2:00PM Water Cooler 3/6/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Politics

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

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

2020

Clinton:

What a piece of work.

Sanders: “Bernie Sanders’s Staffers Want Him to Be Less Grumpy” [Edward Isaac-Dovere, The Atlantic]. “Even his loyal staff members at times feel slighted, and have learned not to expect much in the way of small talk or interest in anything but the work they’re doing.” • Oh, the humanity!

Sanders: “Sanders signs DNC pledge to govern as Democrat if elected” [Politico]. • What a weird headline. What on earth can “govern as a Democrat” possibly mean? Pass a health care bill that’s based on a Republican plan, with a pilot project run by Mitt Rommey? Anyhow, FWIW, here’s the loyalty oath Sanders signed:

Note that the candidate swears to be “faithful” to the “interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party,” but not to its principles. That’s because there aren’t any. Readers may enjoy picking through the bafflegab, because I think you could drive a whole fleet of trucks through the loopholes. Here, for example, is Benjamin Studebaker’s view: “A Second Term for Trump is Better Than Beto.” Nobody, after all, said that success had to be immediate; perhaps a short term failure improves the ultimate welfare and prospects for success for the party. In a way, this McCarthy-ite armraising is a kludge, another symptom of a fraying system: Exactly as we can no longer, apparently, trust voters to pick a President, and so must give veto power to the intelligence community, so we can no longer trust primary voters to pick a candidate, and the “National Chairperson” must step in if they somehow get the wrong answer. Pesky voters!

* * *

“SC’s Clyburn pans reparations, ‘opportunity zones’ as unable to address racial inequality” [Post and Courier]. “‘I think pure reparations would be impossible to implement,’ said Clyburn, D-Columbia. ‘But we can deal with the issue (of racial inequality) if we just admit, first of all, that it exists and then come up with some straightforward ways to deal with it.'” • Well… Leaving aside the merits of reparations, it seems reasonable that the Black Misleadership Class would prefer not to have, well, others handing out $400,000 cash payments based on lineage (a complex eligibility formula, note well). Can’t have two sources for the goodies!

Health Care

“Dem campaign chief: Medicare for All price tag ‘a little scary'” [The Hill]. “The House Democrats’ new campaign chief on Tuesday poured cold water on the progressive Medicare for All plan, dismissing it as just ‘one idea’ out there and warning that its estimated $33 trillion price tag was ‘a little scary.’ ‘The ‘Green New Deal’ is an idea. ‘Medicare for all’ is an idea. But there are many others that are out there,’ Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.), the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said in an interview with The Hill.” • If Buston wants to see something really scary, she should read Isaiah Breen’s tweet storm under Heatlh Care, today.

Our Famously Free Press

They just can’t help themselves:

2019

“Payments to corporation owned by Ocasio-Cortez aide come under scrutiny” [WaPo]. “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)’s chief of staff helped establish two political action committees that paid a corporation he ran more than $1 million in 2016 and 2017, federal campaign finance records show. Brand New Congress LLC, the corporation owned by Saikat Chakrabarti, was also paid $18,880 for strategic consulting by Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional campaign in 2017, records show. The following year, he worked as a volunteer to manage her campaign, according to his LinkedIn profile.” • Read for the detail, but I’m seeing stuff like “hypocrisy” and “raises questions.” I’m not sure there’s anything going on here besides upstarts horning into the existing fund-raising arrangements.

Realignment and Legitimacy

DSA (1): From February, still germane;

DSA (2):

All power to the locals, say I. But I think National has the bit between its teeth, and resources will be committed, insanely, to campaigning for Sanders.

DSA (3):

Do this! Do this! Do this! Go on out there and serve the working class! (Who was it who said: “Elections come and go?”)

DSA (4):

F*ck it, Dude. Let’s go bowling.

Stats Watch

International Trade, December 2018: “Today’s headline $59.8 billion deficit is the deepest of the expansion, since October 2008. It is also $1.4 billion beneath Econoday’s consensus range and $2.2 billion deeper than the consensus” [Econoday].

ADP Employment Report, February 2019: “ADP estimates that private payroll growth in Friday’s employment report for February will rise” [Econoday].

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of March 1, 2019: “Purchase applications for home mortgages fell” [Econoday].

Retail: “Survey: retailers lose more revenue from inaccurate inventory than theft” [DC Velocity]. “Retailers have an inventory headache and it’s not from shoplifting. Inaccurate inventories are to blame for more lost revenue than theft, according to the results of a recent survey from supply chain data service provider Bossa Nova Robotics. Nearly all the survey respondents (99 percent) said they have some kind of constant inventory problem, with 87 percent pegging it as a top source of lost revenue; far more than the 13 percent who fingered theft as the top revenue source.” • Talking their book, but still.

Shipping: “Ocean carriers strive to keep capacity in check” [Supply Chain Dive]. “A recent report from The Wall Street Journal portrayed capacity as ‘increasingly out of step with demand’ and said, ‘the world’s container-shipping lines are stuck with their megaships.’ Panelists [at TPM 2019 in Long Beach, California] refuted that premise, noting the ratio of vessels on the order books to ships deployed is at its lowest level in years. ‘Look at the numbers,’ said Philip Damas, director and operational head of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors. ‘This is not happening.'”

Shipping: “View From the Box: CAI International’s CEO on the Outlook for Global Shipping” [Wall Street Journal]. “WSJ: How are things on the maritime container side? MR. GARCIA: There was some front-loading of shipments [last year] because of the concerns about trade. We were expecting that there would be a more significant drop-off after the holiday season, but we’ve actually seen it be fairly strong. Normally we would expect a 1% to 2% of decline in the fleet…But we’ve had less than half a percent decline and a fair number of inquiries. I think customers are cautiously optimistic about 2019.”

Shipping: “The arms race among U.S. container ports is drawing more investment. The Jacksonville Port Authority’s new $238 million agreement with Seattle-based port operator SSA Marine is the latest in a series of big-money projects aimed at transforming the East Coast import landscape for bigger ships” [Wall Street Journal] “The Florida port is also advancing a $480 million plan to upgrade its facilities, including deepening its channel. The bigger container ships are a growing part of the trade scene on the Atlantic since an expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016 enabled larger vessels to come from Asia.”

Shipping: “National freight volumes almost even year-over-year, capacity remains loose” [FreightWaves]. “The national Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) turned one year old on March 1, and it is telling us something quite unexpected – national trucking volumes are almost exactly the same as early March of 2018. For those of us watching the freight market regularly, this may come as a surprise.

Manufacturing: “GE Tumbles Most in Three Months as Power-Unit Woes Sap 2019 Cash” [Industry Week]. “Cash flow from GE’s industrial operations will be negative this year as GE grapples with further challenges in its power business and other operational pressures, Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp said Tuesday at an industry conference. That’s a sharp drop from 2018, when the maker of gas turbines and jet engines brought in $4.5 billion by the closely watched measure…. Investors have kept a close eye on adjusted industrial free cash flow, GE’s measure of the leftover cash generated by its manufacturing units after accounting for operating and other expenses. The metric is considered an indicator of earnings potential.”

Manufacturing: “The automotive sector is looking more than ever like it needs a tune-up. Investors and analysts are growing more concerned that the global auto industry is sputtering, …. and is joining retail and energy as sectors with worries over potential financial distress” [Wall Street Journal]. “AlixPartners LLC found in a recent survey that a third of restructuring experts named autos as one of the three most likely sectors to face distress in 2019. After holding steady last year, U.S. auto sales are widely expected to fall in 2019, and light vehicle sales world-wide fell 8% in January, with a sharp decline in China.”

Health Care

Interview on Medicare for All with Pramila Jaypal (TP):

TP: “Impressive.” Readers?

From Isaiah Breen*, about that insurance you all love so much. Thread:

* At one time, Keith Ellison’s press secretary.

GoFundMe (1):

GoFundMe (2): “GoFundMe CEO: ‘Gigantic Gaps’ In Health System Showing Up In Crowdfunding” [Kaiser Health News]. From January, still germane. GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon: “The system is terrible. It needs to be rethought and retooled. Politicians are failing us. Health care companies are failing us. Those are realities. I don’t want to mince words here. We are facing a huge potential tragedy. We provide relief for a lot of people. But there are people who are not getting relief from us or from the institutions that are supposed to be there. We shouldn’t be the solution to a complex set of systemic problems. They should be solved by the government working properly, and by health care companies working with their constituents. We firmly believe that access to comprehensive health care is a right and things have to be fixed at the local, state and federal levels of government to make this a reality.” • Somebody in Jayapal’s office should ask Solomon to support HR1384.

MMT

“Three levels of controversy over MMT” [Interfluidity]. “If you think MMT is good politics but bad economics, it may be worth asking whether there isn’t some tweak or reform that would render the economics acceptable and retain the good politics. And advancing that project of reform might, all things considered, be a more virtuous project than ostentatiously dissing MMT under the banner of your own economic views.” • A review of the current dust-ups, including Henwood and the responses to him.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Families are not always easy. Thread:

Guillotine Watch

“My Year of Living Like My Rich Friend” [New York Magazine]. “[S]hopping with T was different. When she walked into a store, the employees greeted her by name and began to pull items from the racks for her to try on. Riding her coattails, I was treated with the same consideration, which is how I wound up owning a beautiful cashmere 3.1 Philip Lim sweater that I had no use for and rarely wore, and which was eventually eaten by moths in my closet. Buying beautiful clothes at full retail price was not a part of my childhood and it is not a part of my life now. It felt more illicit and more pleasurable than buying drugs. It was like buying drugs and doing the drugs, simultaneously.”” • Indeed:

Class Warfare

“Erie Locomotive Plant Workers Strike against Two-Tier” [Labor Notes]. “UE proposed keeping the terms of the existing collective bargaining agreement in place while negotiating a new contract, but Wabtec rejected that proposal. Instead it said it would impose a two-tier pay system that would pay new hires and recalled employees up to 38 percent less in wages, institute mandatory overtime, reorganize job classifications, and hire temporary workers for up to 20 percent of the plant’s jobs. Workers voted on Saturday to authorize the strike.” • Good. Two-tier is awful, wherever found (including Social Security).

News of the Wired

“Poetry slams are helping to revitalise the Basque language” [The Economist]. “Before an audience of 500 people on the outskirts of Pamplona, Maialen Lujanbio, the reigning champion of bertsolaritza, the Basque oral tradition of improvised song, steps up to the microphone. She stands in silence, thinking. Ms Lujanbio is composing a bertso, the rules of which are simple but exacting. Given a theme or a prompt, bertsolaris invent a poem of between eight and 12 lines, which must fit a prescribed rhyming form. Next they choose a melody from thousands of traditional tunes, or coin a new one on the spot. Bertsolaris usually think for around 30 seconds. The silence can feel chasmic. And then they sing.

* * *

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 (crittermom):

Crittermom writes: “Rock candy?” Normally, I oppose shallow focus on principle — not the way I see things! — but this is gorgeous!

* * *

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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.

154 comments

    1. Cal2

      A**Whole Foods employees are defecting in large numbers and are going to work for a locally owned, 100% organic grocery store that is growing their sales by over 20% a year.
      http://www.genatural.com/organic-kitchen-cafe-menu-mill-valley/
      Lots of former A**Whole Foods customers are following them.

      Support your local organic grocery if you are lucky enough to have one. If not, why not start one? All the former Whole Foods customers are there to be siphoned off by real high quality organics and good customer service.

      Neighbor’s daughter made the switch. Fewer and fewer items at WF, with older and older expiration dates, an attempt to force all employees to do the loyalty dance to corporate headquarters, gross interference with local decision making in everything from graphics to buying from local producers, vermin in the food etc.

      When one spends more time trying to figure out where Whole Foods products are sourced and attempting to determine if they are organic or not, then they do do driving to and from the store, it’s time to wave goodby to them with your middle finger.

      Reply
      1. Monty

        That’s a nice area! I am sure you have lots of great options in that area to cater to all the extremely wealthy and hip customers there. Around here, Whole Foods is the only place that makes any claims to the conditions that the animals were reared in. I would rather buy meat there and hope they are being truthful than buy the horrors that they sell at Costco, Safeway or Walmart.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Whole Foods gained the fear, loathing and hatred of much of the Legacy Health-Food Co-op store movement for its habit of looking for places which already had a viable semi-hippie-type food store and then invading those localities with stores of their own.

          Did your own locality have a Legacy Hippie food store before Whole Foods showed up? Did Whole Foods then drive that store extinct? Probably only long-term residents middle-aged or older would even know.

          Reply
          1. Cal2

            i.e. “WalFoods”…some modus operandi.
            It can work in reverse, look for a place that has an As*whole Foods store and build a high quality competitor to grab their customers and those of Safeway etc.

            Costco is a force for good and is BTW, the largest purveyor of organic food in the U.S. Keep them honest and demand improvements.

            Reply
  1. Tyrannocaster

    Shallow focus IS the way you see things. You’re just used to constant autorefocus. You can not focus on something small and close and also focus on something farther away; you must switch back and forth. I guess my 25 years as a pro photog left me with *something*, LOL.

    Reply
      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        photography as the art of seeing reality differently–the twig held in place WITHOUT the ability to shift focus–is its own pleasure (as you acknowledge), just a matter of personal preference I guess–anyway, thanks Crittermom–you’ve been knocking it out of the park lately!

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        Photography is about picking out a moment and a frame. Shallow focus is just a way of doing that. And of course, technically deep focus isn’t an option up close.

        All art is based on abstraction. Each medium gives you a particular set of abstractions. In photography, shallow focus is part of the kit. As is deep focus – as Tyrannocaster pointed out. To get it, you have to give something up – like freezing motion, or depth in the scene..

        Reply
  2. timbers

    “The House Democrats’ new campaign chief on Tuesday poured cold water on the progressive Medicare for All plan, dismissing it as just ‘one idea’ out there and warning that its estimated $33 trillion price tag was ‘a little scary.’

    I hear this a lot from people I talk to, like my Republican dentist.

    My response: Every 1 dollar we spend on Medicare For All or universal single payer healthcare saves us 2 dollars in other programs it replaces but aren’t giving us healthcare. I think what you meant to say is “We can’t afford not to have Medicare For All.”

    That’s my story and I’m sticking too it.

    Reply
    1. Tvc15

      And as Lambert has mentioned, we pay for Medicare for All the same way we do for all the wars and tax cuts for the .1% and corporations which never have to answer the question of how will we pay for it.

      Reply
      1. Robert Valiant

        Saving money on healthcare (insurance, really) would be deflationary, which is why it won’t happen. It’s like saving money by not having wars.

        Reply
        1. Carey

          Seems like the money that the citizenry would no longer be spending on
          healthcare they could instead spend on other things. It’d be a redirection
          rather than a shutting-off, no?

          If M4A does not happen, I don’t think that’ll be the reason.

          ricebowls

          Reply
        2. Kurtismayfield

          Housing taxes would be cut (Muni’s wouldn’t have to provide their workers insurance.. look up how much your town pays for it)

          People would have more take home pay, and be able to take more career risks.

          If we got to the cost per capital of the 2nd more expensive country … The US would have over 1Trillion dollars sloshing around in the economy.

          How is this deflationary?

          Reply
          1. WheresOurTeddy

            If the resulting economic boom that would happen if we defanged any combination of the triple parasites of heatlh care profiteering, trickle-down tax cuts for the already rich, and runaway militarism were allowed to occur, there would be no going back, and more than a few people would start asking why this didn’t happen sooner and who was holding progress at bay.

            Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Your response seems sound, sane and reasonable.

      Though there is another approach, with those of us who are aware of MMT. In that case, we can go beyond bean-counting, for a while, and just say ‘M4A, just because we can,’ and to sell the program, to market it, we can say ‘just to show the power of MMT, the first thing I do when I enter the White House is to send a $100,000 check to everyone, just because the government can.’

      With a powerful demonstration like that, it’s hard to imagine residual opposition, which can be further persuaded with another check for as much, or more.

      “Theories are most acceptable when results can be seen or experienced.”

      Reply
    3. jsn

      Every time the $33T price tag is mentioned the reply should be, “over the same time period, what we are doing now will cost $50T, that’s what we cannot afford.”

      Reply
      1. Cal2

        Make it personal. IMHO this works better than huge numbers.
        i.e. Ask your arguer,
        “How much did you spent on medical insurance last year, including your copays, out of pocket and out of network?

        “How would your family budget save if you had to spend none of that?
        Would you mind paying a small percentage of those savings in additional taxes?”

        Reply
      2. WheresOurTeddy

        The earnestness with which someone who makes well under $100K per year will speak about amounts of hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars and what can and cannot be done with them is astonishing even before you get to the fact that the Afghanistan war and our approaching 2-decades-long blank check for it could vote in the next election if it were a person.

        So many dogs eat this dog food, even though it literally makes their lives shorter.

        Reply
    4. Chris Cosmos

      It’s very curious that I rarely see, as I never saw during the Obamacare con as it played out, any reference to international comparisons. Most Americans, who have not lived in Europe or elsewhere, have NO CLUE at all about how other systems function. First of all “single-payer” is not the norm. Second the systems are quite nuanced but the end result is the same–people get quality low-cost health-care as they need it because those systems don’t allow criminals to run their systems. In the USA we allow criminals (or I should say hustlers) to run most our systems including health-care.

      No matter what system we use to PAY for health-care unless we get rid of the hustles, the graft, the kickbacks we’re still going to spend twice the OECD average (how many Americans know that little fact). The fact is all our systems and industries are loaded with hustles–that’s why we spend, for example, eleven times as much as Russia spends on the military–why? Because half of all spending is a series of hustles and graft that the mainstream media is no longer allowed to report on–have you noticed, you rarely, if ever hear about Pentagon procurement scandals–yet they exist.

      I’m not very sanguine about Medicare for All–it’s a start to at least keep people who literally, cry blood in a health care crisis in their family or sit anxious wondering what will happen to them because they either become homeless or pay the deductible and the absurdly high premiums we are forced to pay for care. Obamacare was a disaster in my view and eliminated some nascent alternative funding systems and alternative treatments–but that’s another story.

      Reply
      1. Monty

        That’s why there are so many brand new Ferrari’s bearing veteran license plates. It’s the arms industry’s way of saying, “Thank you for your service”.

        Reply
      2. Phacops

        One form of universal healthcare I would not like to see in America is a hybrid, using insurer management, like that in Germany.

        Unfortunately, I think America is far too corrupt not to think that such an arrangement wouldn’t be subject to regulatory capture or unethical treatment by insurers. In fact Medicare Advantage has a current problem with upcharges and billing. Many who have Medicare Advantage receive calls from the insurers asking to schedule home visits. What happens is that while the visits take place the corrupt nurse’s aide notes risk factors that they use to charge Medicare premiums without actually working to mitigate risk. What a scam!

        Reply
        1. Chris Cosmos

          I can’t comment on the German system but my daughter lives and works in Germany and has benefitted from the system–there’s never a worry about not being able to pay any bill. Also, Medicare isn’t that great–doesn’t cover eye-care or dental care and it’s coverage of mental-health care is poor.

          Reply
      3. Hopelb

        So that is yet another reason why our msm presstitutes(paulcraigrobert’s term) almost never accompanies their reports with maps!

        Reply
  3. laughingsong

    (Who was it who said: “Elections come and go?”)

    I thought it was:
    Lovers come and go, the river will roll, roll, roll

    We are truly living in a Brokedown Palace.

    Reply
  4. Lambert Strether Post author

    Readers, I got a late start, so I added some material, including the DNC”s amazing Loyalty Oath*. Please refresh your browsers.

    “Bona fide Democrat,” lol. Like Joe Manchin?

    Reply
    1. Roger Smith

      The real question is, do the insiders have to sign the same pledge, to ‘participate in good faith’?

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        Oddly, I see the requirement as making sense; he’s always been an independent, now he wants to take advantage of their ballot line.

        In the Pacific Green Party, we now insist that people be registered Green before we nominate them. (We also co-nominate candidates of other parties, if they make a good case. That’s a new element of Oregon law that we haven’t quite adjusted to.)

        Reply
    2. Hopelb

      Hello Lambert,
      If you are still here could you tell me the name of that fantastic tree book that you mentioned in the comments?
      Thank You,
      Hope

      Reply
  5. WobblyTelomeres

    “Oh, the humanity!”

    Lord, Lambert, I hope you were in your fainting room when you wrote that.

    [cracking up heah]

    Reply
    1. Daryl

      Perhaps other politicians are not grumpy enough — at least when they’re not explaining to schoolchildren why Medicare for All is intractable.

      Reply
  6. Jason Boxman

    The Clinton tweet is, I think, a good example of access journalism. What lengths would one go to in maintenance of such access?

    Reply
    1. pjay

      If you are Maggie Haberman… I’d say pretty great lengths.

      By the way, some of the responses to that tweet are pretty good. And the responses to the snarky Annie Linskey tweet about Bernie are hilarious. Glad to see some pushback on these “objective” reporters.

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        the ratio on the Linksey tweet was brutal. over 850 replies, less than 150 likes and retweets. Woof.

        Reply
    1. polecat

      Well Good On Miami !! Once an entire state, be it Florida or another, agrees to ban Roundup … and its noxious cousins, then we’ll have achieved a high hurdle !

      Reply
      1. Carey

        Yeah, I see this as significant. It’s a PR war as much as anything else, and we know
        about Bayer/Monsanto’s massive resources, v the health of the citizenry and commons.

        Reply
  7. Summer

    Re: AOC aide/ scrutiny
    “I’m not sure there’s anything going on here besides upstarts horning into the existing fund-raising arrangements.”

    The MSM is double checking her “origin story.”

    Reply
  8. Wukchumni

    “Poetry slams are helping to revitalise the Basque language” [The Economist]
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Fun article!

    If you ever get a chance to go to a Basque restaurant in the Central Valley or in Nevada, I encourage it. You decide on a main course and they bring you platters and bowls of other edibles, in an endless stream served family style.

    My favorite was one in Gardnerville, Nv. where you walked through a bar of Basque kibitizers in animated conversation, to get to the restaurant.

    Reply
  9. drumlin woodchuckles

    Sanders could always interpret his drive to re-New Dealify the Democratic Party as BEing IN the interest OF the Democratic Party. Its all in how you define it. I bet Sanders is smart enough to define that Loyalty Oath to cover what he wants to do.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In a different age, the response to this pledge could be “This party is so immoral, I am resigning from it right now!’

      Because while Sanders is smart to define it his way, the other side is also smart to do the same….too many loopholes, for both sides.

      I think that’s what the Never-Sanders-ers want…a chance to keep the scorch-Earth battle going beyond Nov. 2020.

      And with this, I am wondering if Sanders is the Gorbachev of the D Party, trying for Glasnost and Perestroika on that party-system. At the end, people in the USSR simply gave up.

      Reply
      1. deplorado

        Hmmmm… I think IMHO that any analogies with Gorbachev are misplaced and superficial. I don’t think Gorbachev knew what he was doing and was profoundly naive (or worse, but that’s the best that can be said about him, let’s leave it at that – and I admired him as a teen behind the iron curtain).

        I think Sanders knows what he’s doing and is clear eyed about who he’s dealing with in terms of system and people — unlike Gorbachev.

        As for people in the USSR giving up – I don’t think they got anything of what they really wanted, and I don’t think anyone really asked them. So they never had a chance to give up anything. They were simply led along a short hopeful path – and then summarily and mercilessly crushed.

        Sanders is a healthy thing for this country and the Dem party. Unlike Gorbachev, he’s ushering in healthy forces. Let the chips fall where they may.

        Reply
  10. Summer

    Re: Loyalty Oath

    That’s the Democrats for ya! When they don’t have any useful ideas they go and grab the Republican’s old, bad ones out of the trash.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      “Loyalty Oath”? We are in what country, in what year?

      *Why* did he sign on with the Dems? Could’ve had ballot access with the Greens, and
      everything else from the Dem association is a net-negative, IMO.

      Lucy/Football2020

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I want to say this is the Zabinski Point (apparently the lowest dry point in the geographic US) in the D party’s recent history, but I fear it could get lower still.

        Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              The actual lowest point in the state might be at the bottom of the artificially created lake-the Salton Sea, as at the surface it’s -236 feet, and the claim is the bottom is 5 feet higher than Badwater, but who knows.

              It was created in 1905, when a diversion of the Colorado River went out of control for 2 years, until they were able to stop the flow.

              Reply
            2. ambrit

              “Zabriskie Point.” A truly apt metaphor for the modern political landscape.
              My favourite foreign movie metaphor for the Democrat Party would be Bertolucci’s “The Conformist.”

              Reply
        1. Carey

          Like around the 2020 Convention, say? Sanders is likely to be so beaten up
          (by the Dems!) then that, well…

          McGovern ’72?

          Reply
      2. Chris Cosmos

        Because Sanders knows that there are only two parties allowed on the federal level. A Green, no matter how popular or appealing would be totally ignored by the media and if he or she got the level of support that threatened the major parties then woe unto that person. So let’s stop this third party talk–third parties are good places to park your vote and register your displeasure–perfectly respectable choice but that’s all.

        Reply
        1. Carey

          In my view it’d be hard to ignore the candidate with as many people and
          as much energy as Sanders has behind him.

          With the Dems, it’s sure looking to me like Lucy/Football, yet again.
          Maybe I’m wrong.

          Reply
          1. Chris Cosmos

            Well you’re not going to be able to ignore Sanders but he will be viciously attacked in the media and he may get 20% of the vote–no more than that. If there would be a major cultural revolution between now and the election then maybe he could win but at present the forces arrayed against him would be too powerful. If he makes the proper compromises with the PTB to show them that he’s a viable alternative to Trump and won’t destroy the basic capitalist system he’ll be allowed to win.

            Reply
            1. Summer

              “If he makes the proper compromises with the PTB to show them that he’s a viable alternative to Trump and won’t destroy the basic capitalist system he’ll be allowed to win.”

              I missed Bernie’s plan to destroy the basic capitalist system.
              Where is that?

              Reply
      3. John k

        Greens aren’t in all states… only on 21 ballots per wiki.
        He would have to win 271 Ev in a three way race and without even being on many state ballots. Otherwise goes to house where the rep candidate wins because reps have more states with a majority of house members.
        Similarly, veep election goes to senate.
        I previously thought greens might be an option, but numbers don’t work. Bernie seems to have tconcluded you have to get dem nom, and make whatever compromises and waffles are necessary for same, to have a real chance.
        How many ev’s did Nader get?

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A possible narrow path to victory through the Green Party – when no one candidate gets 270 (271?) votes, then, it’s one vote from each state delegation (decided by the highest vote total or more than 50% required?).

          Reply
        2. Aleric

          The GP is on the ballot in 21 states automatically, but can gain access to many more than that. Jill was on the ballot in 45 states in 2016.

          Reply
    2. polecat

      So, a loyalty oath to a corporate-backed corpseporation … SOP !

      ‘Ok, sign right here … on the dotted, Bernie …
      You be OUR bitch employee now ….’

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Nothing that Bernie will do can satisfy the Democrats. Said the other day he was wishy-washy over Venezuela but it was still not enough. Seems that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has threatened to have him kicked out of the party unless he calls out Madura as a dictator. Film clip at-

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnlEVf7oaVQ

        Some language used.

        Reply
        1. polecat

          Well then, Sanders better be carrying a polished shield at all times … never know when debbie the medusa will lurch forward throwing that gazy DNC stink-eye in his direction !

          Reply
    3. Summer

      And I’m going to amend this comment.
      I had the 90s Repubs on the brain with that comment.
      The Dems have a history of loyalty oaths, though not always around the Pres primary.
      But those are most interesting.

      https://www.nytimes.com/1970/03/18/archives/byrd-leaves-party-in-virginia-over-democratic-loyalty-oath-byrd.html

      This one was about support for whoever turned out to be the 1972 candidate. (We know how that election turned out)

      Then others:

      https://theintercept.com/2018/05/09/new-york-county-democratic-party-cuomo-loyalty-pledge/

      https://pinellasdemocrats.org/about-us/

      And…just on the Repubs (it’s MSNBC – the place to go if you want to check for 24/7 commentary on Republicans outside of Fox News. It really is their bread and butter along with reinforcing conservative talking pionts while presenting it as “debate”)

      http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-gops-affinity-loyalty-oaths

      Reply
  11. Rue the Whirl

    It is the current year, and the current year seems embroiled in a heavy debate over issues of freedom of speech and access to information. One of the great selling points of the Internet in the 1990’s was that it would finally democratize speech and information, allowing the common person to produce and access content unmediated by corporate media. Then it happened, and the powers that be hated it.
    [ … ]
    Now, deplatforming and Silicon Valley unpersoning are among the attempts to get the genie back in the bottle, under the pretense of public “safety.” Freedom is risky, and unpopular with those who prefer controlling opinion to engaging in healthy argument in the marketplace of ideas. Whether the odd collusion of leftist authoritarians and corporate media can assert control is for the future to decide, but the historical record doesn’t look good.

    “The March of Intellect” [Voyages Extraordinaires]

    Reply
    1. Summer

      Except for the last pic in that cartoon series from the early 1800s, it was hard for them to imagine horses absent from transportation in the future.

      Reply
  12. kareninca

    I have a neighbor who gets her political news in little snippets from her smart phone. She is powerfully affected by photos of politicians’ faces and thinks their facial expressions are mirrors of their characters. Despite her terror of global warming on behalf of her children, she flew cross country to Washington to march wearing a pussy hat. When Trump was elected she told me she thought he was a horrible monster and assaulter of women. When he was polite to Putin early on at some event she said that she thought he was a Traitor.

    But last week she told me that she almost feels sorry for him. Her ire seems to have dissipated. Of course she knows nothing about the regulations he is dismantling or the federal judges (other than the Supreme Court ones) he is appointing. If I had to guess I’d say that the MSM Trump bashathon on stupid topics like Russia has simply lost its potency for her.

    Reply
  13. crittermom

    “2020 Clinton”

    Yesterday I was elated to read that she was not running. Whew!

    Today I read this tweet & it seems she hadn’t really decided yet?
    Aww, Hell No Hillary! (Nor Chelsea in the future)

    What is most distressing, scrolling far down through the tweets, is how many still support her!
    Sadly, I fear the MeToo movement has only helped her. ‘She’s a woman who had her dignity taken away when the coronation was stolen from her. Stolen, I say!’ *groan*

    I think there should be MANY more stories revealing what she’s really about, to give those followers a huge dose of truth & put an end to her running. Let’s hear more about the Clinton Foundation, Haiti, etc…

    I remain both dumbfounded & horrified by the cluelessness of both her followers, & Trumps.

    Yes, money talks. And it’s time for it & the bullsh*t to take a walk.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      But she really does good home-brew, you know … HER -> her sanitation regime IS somewhat lacking, however …

      Reply
    2. Roger Smith

      Her Dignity? I met him down in a bar in southwest New Mexico. Said he hadn’t seen her since the Nixon Administration.

      Reply
    3. Chris Cosmos

      I think that “following” is not very deep. Certain classes of women identified with Clinton–these women, sorry, aren’t able to think in terms of policies–they think, as most Americans think in terms of tribalism. There are other women running for the Presidency now and some of them will try to get those same women to root for them. Ultimately, it’s should be clear that Clinton is not only a martinet and a serial liar but she’s not very smart. Her campaign was a study in ineptness.

      Reply
    4. John k

      Sounds good to me. Think she’d kill it this time in swing states? Further splits the status quo neoliberal forever war vote. And takes from Kamala in Ca.
      Wait… maybe she knows but secretly likes Bernie? Or grew a conscience?

      Reply
    5. ChrisPacific

      If she does run, I wonder if all the Hillary 2.0 candidates will genuflect and bow out, or if any will refuse to go quietly. It could get interesting.

      Reply
  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    “Dem campaign chief: Medicare for All price tag ‘a little scary’” [The Hill].

    —-

    The government defines how long a meter is (or a kilogram, a minute, a year, etc).

    Can it not also define one’s age is 65 plus the number of years since birth, so that, one is automatically qualified for Medicare at birth?

    Can that be done with a presidential executive order?

    Reply
    1. crittermom

      >”Can it not also define one’s age is 65 plus the number of years since birth…”
      Interesting concept. After all, our current POTUS shut down the govt over a crisis he created.

      But then, I’d be …………………………..? Eekkkkkk!

      Got another idea?

      Reply
  15. zagonostra

    >Lyndon LaRouche

    Don’t know too much about LaRouche but I stumbled on a YouTube video by him and noticed he died a couple of weeks ago. I don’t recall seeing/hearing this in any Media outlets.

    I know he has been lampooned in places like SNL, but he seemed fairly cogent in what he was saying on the video I was watching…I’d be curious to know what the NC commentarati know/think about this man.

    Reply
      1. Harold

        I saw some at the Union Square subway station with placards & lit supporting the Ukraine coup in 2014. I understand LaRouche moved To Germany and became more subdued after enduring five years of a 15-year prison sentence for multiple frauds in Chicago (I think it was.)

        Reply
    1. John

      LaRouche came up with the mind searing image of Queen Elizabeth fellating Henry Kissinger as part of some sort of Rothschildian politico-sexual conspiracy in his 1970’s heyday. And yes, there were occasionally rationial sounding things said. His cult followers were pretty intense.

      Reply
      1. LifelongLib

        The first time I saw him on TV I recall agreeing with about half of what he said — can’t remember what it was though! Hadn’t heard anything about him for years, until his death.

        Reply
    2. WheresOurTeddy

      Grifter and cult leader for the most part. Ran for president 6 or 7 times in a row. L Ron Hubbard of politics if you ask some.

      Reply
  16. JohnnyGL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZETXjR7T7_4 — Re: AOC’s campaign finance issues, Niko House says there’s grifters involved in Justice Dems and one of them is working for AOC.

    I sort of enjoy these focus group-ed panels of voters. This one is from CNN. 2 parts:

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/03/05/cnn_democratic_focus_group_biden_sanders_are_done.html

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/03/06/democratic_voters_praise_aoc_shes_a_badass_candidate_of_the_future.html

    Reply
    1. notabanker

      Watched as much as I could of that focus group of Clinton voters. Not one of them mentioned one single issue. Nothing. Trump, progressive, centrists, united, divisive, blah, blah, blah.

      They are all saying what they think people want them to say on CNN.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        My two takeaways:

        1) Biden’s support is paper-thin, existing mostly among voters who don’t pay a ton of attention. There’s no strong core of Biden support who really, really believe in the guy.

        2) The base really LOVES AOC.

        Reply
  17. lyman alpha blob

    Sanders does love to tout his crowd sizes … kind of like someone else.

    Still bitter that Hillary couldn’t fill an elementary school gym?

    Reply
    1. Summer

      They scoff at crowd size now even though it was all they talked about with Obama.
      But as the commericial goes: “what’s in your wallet?” Two people with fat pockets…all they need.

      Reply
  18. Pelham

    Why oh why is it that whenever anyone mentions the famous $32 trillion (or $33 trillion) cost of Medicare for all over 10 years, the comparable figure for healthcare spending without it is never cited? A big figure floating all alone should raise everyone’s suspicions.

    One no-Medicare-for-you figure I have heard is $34 trillion, but I suspect that’s too low. Another is $50 trillion. Regardless, we should never see one number without the other, and Medicare opponents should always be required to explain why they oppose saving trillions of bucks. They do have reasons, but they shouldn’t be allowed to use a big fat dollar figure as a debate-stopping bludgeon.

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      For comparison’s sake, proponents of MFA should start mentioning the $21 trillion the Pentagon flushed down the toilet over a similar time span. Then it sounds a lot less expensive.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        Sorry l.a.b., but that $21 billion and billions got sucked down the black maw of the Deep State … for who know’s what kind of High Tech gee-gahs .. nothing toilet-like about it !! … at least from THEIR side of the chasm … also, never forget the attraction of copious stacks of benjamins floating into certain greased palms.

        Reply
        1. VietnamVet

          What’s a few trillions? The 21 billion is spending the Pentagon couldn’t account for. The War on Terror cost 2.4 trillion dollars so far. That doesn’t include trillions for revamped nuclear weapon systems or new hyper-sonic missiles to match Russia since the Democrats restarted the Cold War. Then there is the cost of destroying the earth in a nuclear war.

          Reply
    2. Chris Cosmos

      Facts are avoided in the US media. Remember these people who run, edit, write, and who are talking heads are PR flacks for the corporate elite and nothing else. They are not allowed to investigate what has been declared off-limits, they are not allowed to bring up relevant facts in any discussion only slogans–that’s all they got. That’s why I avoid mainstream news and have no clue why anyone here has anything to do with them at all. Once, there were good journalists and editors in the system but they’ve been mainly all purged and become little more than copies of Soviet journalists. That’s why we have to encourage people to explore alternative media.

      Reply
  19. Eureka Springs

    What’s the point of being in a third party (DSA) if all of that energy goes to endorsing a Democratic nominee? Furthermore, what’s the point of calling yet another party Democratic SA and throwing democratic process out before the bath water? “Same as it ever was”.

    As for the D party loyalty oath… Will anyone else be asked to sign one? Seems like a party would need a binding platform before being able to demand loyalty.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Anyone else signing?

      That’s a question Sanders should have asked, or probably already did. My guess is that he was told it was for everyone, or everyone running (for any office, or just that office).

      Why would he sign it if he learned it was only for him?

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Why would he sign it if he learned it was only for him?

        One, its not binding. Two, a Democratic nominee gets to run everything anyway, so at that point, its a loyalty oath to Sanders.

        Even now, don’t we need to know about the loyalty of these so called Democrats? Amy Klobuchar is a member of DFL, so its important we get her loyalty oath notarized.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Even non binding, wouldn’t he ask why he was only one required (that’s the point under discussion)?

          And while the nominee gets to run everything, the oath seems design to counter that, by not being very specific, on purpose.

          Reply
        2. WheresOurTeddy

          There is nothing to keep Sanders from turning around in January 2021 and saying “I will be governing as a democrat. A 1940s FDR New Deal Democrat. Deal with it.”

          It would be as galling to the toothless apparatchiks as the middle finger of a court case decision about 2016 in which the party defended its right to pick whoever it wants was to the rest of us. Sweet schadenfreude it would be, too.

          Reply
        3. notabanker

          They will vote on convention rules before they vote on a nominee, and the superdelegates will vote on that. Nothing stopping them from changing the first vote rules and nothing stopping them from voting on a binding platform before voting on a nominee.

          Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      DSA is not a party. It does not, and in most states cannot without a lot of new work, run candidates. It’s just like any other non-profit. Must be a 501c4, to be able to endorse partisan candidates.

      One reason NOT to endorse early is that there will be other candidates asking, eg from the Green Party.

      Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      An artist is one who can see that, and when one sees that way, one becomes aware of the universal creative flow, and being a part of it (and not outside of it).

      Reply
  20. Wukchumni

    Question:

    TEU’s used to go back to China after dropping off a load of consumer goods, full of our recyclables, but that doesn’t happen anymore.

    Do they go back with something else in them, or empty?

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Yes, it does. Companies try hard not to, and really it does not do much good to have the cargo but no containers. Still some areas usually have an over supply of shipping containers, not just ships, which means giving the shippers great rates or even paying them to ship the empties back to the factories and ports.

      One of the benefits of the early years of the Iraqi-Afghanistan-American War for container leasing companies was that the 20 and 40 ft long metal shipping containers often were damaged, destroyed, stolen or just lost somewhere. People often found them very useful especially as buildings and even scrap. It actually was hard not to have something go wrong.

      The need to not ship back or even too rigorously keep track of them because Uncle Sam would pay for replacement costs was nice and the contracts always made sure the costs were generous. Add that shipping one soldier with supplies for a year equaled one container…

      Ever see the size of one those ships with those hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of metal containers? Seeing one of those ships go by my desk window and dwarfing the office building was just a humbling experience. The profits were just enormous as were our bonuses. Never think that wars do not pay.

      To also explain why there are too many gigantic floating mountains is that scaling up makes shipping cheaper. The more stuff that you can cram onto a ship the lower the individual item’s shipping costs. The more ships you mass produce and the larger you can build container ships holding evermore containers, the less it costs to build and use the shipping needed to ship those containers. Two large ships are cheaper to build, use, and maintain than one smaller ship.

      So shipping is just like production. Reducing the costs to increase profits by reducing the costs of hours, energy, manpower, and other resources to make and then ship that widget.

      But what happens when the boom ends? When the war slowed and the Great Recession happened, my paycheck went away. As did a lot of other peoples’. Since the whole planet’s shipping industry has been trying to stay alive and (somehow) make a profit while most of the economy has slowly deflated by finding new and “creative” efficiencies I expect that there more Dead Companies Walking. It might be like all those Japanese companies from before 2000 being kept “alive” by the government and like our own FIRE sector after 2008, or might be like post 1929. It will be uhm… interesting to find out what happens. Here’s to hoping that it is like the New Deal in America and not like what happened elsewhere.

      Reply
      1. Skip Intro

        I think container ships stacked with containers will be a good place to start housing persons from coastal cities which find themselves below the new-normal sea level. The companies building them are like Noah, whether they know it or not.

        Reply
  21. Wukchumni

    Wouldn’t it have been something to be a fly on the wall when HRC threw in the towel and didn’t tell Bill, which must have caused contretemps, leading to 2020 nevermindsight?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      I suspect that Bill found about it and called her and told her to “think like a lawyer.” “I did and it kept me in the White House sweet cheeks.”
      She did exactly that and we get today’s puerile political pettifogging pronouncement.

      Reply
  22. super extra

    I really hated that Sofia Coppola movie Marie Antoinette as recently as a few years ago. I hated the stylistic choice to make the characters like something out of a Wes Anderson film – intentionally self aware and speaking Brooklyn-and-LA English. It seemed like an excuse for Coppola and her friends to put themselves in the role of a queen at a time of excess, which yeah of course it was, but I didn’t realize the significance of that at the time.

    On reflection I think that same stylistic choice was actually unintentionally brilliant, because it reframes something sort of abstract from history (worker’s revolt at the excesses of the elite) as something we understand in the current era in a language we all recognize from those same Wes Anderson movies.

    I remember watching it before the crash and thinking something like, ugh, hipsters! When really I should have been thinking, ugh, the rich!

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Still ugh. Sofia’s sympathetic take on MA–while based on a book–conveys the message: overpampered princesses are people too. Given Coppola’s rather luxe upbringing the message is not, however, necessarily surprising. She’s big buddies with Wes Anderson so the cross pollination also not surprising.

      Reply
  23. Summer

    Re: DSA

    I didn’t realize “endorsement” meant committing resources.
    No they shouldn’t do that. If anything give the Dems what they know best: lip service.

    Votes for Sanders are just going to show how the fix is being set. Info to put in the back pocket. That’s what should be watched and don’t be like the Greens.

    Let this be your chance DSA: BE SOMEWHERE ELSE TO GO. And you cannot stop for any of the establishment’s elections.

    Reply
  24. Chris Cosmos

    “My Year of Living Like My Rich Friend”

    I sort of sped-read the idiocy of the typical sort of New York Magazine story but I get the basic drift. I used to hang around with rich women (not because I was rich–in fact, I was kind of broke) so I get the story. Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing applies to them in spades. Like most Americans, they live in fantasies–they’re fantasies are just more expensive. Rich people don’t seem happier to me–just less worried about what to do when they need dental work than the rest of us.

    On a certain level their taste and attitudes are disgusting and, sadly, many Americans wish and fantasize constantly about being rich and indulge themselves–particularly women (sorry ladies). Rich men are different they are more aggressive, less interested in refinement, and more interested in “winning” whatever game they are playing unless they are boy-toys and they prefer boats, drugs, and so on.

    Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      sometimes the universe stumbles upon something approaching justice, or, in lieu of that, comedy

      Reply
    2. ewmayer

      Possible headline/subhead: “Billionaire Diamond Trader Dies During Penis Enlargement Surgery: Headed successful firm, but rumored to be chronically short-staffed.”

      Also, was it a private Paris clinic, or a Paris privates clinic?

      Reply
  25. Phacops

    Re: DCCC, Bustos spouting Republican talking points about Medicare for all.

    Damn! Why does the Democratic leadership hate Americans so much? Plus, it takes deliberate ignorance not to compare current with proposed expenditures. I think that is deliberate in order to mislead by omission. Why are such people even Democrats?

    My career was in pharmaceutical manufacturing quality and I’ve seen how much better we can control pricing – products that engineering, manufacturing, and product/process development struggled to bring in at $0.02/unit were charged at multiple dollars to patients after going through wholesalers and pharmacists who added no value. What Medicare for All needs is for our government to act as the drug wholesaler, not merely negotiating drug pricing.

    Anyway, I remain unapologetic in the desire to see employees of health insurance corporations destitute and living under highway flyovers.

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      Case in point, sand fly bite disease, leishmaniasis, affected many of our troops returning from the Iraq folly. Pharma didn’t want to bother making a drug because it couldn’t be sold to the public. The V.A. labs made it them self for a few cents a dose.

      Our war taxes have funded the Veteran’s Administration labs for decades. Let’s get something back from them for the general public.

      Reply
    2. John k

      They don’t start out hating the 90%, they start with loving the donors.
      Then they resent the lower classes because the resist, however feebly, what the donors want.
      It’s the .01% plus the 10% that serve them on one side, everybody else on the other.
      So maybe realizing pitchforks might arise some day breeds fear, and fear breeds hate.
      Reps really fear trumps followers.

      Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      random guy looks even less capable and influential than ahmed chalabi. watch for the russian pranksters to be branded as russian intelligence subverting the venezuelan peoples’ fight for freedom.

      Reply
      1. notabanker

        Is that recording real? Abrams is talking to Russian pranksters thinking they are the Swiss Government? And it’s up on youtube?
        What a clown show.

        Reply
        1. Isotope_C14

          This recording hopefully will be put up on links if it hasn’t already.

          Those guys are hysterical, their one on Nikki Haley was great.

          The gift of incompetence just keeps on giving.

          Reply
    1. marym

      Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris Condemn Effort To Single Out Ilhan Omar

      Sanders:

      “Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world. We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel,” Sanders said in a statement. “Rather, we must develop an even-handed Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace.

      “What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate,” he continued. “That’s wrong.”

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        …an even-handed Middle East policy…

        Somehow, in someway, the somebodies in the Hellscape called America, in the Hellpit that passes for its the political economy and social discussions, will use Bernaysian style emotional f@@@@@@ to depict even the suggestion of evenhanded and fair treatment of both the Palestinians and the Israelis as racism and hatred.

        Reply
  26. Eureka Springs

    Meanwhile one hour ago.

    Jerusalem Post:
    BREAKING IAF aircraft attacking a naval outpost in Gaza Strip

    Reply
  27. richard

    head scratcher in the Guillotine watch: The person with the expensive clothes habit compared it to “buying and using drugs simultaneously”
    like wow!
    You mean, just like every drug user who has ever bought and then used drugs?

    Reply

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