2:00PM Water Cooler 3/4/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I am going to do a Water Cooler that is (hopefully) enough to get you started, finish up my post on Jayapal’s Medicare for All bill, and then return here. And you can always talk amongst yourselves! –lambert UPDATE All done!

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

There are now fourteen Democrat candidates as the Democrat establishment continues its headlong rush to a brokered convention. So I’ve taken to alphabetizing them.

Booker: “What is the ‘Jim Clyburn model?’ It’s the foundation of Cory Booker’s SC strategy” [McClatchy]. “During his first visit to South Carolina last month as an official Democratic candidate for president, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker didn’t spend all his time in the cities with the largest media markets. He didn’t make public appearances with South Carolina’s best-connected Democratic “gatekeepers” — such as Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin or former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler — who are often called upon to introduce candidates to voters in the “First in the South” 2020 primary state. Instead, the New Jersey lawmaker held forums at rural high schools and colleges, tailoring a national policy platform to people in the room who were worried about access to hospitals, clean drinking water and reliable Broadband.” • It would be interesting of Booker took out Harris in SC.

Cuomo: “Andrew Cuomo’s Case for 2020—No, Really” [The Atlantic]. Ratface Andy on Biden: “He knows what he’s talking about, he’s experienced, he is relatable, he knows how to get things done, he wants to get things done, he’s not blowing smoke, he’s not a blue-sky puffer. He’s not, ‘Health care for all, Social Security for all! Everything for all!'” • Oh, hell yeah. Where do I sign up?

Harris (1): “Kamala Harris told AIPAC she backs Israel because of civil rights struggle in Selma, 1965” [Mondoweiss]. “Here’s the context. At a town hall in Bettendorf, Iowa, yesterday, an audience member called on the presidential hopeful to release her private comments last year to AIPAC, the leading Israel lobby group…. The audience member kept at it, and Harris later released a transcript to Huffington Post of the meeting with pro-Israel students at the AIPAC conference in Washington, on March 5, 2018.” • An object lesson in why retail politics is important.

Harris (2): Culinary workers critical in NV:

Harris (3): Ka-ching:

Hickenlooper: “Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, touting diverse background, joins 2020 presidential field” [ABC]. Hickenlooper: “We got the oil and gas industry to work with the environment community to create methane regulations.” I think fracking activists would have something to say about that. And from ABC’s Facebook page (sorry): “Asked how he’d work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell if elected president, John Hickenlooper tells Good Morning America, ‘I would go to Mitch McConnell, to his office, and I would sit down with him and say, ‘Now, what is the issue again?’ and we would talk…Sounds silly right? But this works.” abcn.ws/2TrgJjA” • Obama tried that 2019 – 2009 = 10 years ago. It was a debacle, as even Brad DeLong admits (today under Realignment and Legitimacy).

Holder: “Eric Holder says he will not run for president in 2020” [CNN]. “‘Though I will not run for president in 2020, I will continue to fight for the future of our country through the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and its affiliates,’ Holder, who served under President Barack Obama, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. He did not provide a reason for his decision.” • In a way, that’s rather too bad.

O’Rourke: “Just What Does Beto Believe?” [Politico]. “‘I don’t know,’ [O’Rourke] said. ‘I’m just, as you may have seen and heard over the course of the campaign, I’m not big on labels. I don’t get all fired up about party or classifying or defining people based on a label or a group. I’m for everyone.'” • Finally taking a stand!

Sanders (1): Not that the betting markets mean anything, but they like the Sanders rollout:

Sanders (2): “Bernie Sanders Has a Secret” [Politico]. From 2015, still germane. From a 1973 (!) radio broadcast, the transcript:

From the Eocene Epoch of the Neoliberal Period. Sanders has not had to change is speech, because the essence of “our” political economu is in 2019 what it was in 1973.

Sanders (3): “Dismissing Bernie Sanders as a communist shows your ‘profound ignorance,’ says one of the most influential behind-the-scenes figures in American business” [Business Insider]. “The majority of America’s largest companies are incorporated in Delaware, and its Supreme Court chief justice, Leo E. Strine, Jr., is a highly influential and outspoken voice on corporate law…. ‘When people talk Bernie Sanders as if he’s a communist, they show a profound ignorance’ of the market and of history, Strine said. He added that while he doesn’t agree with all of Sanders’ proposals, they’re not actually radical from a historical or global perspective. Per Strine, Sanders is actually a centrist by the standards of some of our closest and most prosperous European allies.” • Who is this Strine dude? A communist?

Sanders (4): No time to listen to this; reaction on the Twitter follows predictable lines:

* * *

“In Iowa, a boot camp trains an army of progressive foot soldiers” [Yahoo News]. ” Just days before the inaugural Arena Academy class showed in up wintry Des Moines, the DNC announced its own training program, Organizing Corps 2020, which aims to train 1,000 rising college seniors to work on presidential campaigns. The training, which will be paid, will take place in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. At the same time, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has in-person trainings it calls DCCC-U. Arena’s founders say that while their approaches may differ in some respects from those of the Democratic establishment, there is no competition. ‘We want more people doing this,’ says Arena co-founder Ravi Gupta.” • From Arena’s Team page: “Before co-founding Arena, Ravi was the Founder and former CEO of RePublic Schools, a network of charter schools in the South…. and served as assistant to Chief Strategist David Axelrod [in 2008].” “Progressive,” lol.

2018 Post Mortem

Thanks for the brain damage, Hillary:

“Hillary Clinton blames gutting of Voting Rights Act for her 2016 loss” [Yahoo News]. • Wisconsin actually erased itself from the electoral map! That’s why Robbie Mook couldn’t find it.

2019

This proposal is imaginative:

Keeping the town library open late would probably be vehemently opposed by every bar and every package store in my university town. So do it!

Realignment and Legitimacy

“A Clinton-era centrist Democrat explains why it’s time to give democratic socialists a chance” [Vox]. “[Brad] DeLong, who served as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy in the Clinton administration, [is] is one of the market-friendly, ‘neoliberal’ Democrats who have dominated the party for the last 20 years. Yet DeLong believes that the time of people like him running the Democratic Party has passed. ‘The baton rightly passes to our colleagues on our left,’ DeLong wrote. ‘We are still here, but it is not our time to lead.'” • Well, that’s an interesting straw in the wind. DeLong continues: “Barack Obama rolls into office with Mitt Romney’s health care policy, with John McCain’s climate policy, with Bill Clinton’s tax policy, and George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy,’ DeLong notes. ‘And did George H.W. Bush, did Mitt Romney, did John McCain say a single good word about anything Barack Obama ever did over the course of eight solid years? No, they fucking did not.'” • Oopsie. An interesting read, and I wonder how many other Rubin Democrats will follow DeLong’s lead.

“The One Trait That Predicts Trump Fever” [Politico]. “In the case of Chevy Chase, the key to understanding Trump opposition in the primary has a lot to do with understanding the strength of the community, just as it does in a Wisconsin town called Oostburg. Oostburg is different from Chevy Chase in almost every way except for one crucial similarity: Both of these villages are knit together by the kind of community institutions and civil society that have disintegrated in most of the United States in the past several decades.” • Note lack of agency in “have distintegrated.

Intersectionality, eh?

And don’t @ me on Strasserism.

“Chicago’s next mayor could face emboldened, progressive City Council” [Chicago Tribune]. “Critics often malign Chicago’s City Council as a rubber-stamp body, slamming its members for advancing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s agenda often absent any rigorous debate…. [P]olitical organizations and activists are working to change that narrative, pushing to elect a wave of progressive leaders on the City Council … In last Tuesday’s election, the groups succeeded in electing three new progressive aldermen, thumping two incumbents criticized for their ties to Emanuel while replacing a retiring council veteran. Two members of the Democratic Socialists of America won seats outright, and three members of DSA advanced to the April 2 runoff election.” • That’s pretty remarkable.

“A Historic Election in Chicago Cracks the Machine” [In These Times]. “Certainly, this election marks a historic moment in Chicago, with the city poised for its first Black woman mayor and an increasingly independent, progressive and diverse Council. But voter turnout was exceedingly low. No matter how fresh their ideas and fervent their commitment, Chicago’s new leaders will need the public’s input and energy to make lasting change.”

DSA (1):

This seems like a no-brainer to me. Whatever DSA can do for the Sanders campaign is a drop in the bucket, given that Sanders raised five times the DSA national budget on his first day. DSA should do what only it can do. For example–

DSA (2): Concrete material benefits:

This would scale, just like the brake lights clinics did. Get out there and serve the working class!

Stats Watch

Construction Spending, December 2018: “The unexpected monthly decline (consensus forecasts called for a moderate increase) was led by private residential construction, which fell” [Econoday]. And: “The rolling averages declined – and last month was revised down. Also note that inflation is grabbing hold, and the inflation adjusted numbers are in contraction” [Econintersect]. “The employment gains currently are generally correlating with construction spending.” And: “On a year-over-year basis, private residential construction spending is down 1%. Non-residential spending is up 3% year-over-year. Public spending is up 4% year-over-year” [Calculated Risk]. “This was below consensus expectations, however spending for October and November were revised up.”

Retail: “Why a Lady Gaga-Like Platform Heel Will Be the Female Empowerment Pump for Fall” [Footwear News]. “The platform may be one of the oldest tricks in the shoe book, but its long history does not dilute the powerful feeling it can create for its wearer. For the 5’1″ Gaga, it’s an integral part of the fearless persona she’s created over the past decade…. The platform may be one of the oldest tricks in the shoe book, but its long history does not dilute the powerful feeling it can create for its wearer. For the 5’1″ Gaga, it’s an integral part of the fearless persona she’s created over the past decade… [I]magine how Nancy Pelosi would look on the House floor with a discreet pair hidden under her pantsuit.” • No.

Shipping: “A Storm Is Gathering Over Container Shipping” [The Wall Street Journal]. “Container ships move things as diverse as clothes, food, furniture, electronics and heavy-industry parts. In the years before the 2008 financial crisis, boxships fueled globalization. Demand for ocean trade rose as much as 8% annually and owners spent billions to buy more vessels. This created loads of excess tonnage that, at the current rate of new ship deliveries, will take at least two years to absorb. It also means that on top of higher fuel expenses, freight rates likely will continue to hover way below break-even levels across some of the biggest ocean trade routes. With China’s economy slowing and shipments taking a hit from the evolving trade war between Washington and Beijing, operators are already cutting their full-year forecasts. ‘We see clearly a global economic growth that is declining,’ Soren Skou, chief executive of A.P. Moller-Maersk AS, the world’s top container operator by capacity, told an investor conference call recently. ‘We see weaknesses, in particular, in China and Europe. We expect container demand growth to fall to 1% to 3% this year from 3.7% to 3.8% last year.'” • Are containers the new Baltic Dry Index?

Shipping: “Moscow confirms go-ahead for giant nuclear icebreaker” [The Barents Observer (GF)]. “Last year, the Kremlin ordered by decree shipping along the Northern Sea Route to be 80 million tons per year by 2024, and the easiest way to reach such huge amount is to boost export of oil, gas and other minerals. However, Russia’s current and next generation fleet of nuclear powered icebreakers will not be sufficient to secure winter-voyages by LNG-tankers on the eastern part of the Northern Sea Route, from Yamal to the Pacific. Consequently, the much wider and more powerful Leader icebreaker is required…. Mikhail Grigoriev is an expert on shipping and logistics in Russia’s Arctic region… said the main driver for Northern Sea Route development is not transit voyages with cargo between Europe and Asia. ‘Development of mineral resources is the main incentive motive of development of Arctic shipping for Russia,’ Mihail Grigoriev explained. He says transit navigation could come as a result of LNG shipping.”

The Bezzle: “Dealers seen challenging Tesla shift to online sales” [Automotive News]. “Unclear is how state motor vehicle rules will respond to an automaker selling vehicles online, direct to consumers, without local stores or service centers… Don Hall, CEO of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, said he has a problem with Tesla’s online selling plan. Virginia’s franchise law requires a company to have a physical presence in the state to sell online, he said…. To allay consumers’ concerns about buying a vehicle unseen without test-driving it, Tesla is offering a seven-day, 1,000-mile return policy…. ‘You are still asking someone to take an upfront obligation of $35,000 to about $150,000 without first doing a free test drive,’ [Morningstar analyst David Whiston] said. ‘That’s very different from buying clothes on Amazon.”” • Particularly with Tesla’s well-known quality problems. And even buying clothes on Amazon isn’t buying clothes on Amazon, because the clothes will change although product pages do not.

The Bezzle: “The Fall of ‘America’s Money Answers Man'” [New York Times]. “Financial experts, even those with bulletproof credentials, may be trying to sell you something.” • ZOMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tech: “The attention economy is dead” [The Verge]. “The advertising industry — and therefore the industries it supports, like the media — is predicated on the idea that if you’ve heard of something and have a positive association with it, you’re more likely to buy the product or the experience. And that isn’t wrong: people make decisions for reasons unfathomable even to themselves all the time. It makes sense to monetize humanity’s fundamental irrationality. (Sucks to the economists who peddled the Rational Consumer model of microeconomic behavior!) But the base assumption that the whole edifice is built on is becoming unstable, because what happens when society’s attention is entirely monopolized?… The problem is attention doesn’t scale. There is only so much time in the day to be advertised to; ads themselves are becoming less effective, because they’re now everywhere. When was the last time you consumed something that wasn’t trying to sell you something, or harvest your personal data to sell you things better?” • The last time? This morning, actually. I try to remove myself from the attention economy as much a possible. (Granted, I make an exception for the Twitter, but their advertising is so sparse I can’t figure out how they make any money. Jack should just make it into a commons.)

Tech: “Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information” [Fast Company]. “Thanks to a new Vermont law requiring companies that buy and sell third-party personal data to register with the Secretary of State, we’ve been able to assemble a list of 121 data brokers operating in the U.S. It’s a rare, rough glimpse into a bustling economy that operates largely in the shadows, and often with few rules.” • “Bustling.” More: “All that data can be used to target you with ads, classify the riskiness of your lifestyle, help determine your eligibility for a job. Like the companies themselves, the risks can be hard to see. Apart from the dangers of merely collecting and storing all that data, detailed (and often erroneous) consumer profiles can lead to race or income-based discrimination, in a high-tech version of redlining. Piles of personal data are flowing to political parties attempting to influence your vote and government agencies pursuing non-violent criminal suspects. Meanwhile, people-search websites, accessible to virtually anyone with a credit card, can be a goldmine for doxxers, abusers, and stalkers. (The National Network to End Domestic Violence has assembled a guide to data brokers.)” • Should this business — I won’t say industry — even exist? Why?

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged. [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 177. Under the 180 floor. Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.

The Biosphere

“A Radically Moderate Answer to Climate Change” [Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine]. • Nukes.

“Ecologists Urge Birds To Avert Global Decline Of Insects By Adopting Seed-Based Diet” [The Onion (RH)]. “‘It is absolutely vital that bird populations wean themselves off of insects in favor of more sustainable options,’ said researcher Marcus Drysdale, who has worked at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to develop seed-based avian diets that are high in protein and include options reasonably similar in taste to beetles and grubs. ”

“Tree Crops – J. Russell Smith” [Archive.org]. From the second review: “In 1929. J Russel Smith wrote “Tree Crops”, one of my all time favorite books for inspiration and information. He was an amazingly foresighted guy with a lively writing style, and a keen insight into the tremendous potential of trees as crop plants. Individual chapters cover persimmon, mulberry, pecan, acorns for food, mesquite, carob, walnut, hickory, and more.” And the first: “This is the absolute best book ever on the topic, and my bible.” • Not sure if I should hat tip a reader for this, or if I ran into it during my travels.

Trolling In Our Times:

“What is it like to live through a 131-car pileup? These panic-stricken 911 calls tell the chaotic story.” [WaPo]. “‘It is taking a significant amount of time to determine the sequence of events and put together pieces of the puzzle,’ police said.” • 131 is not a large number. One can only wonder if our 911 system is Jackpot-ready…

“Another Voice: Northern Access Pipeline won’t bring energy security” [Buffalo News]. “National Fuel’s Northern Access Pipeline cannot remotely be considered an essential infrastructure project for New York’s energy security. Rather, it is a destructive corporation’s desperate attempt to prepare and secure new markets for its polluting and socially harmful commodity. This is evidenced by National Fuel’s own statements that the primary purpose of the pipeline is to export fracked gas to Canada and by the fact that the company has felt the need to enlist a front group run by a Washington public relations firm to convince New Yorkers that it will be a benefit to more than just National Fuel’s high-paid executives and shareholders.” • Again, all projects that make it easier to take carbon out of the ground should be opposed where encountered.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The points on “lineage” are, I think, well-taken (though I have to read Darity’s paper):

Whatever the Opposite of a Guillotine Watch Is

Yes, this is marketing, but big if true:

Granted, “constructive capitalism” is a not unproblematic notion. But this takes me back to my hippie days, such as they were. Readers, case for the prosecution?

Class Warfare

“Abolish Libertarians” [Current Affairs]. “[H]ere’s a dirty little secret about the economics profession, of which I happen to be a member: We have no f*cking clue what causes economic growth. We’ve made great mileage asserting in public that it’s “innovation” and declaring that this or that policy we happen to favor would give us more of it, while our political opponents stand in its way. But ‘innovation’ is just giving the residual from a regression of economic output on the factors of production a fancy name. Try as we have, and we have been trying for many decades now, no one, not one economist, has been able to do better than that. So for Wilkinson to derive policy implications—that billionaires must be preserved—from such an economic model, if it can be called that, without remotely acknowledging that his theory has been put to the test and failed many times, is not the public scholarship that any serious intellectual should be offering up.” • I think it’s time for economics to resume its rightful place as a branch of the Humanities. Maybe then we could get some funding.

“Seattle General Strike: Labor’s Most Spectacular Revolt” [Labor Notes]. “On February 6, 1919, Seattle’s workers struck—all of them. In doing so they took control of the city. The strike was in support of 35,000 shipyard workers, then in conflict with the city’s shipyard owners and the federal government’s U.S. Shipping Board, which was still enforcing wartime wage agreements. The strike rendered the authorities virtually powerless. There was indeed no power that could challenge the workers. There were soldiers in the city, and many more at nearby Camp Lewis, not to mention thousands of newly enlisted, armed deputies—but to unleash these on a peaceful city? The regular police were reduced to onlookers; the generals hesitated. Seattle’s Central Labor Council, representing 110 unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL), called the strike. The CLC’s Union Record reported 65,000 union members on strike—a general strike, the first and only of its kind in the U.S. Perhaps as many as 100,000 people participated.” • Well worth a read….

News of the Wired

“Three reasons why the periodic table needs a redesign” [New Scientist]. ” Just as notes can be arranged in various ways to produce music, so the essence of the relationships between the elements could be depicted differently. There is no easy way to judge which is better, or more “true”. So arguments over perceived flaws in the current arrangement rumble on, with some chemists arguing that certain elements should be relocated – and others working on more radical ways to recompose the table.” • Infinite are the arguments of mages.

I believe dogs are, in fact, like this?

And golf is, in fact, like this?

* * *

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 (mgl):

mgl writes: “January in Anchorage, AK, 16:24 and sun has set. Steam coming off Cook Inlet.” Now that winter’s almost over!

* * *

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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.

172 comments

  1. Wukchumni

    “And don’t @ me on Strasserism.”

    Strasser: How about New York?

    Rick: Well, there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      And later on Rick turns around and sells the Cafe Americain to Signor Ferarri, including Sam the Piano Player in the deal. Talk about tangled labour relations!
      Nowadays, I’d paraphrase the famous tagline to be; “Hire the usual suspects.”
      We could also have the head of the DCCC say to his or her handler; “I’m just a poor corrupt politico.”

      Reply
  2. Jerry B

    ==But voter turnout was exceedingly low==

    Actually the voter turnout was not exceedingly low at all:

    From Capitol Fax, the Illinois political blog:

    https://capitolfax.com/2019/03/04/todays-lesson-always-listen-to-scott-kennedy-when-it-comes-to-numbers/

    From the above post:

    “Yesterday the Chicago Board of Elections added a number of late arriving mail ballots to their totals & now turnout is up to 35.2% making it the 2nd highest Chicago municipal general election turnout this century””

    Reply
              1. ambrit

                Zoiks! I tried to google a scene from an old television show with backless chaps and ran into the old “copyright issues.” While weaseling around, even cynical old roue me was amazed at how many leather themed youtube videos there are.

                Reply
            1. ambrit

              Happy Mardi Gras JHB!
              Sunny and cold. Perfect parade weather.
              Did you get a coconut this morning?
              Stay safe and keep your hand on your wallet.

              Reply
  3. Isotope_C14

    “Want to attend a fundraiser with Kamala Harris hosted by JJ Abrams?”

    Actually, I’d like a dunk-tank for the both of them. I’d pay $100 to put Abrams underwater for wrecking Roddenberry’s vision and turning Star Trek into a Transformers movie. I’d also pay the same for Kamala ignoring Mnuchin’s criminal enterprise.

    I’m of simple pleasures sometimes.

    Reply
    1. Clive

      Roddenberry’s ghost:

      I think the most important quality we’d need to preserve is Star Trek’s ability to convey a lived sense of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations in its characters, no matter what the stupid studio demands…

      Abrams:

      Yeah… right… sure. Can we CGI that?

      Reply
      1. Isotope_C14

        I always remember that interview when JJ said “I don’t ‘get’ Star Trek”. That did it for me.

        He’s a mediocre non-thinking semi-sentient ape to me. Sad thing is that paramount gave him a voice. They should have just got Jonathan Frakes to run the whole thing. That guy is interstellar.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          They wouldn’t use him anyway. Star Trek has some thirty years of cannon behind it but the new movies and the new series are a deliberate attempt to kill off that canon and to substitute their own Transformers-like version of Star Trek. That is why the new movies and TV series are absolute Scheiße. The same happened with Ghostbusters.
          If you want original Star Trek, go with “The Orville” and it is no coincidence that a producer for that series is Brannon Braga who was writing and executive producing for The Next Generation, Voyager, Enterprise, and co-writing the films Generations and First Contact. Here is a trailer for “The Orville”-

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej24W8gcmXQ

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            that series is Brannon Braga

            Voyager, Enterprise, and co-writing the films Generations

            Yeah…is this the hill you want to die on? Lucking out on Patrick Stewart and the ’86 writers strike saved Trek. Generations is unwatchable trash. I’d rather watch Star Trek V. At least Shatner was trying to do something cool.

            The noticeable of DS9 from that man’s resume is noticeable.

            As far as canon goes, who isn’t outraged by James “T” Kirk? It was originally James R. Kirk. Was he replaced? Is it his twin? I don’t know. We desperately need a backstory.

            JJ is a monster, but who cares about canon? I do, but its about having fun.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Maybe I should follow contemporary drama instead. Now let’s check the TV guide. “C.S.I.” – any city? Hmmm. “N.C.I.S.”- Nope. “The Good Doctor” – sigh! No fare there. The truth is that people have become less tolerant over the decades and this shows in TV programs.
              Can you imagine going to the networks and saying that you have a great idea for a TV series and that the lead character is going to be a bald, old, white guy? And that he is French as well. And that he is a diplomat and explorer before he is a fighter? Not a chance in hell.
              And canon is important as otherwise you just have a J.J. Abrams come in and make it up as he goes along turning drama into Transformers. You come here to NC because you know that there is going to be a lot of thoughtful articles and comments. If you came here one day and it was like Fox News, that is breaking canon. Not something that you expect or desire. See my point? Here, I’ll leave you with some inspirational speeches that you rarely see on TV these days-

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jph2qWXJ-Tk

              Reply
          2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            I highly recommend the Orville too even if the show is inherently laced with Seth Mcfarlanes Identity politics.

            Reply
    2. Roger Smith

      “Set phasers to stun… … (turns to audience) *wink*” I think the crew probably needs Warf’s purple space bazooka.

      Reply
    3. voteforno6

      Here here…I actually didn’t mind the first reboot movie. The second one, though, was an atrocity, and it turned me off of any future Star Trek movies. In fact, his Star Wars movie wasn’t the best, either. I think the only good movie he’s actually made is Super 8. Wait, what were we talking about again?

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Abrams is a pure nostalgia machine. He’s the paint by numbers director of already popcorn movies, almost a pure distillation of our age of neoliberalism in the entertainment industry as he surrounds us with calming reminders of glories past wrapped up in the imagery of the new age so we don’t notice how cruddy everything is. In the lens flared halls of the Apple Store, things seem nice, but nothing makes sense which isn’t reliant on nostalgia. Even his Star Wars movie despite being a remake of a New Hope comes to a screeching halt when it gives Luke’s blue light saber magic powers and makes it a macguffin they need to return to Luke given the climax of the previous trilogy is when Luke tosses his light saber aside and announcing he’s a Jedi despite the audience being introduced to the Jedi and lightsabers as their weapon in the first movie. Not that the audience doesn’t want to go on an adventure with Luke, but the premise of the original trilogy is a rejection of Obi Wan and Yoda’s views (separate but equal becomes full equality as generations progress) and even the notion of combatting evil with power. Luke doesn’t give up on his friends to train to fight evil and he doesn’t give up on his father to fight evil with his powers. He doesn’t even give up on Han, his cab driver. These Disney people missed the whole point of the original trilogy.

        Abrams is the perfect person to endorse Kamala Harris.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i forced myself to watch “Lost” twice…because i intuited(wrongly it turns out) that there was some deep, esoteric Huxleyan Meaning in there, somewhere.
          but it’s just the Appearance of Depth…watchout! You’ll conk yer head!
          as for TNG…i didn’t really watch tv until my 20’s, and then only sporadically…so TNG was my intro to star trek.
          maybe this biases me, idk…but for all it’s camp and fromage(different species of both than TOS), I love it.
          but I like DS9, too,lol….and even Enterprise(after Picard, Archer is my fave capitain)
          I’ve used forced viewings of various episodes as teaching aids for complex things like “what is Human?”(Data on trial) and all manner of deep things.
          Abram’s Reboot is an atrocity…removing the Roddenberrian Idealism and leaving a sanitised and sterile husk of pablum and tropes.
          sadly, the reboot is therefore entirely representative of our current fin de siecle malaise.

          Reply
      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Super 8 is awesome.

        I liked the new Star Trek movies. First Contack and TNG is what i grew up with. DS9 was a disappointment cuz no Data!

        Reply
  4. flora

    re: ‘There are now fourteen Democrat candidates as the Democrat establishment continues its headlong rush to a brokered convention. ‘

    Which means…. Super Delegates will decide, again.

    Reply
    1. Brindle

      Like to see a profile of the mover & shakers of the super-delegate class—which financial institutions they are aligned with etc.

      Reply
        1. richard

          What will happen to our country if “golden votes” decide? Is there anything lower than zero legitimacy?
          How do they sell that? There has to a faction in the elites that would take bernie rather than risk that much damage. How low do they think they can drive this thing?

          Reply
          1. Pookah Harvey

            From Politico article “Clinton camp stews over Sanders 2020 campaign

            “I would say — and for all I know, the Sanders people might take this as a compliment — among a lot of the major donors in the party, there’s concern that he could emerge,” said David Brock, a longtime Clinton ally who founded a pro-Clinton super PAC in the 2016 campaign and later authored a public apology to Sanders for some of his bare-knuckled criticisms during the primary. “There are some very dyed-in-the-wool Democrats that wouldn’t at all be enthusiastic about supporting him in a general election.”

            Reply
      1. Chris Cosmos

        In the world of Democratic Party politics, belligerence is the sine qua non of getting the nomination. They simply will not allow any criticism of imperialism or Israel. The right-wing has more leeway and can oppose wars, Rand Paul is a prominent example, without being dragged through the mud as Tulsi Gabbard has experienced. Why is this so? That’s a good question. I think the answer is that the right is not likely to ever come together to oppose war whereas the left could very well be stampeded into being anti-war very quickly and very easily despite the fact all “liberal” media outlets are highly belligerent in their tissue of lies that makes up the Narrative.

        Reply
      2. Cal2

        Montanamaven,

        I really want to see Gabbard in the Democratic debates.

        65,000 unique donors needed to get her on that stage per Democratic Party rules.

        How many friends do you have?

        Is there some reason you cannot hand them an envelope, with a stamp on it, addressed to

        Tulsi Now
        PO Box 75255
        Kapolei, HI 96707

        so they can send her even a one dollar check?

        There’s online too but that’s not my style.

        Reply
    2. Chirs Cosmos

      First, the establishment oriented candidates will be tested in the debates and if they don’t do well their donors will abandon them quickly. The more leftist-oriented candidates who depend on small contributions will tend to last longer–their role will be to expand possibilities like UBI (which I favor), reparations (which I oppose), and the end of imperial wars (which I favor). The role of these candidates will be to bring up the issues and then, towards the end of the primaries they will begin to drop out and unify with someone. I think there’s a strong chance that even the money people will quickly unite with whoever has caught the public’s fantasy. I just don’t think they’ll make the asurd mistakes they made in 2016 when they have a relatively appealing bunch of candidates taken as a whole. Let’s see how they perform in the debates.

      Reply
      1. integer

        I’m not so sure. I hope Sanders wins, and I think he would in a fair fight, but I’m starting to think it’s inevitable that the D party establishment will find a way to install Harris, or perhaps Biden, into the general election. There is a lot at stake for them after 2016, and their big donors, including Soros, Saban, Steyer, and the Israel lobby, will not look kindly on a candidate they don’t like (i.e. Sanders) winning the primary, or another loss to Trump for that matter. I think Stoller was right when he wrote “Those who believe in democracy have one last chance to wield power well.” So, if the D party establishment once again tilts the playing field to a consequential degree, proving once and for all that they are not committed to democracy, what next for the left?

        Reply
        1. Carey

          Sanders winning would not just interfere with, but kill, the Dems’ business
          model. Why a (nominally) political party should have a business model
          I will not address. Shorter: I think you’re right, and it’ll be interesting.

          Reply
        2. polecat

          So, what your sayin, is that AIPAC and the Dualies run Barter Town on the Potomic ?
          Kinda looks that way, don’t it. These Congress folk and their billionaire chums should be on trial for treason for deliberately putting the interests of themselves and the zionists before those of the american public !

          Reply
        3. Chris Cosmos

          Biden is out of the question–no way anyone other than die-hard old-line corporate Dems would support the guy. As for Harris depends how she looks on a stage with the other guys.

          Reply
    3. Pat

      Even though their tactics are vastly different, I can only remember 2016 for the Republicans. Barring outright vote rigging, I expect to watch most of those Democrats to fall early and fast, to see a couple who haven’t already announced appear as the race continues, and to see a whole lot of half hearted hurrahs at the Democratic Convention as Bernie Sanders officially takes the nomination.

      Could they knee cap him? Sure. But frankly based on the last eight plus years they seem to be better at throwing the race than at winning it. And most of the candidates are not all that different than the Republicans of yore – uninteresting, uninterested in the electorate, and too busy trying to appeal to the voters of the Beltway’s fevered imagination while letting the donors know they are what’s important to have actual policies.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        You are underestimating the raw, primordial ambition of Hillary Clinton.
        She is the Lady Macbeth of the Democrat Party.

        Reply
        1. Unna

          Lady Macbeth? No. As I remember it, Lady Macbeth eventually went crazy because of a guilty conscience. That doesn’t sound like Hillary to me. At least the guilty conscience part….

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            True. Perhaps the ‘guilty conscience’ is an inner reckoning for the loss in 2016.
            I was going to compare her with King Lear but despaired because she does not have the requisite gravitas and character.

            Reply
  5. Kurt Sperry

    I believe dogs are, in fact, like this?

    Dogs hate wet paws? Some dogs do, but they are a teeny tiny minority in my long dog park experience.

    Reply
  6. Jerry B

    ==There are now fourteen Democrat candidates as the Democrat establishment continues its headlong rush to a brokered convention==

    I tend to believe that many of the “best and the brightest” engage in the same copycat and monkey see-monkey do behavior as other animals.

    I thought it was curious that former Illinois governor Bruce Rauner essentially and arguably held the Illinois government hostage in a two year budget impasse in order to try get his “Turnaround Agenda” passed. That seems very similar to Donald Trump forcing a government shutdown in order to get his border wall built. The may be no relation at all but it fit’s into my story so allow me a little leeway! I digress.

    Chicago recently had a mayoral election with a total of fourteen candidates on the mayoral ballot with the top two advancing to a runoff. Interestingly, the candidates who spent the most money did not win the first round and also the two most progressive candidates are the two advancing to a runoff election.

    So if the fourteen Democratic presidential candidates are some grand scheme of the DNC to dilute and/or spread out the vote (resulting in as Lambert mentions a “brokered convention”) then beware, for as the Chicago mayoral election has shown, it could backfire resulting in the candidate the DNC least wants to see win, Sanders, winning. That would be fine by me!

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      If the Democratic Party is trying to enter enough candidates to force a brokered convention, they ain’t thinking. We have not had a brokered convention in something like sixty years; if the next brokered convention just happen to turfs out Bernie Sanders, who is the most likely next President if President Trump runs again, I am not sure what would happened; it is possible a party that sobotages its own candidate chance to win because their own candidate is not corrupt enough is likely to join the Whigs, or maybe split into smaller, possibly regional parties.

      Reply
      1. notabanker

        We live in an age where nothing is too outrageous. Mobilize the PR firms, hand the narrative to the cable news networks, stand in front of a waving flag and lie away. Not only is a brokered convention in the cards, but the DNC can change the rules before the first vote and have the superdelegates vote on the rule changes. All they have to do is invent a story as cover to do it.

        This has never been about the future of the party. It’s about the futures of the people running the party.

        Reply
          1. JBird4049

            The parasitic weasels are counting on apathy and the Noise Machine to muddle through. You’re right. It has always worked before, but I think that too many people have no reason to not out noise the noise machin. Too many people are getting to where they have nothing and so have nothing to lose. We will see.

            Reply
  7. notabanker

    Freshman Congressperson AOC co-sponsored a GND resolution that has sparked nationwide debate on the foundation of the economy.

    Let’s contrast that with freshman GOP Congressman / star NFL first round draft pick Anthony Gonzalez first piece of legislation:
    On Thursday I introduced my first bill…. H.R. 1424, the Fallen Warrior Battlefield Cross Memorial Act, bars the Department of Veterans Affairs from removing battlefield cross memorials from our national cemeteries, ensuring these monuments remain standing as tributes to our fallen soldiers. Battlefield crosses, depicted as a soldier’s boots, helmet, dog tag and inverted rifle, have stood in cemeteries across the nation since at least the Civil War to honor and remember the soldiers who fell fighting on the battlefront.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Politicians really do nothing, these were the last laws that passed co-sponsored by my Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the pack.

      He was 1 of 52 Congressmen voting yes on the first renaming of a post office, 1 of 54 on the 2nd renaming.

      To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 44160 State Highway 299 East Suite 1 in McArthur, California, as the “Janet Lucille Oilar Post Office”.

      Coming on the heels of this:

      To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2801 Mitchell Road in Ceres, California, as the “Lance Corporal Juana Navarro Arellano Post Office Building”

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        The Congress kinda reminds me of the Roman Senate during its Empire; the Roman Republic’s constitution was on paper still valid with all the offices and the administration under the control of the Senate. It was all a sham, a dodge, even a hustle as the ruling Emperor in practice, but not in name, held most of the power and controlled the administration of the government.

        Has anyone noticed how Congress has drifted away from running the Legislative Branch of the Federal Government. It, not the Executive Branch under the Presidency and certainly not the Federal Judiciary under the Supreme Court, as laid out in the Constitution. Every since the Great Depression the President has slowly acquired more power. That itself is not too terrible as power has always shifted between the branches and even somewhat between the States and the Federal government. For some reason the political parties decided to stop governing. Not all at once but slowly until I think the 1990s.

        The political leadership of both parties seem to collectively say <emFrak It! and just work for the wealth they could and are collecting. It’s not a
        secret that most, not all, Congresscritters “blind” trust almost always do extremely well, very low interest “loans” are easy to get, and most of them retire into extremely lucrative lobbying jobs and board memberships so long as they do mostly what they are told to do.

        Where being in Congress was a means of getting and using power with the financial perks merely a great bonus, but not now getting and using power means political exposure, the displeasure of your paymasters, the loss of future income from “investments” and lobbying jobs as well as not doing the twenty-five, thirty-five, even forty hours of cold calling for political donations and then spend more time smoozing for dollars at benefits and parties.

        It is no longer getting elected for a position in government to get the power to legislate. It is getting elected for a position in government to get the power to steal. And just as the Roman Senate and the upper classes lost the ability and the power to govern, the Congress, and to a lesser extent our “Job Creators”, are doing that as well. And just like the Romans late Republic and the late Western Roman Empire, the effects are spreading throughout our society from the various levels of government, the states, the nonprofits, even religious institutions. The NRA, the Red Cross, the Southern Baptist, the Catholic Church, or the local college are not working for you. Why worry about the poor, climate change, or even God when there’s money to be had?

        Reply
      1. Summer

        AOC and others are being pressed…then I say they should find something to praise about Israel everyday:

        “Health care in Israel is universal and participation in a medical insurance plan is compulsory. All Israeli residents are entitled to basic health care as a fundamental right.”

        #PraisingIsrael

        Reply
      2. nippersdad

        I can’t wait to see who signs this thing. The anti-semitism definition was written by a Holocaust memorial group and only recognizes Jewish people as semites. Beside the fact that all Jews aren’t semites, there are a hell of a lot of other people who are but aren’t Jews. They just defined vast swathes of the population out of existence at the behest of an explicitly Jewish organization.

        Further, the BDS bill will actively criminalize all criticism of Israel, which is surely the type of thing that WWII troops from the European theater and their descendents are going to appreciate when they find that old Bibi has been fraternizing with Nazis in eastern Europe. Not to mention the fact that the UN just called out Israel for crimes against humanity….but no criticism will be allowed.

        Everything about this backs up Omar’s claims. The GoFundMe/contributions to Justice Democrats to primary anyone who signs it should be huge.

        Reply
      1. Rosario

        Yeah, there is a part of my heart that feels short of him getting assassinated, either for real (god forbid), or politically through the primaries, he will easily win in 2020.

        At this point I think I am too terrified of a loss to have that much faith. Zeal, much like a strong drug, has a sickening comedown.

        Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      Nina Turner absolutely killed it at Sanders’ NYC and Chicago kickoffs. I mean, the lady can sign, seal, and deliver a speech!

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Winning elections isn’t easy, but it effing kills me the various outfits such as the DNC, Emily’s List, etc (I know its because Turner isn’t a corporate sellout) aren’t banging down the door to find a race Turner can win (obviously a district that went +25 for Trump would be a waste) and grooming her for statewide office. Look at how much help that doofus Ossoff got.

        Reply
    2. aj

      OMG. The comments on that video actually give me hope for humanity. People ditching idpol and looking at policy. It’s like the opposite of every MSM article.

      Reply
  8. nippersmom

    The Library at the university where I am employed has been open 24 hours a day for several years now. Library usage has skyrocketed as a result.

    Reply
    1. Montanamaven

      I would like to put in my recommendation for libraries AND bars. Ray Oldenberg’s “The Great Good Place” is about those places between work and home that used to exist in vast numbers and now are harder to find. The suburbs killed them. People drive home and then mingle at the dreaded cocktail party with like minded people or, even worse, hang out on social media. But in places like the Cheers bar, lawyers mingle with construction workers mingle with firefighters mingle with teachers mingle with plumbers. I have found such a place and you can have pretty decent discussions. If there is a question, then we can look it up on line. I gave some people the Physicians for a National Healthcare Plan site for questions about how to pay for Medicare for All. Buying out the insurance companies and making them non-profit is genius. Love those Docs. And I recommend T.R. Reid “The Healing of America”. Oh, and “Bullshit Jobs” by Graeber. That then sends them to the library.

      Reply
      1. Rojo

        Amen! I love libraries and bars.

        On thing I’ve noticed about the later here in San Francisco, is that there are fewer people at them. I maintain bars are actually a good place to meet a mate. It can be for whatever level of relationship you want. Unlike online dating, you can actually get a sense of the person — the way they talk, move, hold themselves — and have a lubricated conversation. If there’s no match, there’s no awkwardness, you just don’t follow up.

        The movement to online dating has somewhat concentrated “the wealth” for high-status men. Everything is reduced to a few pix and status facts (jobs, travel, education, etc…).

        So the movement away from bars to side-swiping strikes me as a neoliberal dating model.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          You might be onto something there. Online dating lets things exist like BeautifulPeople.com where applicants to the website are voted in or out by existing members of the opposite sex and thousands get removed for gaining weight. I think that I read that there was one such dating site for wealthy people only. Hard to have that in the real world.

          Reply
          1. Montanamaven

            Confession: Graduate degrees. Didn’t finish my dissertation on “the Actors’ STudio’s work in film” or something. Was trained to be a public intellectual…a Joan Didion. Was a Hollywood agent repping stars like Emma Thompson, Christian Bale, Alan Arkin…
            I go to a bar in Montana while visiting a movie set. Meet a guy in a black cowboy hat. A rancher,not a cowboy. Left college after two years to help raise cattle. He had common sense and sense of humor. I never thought in a million years , I’d leave liberal land and move to Montana. My friends didn’t think I would last 3 years. It’s been 20. Now I have to also confess that I was going a bit crazy having nobody to talk to, so I got a house in Upstate NY and go back and forth between there and Montana. I miss the rancher. But I’ve found another good place here where I talk to dress designers and plumbers. I think some of those dating sites work. But I’m an example of meeting somebody at a bar. (My mother was appalled).

            Reply
  9. Craig H.

    Golf Digest is a glossy brochure for selling equipment and vacations intermixed with puff pieces on how lovely the lifestyles of the leading professional tournament players are. The game is for masochists. It requires perfect concentration for three seconds followed by virtually no stimulation until the next shot. So in four hours there is four minutes when if you don’t focus your score card can explode.

    Purportedly it is a great way to network with important people who can assist your career but in real life I have never observed this to actually occur.

    It is not a sport. If you do not break a sweat it is not a sport.

    Reply
    1. Dwight

      There is a game called “speed golf,” which adds up strokes and minutes taken to complete course. Never done it but it sounds fun. Not that I support any more land, water, gasoline, or fertilizer for golf courses. Play until the grass is too thick to swing and run.

      Reply
    2. BoyDownTheLane

      You have obviously not met my son. He’s been in the golf industry since 11th grade in high school and he built his career (he’s a 42-year-old six-figure top-tier sales/marketing exec) by playing golf. He’s a scratch golfer too… I’m a duffer, so I share everyone else’s frustrations and difficulties. Some people call golf a good walk ruined. But there’s always those Michael Murphy books, and the NSFW comedic description of the game by the late great Robin Williams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcnFbCCgTo4

      Reply
    3. lyman alpha blob

      Golf is a lot more stimulating than you might think. I used to get quite the rush by hucking a club up into a tree right after shanking one into the woods. There’s also the added bonus of all the balls you can find and later sell while searching for your own horrible shot. I’d often come out a few balls ahead after hooking one into the water hazard.

      It’s a lot more fun if you stink at it.

      Reply
    4. Unna

      “Golf Course” definition: Quick place to go XC skiing when it snows. And you can be back in time for brunch….

      Reply
  10. Jerry B

    On the AOC library thread:

    I like that AOC used the phrase “public imagination”. My local library has been trying to get a property tax referendum passed in order to replace a very old current building. Each time the referendum has come up it has been voted down. One objection is understandably due to property taxes which in Illinois are excessively high. The other common objection to a new library building is “People do not need libraries anymore! If they want a book they can go to Amazon and if they want a movie go to Redbox”. A lot of people use libraries for tutoring, meetings, children’s programs, adult programs, etc.

    Also in the Chicago metro area (and probably other cities as well) many libraries have hired a social worker as the homeless and others use the library during the day as a refuge and also need help accessing services.

    In my local library I also see a lot of people who are lonely and come to the library just wanting some social contact and to be around people.

    A few weeks ago the Chicago area had a bad snowstorm followed by two days of barbaric cold with daytime temps in the -20s and wind chills of -50s! Needless to say the local library was closed for a couple of days due to weather. The day the library was reopened I went to get some books and the place was packed with people doing various activities and not just getting books or movies!

    When the library was trying to get the referendum passed for funding for a new building, my wife and I always said they might have more success if the library was also referred to as a community center. Because that is exactly what libraries have become today: community centers! So as AOC says maybe we need to use some public imagination and rename libraries something else that symbolizes the various ways people use them.

    Three comments on Water Cooler in the first hour and a half! Oy. A little too much coffee with lunch.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      Yea the reality on the ground in another property or sales tax measure.

      And around here tax measures for libraries pretty much ALWAYS pass, “oh the library needs more funding, not to cut hours, ok”. They are that popular. But it STILL doesn’t mean people want to double and triple their library taxes to get 24/7 libraries (add in every single level of local government is also always trying to get a new taxed passed for something).

      Reply
      1. Jerry B

        I am sympathetic to the issue of high property taxes especially living in Illinois. One reason Illinois has high property taxes is it has around 6900 units of local government which is 2000 more than the next state. That has to change and many of those units of local government should be consolidated.

        Using Illinois as an example, another reason for high property taxes is they are the prime funding mechanism for K-12 education. The federal government and the state governments are not funding K-12 education to nearly the levels they used to decades ago and especially since the 2008 financial crash. This forces local school districts to use property taxes for funding. This puts an unfair amount of educational funding burden on homeowners, but also fosters inequality as the affluent neighborhoods with high property taxes have better schools while the lower income neighborhoods are underfunded.

        Lastly, libraries are a small part of a property tax bill. So the people that vote down funding for libraries due to property taxes need to direct their anger on property taxes somewhere else i.e. the state and feds for their pathetic underfunding of education. The amount of benefits of public libraries in providing for a civil society far outweighs their cost especially nowadays with libraries functioning as community centers. If public libraries were not around then costs would go up for other things such as social services, prisons, mental health, etc. It’s either pay a little now or pay a lot more later.

        Reply
        1. Montanamaven

          What if the very concept of school should be questioned? What if you had a living wage or a guaranteed income and could stay home ? What if kids could learn by doing? Learn by following their father around as he fixed things.? That’s how I think I learned the most.

          Reply
          1. Jerry B

            I do not disagree at all. However, I do think some formal schooling is important. That being said, your “learn by doing” has been talked about by school reformers for decades. Ivan Illich, John Taylor Gatto, and Lev Vgotsky among others have stressed how much could be learned in “apprenticeship” type programs along with formal schooling.

            Here is a pdf supporting your comment above. I recommend reading the whole thing but the bottom of page 5 and all of the last page are very informative to “learning by doing”

            https://ttfuture.org/files/2/pdf/mm_sensory_deprivation.pdf

            From the article:

            Nate Jones, a formula one racing specialist, began to notice that boys coming to
            work in his shop during the early 1980s were physically and imaginatively
            awkward compared to every generation that came before

            Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think priority should be given to the homeless to use libraries to stay dry, warm, clean/sanitary, etc.

      Previously, there were some comments that the homeless did use them.

      Reply
  11. super extra

    the ADOS platform for reparations is actually pretty good. it won’t go anywhere because it requires authority to enfranchise a class of people as they define it to receive increased social benefits at the expense of others outside of the group (again, as they define it – note the explicit declaration that african immigrants don’t meet the criteria).

    someone should go through each plank and link them to the known progressive platform planks (M4A, free tuition, debt jubilee, job guarantee) and find the aspects specific to american descendents of slavery that are not covered by the known progressive planks. those aspects would be something that I (as a student debt-ridden poor white woman) would enthusiastically fight for in solidarity. i can’t support anything that results in someone getting their student loans canceled before mine, sorry.

    also i didn’t see the part about how they’re going to determine eligibility. one of my great grandmothers’ is on the dawes roll, but i am not eligible for tribal benefits or considered native. will blood quantum make a comeback just like eugenics has?

    Reply
    1. lambert strether

      It fascinates me that neither Obama nor Harris meet the “lineage” test (the melanin test being, one supposes, obsolete). It’s almost an admission that identity politics — at least the politics of ascriptive identity, as personified by [genuflects] Obama — has failed.

      I am not sure of the details of determining eligibility through lineage, though I imagine it’s a jobs guarantee for professionals.

      Reply
      1. Rojo

        Yeah, I see ADOS as a swipe against both Obama and Harris. The really interesting thing is that it IS more class-based. It’s not race essential — it’s grounded in an economic caste: slaves.

        Reply
        1. JohnnyGL

          If you watch Yvette Carnell and Antonio Moore, and also Irami Osei-Frimpong, they’re explicitly critical of Harris and Obama.

          They are absolutely NOT dem party hacks. They’re very critical of team dem.

          However, dem party hacks do see a new stick with which to beat Bernie. Whether it’s going to be an effective stick to beat Bernie with, is a separate question. I don’t think it will be.

          Voters aren’t going to believe Nancy Pelosi when she talks about reparations.

          Interestingly, Tim Black seems to think some oligarchs have flipped on Harris and want to get her out of the way for Biden and O’Rourke.

          Reply
          1. notabanker

            Tim Black video was interesting.

            On Beto – “The Keanu Reeves of politics is not going to beat Trump.” LOL. Perfect.

            Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Doesn’t it just exemplify Biden’s comments about Obama as the first “clean” African American candidate?

        Reply
        1. super extra

          He said that?! My god what a complete sack of… worthless things. Wonder if The Onion is still going to be pulling the Diamond Joe hoax now that they’re unionized.

          Seething and loading up my ‘Biden’s Greatest Hits’ playlist on Youtube to link everyone I run into if he plans to run, to find that perfect link relevant to their specific id-pol issues to tank his campaign. Millennial? You get the one that shows him voting to make student debt not able to be canceled in bankruptcy + the footage of him saying that he has no sympathy for millenials struggling financially and that they need to suck it up. Lady? You get the super cut of him being extra huggy and touchy with all his apologies. And now I have one for my Black friends who may still be under any delusions from the Obama years.

          ugh that guy is such a creep, I need to wash my hands now

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/31/biden.obama/

            Though the Onion presented a goofy hill billy Biden, Amy Poehler did the most to repackage Biden as a harmless old guy.

            In fairness to Obama, getting Biden out of the Senate into a position where he can’t actively cause damage was a good move, and though HRC lost, can you imagine a world where Evan Bayh or Tim Kaine (where Obama’s heart was) was the presumptive nominee in 2016? President Ted Cruz would frightening indeed.

            Reply
    2. cgregory

      The best form of reparations is one that does not involve giving people a sum of money out of which too many of them will soon be bilked.

      It would benefit almost every African-American child (who are 40% of the public school population) and most African-American families in the short run, and it would benefit almost all American families with children in the long run– for decades, if not a century.

      It is to rebuild America’s public schools ( for about $500 billion). No white family with kids in public school would be against it.

      Reply
      1. cm

        As long as they came to the country before some date (1950? 1920? Presumably after 1865…), correct? I worked with a fantastic person who immigrated from Ethiopia about 10 years ago, and I’m sure he would be insulted to be lumped w/ slave descendants.

        Reply
  12. Martin Finnucane

    Meanwhile, the Dem House leadership – meaning AIPAC – wants Ilhan Omar’s head on a pike: “House Dems will take floor action to confront Omar’s latest Israel comments” [Politico]

    Reply
  13. jsn

    “From the Eocene Epoch of the Neoliberal Period. Sanders has not had to change his speech, because the essence of “our” political economy is in 2019 what it was in 1973.”

    It’s amazing the degree to which the Neoliberal apparatus was solidified by 1973, only several years after the Powell Memo. That document being a more real manifesto than Fukuyama’s fantastical “end of history” declared over a dozen years later, but less convincingly.

    My evidence? All the jokes in Blazing Saddles, in production at the time, are still relevant. Hell, it can even be looked at as a hopeful prophecy: toward the end, the cool black dude rides off into the sunset in a Cadillac while the set breaks down into a general melee of all against all…

    Maybe the Neoliberal movie is almost over!

    Reply
  14. bocuma

    The “long” periodic table is more consistent, since the d-block (the transition metals) is kept in the main chart in the usual table. I’m pretty sure the main reason the f-block is customarily broken out is that it’s a major PITA to cram a 32-column-wide chart onto a textbook page.

    Reply
  15. Summer

    Re: Beto

    He doesn’t believe in labels….only austerity.

    If you have to ask what he believes, it most likely involves putting the screws to moat people – otgerwise he would be telling you.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Yes. O’Rourke/ Harris/ Booker/ Biden/ Gillibrand/ Klobuchar simply can’t say anything
      that’s meant, and it already shows. Though Booker is touching in a way, as LS, I think,
      has pointed out.

      Reply
    2. Whoamolly

      Moat people.

      Pretty good typo. The moats were where the plebes died when an army assaulted a castle.

      Reply
  16. Summer

    Re: The Attention Economy
    “It makes sense to monetize humanity’s fundamental irrationality.”

    Here’s lookin at you Fyre Festival!

    Reply
  17. Summer

    Re: “Abolish Libertarians” [Current Affairs]. “[H]ere’s a dirty little secret about the economics profession, of which I happen to be a member: We have no f*cking clue what causes economic growth.”

    Which is obvious when you have metrics measuring “confidence” and fairies called “The Invisible Hand.”

    Reply
  18. JohnnyGL

    Re: Bernie or Barbarism on Reparations.

    That person makes some good points, but one of the very under-discussed possibilities of reparations would be to look into ‘who pays’. Making everyone pay (whether through a tax or in competing for real resources through MMT mechanisms as we use now) would be quite disappointing.

    I’d much rather see lawsuits digging into the historical records of who made all the money in the slave trade and off of Jim Crow era Sharecropping arrangements and where all the money ended up.

    Should we not get justice for those who’s ancestors DID the harm, as well as those who were harmed? After all, they got all their inheritances just fine, no doubt.

    Also, should we not extend this to prison labor use and abuse? Where did all those profits go? Shouldn’t THEY be paying reparations?

    I’m thinking with mass incarceration on the wane, we may have a lot of bored lawyers and judges. We’d better get them to work! :)

    Reply
    1. prodigalson

      My family comes from Louisiana, found out via Ancestry.com that my ancestors were slave owners, and also mostly dirt poor from the selfsame census records. Also found out via DNA testing that I’m part senagali African, something that most certainly wasn’t mentioned in the verbal family tradition.

      So some of my ancestors were slave owners and some of my ancestors were slaves. How will reparations work in this case? As a slave descendant am I entitled to reparations? Or do i owe them as a slave-owner descendant? Do I cut myself a check and call it a day?

      This is not going to be a limited case in the south, your going to find a lot of black families with surprise European ancestors and white families with surprise African ancestors. Skin tone doesn’t tell the whole story and DNA testing will be needed to prove anything, and that will get messy fast.

      Apparently, Thomas Jefferson wasn’t the only one preaching racial purity in the streets and racial harmony in the sheets.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        Since it was highly advantageous to “pass,” most people who could, did. So you’re hardly alone – lots of white people have African ancestry. The DNA registries probably even know just how many. Running DNA tests on EVERYBODY would be costly but just might shed a lot of light.

        Anyway, thanks for a perfect example of the dilemmas that come with this idea.

        Reply
  19. Another Scott

    There’s a very interesting article over at The Atlantic regarding partisan prejudice. The most prejudiced county in the country? Suffolk County, Massachusetts (Boston). I’m not surprised based on my intereactions with people, especially hard-core Clintonites. What’s more interesting is the difference on the state by state basis. What makes people in North Carolina less prejudiced than those in South Carolina?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/03/us-counties-vary-their-degree-partisan-prejudice/583072/

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      That is sort of weird/interesting. Why is N. Carolina so relaxed about dealing with Republicans, but FL is filled with rabid dems all over the state??

      Reply
  20. Summer

    Re: Why a Lady Gaga-Like Platform Heel Will Be the Female Empowerment Pump for Fall” [Footwear News]

    In the event of an attack, they could make pretty good weapons (since you would have trouble running).

    Reply
    1. marieann

      Late 60’s early 70’s when they were last in style….I loved them shoes, added 2 inches to my 5’2″. I remember my doctor giving me a lecture about how dangerous they were because I was pregnant.

      Anyway after the baby I gave them up..and the mini skirts,way too much bother trying maneuver around with an infant dressed in “difficult” clothes.

      I don’t think I got that much empowerment from them.

      Reply
    2. Jen

      Five foot two, here. I’ve never felt empowered by artificially inflating my height, and I’ve had anyone make the mistake of underestimating me based on my size more than once.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I am of the school of thought that good things can be found in small packages and it does not do to underestimate them. Certainly I have found that true of women. Read in one of my books how there was a brawny bar room brawler that decided to pick a fight with this real short guy to beat him up because of course he would. Unfortunately for the bar room brawler, the short guy was a Vietnam vet recently returned who absolutely did a demolition job on this guy. At one point, this short guy actually jumped up onto the bar so that he could better punch this guy out in the head. Never underestimate short people.

        Reply
    3. Lunker Walleye

      The Footwear News shoes are parodies, actually like they were drawn by a cartoonist, like so much fashion today. I’m about Gaga’s height and no I do not recall platforms from my youth making me feel taller. We wore them because we thought they were “cool”.

      Reply
  21. Chauncey Gardiner

    Today’s wealth inequality and concentration of stocks and bonds ownership in ever fewer hands is even worse today than the numbers cited by Senator Bernie Sanders in his 1973 speech. There is no “Wealth Effect” for the vast majority of Americans from rising stock prices. This begs the question of why prices in stock and bond markets should continue to be subsidized by the Fed and Treasury as a matter of national policy? The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets that was founded by executive order under Reagan in 1987 should be discontinued and direct and indirect government subsidies of financial market prices ended.

    Reply
    1. notabanker

      She uses big money access by drug companies writing provisions in medicaid bills as an example of what’s wrong with DC politics. But having a fundraiser hosted by a Pfizer exec doesn’t count as access, just taking money from kochbrosevillobbyistsingledonorsuperduper PAC’s does.

      Glad she cleared that up.

      Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The story of the Gillibrand campaign will be amazing. She had it tailored made to make a name for herself, effectively distancing herself from her Blue Dog past. It wouldn’t be enough to make it through, but she could have raised her profile for future jobs. Here she is just going all in on bad political decisions.

          Reply
        2. ambrit

          Recycling the old Hollywood cop out. “We’re just good friends.”
          Now, to get ahead of this, she has to say that they went to High School or College together. “Old friends” would have sounded much better.

          Reply
  22. Mark Gisleson

    You know, if this was any other site, my cynical take would be that late updates to the Water Cooler is a clever strategy to increase clicks. But my privacy apps never detect any stealth cookies collecting my data.

    What’s the point of clever marketing if you don’t use it to harvest my data?

    Or are your cookies just smarter than my apps?

    (to be continued but I have to log off for a while now because the electricity is getting too loud)

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Don’t be too sanguine about the “loud electricity” effect. There is the Frey effect, described back in the 1960’s. It is just one of several systems of the induction of sound in the human sensorium through microwave radiation. This ties into the fact that wifi and cell phone carrier waves are in the microwave electromagnetic range.
      The impending 5G bandwidth communications system is expected to increase the microwave effect in humans by an order of magnitude stronger than previous systems.
      So, those tinfoil hats have a rational basis for existence, and use.
      Read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_auditory_effect

      Reply
  23. Plenue

    Regarding Tesla, NC seems to have missed the news that the company has burned through nearly a billion dollars, a quarter of its remaining cash, all at once, when it had to pay off a bunch of debt.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/01/tesla-pays-off-920-million-for-convertible-bond-obligation-in-cash.html

    The weeks up to this involved some really, really stupid and embarrassing PR moves by Musk to boost the stock price over $360. These mostly revolved around internet memes, with Musk doing a ‘meme review’ video with YouTuber PewDiePie, and then later various meme creation sites like a bunch of subreddits being swarmed by what were very obviously paid agents/bots tasked with spamming Musk memes.

    It didn’t work, obviously.

    Reply
  24. dcblogger

    Hillary Clinton blames gutting of Voting Rights Act for her 2016 loss
    for once she is correct. Greg Palast documented that so many people were turned away in ME, WI, OH, and PA that she would have one had the per-clearance provisions been in place. On the other hand, they knew going into the election that the Republicans were planning massive voter suppression and had not plan to counter it.

    Reply
    1. Pat

      Planning? Voter suppression was clear in 2000, continued apace for the next 16 years and some of the strategies were adopted by Democrats (voter purges). And yet this was another area where the Democratic leadership including Clinton said the right things and did nothing.

      Sorry but Clinton is not correct as not only had she done little to counter it both before and while running, she and her team were still so incompetent they pretty much room those states for granted. If you know you need them AND you know you are going to lose votes to suppression, logically you should work even harder to increase your turnout in those states. But when you underestimate your opponent and overestimate your position as voters having no where else to go forgetting they can just stay home you waste time in California and Arizona. It was and is almost a primer on how not to run a successful campaign.

      Reply
  25. lyman alpha blob

    Here’s a link with a pretty good rundown of the conflict between Maduro and the National Assembly. It started with some voting irregularities in one province and rather than redoing the election as requested, the opposition has decided to throw a fit instead and ignore the authorities. It’s from 2017 but very relevant as it spells out how we got to where things are today –

    https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13018

    Well worth reading in full but here’s the crux of it –

    Why Doesn’t the Opposition Just Remove the Three Contested Legislators?

    This might seem like the obvious way to speedily resolve the issue, however, given the National Assembly’s record since December 2015, it seems unlikely that they will pursue this course of action. And not just because they have refused to do so so many times before.

    Over the past year, the AN has almost exclusively focused on trying to remove Maduro, and overthrow the TSJ,as opposed to effectively legislate for the country.

    At the beginning of 2016, when the National Assembly was actually in a position to pass legislation, it managed to approve just four laws. Three of these were subsequently blocked by the Supreme Court for violating the constitution, most notably the infamous Amnesty Law, while their Law for Medicine and Food Bonuses for Pensioners was upheld.

    Although opposition supporters would blame the Supreme Court, the National Assembly’s failure to pass legislation has mostly been because so much of it has been so blatantly unconstitutional. Their efforts to retrospectively shorten Maduro’s term last year, or to declare the president’s abandonment of post earlier in January, are two prime examples of this.

    The game plan here is quite clear: the opposition wants to create as much friction with Maduro as possible while establishing itself as a victim of his creeping authoritarianism. It doesn’t want to legislate.

    Reply
  26. BobWhite

    Just read this from FAIR:
    WaPo Warns Dems That Progressive Policies Could Bring Them Many Victories

    Sounds like an Onion headline… but the numbers back it up.

    It quotes the WaPo article:
    “Tea Party revolt… has brought Republicans new energy and new voters, but it also cost the GOP some congressional races and legislative victories.”

    Then they look at the numbers…
    Everything has flipped since 2009 – House, Senate, President, Governors, and State Legislators.
    (actual numbers are in the article)

    I guess WaPo hopes we ignore the facts?

    Reply
  27. Yikes

    Request for Devils advocate sic Dr. Bronners
    Not exactly Henry Ford’s idea that every Ford worker could (or had) to buy a model T. Dr. Bronner products would be priced out range of even 18.70 per hour minimum wage workers, and this is soap, not some ratified luxury.

    Reply
    1. BobWhite

      If I understand your comment, you are saying Dr. Bronner products are too expensive if you make $18.70 per hour, correct?
      If so, your math is different than mine, and/or you have never used the stuff.
      You can get the Castile liquid soap for @$11 for 16oz, which should last a family of 4 about a month or more. (or you can dilute it and it will go further – point is, it goes a long way)
      High quality product as a bonus… cheaper if you buy larger quantities.
      (use Peppermint in the summer for refreshment)

      BTW – I have no stake in the company, just have been using it for many years.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        Yeah, me too. I buy it in bulk from the Co-op, don’t really notice the price. It’s no worse than the other bulk soaps.

        If that’s what they’re doing with their money, I don’t mind paying a premium. Soap is a very small part of our budget, or most people’s, I imagine.

        Reply
    2. Big River Bandido

      I agree with Bob White. A single 32-oz. bottle of the peppermint soap costs me $17.99 at my local, family-owned drugstore down the street. Each one of those generally lasts me about 6-8 months. Considering how many things I can use it for, without having to purchase special-use cleaners or worry about industrial chemicals, it’s a bargain.

      Reply
      1. Baby Gerald

        I’ll add to Big River Bandido and BobWhite in support of Dr. Bronner’s soaps. A big bottle of Dr. Bronner goes a long way. The soap is highly concentrated so you can dilute it for hand soap dispensers, dishwashing liquid, or use it in a bucket with a sponge for cleaning surfaces. It’s marginally more expensive than its destructive, wage-slave dependent competitors, but if that extra dollar or two going to is going to its employees’ security, I’m all for it.

        Reply
      2. lyman alpha blob

        I use Dr. Bronner’s and water to eradicate the sawfly larvae from my azalea bush and it works like a charm.

        Lambert, I’m sure those claims are true – to not be so would be very un-All-One!

        Reply
      1. RMO

        It’s good quality soap. We used it until we started making our own. Costing out making our own soap also leads me to believe the Bronner’s is fairly priced too.

        Reply
    1. notabanker

      The Emperor Norton strategy. Brilliant. Maduro should print up some Guaido dollars to let him spend around town.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        The local San Francisco establishments did honor his money. He paid his way with them, so why not? He could do worse than the Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.

        :-)

        Reply
  28. JBird4049

    I think it’s time for economics to resume its rightful place as a branch of the Humanities. Maybe then we could get some funding.

    Undo a century long effort to strip the “political” out of political economics, which ultimately created the Chicago Boys’ school of “economics” which I like to think of as Economic Newspeak. Good luck with that.

    Reply
  29. Big River Bandido

    Didn’t Ratface already state publicly he wasn’t running? Isn’t the “coastal neoliberal assholes” lane already overcrowded enough as it is?

    Reply
  30. allan

    From long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away:

    House Republicans are already preparing for ‘years’ of investigations of Clinton
    [WaPo]

    Jason Chaffetz, the Utah congressman wrapping up his first term atop the powerful House Oversight Committee, unendorsed Donald Trump weeks ago. That freed him up to prepare for something else: spending years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton.

    “It’s a target-rich environment,” the Republican said in an interview in Salt Lake City’s suburbs. “Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.” …

    And other Republican leaders say they support Chaffetz’s efforts — raising the specter of more partisan acrimony between them and the White House for the next four years.

    “The rigorous oversight conducted by House Republicans has already brought to light troubling developments in the [Hillary] Clinton email scandal,” the office of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement to The Washington Post. “The speaker supports [Oversight’s] investigative efforts following where the evidence leads…”

    And the Oversight Committee may not be the only House panel ready for partisan battle. While the Select Committee on Benghazi appears to have finished its work, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a committee member who says Clinton might have perjured herself on questions about her email, said recently that he wants the committee to continue.

    On the campaign trail, Republicans running for every office confidently talk about Clinton facing criminal charges one day. …

    Good times.

    Reply
  31. dcblogger

    I just remembered that the current ambassador to the US from Israel is an American born former Republican operative. Assuming coordination between AIPAC and the Israeli embassy (not much of a stretch) you realize that a resolution supposedly condemning anti-Semitism but aimed at Omar is calculated to split the Democratic party. I bet they are laughing themselves silly at both the embassy and AIPAC. I don’t doubt they are even now rocking to Puff Daddy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c58ppLPJcQ

    Reply
  32. richard

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned it here, but amazon a few days ago decided not to follow through on their big downtown seattle project
    (the same project they threatened to withdraw from last year, when we tried to tax jeff even a few million)
    so…
    that’s how abject capitulation worked
    ya wanna try something else?

    Here is a link to the local rag; you’ll probably get a paywall, but who knows?

    Reply
  33. Daryl

    > Granted, “constructive capitalism” is a not unproblematic notion. But this takes me back to my hippie days, such as they were. Readers, case for the prosecution?

    I’ve no trouble thinking Dr Bronners engages in and believes in “constructive capitalism” given the other many strange ideas promoted on their bottles… I don’t think there is much to be done for wider capitalism, but good for the soap company.

    Reply
  34. lyman alpha blob

    Big fan of art forger/thief stories and this one is pretty incredible – The Secrets of the World’s Greatest Art Thief

    “Don’t worry about parking the car,” says the art thief. “Anywhere near the museum is fine.” When it comes to stealing from museums, Stéphane Breitwieser is virtually peerless. He is one of the most prolific and successful art thieves who have ever lived. Done right, his technique—daytime, no violence, performed like a magic trick, sometimes with guards in the room—never involves a dash to a getaway car. And done wrong, a parking spot is the least of his worries.

    Guy was unemployed and lived with his mother and got away with hundreds of robberies worth hundreds of millions and barely broke a sweat. And did it all so he could have beautiful things to look at, never selling a one.

    Reply
  35. Unna

    Boy Wonder of the Great White North loses another cabinet member today who resigns because she no longer has “confidence” in Trudeau’s government. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/philpott-resignation-trudeau-snc-lavalin-1.5042411 Ouch!

    Maybe women are leaving Justin’s cabinet because, you know, it’s 2019…. And no Confidence? That magic word of Westminster style government. So who’s going next? I hope Freeland stays on the sinking ship and goes down with it. Or maybe she’s the rodent who thinks she’ll get promoted to captain.

    Reply
  36. Oregoncharles

    “Constructive Capitalism at Dr. Bronners:”
    We use Dr. Bronner’s (peppermint, the original) for our main soap in the bathroom. I use it for shampoo and all the rest of me. It’s an old hippy tradition. The Co-op has several different scents in bulk.

    But sadly, my first thought when I saw that item: they must be making pots of money. It’s also possible they depend on skilled labor and want to minimize turnover.

    Good on them, anyway. All the more reason to stick with the tried and true.

    Reply
  37. Oregoncharles

    On “Tree Crops”: Gene Logsdon wrote an update called “Organic Orcharding: A Grove of Trees to Live In (1981)” It discusses a similar range of unusual tree crops, including oaks. It’s one reason I tried American persimmons here. Turns out they don’t ripen properly here; Asian persimmons are a better bet. But it was fun finding out, and the fall color is spectacular.

    If you’re going to have land and plant trees, I recommend it.

    Reply
  38. Yikes

    Climate Change / Fracking Bezzle

    Imports of liquefied natural gas for Japan’s electric power sector are likely to decrease by up to 10% in 2019 following the return to service last year of five nuclear reactors, the US Energy Information Administration

    http://wna.informz.ca/z/cjUucD9taT0xMDY0OTE4JnA9MSZ1PTkwOTkyNTU3OCZsaT0xMzg1OTczNA/index.html

    Yet another reason why Trump freaking out over Nordstream 2 and China will have it’s own Russian Pipe Line starting up at years end, cutting exports from USA to China about the time trade talks become old news.

    Reply
  39. noble-gas

    Periodic tables: maybe not infinite, but many. E. G. Mazurs, in Graphic representations of the periodic system (1974), lists about 700 versions since 1869 (the date of Mendeleev’s first table). The short story about why so many is that no one representation can do all that you might want such a table to do: list them in order of atomic number with H at the top and Og (element 118, named after its discoverer) at the bottom, exhibit elements with similar chemical properties in proximity to each other, fit on one page (or one foldout at least)… Eric Scerri’s Periodic table is a very readable history by an expert.

    Reply

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