomorrow night’s state of the union?
    Is there even a glimmer of a hope that it’ll touch on policy?

    1. Pat

      Only in the most general terms possible. As in Trump policy bad, we have a better plan. Think Republicans and Obamacare. No details, no plans, nothing concrete

      1. polecat

        Expect lotsa Purple to be spewed across the land tomarrow nite, from both sides of the Gorgon’s putrid mouth !

    2. JohnnyGL

      I think the goal is to make sure she’s not wandering over to that Bernie-esque lefty sphere. After all, she believes in organizing/mobilizing the black electorate and the establishment of the team dem isn’t really into that kind of thing.

      I found her more interesting than Andrew Gillum (even if he seemed a bit to her left on policy) because she was much more interested in fighting through every possible avenue. She used lawsuits where appropriate and had a lot of success with voting registration drives and was only beaten by a really horrifying voter purge effort done by candidate and secretary of state, Brian Kemp. He was overtly corrupt throughout the process.

      One other item worth keeping in mind is that she’s carrying a hefty load of student loans, so I keep wondering if that sort of thing weighs heavily on her mind and her future career prospects. Neoliberalism leaves its mark everywhere.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > She was much more interested in fighting through every possible avenue. She used lawsuits where appropriate and had a lot of success with voting registration drives and was only beaten by a really horrifying voter purge effort done by candidate and secretary of state, Brian Kemp.

        There are still on-going lawsuits and the fight is not over, especially for paper ballots. To me, it looks like she folded her tent as soon as the battle was over, and headed off to DC to work for Neera Tanden. I would rather she stayed in GA and won that victory, which would be tremendous and might spread to the rest of the country. And I was a fan when she was running!

        1. Catman

          My gut keeps telling me that we’ll hear the hollow “fighting for you” rhetoric and about 90% being how bad Trump is. I’d love it if the response was more proactive than merely responding.
          I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump finds at least a few things that are to the left of the dem position to push for during the sotu, but of course it could just be wall fearmongering – hard to tell.

        2. JohnnyGL

          I’m a little more forgiving of her than you seem to be.

          I think she found any real avenues to victory closed off, got ZERO support from elite dems and likely came under a good deal of pressure to cave. She was hardly singing notes of ‘unity’ in her concesssion speech, which sounded more like a “I won but the law won’t let me un-rig things enough to get more votes” speech.

          Now, if she quietly disappears from political life, we’ll know she wasn’t in it to win it. Gillum seems to be on his way to CNN. So that’s that for him. However, if Abrams takes another crack at running for Governor, then that would be a positive sign to me.

          In the meantime, she’s broke and carrying a ton of student loans and Neera Tanden’s got a little gig for her. She’s got few options, it seems.

          Maybe I’m wrong and she’ll sell out hard for team dem’s crappy agenda, but she struck me as someone who didn’t entirely play ball the way they wanted her to play it. She hammered on voting rights really hard. Dems just don’t do that kind of stuff. Consultants can’t pay their mortgages with voter registration forms….they need big fundraising….enter Beto-mania!

          1. Shonde

            Wouldn’t it be great if she snuck in a line about the h—hole of student debt and the need to change the bankruptcy laws? The next thing we would hear is Joe Biden was rushed to the emergency room.

      2. Di Modica's Dumb Steer

        I was excited by Gillum up until I saw him hobnobbing with HRC. It started to look funny. Additionally, some of the Dem party literature attached to his campaign (though who knows how he personally felt about it) was against the passage of amendment 12 (https://ballotpedia.org/Florida_Amendment_12,_Lobbying_Restrictions_Amendment_(2018)), for no reason that could pass the smell test. Some outlets were against a bunch of amendments on principle, due to the way some of them were attached; there were quite a few amendments with really disparate and contradictory elements, which seemed kind of like a poison pill strategy. The entire affair was muddier than I would have liked.

        1. JohnnyGL

          I think the response to SOTU from Dems is interesting as a lens towards what block of voters the party elites feel a little insecure about….

          In 2017, they had worries about appealing to the white working class, and coal country specifically. Enter the bizarre, ghostly Kentucky guys in a diner.

          In 2018, they wanted to re-create the magical charisma and eloquence of Obama and thought Joe Kennedy was the man for the job. Instead, he just drooled and said nothing concrete.

          Now, in 2019, they’re feeling insecure about black voters whom they’ve treated like garbarge for a couple of decades running….so, in comes Stacy Abrams to fix that. I suspect it’ll go about as well as the last couple of ‘fixes’.

          1. Catman

            The Joe Kennedy thing was a low point. Just complete loss of message and ideas resulting in that hollow vessel.
            I have nothing to back this up, but i keep thinking that AOC’s presence along is scaring dem leadership. You can’t put a Kennedy up there as the official response and then see AOC get a 100,000 retweets when she does her own response from her living room, or whatever. It’s just embarrassing. Everyone notices, even if they don’t happen to like AOC’s policies. It’s that moment when Wile E Coyote looks down. You can’t deny what’s happening anymore.

            1. johnnygl

              Yeah, kennedy’s been sent to go sit in the corner, it seems.

              There’s some boat-rocking going on right now in a very insular, top-down directed institution that’s very uncomfortable dealing with anything that’s not been carefully vetted behind closed doors. AOC’s confrontational style is not what they’re used to. I wouldn’t giver her too much credit, there’s a number of things making them uncomfortable…tulsi gabbard, liz warren, bernie, and their frustrating inability to be able to manufacture consent for the anointed kamala harris.

              They were feeling quite smug post-2018, now they’re feeling like they aren’t quite in control again.

              1. Carey

                If there were enough people and things pointing up the
                lack of legitimacy of the Dems’ “leadership”- they might
                have either change to citizenry-oriented policy, or be
                exposed as utter shills, of and for the Few.

    3. Carey

      I expect talk of “uplift” and “inclusion”. How can Our Dems possibly talk about policy,
      when their job is to *stop any policy that benefits the great majority* of the citizenry?

      Maybe I’m utterly wrong, and Abrams will stand up and say “I support HR 676 Medicare for All in its entirety”.

      We’ll see.

    1. zagonstra

      A friend and I saw Bensusan in a small venue just outside of Lancaster, PA a couple of years ago, front row seats…pure acoustic guitar heaven, love the DADGAD tuning.

  3. Tyrannocaster

    Found an article in The Atlantic on soaking the rich, but was drawn up when I read this statement: “Broadening the tax base is generally more efficient than changing rates,” said Kyle Pomerleau of the Tax Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C. “That would include getting at what I would call the Big Three, which is the charitable deduction, the home-mortgage-interest deduction, and the state- and local-tax deduction.”

    Since I don’t know any “progressives” that think that, I looked up this “progressive” think tank. Whoopee:

    “The Tax Foundation was organized on December 5, 1937 in New York City by Alfred P. Sloan Jr., Chairman of the General Motors Corporation; Donaldson Brown, GM Financial Vice President; William S. Farish, President of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (Exxon); and Lewis H. Brown, President of Johns-Manville Corporation, who later became the first Chairman of the Board of The Tax Foundation.[4] The stated goal of the organization was “to monitor the tax and spending policies of government agencies”.

    And then there’s this:

    “The Tax Foundation’s first project was a successful effort to stop a tax increase in Westchester County, New York, where they provided research and analysis (including an “Expenditure Survey” of state spending) to local activists”

    The headline of the article is “The Progressive Tax Policies Democrats Want”. Maybe it’s accurate – maybe that’s really what Democrats want.

    1. Tyrannocaster

      To be clear, I’m all for cutting deductions on multiple extra properties, but without an exemption for owner-occupied homes, getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction would really hit non-Bloombergs hard. But like I said, maybe that’s what they want.

      1. Matthew G. Saroff

        Actually, I favor eliminating the deductibility of interest in all cases.

        It would decimate big finance, which feeds on that subsidy.

      2. yoghurt

        The mortgage deduction is already largely gone. I have seen people mention that loans over $1M and now $750k get their deduction trimmed, not many talk about the lower end. As I will explain, under $350k get no effective deduction. (Effective in the sense that your tax will be less than without it.)

        The standard deduction is $24k for married couple. With state and local taxes (SALT) capped at $10k, you have to come up with $14k more in deductions before you can even begin to reduce your taxes. Assuming mortgage is all you have beyond SALT, at 4% interest you need a $350k in mortgage to come up with $14k. And this is only where deduction begins – so that $350k 4% mortgage is not effectively deductible..

        People do have other deductions. Religious/church donations can be quite substantial for some. But outside of the tithers, I don’t think too many middle class people have multiple thousands in charitable and other deductions.

        Deductions on multiple properties is easier to do. All you need to do is rent them out and put the loan on the rental units rather than your primary residence. Then you can cancel revenue with the loan interest as a business expense.

        1. Darthbobber

          Depending on your insurance, it can be depressingly easy to run up enough medical/dental expenses to put you over the top.

      3. Yves Smith

        The mortgage deduction applies only to PRIMARY RESIDENCES. No second homes, no investment properties.

        However you can deduct interest on an investment property as a business expense.

  4. David H

    Can someone explain to me how Democrat’s want more immigration to the point of “open borders” vs we have to severely curtail energy or we are all going to die? It would seem to me that more people living a US type lifestyle would use vastly more energy vs staying in their native country where they probably live a simple, “use less energy” life. I doubt the entire global population could live the American lifestyle as we just use too much energy.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Yes, under-rated argument.

      Also, we should stop robbing the talent and human capital of poor countries and do more to develop our own human capital.

      Instead we’re throwing people away through a variety of mechanisms, opioid epidemic is a shining example.

      1. polecat

        Homelessness .. Downsizing .. LBOs galore .. Demonetization endeavors .. ever higher rents, fees, and fines .. Global Financial Ferengi ‘ethics’ .. Israeli military suppression techniques offered to popo on a planetary scale, for the mopes own safety, of course ! .. Initiatives of ‘integrity’, again for our own good ! .. Big Agro-corpse run wilding, but hey, no more bug splats on the windshield, right ?? and no need to invent food synthesizers, the food’s already synthetic .. The other guys are worse than ussssss ! .. “Seven Ways to Sunday” ! .. on, and on, and fu*king ON !!

        But for Democrat$ ….


      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The unintended consequences arguement against open borders:

        1. We drive our tanks right into Russia’s open borders (open borders for all).

        2. We drive our tanks right into Venezuela to secure those oil fields.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Democrat’s want more immigration to the point of “open borders”

      Because that’s Ruy Teixeira’s theory of the “coalition of the ascendant.” They feel those Latinx (and other) voters will belong to them. Besides burning their virtue as non-racists, liberal Democrats like this because they believe that demographics will do their work for them, and they need never change on policy.

      1. David H

        I guess it is easier to “out demographic” the Republicans vs actually pushing policies that would attract support. But no one seems to calls out liberals who want open borders vs we are in the top 10 highest per capital energy use. I must be dumb, but to me these two desires (open borders, use less energy) seem diametrically opposed to each other. Does the Open border crowd think it through? Or are they just being non-playable characters? Just wondering.

        1. Geo

          While there are good reasons open borders are not ideal I doubt those new immigrants will suddenly inhabit the typical high-resource wasting lifestyle of the average American. I used to live in a building where all the other tenants were Central American immigrants and they had between 6-12 people per 2-bedroom apartment lived very modestly so they could sent money back to family and/or save up for immigration expenses.

          Whereas in my travels it’s not like middle class and wealthy people in other countries aren’t as wasteful as Americans. There just aren’t a lot of them in poor or underdeveloped nation’s.

          The primary waste of resources is not by the poor. It’s by the middle and upper classes. If we had a major influx of well-to-do immigrants that would probably impact our energy use a lot but those aren’t the ones who would be coming through due to an open borders policy.

      2. Darthbobber

        I don’t think it’s really accurate to say democrats “want” a particular policy. They can run the gamut from vaguely sounding on board with wide open borders, to supporting policies that differ from Trump only on details and symbolism.

        What the self-proclaimed responsible ones want, I’m sure is the porridge “just right. ” Immigration determined entirely by capital’s needs. Coupled with land of immigrants friendliness when opening the spigot a bit wider, and various apologetics when tightening the flow down.

        1. jrs

          They want a path to citizenship for everyone already here.

          What they want for people not yet here, I have no idea frankly, I wouldn’t assume open borders as that’s not how people like Obama governed, but I’m not very clear on what they want.

      3. john k

        More immigrants means lower wages and increased demand, both of which push up profits. Of course corps want this, and accordingly of course dem elites want it, too.

      4. JBird4049

        So the traditional base of the Democratic Party can do their part for the Party by just dying? Also the open borders will provide all that terrified compliant and cheap labor.

        Just how intelligent, or not, is the leadership of political and economic elites?

        The rise of a Trump was predictable at least twenty ago, as were the results of the completely botched invasion of Iraq, and the 2008 Financial Crisis happening. What is happening right now to the Democratic Party is the result of all that and more. Playing a national game of the Three Monkeys won’t change that.

        We are told how educated, how smart these meritocratic idiots are. Yet here we are with the elites supporting Washington Consensus and the forty years of rising Neoliberalism which created the predictable crises.

    3. Procopius

      Can someone point out to me (i.e. name) some Democrats who actually want or say they want open borders? Does Neera Tanden? Does Hillary? Does Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Does Chuck Schumer?


    Minor financial story recently, not any huge impact on the overall market, but a noteworthy anecdote of the impact of digital systems on brick and mortar business: GameStop failed to find a buyer, leading to its stock value to take an absolute nose dive.

    For those unaware of their business model, GameStop built its profit margins not on the new game market, but rather the used one. This is what allowed them to survive the Amazonification of the retail market. You’d come in to trade in your used games, they’d give you 5 dollars for a used game, and then turn around and sell it for 20. While you could go online and get more for your used directly from Ebay and the like, the labor involved, plus the uncertainty, made GameStop more attractive for regular folks.

    What’s killing them now is digital distribution. Every system now has large internal storage or SD card slots, so practically all games can now be purchased and downloaded via the system’s online store. And because the developers realize that a person buying their game at $20 six months down the line is better than them not buying it at all, older games get discounted. All of which adds up to the profits drying up for GameStop.

    Which they have no one to blame for but themselves; this was getting predicted a decade ago. They could’ve used their capital to develop their own digital distribution system back in the day and gotten in on it, but instead they pulled a Kodak.

    1. Roger Smith

      Gamestop’s problem is that they killed their own resale market via abusive price gouging, annoying sales pitches, limiting types of stock on hand (there is a HUGE market for classic games which haven’t been sold in their stores for years), and an overall bad store vibe/culture. A lot of this was inherited from Funcoland (abusive pricing, purposefully limited stock to push used copies) but they had a tone of time to make it better and made it worse.

  6. David(1)

    …but that’s the way the cookie crumbles!

    What Causes Crumbly Cookies?

    …Use real butter when called for and not substitutes. Butter substitutes and margarine contain water and can actually cause crumbly texture since they lack the fat to coat all of the flour.

    More crapification.

  7. nippersdad

    I don’t know if anyone else will find this as darkly amusing as I did, but apparently our intelligence services are now warning that migration from central America is an emerging threat to our security.

    Seems like the intelligence services just might be able to connect the dots between the countries that they specifically cite migrants coming from and the fifty years plus that they have spent destabilizing those same countries. A better headline might have been “Mission Accomplished.”

    What did they expect?


    1. marym

      Nothing in what the Hill article quotes actually says the immigrants are a threat or why. The article assumes this is because the explanation is a secret, and was so during an Obama-era threat assessment as well.

      Trump recently justified his opinions on Iran contrary to what security agencies were saying by citing how wrong the agencies were about Iraq WMD (Link). Of course, the agencies were pressured by Cheney to tell the administration what the neocons wanted to hear. The NYMag article comments on the possibility that Bolton is in the “Cheney” role this time with regard to Iran.

      Maybe something like this is also happening with regard to the supposed immigration threats that Trump claims when he presents would-be immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees as violent criminals, and drug and human traffickers to justify his wall and harsh policies.

      Can we now expect Trump and his minions to tell us in regard to immigration “threats” that “Even the New York Times Hill is reporting….” (Link)?

      1. nippersdad

        There is a lot of that going around; starting stories in various places and then pointing to them as established fact. The Steele Dossier immediately comes to mind. Definitely catapulting the propaganda.

        i just thought that it was ludicrous to say that the refugees were a threat without mentioning that it was to a large degree us who made them refugees in the first place. The guy who pleads mercy for killing his parents because he is an orphan type stuff.

        I read The Hill to see what the Washington Consensus has to say a lot, but this was silly even for them.

    1. Geo

      Not defending cigs as the nicotine industry is abhorrent but wouldn’t a better way to protect people be to provide healthcare? Of course, that’s assuming the intent is to better society and not just to punish “bad people” for self-medicating their misery.

      1. Carey

        As far as I can tell, the Plan is to kill off everyone who is not of direct benefit to the .01%. Evidence to the contrary is welcome.

    2. Massinissa

      Is the vaping industry lobbying for this? People will just get their nicotine fix in other ways

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    TH writes: “In this plaza beside the Broad museum is a small grove of these 100-year-old Barouni olive trees.”

    I understand there are olive trees over 1,000 years old that are still productive…not in the Americas, but in Europe.

  9. Richard

    I thought I’d link tulsi’s campaign launch speech. She’s not an exciting orator, fair warning, but I do appreciate how she “squares the circle” as a boxing coach might say, never varying much from attention to her target, cutting off avenues of escape (rhetorically). She sticks to policy, which I love.
    I also think that her anti-imperialism and her anti-nuclearism are very authentic, coming from a pacific island background. That seems a little cultural-identityite of me to even mention, and not sure why I do, but it may be important in making sure the message is heard loud and clear. To make it very difficult to discredit. msm does its best, however
    I kinda wish she were a little more thrilling public speaker, but part of me is glad she isn’t. When I’ve seen her speak one-on-one (Dore, Rogan), she come across as a slow, deep thinker, without quite as many automatic responses as we’re accustomed to from politicians.
    That said, she’s a dem, strike one. Has made at least one statement on torture that really bothered me, the whole “to stop an imminent terrorist attack” line, which has yet to apply in even one f&$%ing case. There is really only one good answer on torture, tulsi. it’s kind of like slavery in that regard. so, strike two. no strike three yet, and she may be able to walk back at least some of strike two to my satisfaction, if she’s changed her views, the interview I saw was 2012, iirc.
    Anyway, would like to hear what others around here think about her, info, etc.

    1. Montanamaven

      I heard on a radio show that Tulsi will not drop out even if not a lot of support. She will be the Rand Paul of the Left in that she will stay in to keep the message of anti imperialism out there. For that, I will support her. Not perfect. But authentic.

      1. Massinissa

        I think you mean Ron Paul of the left. Rand has never run for president. Ron has done it several times.

      2. Shonde

        Perhaps it would be good to send her a donation to encourage her to stay in. Her message needs to be heard. Sending mine today: $27

        1. Richard

          I just tried to donate. act blue would not let the donation go through, even though everything was in properly. No screens telling me I’d missed something, and checked myself over and over. I pressed on the “one time donate” button several times, with the choice of “other donation” of $27.
          I know this is foily, but I can think of exactly zero times this has ever happened before. Whennit comes time to get your money, they screw up? Never. It always works when they take your money. And it’s never happened with the horrible act blue before either (obviously).
          I will try again in a couple hours, and let you know.

          1. Richard

            I’ve gone back to the RunTulsi site. The contributions toggle is down. You can’t contribute. Is this a problem, he said with a smile? Some other people go check too, please.

            1. integer

              If you changed your browser settings to block cookies since the last time you donated then that may be the problem.

              1. Richard

                I did no such thing, although my device recently updated (against my will:)) and something may have happened then.
                The run tulsi site was taking donations eatlier today, but isn’t anymore. Nothing to do with my system.
                I went to a different site (vote tulsi) where I was able to donate and find what probably happened the first time. The truth isn’t very foily. The act blue system wouldn’t acknowledge the $27 dollar donation I typed in at the first site. It also wouldn’t at the 2nd site, but when I tried pushing on the prefab $25 donation button, at the second site, it went through fine.

  10. Hepativore

    Alright, I have a question for everybody here as I am a histologist, not an expert in money and finance.

    Hypothetically, what would be the most practical way to discourage wealthy elites from hiding assets overseas or forcing the countries that host said offshore accounts to report them in the event that the US and other countries try imposing higher taxes on the wealthy? While I am all for making the 1% pay its fair share, I am not sure how national governments would be able to do this without operating outside of their legal jurisdiction in regards to the laws of other countries.

  11. ewmayer

    In imperial-propaganda-masquerading-as-Hollywood-movie news, currently showing on FX network:

    13 Hours: Secret Soldiers
    James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini
    War (2016), 144 mins

    Six members of the Annex Security Team defend the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, from an attack by Islamic militants.

    Oddly – or not – no mention of a CIA gunrunning operation working out of the basement of said building – that kind of truthiness might tend to undermine the narrative of Our Hero Warriors™ risking their lives in order to keep us safe from those our-freedoms-hating swarthy benighted deplorables. (A.k.a. “the folks whose country the Imperium wantonly destroyed and turned into a jihadist hellhole.”)

    Also more than a smidge ironic: The very same CIA gunrunning op so deplorably attacked by Islamic militants? Its purpose was to funnel said weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenal to – ta da! – Islamic militants in Syria and elsewhere. Ah, but those were *our* Islamic militants.

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