2:00PM Water Cooler 4/23/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


ISDS encourages off-shoring? See the extract from Stiglitz:


“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


* * *

Biden (D)(1): “Biden Pulls Off Dusty Tarp Covering Old Campaign Motorcycle” [The Onion]. “Saying it was time to ‘get out the hog for one last ride,’ former Vice President Joe Biden pulled the dusty painter’s tarp off of his old campaign motorcycle Wednesday, gently running his hand along the polished chrome headlight and muttering ‘welcome back, baby.'” • Oy.

Biden (D)(2): “Joe Biden Will Announce His Presidential Campaign Next Week, Unless He Doesn’t, But He Probably Will” [Time]. “‘I’ve never seen anything so half-assed,’ a former Biden aide said. ‘They’re improvising and doing last-minute planning. The guy has been running for President since 1987 and can’t figure the basics out, like where to stand on his first day? This should make everyone very nervous.'” • Who’s nervous? Popcorn doesn’t make me nervous. Does it make you nervous?

Biden (D)(3): “Is Biden running? Plans keep changing” [Post-Gazette]. “If the former vice president does launch his presidential campaign this week, it now won’t involve a trip to Charlottesville, Va., and plans for potential public events in Pennsylvania are also uncertain, according to sources familiar with his plans. Even Mr. Biden’s widely anticipated entry into the race grew unclear Monday, with the Atlantic reporting that a planned video announcement Wednesday was now being pushed back. It had seemed that Mr. Biden’s protracted deliberations had come to an end, only for new doubts to arise about the timing and mechanics of launching his bid.”

Biden (D)(4): “Cuomo Is Sticking With Biden” [State of Politics]. “‘I think he has the best chance of defeating President Trump, which is the main goal here,’ Cuomo said. ‘I think he can unify the Democratic Party and, again, focus on the goal, the goal is defeating President Trump and Joe Biden is in the best position to do that.’ Cuomo, re-elected to a third term last year, has not made any public moves toward launching a campaign for the White House himself.” • I wouldn’t say “public” is doing a lot of work, there, but it’s not exactly supine, either.

Buttigieg (D)(1): First to take advantage of the Democrat shift to an even more militarized set of electeds after 2018:

Buttigieg (D)(2): “Pete Buttigieg Trivializes the Impact of Trade on US Job Losses” [Dean Baker, Truthout]. “In his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Pete Buttigieg has been telling audiences that the U.S. lost six times as many jobs due to automation than trade from 2000 to 2010, according to The Washington Post. This is literally true, but for all practical purposes it is a very big lie….Tthe loss of millions of manufacturing jobs to imports was an explicit political choice, because our leaders decided it was more important to promote investment opportunities in China for Goldman Sachs and to increase protection for Pfizer’s drug patents…. [A]t the very least, we should be able to talk honestly about what happened and why. Instead, Buttigieg seems intent on going the route of denial.”

Buttigieg (D)(3): “Rivals are scrambling to dig up dirt on Pete Buttigieg” [NBC]. “‘Our competitors can run their campaigns how they want,’ said Lis Smith, Buttigieg’s top communications adviser. ‘We’re less interested in politics as usual and more focused on getting Mayor Pete’s hopeful message of generational change out there.'” • “Hopeful message of generational change….” It worked once, I suppose….

Sanders (D)(1): “9-Foot-Tall Bernie Sanders Greets Supporters After Session With Posture Coach” [The Onion]. • “NEWS IN PHOTOS” so the headline is the joke…



Maddow. Oy.

“Kamala Harris on Trump: ‘I believe Congress should take the steps towards impeachment'” [CNN]. • Whatever “steps toward” might mean. Warren and Harris are also both Senators, so they don’t have to do the heavy lift of buildng the case, unlike Pelosi

“Sanders Warns That Talk of Trump Impeachment Risks Party Agenda” [Bloomberg]. “He added that if going into the months leading to the 2020 elections ‘all that the Congress is talking about is impeaching Trump — Trump, Trump, Trump and Mueller, Mueller, Mueller’ then they aren’t talking about health care, raising the minimum wage, gay rights and other issues. ‘What I worry about is that works to Trump’s advantage,’ he said.” • Sanders seems to be implying that Democrats can’t walk and chew gum and the same time. Um, is there a reason to think he’s wrong?

“Pelosi’s impeachment dam has been breached” [WaPo]. “What’s also significant here is the way in which Warren and Harris are talking about impeachment. Warren’s words in particular seemed geared toward rebutting Pelosi’s argument for a more cautious approach. A few weeks back, Pelosi set the threshold for impeaching Trump as getting bipartisan buy-in from Republicans…. The Democratic Party is currently engaged in a battle between its head and its heart — between a thirst for the power that has eluded it in recent years and a real sense that impeaching Trump is simply the right thing to do. Warren and Harris are now giving Democrats’ license to pursue the latter course — to make this a moral calculation rather than the political one Pelosi has argued in favor of. If Democrats start joining their ranks and rejecting the pragmatic approach, Pelosi and her fellow leaders are going to be faced with a really difficult decision.”

Lambert here: I’m having a hard time gaming this out, and I don’t think I’m the only one. I start with the figure that (IIRC) of 275 questions Warren was asked on the trail, three were about impeachment. That suggests that, outside the Democrat nomenklatura, two solid years of yammering about Russia seems to have gotten no traction with voters. On the other hand, young Democrat “stars” in the House AOC and Ilhan Omar are for impeachment; presumably they’re not out of touch with their constituents (i.e., it’s not all anti-Pelosi posturing). Then there’s the fact that plenty of people who voted for Trump knew who and what he was; it doesn’t, then, help Democrats break out of their bubble by telling people what they already know and have accepted.

Assuming there’s a solid theory of the case beyond string diagrams, a truly Watergate-style House investigation might induce people to take Trump’s putative crimes — and his prosecutors — more seriously, but that assumes the hearings won’t devolve into a Benghazi-like circus of tangled narrative and CT. Where’s today’s folksy, avuncular, honest Sam Ervin? I don’t see one around.

I ask myself who impeachment empowers and disempowers. Clearly, it empowers the Clinton faction (hence upping the risk of war with Russia). Clearly, it empowers the intelligence community (unless Trump blows the lid off whatever it was the Obama administration thought it was doing by setting up honey-traps for Papodoplous, etc., and what the DNC, through its cut-outs, thought it was buying from Steele). I would guess it disempowers the Blue Dogs, Pelosi’s main fear, because they don’t want their races nationalized, which is what impeachment might do. And I don’t view heaving some Blue Dogs aver the side as a bad thing! I would also guess that it will disempower Sanders — to the extent his own media and canvassing operations do not defend him — by sucking all the oxygen out of the room on policy for the next two years. In any case, the Senate seems highly unlikely to convict, so isn’t the impeachment a case of (highly profitable) virtue signalling?

Of course, there is the larger principle of the rule of law — as Warren says and may even believe — holding crooks accountable, and yadda yadda yadda, but who believes that? Let’s be serious: If the Democrats were able to convict Trump, they’ll stop right there. They have a donor class to service, after all, exactly as in 2008. Also too, President Pence.


Good for her:

Stats Watch

Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, February 2019: “Appreciation has been slumping visibly for home prices” [Econoday]. “Home sales struggled badly last year especially at year end and the weakness is reflected in prices. Yet this report is for February, just when mortgage rates started to fall dramatically which is a nearly guaranteed plus for sales.”

New Home Sales, March 2019: “easily topped expectations” [Econoday]. “Yesterday’s existing home sales report corrected lower in March but followed a great surge in February, and together with today’s report points to a promising year for home sales which were last year’s big economic disappointment. The strength also points to a reversal for home prices where appreciation had been slumping.”

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, April 2019: “Fifth District manufacturing activity growth continued to moderate” [Econoday]. “Capacity utilization also fell into negative territory.. Other components in the index, however, were mostly stronger, with backlog of orders remaining deep in contraction territory but up.”

Two Boeing stories drowned out by the MCAS debacle:

Manufacturing: “Claims of Shoddy Production Draw Scrutiny to a Second Boeing Jet” [New York Times]. Regarding Boeing’s union-busting plant in Charleston, SC, which manufactures the 787: “A New York Times review of hundreds of pages of internal emails, corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees, reveals a culture that often valued production speed over quality. Facing long manufacturing delays, Boeing pushed its work force to quickly turn out Dreamliners, at times ignoring issues raised by employees…. Qatar Airways stopped accepting planes from the factory after manufacturing mishaps damaged jets and delayed deliveries….. Employees have found a ladder and a string of lights left inside the tails of planes, near the gears of the horizontal stabilizer.” • Well, I’m sure somebody would have heard the ladder rattling around; what’s the issue? More: “Joseph Clayton, a technician at the North Charleston plant, one of two facilities where the Dreamliner is built, said he routinely found debris dangerously close to wiring beneath cockpits. ‘I’ve told my wife that I never plan to fly on it,’ he said. ‘It’s just a safety issue.'” • Recall also that the 737 MAX problems are knock-on effects from the 787 launch debacle. So now, not only Boeing’s cash cow (the 737) but its star (the 787) are in trouble. Which means that Boeing, the national champion, is in trouble. I imagine we’ll bail them out with a large military contract. Or maybe we already have, but it’s in the black budget and we don’t know about it!

Manufacturing: “Boeing’s switch to ‘smart machine’ inspectors draws heat from union” [Post and Courier]. “An example of how the new technology works is a ‘smart wrench’ used to tighten nuts in hydraulic lines on Boeing’s 737 and 777 programs. It will eventually be used on the 787 assembly line in North Charleston…. The Seattle Times reported the digital wrench signals when the correct torque is being applied to a nut and automatically sends the data to a computer system. The high-tech tool eliminates the need for mechanics to mark each nut, the paper reported, because it is programmed to track all of the operations in a pre-determined sequence.” • Obviously, wrenches that are “smart” — there’s that word! — are totally transparent and not gameable at all.

The Bezzle: “Tesla CEO plans to hand the car keys to robots next year” [Associated Press]. “From Musk’s vantage point, Tesla has a huge advantage over autonomous vehicle competitors because it gathers a massive amount of data in the real world. This quarter, he said Tesla will have 500,000 vehicles on the road, each equipped with eight cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar gathering data to help build the company’s neural network, which will serve as the digital equivalent of the self-driving cars’ consciousness. The network allows vehicles to recognize images, determine what objects are and figure out how to deal with them. To become fully self-driving, the cars also need a special computer that fits behind the glove box and is powered by a special chip Musk boasted is better than any other processor in the world ‘by a huge margin.'” • So Musk plans to train his AI by driving his cars into civilians? Isn’t that what his plan amounts to? That’s about the size of it–

The Bezzle: “Consumer Reports: Tesla Must Prove Safety Before Claiming “Self-Driving” Ability” [Consumer Reports]. “David Friedman, Vice President of Advocacy for Consumer Reports, said, “Tesla’s current driver-assist system, ‘Autopilot,’ is no substitute for a human driver. It can’t dependably navigate common road situations on its own, and fails to keep the driver engaged exactly when it is needed most…. “We’ve heard promises of self-driving vehicles being just around the corner from Tesla before. Claims about the company’s driving automation systems and safety are not backed up by the data, and it seems today’s presentations had more to do with investors [marks] than consumers’ safety….. But instead of treating the public like guinea pigs, Tesla must clearly demonstrate a driving automation system that is substantially safer than what is available today, based on rigorous evidence that is transparently shared with regulators and consumers, and validated by independent third-parties.” • Ouch.

The Bezzle: A tough crowd in China:

Tech: “Dark pattern” concept going mainstream. This thread on TurboTax, which some of you may have just finished using:

Tech: “Facebook’s new chief lawyer helped write the Patriot Act” [The Verge]. “But many are already troubled by [Jennifer] Newstead’s history lobbying and legislating for more powerful electronic surveillance. As The Hill points out, a 2002 Justice Department press release describes her as “helping craft” the legislation. Notorious Bush administration lawyer John Yoo described her as the ‘day-to-day manager of the Patriot Act in Congress’ in his 2006 book.” • Jon Yoo? That’s quite a recommendation. I mean, depending on the kind of business you’re in.

Tech: Faceboook is listening (anecdote):

Tech: Your phone is listening (another anecdote):

Tech: Your taxi is watching:

The Biosphere

“‘Global deal for nature’ fleshed out with specific conservation goals” [Nature] “Governments around the world must fully protect 30% of Earth’s surface and sustainably manage another 20% by 2030 if they’re to have a hope of saving ecosystems and limiting global warming, researchers have said in a new report. The recommendations are part of a fleshed out ‘global deal for nature’ — initially proposed by researchers in 2017 as a companion to the Paris climate accord — that outlines what it will take to maintain a liveable planet…. The scientists called for doubling the area of fully protected regions on land, such as tropical forests and grasslands, and a roughly five-fold increase in the extent of marine protected areas. Efforts to manage ecosystems sustainably should go beyond governments and involve groups that would be affected by conservation policies, including businesses, local communities and Indigenous people, the researchers write. .IIf humanity moves quickly, it can achieve the goals of the Paris climate accord while also slowing the rate of species extinctions, says lead study author Eric Dinerstein, a wildlife scientist at the conservation group RESOLVE in Washington DC.” • The original paper–

“An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm” [Oxford Bioscience]. From the abstract: ” Using a map of Earth’s 846 terrestrial ecoregions, we show that 98 ecoregions (12%) exceed Half Protected; 313 ecoregions (37%) fall short of Half Protected but have sufficient unaltered habitat remaining to reach the target; and 207 ecoregions (24%) are in peril, where an average of only 4% of natural habitat remains. We propose a Global Deal for Nature—a companion to the Paris Climate Deal—to promote increased habitat protection and restoration, national- and ecoregion-scale conservation strategies, and the empowerment of indigenous peoples to protect their sovereign lands. The goal of such an accord would be to protect half the terrestrial realm by 2050 to halt the extinction crisis while sustaining human livelihoods.”

“Should Trees Have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects” (PDF) [Christopher Stone, Southern California Law Review]. From 1972, still germane, though very much of its time:

To be able to get away from the view that Nature is a collection of useful senseless objects is…deeply involved in the development of our abilities to love–or, if that is putting it too strongly, to be able to reach a heightened awareness of our own, and others’ capacities in their mutual interplay. To do so, we have to give up some psychic investment in our sense of separateness and specialness in the universe. And this, in turn, is hard giving indeed, because it involves us in a flight backwards, into earlier stages of civilization and childhood in which we had to trust (and perhaps fear) our environment, for we had not then the power to master it. Yet, in doing so, we-as persons-gradually free ourselves of needs for supportive illusions.

As a person to whom the only halfway acceptable religion is animism, this makes sense to me!

“Tepco transfers first nuclear fuel out of No. 3 reactor building at crippled Fukushima plant” [Japan Times]. “Seven unspent fuel rod assemblies were transferred Tuesday to a common pool about 100 meters away, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc…. Tepco aims to transfer all of the remaining 559 spent and unspent fuel assemblies from the No. 3 unit storage pool to the common pool by March 2021…. Even if the fuel removal work progresses smoothly, Tepco still faces the biggest challenge in the decommissioning of the crippled plant — retrieval of melted fuel that has dripped down into the containment vessels at the Nos. 1-3 units.”

Our Famously Free Press

“Supreme Court could limit FOIA, curtail investigative reporting” [Committee to Protect Journalists]. Food Marketing Institute (FMI) v. Argus Leader: “The stakes are high, not only for journalists who report on the relationship between businesses and the government, but also for local reporters who often brush up against similar exemptions in local and state-level records laws. If the newspaper loses and the FOIA exemptions expands, press freedom advocates and reporters told CPJ, crucial accountability reporting could become more difficult…. The issue hinges on an exemption that can be used to redact parts of a FOIA request. When journalists ask the federal government to turn over information, either the government or another party to the information can block its release if they argue the information is “confidential”–invoking a FOIA exemption known as Exemption 4…, Even if local reporters don’t tangle with Exemption 4 directly, the Supreme Court weighing in on the topic could trickle into their work, said Sam Jones, an attorney in Iowa who does open records litigation for the Iowa Gazette. The Iowa public hospital association, for example, recently blocked the Gazette’s request for release of pricing information for a report into the costs associated with its contracts with outside vendors.” • Read the whole piece for FMI’s horrid theory of the case; here is a transcript of the oral arguments. SCOTUSblog concludes: “Republicans, and some Democrats, might embrace the broader interpretation of “confidential” that business interests favor, and the current congressional sclerosis could leave in place a new status quo that a business-friendly court establishes.” • I wonder if CalPERS has a position on this….

“Julia Angwin Is Out as Editor of New Tech Watchdog Site The Markup” [New York Times]. “The Markup raised more than $23 million in funding, a testament to the reputation that Ms. Angwin, the site’s editor in chief, and another of its founders, Jeff Larson, had established through their work at ProPublica, which they left last year. But on Monday evening, Ms. Angwin was fired from The Markup via email, just months before the site’s planned July start date.” • Two founders* force out a third? This whole story reads very oddly, and one can’t help but think that “$23 million in funding” has something to do with it. NOTE * And since when did the horrid “founder” creep into the world of journalism. “Publisher” or “editor” would do just fine….

“What I’ve Learned From Collecting Stories of People Whose Loved Ones Were Transformed by Fox News” [New York Magazine]. “For at least one person, it marks the final memory he’ll ever have of his father: ‘When I found my dad dead in his armchair, f*cking Fox News was on the TV,’ this reader told me. ‘It’s likely the last thing he saw. I hate what that channel and conservative talk radio did to my funny, compassionate dad. He spent the last years of his life increasingly angry, bigoted, and paranoid.'” • To be fair, the story does gesture in this direction: “More than a few readers wrote to say this all made them thankful they merely had to contend with Dem-Boomer family who had gone mad for Maddow and Russiagate. ‘My grandma is a huge Maddow person and operates the same way as Fox News brained people,’ one wrote me. ‘The signaling she gets and reiterates from MSNBC happens in the same sort of ‘brain rot’ way. Like, she heard something on there, or on Facebook, that was about how Trump is about to get impeached — and every day I talk to her and she repeats that.’ ;I love her, and she’s bright and it’s obviously less offensive” than Fox News, the reader continued, ‘but the whole f*cking garbage corporate 24 hour news model is insidious and so so f*cking bad.'” • I haven’t had this experience with family, fortunately, though there are topics I don’t broach with acquaintances. I don’t know what the solution is. I’d say that TV is just bad for you, except I would bet the same process happened with print.

Class Warfare

“The Uber Workplace in D.C” (PDF) [Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor]. n=40.

1. Uber drivers do not know how much they earn or lose.

• 100% of drivers experienced difficulties with, or barriers to, calculating their actual compensation.

2. Data about the Uber workplace is limited.

• Regulators and researchers do not have access to basic information about labor conditions.

3. Uber drivers are encouraged to take on financial risk and debt.

• 33% of drivers took on debt as a result of their work on the ride-hailing platform.

4. Uber drivers report challenges to their health and safety.

• 30% of drivers reported physical assaults or safety concerns.

5. Despite these challenges, the Uber workplace remained attractive.

• 50% of drivers would recommend the job to a friend.

• 45% of drivers planned to keep working the job for at least six more months.

For some definition of “attractive.”

News of the Wired

“Student Studying in Paris Witnessed Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral” [The University of Tennessee News]. This is mundate, at least for a story about Notre Dame catching on fire, until the last two sentences: “Studying in Paris has been ‘the coolest thing in the world,’ [Oliver Trigony, a history major from Jackson, Tennessee] said. ‘I am visiting monuments that I have only seen on the internet and seen paintings that I have only seen in books.'” • I have a family story about two kids standing in front of a large painting at MOMA. One says: “This is the original.” And the other says: “What do you mean?”

“Meet the People Keeping Mold-A-Rama Alive” [Atlas Obscura] (2018). “When Mold-A-Rama debuted at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the molds of the Space Needle, a monorail, and other fair-related designs drew as much attention as the unique production process, which remains the same to this day. After inserting payment, customers watch two sides of an aluminum mold close as it is injected with heated polyethylene pellets. In less than a minute, the mold opens, releasing the plastic object.* The signature ‘waxy’ smell hangs in the air as the hollow figurine slowly cools… ‘It’s a true form of American manufacturing,” [owner William Jones’ says. ‘All of the machines were made in America, made here in Chicago actually. There’s a niche that they maintain. I think it helps that we have never tried to change it. We leave it right where it’s at and pay honor to it and try to let it survive. It seems to be just doing that on its own at times.'” • Dinosaurs! Aliens! Green gorillas! However, I have never seen a Mold-A-Rama, at least not literally. Readers?

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

Weeks of rotting leaves and mud. Then suddenly — pop!

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Cal2

    “Kamala Harris on Trump: ‘I believe Congress should take the steps towards impeachment’”


    1. Wukchumni

      There was one @ Marineland in Palos Verdes in the 1960’s, that created a dolphin, and I remember being 6 or 7 years old and being so intrigued with the machine, there was nothing like it, before or since.

    2. Jim A.

      Also at Gatorland in Florida.
      Of course I associate it with the brief TV show “Wonderfalls.” where a lion molded in one was prominantly featured

      1. Procopius

        Chicago Field Museum and Science and Industry is a [family blog] national treasure. How I wish I could visit it again.

    3. Darius

      There was one at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in the 60s. They also had a machine that would stamp a thin aluminum disk and turn it into an ashtray.

      At Michigan’s Ionia Free Fair, they had machines that would mold wax into little objects, like a bust of JFK.

    4. JohnHerbieHancock

      I have a mold-o-rama miniature bust of Lincoln my brother got from teh Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago a few years back (I spray painted it with bronze paint to make it look presentable on my book shelf).

      I remember getting a small molded plastic model of the U-boat they have as a kid there as well. Pretty neat!

  2. Carey

    IMO Warren as gone off the deep end (again) with her renewed impeachment talk.
    Over and over she shows oddly questionable judgment.

    1. Shonde

      I removed myself from her email list. I had been giving some limited financial support to candidates I felt were educating the public on issues or reinforcing issues that could assist Bernie. I gave as my reason for the removal request her impeachment talk.

      1. Spring Texan

        I think she’s right. I too contribute to both her and Bernie (but will vote for Bernie). But I think if we won’t impeach Trump, who would we impeach? And it may distract him from his other evil schemes and publicize stuff he’s done.

        Impeachment is therefore required not merely to punish the president for his past indiscretions — or to deter a future president from emulating them — but to halt the rampage of a serial offender. During his press conference (and/or lurid apologia for the president) on Thursday, Attorney General William Barr suggested that Trump’s various attempts to undermine the Russia investigation were understandable responses to an unprecedented situation. But the president does not defy the law exclusively in self-defense. Just this month, Trump fired the secretary of Homeland Security because she refused to entertain extralegal options for deterring undocumented immigration. More audaciously, the president also (reportedly) instructed Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan to deny Central American families their legal right to seek asylum — and promised to pardon the CBP chief should anyone try to hold him accountable for this crime.

        There is no defensible argument against impeaching this kind of president as a substantive matter.

      2. Spring Texan

        Also liked this twitter thread by David Klion on why to impeach:
        “I enjoy living in a decadent plutocracy where the entire ruling class agrees a) that the president is criminally unfit for office, and b) that it’s not even worth trying to remedy this for at least the next two years. . . . Dems want us to believe that they are bound by the CW that impeachment is a non-starter. In fact they are manufacturing that CW. Learned helplessness is their only move. This is why the kids don’t trust or like them.You can’t tell the public that we face existential threats and also that it wouldn’t be prudent to address them and then expect to be taken seriously. It cheapens politics, makes it a game. Which literally is how we got Trump.”

        And I think we should impeach any president who so constantly incites to violence and locks up kids and destroys federal agencies too – even if there were no Mueller report. So I’m “go Warren” on this one.

          1. Shonde

            Pence, frightening thought which the Dems seems to forget. My evangelical rapture believing relatives will be in hog heaven if Trump were to actually be impeached.
            My feeling is Warren is desperate for poll numbers and is pandering to the Hilbots.

            1. pjay

              Yes. A majority of us here hate Trump, his appointments, and his policy. But Pence would be worse — I state that with no equivocation whatsoever. Presidents can pretty much appoint who they want (I’m old enough to remember Reagan’s appointment of James Watt to Interior) and fire who they want. Impeachment for anything Russiagate related is bulls***t. And impeachment for anything Trump actually deserves impeachment for would apply to half of Congress.

              1. lyman alpha blob


                If they didn’t impeach Bush (and they should have, and then carted him off to the Hague), then how can they possibly justify impeaching Trump?

                If they impeached Trump and then passed legislation allowing extradition of US war criminals, that would be one thing. But that clearly isn’t going to happen. It’s impeach Trump so they can get back to the status quo of blowing up brown people and punishing the wage slaves, but doing so politely and articulately!

                1. Shonde

                  Thank you so, so much. My thoughts to a T. I started trying to say the same thing several times but deleted each try. Your statement perfectly describes what I wanted to say.

            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              The Dems haven’t forgotten Pence. They just don’t fear or dislike Pence the way people here think they might.

              Why not? Because Pence has been a Governor and a Senator. Pence has respected the “norms” and “customs” of officeholding and politics. Pence serves the same Overclass Establishment which Pelosi and Schumer and Biden and all the other upper-class-loyal Catfood Democrats serve. They regard his Raputuranian Armageddonism as a cute eccentricity.

              The Dems would be just fine with a President Pence. Whatever is deterring the Dems from Impeaching . . . it isn’t fear of a President Pence.

          2. Robert McGregor

            If Trump is convicted and Pence comes in, I think Pence would be much weaker than Trump in 2020. Trump is a criminal, but a talented one. He did after all get elected President. Pence was heading for oblivion before Trump anointed him in 2020. The only voters securely in Pence’s corner are the severe evangelicals of which there are fewer and fewer. It reminds me of 1974 when Ford took over from Nixon. Ford was a nice guy, but not much of a campaigner, and he was tainted by his association with Nixon, as Pence has been tainted by his association with Trump.

        1. dcrane

          Impeaching Trump won’t convince the the kids that Washington cares about corruption unless Washington goes after everyone else too. We all know perfectly well this is not gonna happen.

        2. Lepton1

          Kudos to Warren for taking this stand. At the very least, the House should launch public hearings to set up the basis for impeachment. Trump’s ambition is to eliminate the rule of law and install himself as an autocrat like Putin. He really needs to be stopped.

          1. dcrane

            “Trump’s ambition is to eliminate the rule of law…”

            Haven’t seen much to distinguish Trump from the rest of Washington in this way. Maybe you could give us some reasons for saying this?

          2. witters

            “Trump’s ambition is to eliminate the rule of law and install himself as an autocrat like Putin ” PDS – here, of all places.

          3. Lynne

            Yes, anything to distract the base from the fact that neither party wants people to have medical care. Bring on the circus!

    2. John k

      Interestingly, this is the Clinton neolib donor preferred position, avoids policy for more circus.
      Perhaps Hillary a secret advisor.
      Not taking cues from Bernie, quite the opposite. Don’t see her as his vp pick.

    3. dcblogger

      I go back and fourth on this one. sometimes I think it is necessary, and sometimes I think it will derail healthcare and the Green New Deal.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Definitely not necessary: we have had presidents who behaved in egregious ways and did great things, think FDR, LBJ.

        We imprisoned the Japanese during WWII, not to mention rejected a boatload of Jewish refugees from Germany. LBJ escalated Vietnam; he was a bigot and signed the Civil Rights Act.

        That Trump is vulgar and petty is not enough; it is not enough that he offends our sensibilities. There is too much at stake policy wise for the Ds to reduce the task to removing Trump.

        Isn’t that after all how we got him to begin with?

        Stick with Bernie and the issues.

        1. anonymous

          LBJ was a lot of things, very flawed, but he shouldn’t be called a bigot. His efforts for civil rights and the war on poverty came from deep personal experience — trauma really — as a kid in the hill country of texas. He loved those people and never forgot them. His motives to help were true and shouldn’t be forgotten. This type of moral political courage is an essential lesson from OUR history. We need it badly. Just look at George Bush, Robert Francis O’Rourke — or Barack Obama! We’re lost. (Cynicism is a kind of agnotology. I’m not saying you’re cynical. But plenty are.) Other than that, I agree with you 100%!

        2. richard

          Yep. And this feels like flailing from warren. I’d much rather she kept trying to one-up bernie with concrete material benefits :)

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          And we have had Presidents who have wallowed in deep evil . . . Junior Bush and then Obama . . . who were never impeached at all.

          1. paintedjaguar

            Let’s not forget Ronnie Reagan and Bush Sr, both of whom should have been impeached AND jailed for much greater cause than anything known about Trump.

            1. Tom Bradford

              It’s because Reagan and Bush weren’t impeached that you got Trump, and if Trump isn’t impeached you’ll get even worse. Turning a blind eye for political reasons is a slippery slope that’s steepening under you.

    4. Chris Cosmos

      Warren has done excellent work particularly before she ran for office. She’s just incompetent as a politician. She just seems clumsy.

      1. polecat

        She’s an @$##%&@! for promoting impeachment, which will not go any further then the House .. !! For 2 1/2 yrs the Democrats have wasted precious resources and time already re. the phony propaganda of OMG Russia ad-nausium, so now they’re going to double-down with this ! They are bat$h!t craycray …
        There are much bigger fish to fry ! … What Idiots .. and she’s just clambered to the top of the stinkinh heap !!

          1. pjay

            As Carey, Shonde, and others note above, this seems to reflect questionable judgment in the larger scheme of things, which she has displayed more than once. I agree, for many of the reasons Lambert states in his excellent summary of the issue.

      2. Milton

        I think Warren would make a fine AG. I would like to see her, with a large motivated dept, go after the corporate and financial criminals were a competent potus elected. Her proclivity seems to be in this area of public service anyway.

    5. djrichard

      Read the followup to this thread makes it pretty clear why impeachment is a topic.

      The consistent response is that this makes Bernie look weak. So it comes across as a good way to deposition Bernie during the primaries: Bernie isn’t rabid enough.

      But to go rabid on Trump risks alienating Trump’s voters: the deplorables. Of course, for most of the democratic establishment, this isn’t an issue. That bridge was burned long ago.

      But not for Bernie. He’s kept that relationship open. That’s the take away from his town hall on Fox news.

      It’s one thing to attack Trump as not doing his constituents any good. It’s another thing to attack Trump in order to “save” our democracy. Because as far as his constituents are concerned, Trump CJ Hopkins”>”has become an anti-establishment symbol, like a walking, talking “[family blog] you” to both the American and global neoliberal elites.”. That’s why they voted for him.

      If anything, Bernie is tapping into the same sentiment. These are his voters to win.

      I would have thought Warren was in the same situation as Bernie. That she had the opportunity to win these voters as well. Now she seems to be sending a shot across their bow. Why is that? Does she think she can thread the needle by tacking rabid during the primaries and then validate those same voters during the general?

      Or maybe she’s already reached the conclusion that the general can be won without the Trump voters. In which case, it’s full on war between now and Nov 2020, to if anything demoralize his voters so they don’t turn out. That seems very risky to me. Maybe if they had grounds for impeachment, they could pull this off. But at best it will simply be a media campaign. A media campaign they will inevitably lose. Once again, another lost opportunity for winning hearts and minds.

      If Warren has pledged herself to the anybody-but-Bernie resistance, this would make more sense. But at this point, I think that actually would give Warren more credit than she deserves. As far as I’m concerned, she’s cutting off her nose to spite Trump’s face.

      1. Carolinian

        To borrow a headline from this morning’s Links: not hearing about Brexit impeachment for the next 18 months would be better than sex. What’s wrong with these people? Warren just can’t get over the Pocahontas rib. Sanders is absolutely right.

        And this is an excellent link for anyone interested in Syria–an interview with Sharmine Narwani. She was a rare on the scene reporter through much of the conflict.


        1. anon in so cal

          Speaking of Syria: The US permanent war state continues to try to crush Syria/ns, now through draconian sanctions.


          “US and EU sanctions have created a fuel shortage crisis in Syria, “bringing some major cities to a near standstill.”

          But Wall Street’s Journal whitewashes this collective punishment of Syrians by reducing millions of civilians to just “Assad’s loyalists”


          Supporting the impeachment of Trump, IMHO, means endorsing Democrats’ and NeoCons’ Russiagate psyops aka slow-motion coup of an elected president. As Sanders commented, it might also help Trump win in 2020, or worse yet, it might usher in 10 years of Pence. Trump’s election probably prevented Hillary Clinton from massively bombing Syria. But it possibly made the illegal immigration problem worse, since actions to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants were acceptable when performed by a Democrat, but perceived to be intolerable when combined with Trump’s stupid rhetoric.

          1. The Rev Kev

            It seems that trying to starve Syria of oil and fuel to cripple the country and its military had a blowback and I quote from An Asian Times article-

            The collective Arab rapprochement with Damascus came to an abrupt halt in January, reportedly under pressure from the United States. But while Washington seeks to pressure Iran, its pressure on Arab states appears to have had the reverse effect. None of the Arab states have been able, or allowed, to address Syria’s ongoing fuel crisis, prompting Assad to travel to Tehran in February and sign a series of economic agreements, one of which is meant to provide gasoline and fuel.

            That visit, the Syrian president’s first to Tehran since the outbreak of conflict in 2011, launched an unprecedented period of warmth between the two countries. This clearly raised red flags in Arab capitals, who quickly decided to re-engage with Damascus, against all odds.

            So the effect of the fuel blockade was to cement its position with Iran which helps give Iran a presence on the Mediterranean coastline. Way to go fellas.

        2. Steve H.

          > “I no longer think journalists should be treated with a special kind of immunity when they get a story this wrong, repeatedly, and people die in the process. I prefer to call them “media combatants,” and I think that is a fair and accurate description of the part they play in wars today.”

          Eye-popping paradigm shift. Which way do we go now that ‘journalist’ has become a meaningless label, protect everyone’s speech or no one’s?

      2. Unna

        DJ, I think maybe it’s just that Warren is currently in shock at the realization of her own complete political stupidity as shown in her “heritage and cultural identity is based on genes” fiasco (…I remember reading that somewhere in the original German, but I digress…) that she’s now understandably frantic knowing that she most likely blew a decent chance to become president, and that she’s spit balling out, or hair balling out, whatever position comes to mind in an attempt to return to political happy land. But as they say, 500 days in politics….

    6. DJG

      Carey: What concerns me is having a presidential candidate base a campaign on impeaching the sitting president. How long do Warren and Harris think it will take the Republicans to pick up that trick?

      I suppose that it can be a good thing: Having candidates running on a plank that the sitting president should be impeached shows that the U.S. Empire truly is tottering. Think about the implications of such a faulty transfer of power in a democratic state. So Warren and Harris and impeachment-as-politics become a symptom of the “post-democratic state,” I s’pose.

      1. WJ

        On the assumption that every national politician is to some extent corrupt, all you need to do is:

        1. Get CIA/FBI to create false narrative entrapping an elected President.

        2. Investigate said President.

        3. Impeach President for unrelated bad behavior discovered in course of sham investigation.

        Much neater than assassination, until it leads to civil war. But it’s good for a few cycles at least.

  3. Off The Street

    Mold-A-Rama reminded me that some of us older kids may have had fun with its cousin Vac-U-Form. Such exotic toys would be deemed unsafe now, and even a Slinky might raise an eyebrow here or there. Only halfway kidding on those ;p

      1. Shonde

        Great memories of family fights (verbal only, no eyes taken out) over whether a stick moved while being picked up. Loved pick up sticks.

    1. MichaelSF

      I had a Vac-U-Form. The Mold-A-Rama sounds like a standard plastic injection molding machine.

  4. Wukchumni

    “What I’ve Learned From Collecting Stories of People Whose Loved Ones Were Transformed by Fox News” [New York Magazine].
    My 2 brother-in-laws suck pretty hard at the teat of Fox News, and the thing is they aren’t dullards. Slowly but surely it formed their opinions and talking points, they’d both become Mynah birds, repeating the gospel of the reverent Rupert & minions, the wireless puppet strings connected to the puppets they’e become.

    A typical exchange from a while back with one of them.

    Wuk: “I’m concerned about Evangelical Christians taking over the government in so many capacities.”

    B-I-L: “Antifa is just as bad.”

    1. Carla

      An acquaintance — a perfectly nice, intelligent woman, retired from a successful career, recently confided that she has had to stop watching TV news because it is so upsetting. Then she added “Except Rachel. I still watch Rachel sometimes because I trust her and I believe everything she says.”

      Guess who she likes for president? Mayor Pete.

      1. EGrise

        Same thing happened to my mother – she watched Fox News every waking hour for the last few years of her life; it scared the hell out of her, but she couldn’t stop.

        Does this primarily affect the Boomer-aged viewer? That is, the generation that grew up with Cronkite, etc. when network news was considered a trustworthy source?

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          my folks are older boomers(dob:1942 and 43 respectively), and are both in the Maddow fan club…to the exclusion of critical thought, contradictory evidence(including video, and news stories of yore)and any alternative narrative framework.
          mom despises Tulsi, for some reason that I cannot determine…and that she cannot articulate…and this loathing is just another reason to hate on Bernie(“he’s so O-o-o-ld!”, said the 76 year old woman)
          Both like Mayor Pete…my warnings about McKinsey, etc. be damned.
          I think it’s a combination of generational trait and media sources…msnbc is the faux newts of the more liberal minded automaton.
          I think it’s also a denial of how screwed up they’re leaving the world for their grandkids…they can’t face it.
          it’s scary, because they both were once more or less reasonable and thoughtful people.
          wife watches GMA when she’s home, but gives a fair hearing to my circumspection regarding The Narrative…and she’s abandoned all other cable news. gets most of her news from the faceborg feed…which is bad enough,lol.
          mom has msdnc on all day long…and dad does when he’s home, with folks like smerconish(sp-2) on the radio when he’s not.
          they both waffle, in their worries about me, between thinking I’m a trumper to taking my word for it that I’m a libertarian socialist(which seem to be regarded as equally delusional).
          I recommend regularly to them both a sabbatical from news… just turn it off…like i just did for the last month(busy with garden and other various farm work–17,242 square feet of raised bed space, most still just the underlayer of free city mulch. started 6 large compost piles…almost done after a month…and have 6 tons of(free) horse manure on the way to get really crazy with the composting frenzy. next year, should be in full production, but I’m already covered up with plants)
          yesterday afternoon, when i ended the news moratorium, this is what popped out:

      2. Annieb

        An in law relation recently told me that I should take a look at Mayor Pete. I know exactly who he is and am not impressed. I suggested she take a look at Tulsi. “Who’s that?” asks in-law relation, who has a Ph.D. Loves CNN and Maddow. I am in despair for our country.

    2. Tertium Squid

      My dad loves watching Maddow. Now he thinks Trump supporters are a racist. And I have to remind him that Obama invaded Libya.

    3. sparkylab

      I have a mother-in-law that breathes MSDNC. I have basically stopped going over for dinner because the talking points just roll out after five minutes. I used to push back and point out that Saint Barack continued his foreign policy and is as much of a war criminal as ‘W’….and that Donnie and Bernie ran on essentially the same trade policy……and Hillary’s emails probably weren’t ‘hacked’, and even if they were the truth they exposed was far more damaging….. and….. and …..I just gave up after a while.

      “The constant repetition of falsehood is more convincing than the demonstration of truth.” Mark Rothko.

  5. overfriendlyconcierge

    Several museums in Chicago have Mold-A-Rama machines, including the Museum of Science and Industry. My kids love watching the machine work. Unfortunately the resulting plastic thing is not super durable and tends to crumble easily, so the souvenir does not last too long.

    The penny-smushing souvenir maker holds a similar appeal :)

      1. Phacops

        C’mon, as a kid I always liked the coal mine at the MSI. That and the U 505.

        Little did I realize just how crappy the German submarines were until I toured the Swordfish up in Manitowoc, WI, where WWII US submarines were built.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          Loved that coal mine ride! During college at U of C for a couple of years my ex was in charge of taking care of all the little chicks in the exhibit that hatches them from eggs.

          Haven’t been inside for probably 20 years but last time I was it struck me how commercial it was. Some science, LOTS of industry…

  6. toshiro_mifune

    Biden Pulls Off Dusty Tarp Covering Old Campaign Motorcycle
    It’s the Merit shirt that really makes that pic.

    1. Wukchumni

      Joe strikes me as a Members Only jacket wearer. I bet he has a closet full in different colors.

        1. pjay

          Yes. The whole Biden section today was hilarious. It’s hard to tell where the Onion leaves off and the “real” news begins. Bloomberg might have to reconsider.

  7. Cal2

    “the only halfway acceptable religion is animism…”

    Yup, and when someone has contaminated our air, our water and polluted the land that we depend on for survival, just as it’s acceptable to use violence to protect another person, protecting the land, water and air with violence is acceptable too because it’s a form of the right to self defense, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

    1. Summer

      The PTB are all for not contaminating water amd air if they can figure out how to make you poay more for it.
      So if the contamination doesn’t kill you, the price will.

      1. chuck roast


        I always considered recycling a scam. Polluting similarly, “We can make some cash throwing this crud out and then getting paid for cleaning it up.” The original self-licking ice cream cones.

    2. Unna

      But if you are an animist, then you don’t believe that it’s your land and water. The land and the water themselves are manifestations of “spirits” and are independent of you. We may want to interact with them in a respectful manner. We do, after all, have needs they can satisfy: “O Great Deer Spirit, present to me in the hunt a deer of yours that I may eat and live.” The traditional hunter sees himself as the passive recipient of a deer from the Deer Spirit which presents itself to the hunter to be killed. The hunt is a sacramental activity, a religious ritual from beginning to end.

      Let me throw this out: Is animism the “highest” form of religion because it sees everything and all natural forces as spirit? I think it’s been argued that the reification of animistic powers into personalized beings, gods, is a deviation downward from this, with the eventual elimination of all deities into one deity, and then, poof, the elimination of the last deity into atheism and mechanistic materialism as cultural understanding, “world feeling.” Nothing, not even you, is really alive in such a world.

      It’s so hard, maybe even impossible, for us as educated Westerners to be animists, because that’s simply not the way we have been culturally constructed. But the animistic way of thinking, as motivation, as personal feeling, may still be useful to us as, well, as instrumentality. “Useful? Did I say that? Question: isn’t the motivation of self interested “Care” of our ecology, of our home, enough? But then, instrumentalism. Self interested? Aren’t we the culture of the “for-itself”? Maybe our culture itself is the problem. Of course, I don’t have any answers to any of these questions.

  8. Deschain

    I think this Game of Thrones quote from Sunday applies to Trump voters – for all that implies about them, and the Democratic alternatives –

    Jaime: “Don’t be too hard on yourself. She [Cersei] fooled me more than anybody.”
    Tyrion: “She never fooled you. You always knew exactly what she was. And you loved her anyway.”

  9. Hepativore

    They still have “Mold-A-Rama” machines at the Brookfield zoo in the Chicagoland area. After inserting some pocket change, they make brightly colored plastic figurines of various animals such as penguins, dolphins, monkeys, and lions. Each station made a different animal and they were scattered throughout the zoo. It has been years since I have been to the Brookfield zoo, so I forgot which animals you could select from and what colors they were.

  10. kareninca

    Things may soon change in startling ways throughout California. We haven’t built enough new housing for the increasing population for decades. Now, there is a state law that may actually pass that is meant to remedy that. By way of it, a great deal of power will be taken away from local zoning authorities; they will be forced to accept development that they would never, ever have approved.

    If it passes, there will be unintended (although foreseen) consequences. Right now the traffic in Silicon Valley is very, very bad. I’ve seen fire trucks on El Camino (the main artery) stuck, unable to move forward. If there is so much more construction of housing, traffic will be that much worse. But of course we need housing. Yet it is a gift to real estate developers. It is a quandary.

    “Under SB 50, any neighborhood within one-half mile of a Caltrain station (University Avenue, California Avenue, San Antonio) or one-quarter mile from a regular bus route (including El Camino Real and University Avenue) would be required by state law to allow four- or five-story apartment buildings, potentially built curb to curb, and with no on-site parking. The building square footage could be 2.5 or 3.25 times the lot size (FAR) — six to eight times the density currently allowed in single-family (R1) neighborhoods.
    Cities would also be prevented from requiring parking for those developments. A 10,000-square-foot lot could have 20 plus units of average-size apartments with zero parking. . . .
    For Palo Alto, there is another provision with greater implications. Communities that are “jobs rich” with higher-than-median income and “high quality schools” must eliminate single-family zoning in all neighborhoods.”

    1. jrs

      local authorities have been fighting building affordable housing so … no way to get affordable housing with the NIMBY fighting all steps in that direction, except by overriding it entirely.

      The allowing building housing without parking is ridiculous though and an entirely impractical giveaway to the developers (no land wasted on parking you can’t charge rent on!). Everyone isn’t going to suddenly take public transit just because no parking was built, instead they’ll just circle around and around looking for parking (which makes one wonder how much fossil fuel is really saved). If one’s commute is an hour drive and 1 1/2 to 2 hours in public transit, people will drive even if they circle around for 15 minutes seeking parking.

      The plan sometimes seems to be to replace a housing shortage with a parking shortage!
      Apartments with a parking spot will fetch a premium indeed, only the rich will have a parking spot. This from our best and brightest in CA … I guess it’s good for Uber?

      1. Darius

        Cities can’t require parking. Developers could provide it if they thought people wanted it. This would free builders and renovators from being forced to create surplus parking and making renters subsidize drivers. Yes. This is America. Still, the car isn’t a vital human organ. Abandon that unexamined assumption that most Americans carry around.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      Sweet! Serve my retired-at-60 CEO brother with his dyed blonde wife and two sons occupying TWO full-size single family dwellings on adjacent streets so the back yards mirror each other creating one huge lawn RIGHT!

      He thinks people who believe inequality is a problem have drunk the Kool-Aid. Impossible to talk to, a free market fundamentalist who seems to have lost his critical thinking skills.

      So weird in one who experienced the same upbringing as I did, my parents were academics.

  11. Samuel Conner

    Re: “Sanders seems to be implying that Democrats can’t walk and chew gum and the same time.”

    I agree that there is not a lot of evidence that he is wrong. But I object to the framing. What evidence is there that the Democrats can walk or chew gum one at a time?

    1. John k

      Dems simultaneously solicit donors and do their bidding. Donor asks pol to jump, he asks how high on the way up.
      Actually I see dem pols as quite smart… we’ll deserved high standard of living on account of keeping campaign promises, the ones made to donors.
      The confusion comes from thinking, if they were smart they’d keep their campaign promises to voters.
      The question, hope and change, how’d that work out for you? Is asked of those that voted for Obama. Ask instead for how it worked out for him. 65 mil book deal was just a start,,, I’d say, just fine.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Agreed. I was wondering whether they could “one at a time” pursue even one agenda that was in the interests of the majority of the people of the country. Sanders is surely right that they are not able to pursue two at the same time.

        1. Carey

          Oh, I think they could if they wanted to. They don’t want to; their job
          is to keep people-benefiting policy from breaking out, for which they’re
          well compensated.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To think he (Sanders) is wrong?

      I am thinking of another question: Does he think about that if he does nothing when they (six ways people) come for Trump, when it’s his turn for them to come for him, who will be left to speak up for him?

      Should he speak up now in principle, rather than acquiescing to it in principle (or the appearance of such), while noting the practical inconveniences.

      1. Tom Doak

        As a sitting Senator, there is an appropriate time (constitutionally) for Sanders to have his say on the matter – if it gets that far, which he is probably betting it doesn’t. So it’s entirely fair for him to wait until the House either delivers articles of impeachment, or does not. Of course, he won’t be recognized as the leader of the pitchforks that way, but he is probably just fine with that.

  12. Chris Cosmos

    Going for impeachment over obstruction charges (or whatever) that were unproven by Mueller who along with his staff hated Trump is a stunning bit of stupidity that is unforgivable for Warren and understandable for a novice like AOC. The House may be ready to indict a han sandwich but the Senatre wont. No one cares about this other fanatics addicted to MSNBC and NPR. The absurd turn of once left wingers into Bizarro versions of Tea Party is bewildering. These people just invent narratives the way fiction writers invent plots. The absurd things I’ve heard from “liberals” about how Trump was always a Russian agent and so on based on what?

  13. dearieme

    The Stiglitz quotation is interesting. So a company can defend itself against what is essentially retrospective legislation by moving abroad. Had nobody thought of that when those agreements were being drawn up?

    Does the same thing apply to a foreign company that sets itself up in the US?

    1. Procopius

      Yes, it does, under the Investor State Dispute Settlement which gained publicity in the TPP, but also exists in NAFTA and other trade agreements. I don’t know if it still exists in the current TPP, implemented without U.S. participation. The other parties made some changes after the U.S. dropped out. The thing is, previously large international corporations used it against small countries without resources to fight the arbitration. They have been using it more frequently against the U.S. in recent years, but the “independent” arbitrators, knowing which side their bread is buttered on, have always ruled in favor of the U.S. That is not to say they always will.

  14. WheresOurTeddy

    “‘Our competitors can run their campaigns how they want,’ said Lis Smith, Buttigieg’s top communications adviser. ‘We’re less interested in politics as usual and more focused on getting Mayor Pete’s hopeful message of generational change out there.’” • “Hopeful message of generational change….” It worked once, I suppose….

    Yes, ‘generational change’ wrapping over a box with a Neoliberal interventionalism turd inside. It’s 2008 all over again.

    Gay Neoliberal GI Joe 2020! Bring back the draft for social cohesion!

      1. Clive

        I had the British version (“Action Man” as it was marketed as here — GI Joe having, unfortunately, no recognised cultural reference point across the pond) with movable eyes. These were operated by a small lever on the back of his head. Buttigieg no doubt is similarly equipped.

        If I recall accurately, he put in a slightly more believable performance than Buttigieg seems to manage when staging mock battles with my sister’s Sindy doll (an anglicised version of Barbie but with, again, if my memory holds up, a smaller chest, inferior wardrobe and less numerous — and exciting — a collection of consumer durables than her American counterpart. She had, I believe, for example, a pony but no ranch house).

        Maybe a more realistic comparison would be if I were to launch a new toy “Deep State Actor Man”. He would wear a chain store suit and drive a Toyota Camry rather than dress in fatigues and command a tank. He’d be “based” at an anonymous looking office block rather than a dug-out and have a smartphone not an M16. After completion of his “tour” where he led a campaign to drive down the cost of cloud service based software solutions, he’d lend his “logistics expertise” to the DNC, and get paired up with Debbie Wasserman Shultz (who would be known by her code name “GI Jane”).

        Please stop me if I’m providing too much information here or digressing.

    1. nippersdad

      When did Naval intelligence officers start wearing camouflaged fatigues and carry machine guns? First thing I thought of was Dukakis in a tank.

      1. The Rev Kev

        During the early days of the Vietnam war, reporters found that the officers & soldiers stationed in rear areas that would never come in contact with the front often had bush uniforms and carried top of the line weapons in Saigon – weapons that the troops in the field had difficulty getting. It was all about establishing an image.

  15. Stephen Tynan

    1964/65 World’s Fair, Queens, NY.
    Waxy Brontosaurus. Yabba dabba doo!

  16. Detroit Dan

    TheOnion pieces referenced today were hilarious. A nine foot tall version of Bernie Sanders would probably put him over the top! The entire Biden article had me laughing out loud.

    “The bike has a personality all its own. Ask anyone who’s come to any of my town halls over the years. The thing’s a 450-cc white-hot clam magnet.”

    “You hear that baby purring into third gear, your vote isn’t the only thing Uncle Joe’s gonna get,” continued Biden.

    “Let’s face it, I’m not as young as I used to be,” Biden continued. “It pains me to say, but I’m probably going to pussy out and wear a brain bucket for this rodeo.”

  17. Polar Donkey

    Conservative talk radio and fox news helped screw up my family. I have 4 older sisters and my parents. My parents started watching fox in mid to late 90’s. My two younger sisters followed. Two older sisters didn’t have cable. By 2001, my family could still have family functions together. Then September 11th happened. Had huge family fight shortly afterwards. That was is it. Then my dad from lymphoma (exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam) in June 2003. That threw gasoline on family split. Going on 20 years now. Conflict has trickled down to nieces and nephews. The two sisters on each side have gone separate ways too. I’m the only person that can deal with all the factions. I really hate cable news. The crazy thing is my family feuding is based on almost nothing. No one in the family ever screwed over anyone else. Especially, compared to stories of other families. Just team red and team blue run amok.

    1. Craig H.

      Do you have a television in your home?

      By the way Rush Limbaugh was the only person in the entire media universe including the internet who I saw/heard/read give Trump a chance on the morning of election day 2016. I am still grateful that on a whim I tuned into him for ten minutes that day because it saved me more bother than I can express.

  18. Dita

    Re: impeachment – Can’t they just censure Trump and move on? Of is wasting time and energy the point? ah, question answers itself I guess

    1. Louis Fyne

      Nancy Pelosi has the best possible of all worlds.

      She doesn’t have to govern (given Senate/Trump veto). She can advocate rolling back all of GOP’s tax policies which personally benefit her family/her children, but not worry about any changes actually passing.

      She still represents a safe seat and is House Speaker. Arguably nearly the same benefits as being president with a tiny fraction of the burdens.

      nice gig if you can get it.

      1. anonymous

        Pelosi turned 79 last month. Charlie Chaplin said to his friends once, “We’re not growing older, the world is growing younger.” Sanders’ politics understands this , Pelosi’s doesn’t.

  19. Sharkleberry Fin

    Operating as a political opponent from positions of strength inherent to incumbency, large campaign coffers, and as the beneficiary of foreign information warfare, Trump sits astride a formidable election machine. Relying on the Mueller Report for impeachment is not enough. However, Business Trump of Trump Org suing Congress over the subpoenaed business records of President Trump will result in those records being revealed in Discovery, no doubt exposing, in addition to campaign malfeasance, business malfeasance well-defined by statute, a legal jeopardy requiring a vote to initiate impeachment on its face. Opening another front from which Trump must defend, a legal front, the demands of which Trump struggles to understand according to the Mueller text, will thin out Trump resources: financial, political, and cognitive. Considerations are not always political, sometimes it is about doing the right thing. And if voter traction is an issue, Trump’s approval rating dipped 5% after the Mueller Report, first needle movement in months. –For all the things Trump has gotten away with over the years, the rap that finally nails Trump, Russian influence and the scrutiny to his business it brought, is something he did not do. Irony, the significance of which, Trump is, if not blissfully, then agitated-ly unaware.

    1. MK

      Sounds like much conjecture. He’s cash poor and the records will show it. Russia is a red herring for both sides.

  20. JohnnyGL


    If you’ve got questions about how valuable it is to have Tulsi Gabbard in the race….your questions are ANSWERED…

    paraphrasing below:

    Fox host: Iran supports terror, do you support the administration’s policy to pressure for regime change in Iran

    Tulsi: Saudi Arabia supports terror, most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. Not Iran.

    Fox host: But IRAN!!!!

    Tulsi: no Saudi Arabia!!!

    Me: This is awesome. Go Tulsi!!!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Strategicallly speaking, if Iran is destablized, how does it impact the world?

      Compared that to Saudi’s case, which one is more likely to spread (before us and the world transform to a new renewable age)?

      1. polecat

        Re. Iran destablization ..

        I didn’t realise that X and Gamma-rays were ‘renewable’ …

        Oh ..

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I know Saudi’s oil being shipped worldwide is not, and we are trying to transition away from that reality.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If you mean “destabilized all the way to Regime Replacement” . . . then a regime-changed Saudi Arabia would be more dangerous, because the change would be to an al Wahabbi-Qaeda cannibal liver-eating Jihadistan. ( I am guessing the Wahabbi establishment and sympathisers would be more sympathetic to al Qaeda than to ISIS).

    2. shtove

      “Mommy, why does Fox News support jihadi terrorism?”
      “Shut up and pour me another stiff one.”

  21. allan

    Boeing: A little context on the light regulatory touch. The Administrator of the FAA from 2013 to 2018
    was Michael Huerta, who is currently running to be an Alumni Trustee of Princeton.
    From his bio [PDF], duly highlighted:

    … In 1993, he returned to Washington to hold senior positions at the Department of Transportation in the Clinton administration. He then spent more than ten years in the private sector before beginning his tenure at the FAA as Deputy Administrator in 2010.

    Huerta has particularly enjoyed “working at the intersection of the public interest and private enterprise. Whether serving as a regulator and aviation system operator at the Federal Aviation Administration, a business solutions provider for government entities at Affiliated Computer Services introducing technology-based solutions like E-ZPass, or in fostering international understanding through sport as a managing director at the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002, each has taught me collaborative decision-making is the key to success.” He is proud that he was able to bring his passion for collaboration to his work at the FAA to improve the regulatory relationship between government and the private sector, resulting in “an unprecedented level of transparency and information sharing [1] between government, industry and labor that was first introduced in the late 1990s.”

    After Huerta completed his five-year term as FAA Administrator in January of 2018, Macquarie Capital, a diversified financial group, appointed him a Senior Advisor with a focus on providing strategic advice in the infrastructure and aerospace sectors. He was also elected as an independent member of the board of directors of Delta Air Lines[2]. He is the 2018 recipient of the Clifford W. Henderson Trophy, presented by the National Aeronautic Association to an individual “whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States.” …

    [1] Except for documentation of certain flight control systems.
    [2] Which doesn’t fly the MAX.

    1. Summer

      Have the regulators back up each others claims..

      Let the FDA fly 30,000 miles on the Boeing planes that have been troubled and let the FAA be first in line to use all the drugs the FDA says are safe. They have to do 30,000 hours of tests.

  22. Sanxi

    “Lambert here: I’m having a hard time gaming this out”, well consider this, if some other Democratic Party that was say intelligent knew how to play this game, the game would be this: first to get Trumps taxes returns. It is a matter of law that even congress needs some reason, a really good reason to ask for them and impeachment provides the best possible of all possible reasons, to get them (as in the Supremes have pre-approved it) – regardless of audit state, and whatever other financial info the house may want. Note, the idea is NOT to impeach the guy the game is to drive him completely insane thus be un-electable or cause a ‘retirement’ at end of term (thus no need for Pope Pence (ya, I know, still ~). To do so the House must create the most blasé committee ever created, a mueller [sic] type in appearance, but one that issues or causes to be issued enough info to do the job. Therein lies both the solution and problem.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      I prefer focusing on Trump’s actual policies rather all this bullshit intrigue that Trump is a master of. Sure way to lose to Trump is to focus on Trump.

  23. Pat

    For the record, Julian Castro has also publicly called for marijuana legalization, immediate release of all incarcerated for marijuana and the record expunged. Since he doesn’t currently hold office and afaik does not speak for his brother this is pretty much meaningless.

    It was also one of the few clear cut policies he outlined at his talked. Thinks the grounds for impeachment are there but understands the Pelosi strategy. Wants a more nuanced approach to immigration. Notes that health care, along with jobs is a big issue with voters, and plans to announce his own student loan plan.

  24. Synoia

    Joe Biden Will Announce His Presidential Campaign Next Week

    Also know as:

    The Joe Biden loose and Generate a huge Retirement fund Campaign

  25. Pat

    Regarding AOC and impeachment, I do not live in her district only in one nearby so take this with a grain of salt but frankly I’m pretty sure her district largely does want Trump impeached. Trump derangement syndrome is vast and deep in southern NY. I doubt people actually approached or questioned her about it, but any mention brings almost immediate cheers where I am.

    It is sometimes hard to make the distinctions between top priorities for voters vs big wishes. During my less cynical more one of the tribe Democratic period, impeaching Bush would be important to me, but it was not my top priority. I must admit though, outside of the failures with the financial system and their corruption, one of the reasons I grew to despise Obama was his failure to pursue criminal charges for torturers and those that green lit torture. But in speaking to me no candidate would have an idea that that was important to me.

    1. MK

      The whitewash of those responsible for the great recession turned me off my democrat team for good. I even used to have a give Bush a bjob so we can impeach him bumper sticker on my Intrepid back in the day. A pox on both parties.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I want Trump impeached. The underlying problem is once you accuse a person of treason everything else kind of becomes a joke. Team Blue elites preyed on their own voters emotions to protect them from reform, but impeachment is ultimately a political tool. “High crimes and misdemeanors” just means you have enough support to do it.

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      I wouldn’t completely discount the thought that AOC and Omar are having a little fun with the Speaker as well. The Duchess says “no impeachment” and tries to hold back the flood of consternation from TDS sufferers whipped up by Maddow. AOC and Omar, part of Pelosi’s dissed group of “maybe five, have a little fun. Who knows? Maybe that’s part of Warren’s motivation as well.

  26. kareninca

    There have been posts re the forgiveness of college debt. I have two relatives by by marriage who are in their 70s. The man had a very good job as a teacher in a wealthy town in New England; the pay was high and his benefits great and his pension is now a solid one, and he never had any job instability at all. His partner of 20+ years (they never married since the man doesn’t want to divorce his first wife since she still needs his health insurance) also had a very good teaching job and similar stability and benefits and has a good pension. I know that many teachers are not well paid, but some have been.

    So they had every means of accumulating assets. But they didn’t. The guy was obsessed with getting his son through a high status college. Yes, he meant well; it was out of love. But he sent him to college after college after college, each of which cost a fortune. I guess the kid finally graduated from one or another, but now has a lousy job.

    So – after an entire lifetime of steady employment, with pay that easily could buy a house and all the other amenities of middle class life, and great benefits, this couple is broke. Their total net worth is five thousand dollars!!!!! That is it. I presume their pensions are partly going to pay back debt.

    Why am I describing this? For two reasons. They are both terribly, terribly sick now and in awful shape. My mother, who had the same income and expenses (but with my dad sent me and my brother to state schools) and is the same age, now feels obliged to try to help them financially, paying for transportation and house cleaning and other needs. They walked away from their monster house during the foreclosure crisis, so they rent; she may decide to take them in if it comes to that. Because they are destitute they are eligible for many charity services which she is trying to arrange; how much longer Connecticut will be able to afford such things I don’t know; the state is circling the toilet .

    What I infer from this is that many people are not rational about college for themselves or their children. They are not rational about money. They are just not rational!!!!! And then people who are rational scramble around desperately trying to pick up the pieces.

  27. anonymous

    impeachment: bad idea, all around. they’re gonna make a folk hero out of him. ( the long arm of the swamp.)

  28. barrisj

    In the recent New Yorker “Books” section, there are reviews and discussion of new titles that speak to “deprogramming” of people away from social media, and how to ”reclaim” a life free (or reasonably free) from digital clutter. It primarily involves the smart-phone and social media in all its guises, and also includes emailing and texting. Now for me, I’ve never owned a smart-phone, or any mobile device other than an iPad, I don’t text people, and only infrequently email…I prefer a retro landline telephone for communication.
    BUT, several years ago I became addicted to blogging, as I’m doing right now. Got on the Net shortly after the 2000 elections (and early retirement!), discovered a whole growing universe of smart, well-connected people starting up political blogs directed toward the Cheney-Bush administration, and then went nutz after 9-11 and the runup to Afghanistan and Iraq invasions. Easily 6-7hrs a day, straight through, couldn’t quit, a blogger junkie. Over time, however, it became obvious that in the grander scheme of things, nothing fundamentally changes in politics…the blogs became self-referential and havens for the already converted, and one’s time could be spent more constructively elsewhere than online. Discovered NC just after the 2008 crash, and remains the only one of a handful of sites today that I regularly read (and comment), despite having over 300 bookmarked and active Net sites.
    So, any other NC readers out there also find themselves weaned off compulsive blogging, either from intellectual exhaustion, or perhaps apathy, but still wish to be kept informed?

    Rather than establishing a set of rigorous habits, we may need to rethink our approach to life in general.


      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Yes, I actually read the article, just didn’t have time to respond. Been thinking about this quite a bit lately as I am working with adolescents for the first time in 10 years and social media is destroying their mental health.

  29. epynonymous

    Joe Biden running means people will really be voting on Obama again… and I’m pretty sure the Dems already lost that election to Trump.

    I’m not seeing many retrospective articles on Obama compared to previous presidents. Probably because he accomplished so little and that of mixed value.

  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Million Men and Women Shouting March…a thought experiment:

    I yelled into my phone “I’m pregnant” for 5 minutes on Sunday to see which apps would start advertising baby things. Definitely NOT pregnant. Zero babies in my sphere. Didn’t get any ads, but just received these free formula samples in the mail, which is creepier.

    What if millions of us shout into our Magic Lantern smartphones, after rubbing a few times, “Medicare For All!!!,’ do you think you will receive ads for M4A, or a few free samples in the mail?

    1. Whoamolly

      Can I shout “Whiskey, we must have whiskey?” Maybe get Free samples?

      A while back I started adding the word kumquat in emails. I got ads for kumquats in a few weeks.

  31. whoamolly

    Re: Impeachment.

    A few observations from flyover country.
    – every month I see more and better clothed people begging on street corners.
    – every Friday at “$5 Friday” the local grocery store is jammed.
    – almost every working person I know is struggling. None have dental care.
    – every recently graduated student I know has crippling student debt.
    – the food bank gets long, long lines when the truck shows up.
    – the only reliable job for a young guy in my area is the military
    – every time I go to the VA I see more and more young guys with crippling injuries

    The only politicians I hear that are talking about any of these issues are Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Thank you, I’ve been noticing the same thing. Upper middle-class Democrats are only interested in their class interests and the bad aesthetic of Trump. They have little interest in real policies that benefit the working class

      The silver lining in this is that people are moving away from the American Dream (you have to be asleep to believe it) and rediscovering the benefits of family and community though that transition is very hard.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think we are all vulnerable to the fallacy of composition.

        Sometimes, we buy on price alone, because we can save extra money to buy something else, or because we are too poor to afford anything costing more.

        And when the cheaper alternatives are made elsewhere, as a whole, there will be fewer jobs. So, what is good for one person, on the individual level, may not be good for the whole.

      2. Whoamolly

        In his new book Hate Inc Matt Taibbi mentions how the Clinton machine was tone deaf to the anger of the American working class as they watched jobs, homes, towns and futures disappear.

        I don’t think the Dem insiders got the message of 2016 and Trump.

        From my front porch it looks like they think all they need is identity politics and strong marketing to bull***t the rubes and waltz back into “their rightful place”.

        I think they are in for a surprise in 2020.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Young guys (and gals) and military.

      I’ve been learning more about the late Roman Republic, circa the 2nd and 1st century BC (or BCE?).

      One notable fact is that, in conquering more territories, the assidui (Roman citizens of propertied class eligible for draft, to serve overseas) were in fact bringing back to Rome their own cheap replacements (captured slaves), at the same time, their farms were neglected (because they were away or were disabled or killed) and lost, with families ruined.

      Something similar seems to be happening today, though the cheaper replacements are not captured slaves, but often (though not always) victims, from abroad, of neoliberalism and economic-colonialism.

  32. Summer

    Re: Baby Formula samples after shouting “I’m Pregnant” into phone:

    From the thread:
    “i remember when i was doing that prosperity experiment @gordon_white had us try a couple of years ago where you “spend” an increasing amount of money every day and for months my targeted ads were all like cartier watches and gold bricks…”

    The prosperity experiment showed how you keep the top of the pyramid prosperous.

      1. ambrit

        Let me know how many ads for firearms you get. ‘Stovepiping’ is a semi-common problem with automatic pistols.

    1. JohnnyGL

      He probably figured out that his career path was on a dead-end after he bet on the wrong horse. He’s also not wholeheartedly ENDORSING Sanders, he’s just keeping options open.

      Things like this are useful as a weather vane. The party is preparing to adjust to the new reality. They’re slowly making their peace with Sanders. Of course, if they get a chance to knife him again, they’ll take it in a heartbeat.

      Machiavelli once wrote that it’s better to be feared, than loved, but a mix of both was ideal. Daou is acknowledging the reality that Bernie is widely loved and now he’s become powerful enough to be feared by the party. Bernie knows it, too. That’s why Neera Tanden got a firm finger-wagging. Bernie’s strong enough to do it, now.

      1. Liberal Mole

        Well reasoned. It was a shot across the bow by a dreadnought. Every neoliberal think tank and lobbyist is thinking they don’t want the kind of personal attention paid to it that CAP just got from Sanders supporters.

      2. aleph_0

        I’m late to this party, but Daou’s turn started around a year ago, when he seemed really outraged by the immigrant child separation stories and the lack of concrete Democratic action on it. He took a pretty hard left turn since then.

        Old tweet from Daou

        I’m pretty sure he was a conscripted into one of the Christian child militias in Lebanon growing up so I have a harder time accepting that he necessarily took this left turn in bad faith. I think it may have actually been the behavior of the Dems at the border from Obama to Trump that broke him from the centrist rank and file. Not sure, though, YMMV.

  33. Roy G

    Pushing impeachment is both irresponsible and counterproductive. Also, despite the#resistance fever dream living on, the real cover up in the Mueller report is how the Dems colluded with the FBI and the Deep State to stick Trump’s hand in the honey pot. It would be karmic justice if this is actually investigated, and I believe there are efforts underway to do just that.

    1. Elizabeth

      Isn’t there an investigation underway by IG Horowitz regarding the genesis of “Russiagate”? ISTR that it was due out this week or perhaps later – I’m really looking forward to this report – although, I’m always suspicious that something might derail it, since we don’t hear much about it.

      One thought on Elizabeth Warren – perhaps she’s coming out for impeachment of Trump because she knows Pelosi won’t go for it, but EW will be on the record as having said it to mollify the Dems who can’t think of anything but impeachment – just my theory.

  34. Tim

    “The Seattle Times reported the digital wrench signals when the correct torque is being applied to a nut and automatically sends the data to a computer system. The high-tech tool eliminates the need for mechanics to mark each nut, the paper reported, because it is programmed to track all of the operations in a pre-determined sequence.”

    As an Aerospace Engineer I’ve always understood that torque striping, as it is officially called, serves a longer term purpose than production. As in when in operation you know that nobody ever messed with that fastener, it would break the seal so to speak. No you only have initial Validation, but once the product rolls out the door, you lose that traceability.

    The upside of the smart wrenches is less error in torquing, and contrary to Lambert’s assertion, I don’t see a profit benefit to gaming the torque values, you only use the torque wrench during fastener installation, it doesn’t add an operation.

  35. marym

    Supreme Court poised to give Trump victory on census citizenship question

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Tuesday appeared poised to hand President Donald Trump a victory on his administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a move opponents call a Republican effort to deter immigrants from taking part.

    Roberts told New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, whose state sued to block the question, that citizenship data is critical for enforcing the Voting Rights Act [*]and said it was “quite common” for the census to capture demographic details.

    Liberal justices noted evidence presented by the Census Bureau’s own experts that showed the citizenship question would lead to a population undercount, and, contrary to the administration’s stated goal, less accurate citizenship data.

    * !!! Inside John Roberts’ Decades-Long Crusade Against the Voting Rights Act

    1. allan

      Chutzpah with Trumpian characteristics:

      It’s just perfect that [U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco ]–having gotten Supreme Court to
      block plaintiffs in Census case from deposing Secy Ross as to his intent, as purportedly not relevant-
      -[then] relies heavily on the lack of evidence as to Secretary Ross’s intent.
      Circle squared, with SCOTUS as the accomplice.

      Sasha Samberg-Champion‏ @ssamcham

      With Gorsuch waiting in the wings to gut redistricting.

    1. Knifecatcher

      When shameless opportunists like Daou (remember Verrit?) start slinking to the other side you know the tide has shifted.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      His evolution has been out there longer. Daou probably belongs in the “what happened to that guy” category of 2016 HRC supporters as opposed to opportunists. I think he got caught up in fervent prayer and probably suffered a fair amount of brain addling from 90’s GOP attacks.

      This isn’t a Saul on the road to Damascus. He actually has explained his change previously. As aleph_0 notes above, Daou’s early life probably had a profound effect on him. My guess is the myth of Team Blue and the U.S. was very powerful.

      1. ChrisAtRU

        Ha! Sorry for the double post! I didn’t realize it was posted above. I’ll count myself in among those who’ve had a good laugh at his expense (Verrit included). He just seemed really over the top. Whatever his reasons, I think a voice for the right thing … is a good thing … and as the #CatcherOfKnives said, probably a sign of changing tides.

  36. crittermom

    >Manufacturing: “Boeing’s Switch to Smart Inspectors…”

    “… the digital wrench signals when the correct torque is being applied to a nut… ”

    Wow! I’ve had a ‘smart wrench’ for years–except it doesn’t connect to a computer.

    It’s called a torque wrench. (For any readers not familiar with one, it’s long and basically has a ‘needle’ on it that tells you the torque being applied as it points to a ‘graph’ as you tighten)

    I read the article and it made me cringe.
    Not only are many inspectors going to be laid off using this type of technology (more loss of jawbs), but I seriously think we’re putting far too much reliance on technology when it replaces actual people doing the inspections.
    Another example of ‘profits come first, safety second’. Not good.

  37. chuck roast

    Re: “Joe Biden Will Announce His Presidential Campaign Next Week, Unless He Doesn’t, But He Probably Will”

    The archetypal, knucklehead headline if there ever was one. Is there a “Headline Hall of Fame?” Well, if there is, this little jewel should have a nameplate that says, Sublime in the Extreme (did I go too far?)

    Of course I didn’t read the article, but really, how could a bunch of equivocating verbiage improve on such an edifice. And for this superior editing to concern the ‘Oh-so-interesting’ doings of the ex-Vice, ex-Hair Huffer. It was a bonus indeed.

    As an anecdote, and in thanks to some of the brethren here, I just picked up the most recent Bernie Gunther novel. Bernie finds himself in Greece and stumbles across an SS beastie. Happy reading.

  38. JerryDenim

    “So Musk plans to train his AI by driving his cars into civilians? Isn’t that what his plan amounts to? That’s about the size of it–”

    Yeah, but hopefully only a FEW Lambert… c’mon, don’t you want progress???

    Glibertarian billionaires ‘disrupting’ the world by beta-testing their flawed, semi-autonomous death machines on public roadways endangering everyone. So brave, so noble, so visionary… Gag.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It is my understanding that a digitally simulated world was set up in a computer in order to determine how well one of these Teslas would work in the real world. Of course the results were less than stellar but Musk decide to press on regardless as after all, there are production targets to meet. The final note, not seen in that film clip, is that after the testing session was over and the Tesla parked itself, it then proceeded to blow itself up – perhaps in remorse?


  39. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

    Clearer Than The Truth:

    The Gore Vidal video’s basic message was not new to me, but the “Clearer than the truth” quote almost made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    It sort of explains what propaganda is; it’s the truth, but clearer (no lies to be seen here).


    ps It reminds me of Curtiss LeMay’s comment on innocence – which if you think hard about it is absolutely ideologically & operationally true – even for the unborn.

  40. VietnamVet

    The titles of the earlier posts says it all; “Inequality has become intractable”, “What would a trade victory look like”, and “Trump’s Iran Oil Market Gamble”. I remember Nixon’s and Carter’s gas lines and the 1974 recession. The incompetent Trump Administration is playing with fire, literally. FDR’s embargo of oil and gasoline to Japan resulted in America’s forced entry into WWII. Trade Wars and Globalization triggered WWI. Despite denials, the ultimate inequality, slavery, was the root cause of the American Civil War. All are coming together in 2019. But Democrats push a “TDS” impeachment and Russia phobia, not mankind’s survival. Widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A are sweeping across the USA among the homeless. Our corporate run government simply doesn’t care what is happening to Americans. These plutocrats and the credentialed class who implement profit above all else deserve their special place in hell.

  41. TalkingCargo

    Thanks very much for the Stiglitz excerpt. I didn’t know any of that and I probably should have.

  42. Bob

    Another surveillance anecdote:

    A year or two ago, I was talking with a friend about a mutual acquaintence who had a medical condition with a distinctive, proper-noun name.

    Shortly after that conversation, an ad regarding this condition appeared on web site I frequent.

    This creeped me out. While I might have done web searches about this condition previously, it had been many months, perhaps a year or more.

    I hadn’t seen an ad like this previously, and if I recall correctly, it hasn’t happened since. But I think the ad was too specific to be a random occurrence.

    Our conversation was via FaceTime audio. I’m pretty sure the web site where I saw the ad was not Facebook. It might have been Huffpost or Mac Rumors.

    This creeped me out. I considered searching the web to see if others had reported similar things, but I never did. I had bigger issues in my life; I figured there was little or nothing I could do about it (except perhaps to stop using the internet); and I also thought I’d sound like a tin-hat conspiracy theorist.

    So the links here certainly rang a bell.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      day late, again…
      that is creepy.
      cell fone company gave me an upgrade recently…and wouldn’t let me refrain from having 3-g like before. since it “comes with it”…so I said whatevercool…
      so after my chore glidepath is done for the day, riding around the woods with my honey in the golf cart, i whip out my fone and dial up some music on youtube.
      esoteric stuff, as is my wont(toots and the maytalls, misererie mia, deus, hoon hoor tuu)
      when we get back to the house, also as is my wont, i turn off the internet on my fone(bluetooth remains off)
      somehow, my laptop(or big brother or whomever) knows what i listened to that day out in the woods, and is sending me ads and such everywhere i go about ganga cultivation(old habit, i never look up weed related stuff), jamaican holidays, a bunch of catholic items and services, and cheap fares to Ullaann Batoor.
      again, fone is never connected to home wifi, or to the laptop.
      but they know, somehow that both are me.
      as a palliative to the paranoia that often accompanies such musings, I consider that if Big Brother were really all that, he’d know that I generally don’t have any money, and only very rarely buy anything online, and am more likely to come home with a bunch of building materials from the landfill than anything else but beer….and that i only otherwise leave the farm when we have chemo.
      marketing of any kind is wasted on me…and a big brother worth his salt would know that.

  43. Procopius

    OK, I really should keep my mouth shut, but I’ve got to bring it up because I haven’t seen the question asked: I don’t mind if you really, really want to impeach Trump, but please tell me what, exactly, do you think he should be impeached for? I won’t accept “violating norms.” I would accept “separating children from their parents to discourage families from seeking asylum.” Do you really think you could sell that to Republicans? Really? I would also impeach for vetoing the Congressional resolution to withdraw from supporting the Yemen illegal war and allowing our military to commit war crimes (target selection of hospitals, mosques, markets, school buses, etc., which our military are much more involved in than they want to admit. But what else? Name me some things that are “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

  44. Richard Hayes

    I recall a flight in the 70’s going from LA to London on a 747. We had a scheduled stop in Seattle, but it was delayed when there was problem with some hardware on the passenger door.

    There were a bunch of Boeing engineers on the flight and when the Pilot found out for whom they worked, he proceeded to take a couple of hours to tell these Boeing employees how poorly built the 747 was. I recall one of his lines: “If this were a house, it would not get a certificate of habitation.” Yet those planes flew millions of miles and the only problems/crashes were caused by pilot error or terrorist.

    787 is in the same category in my mind. The only mitigating factor is that the 747’s were all built in Seattle and the 787 is built in South Carolina, so assembler experience is less.

  45. Richard Hayes

    I recall a flight in the 1970’s going from LA to London on a 747. We had a scheduled stop in Seattle, but it was delayed when there was problem with some hardware on the passenger door.

    There were a bunch of Boeing engineers on the flight and when the Pilot found out for whom they worked, he proceeded to take a couple of hours to tell these Boeing employees how poorly built the 747 was. I recall one of his lines: “If this were a house, it would not get a certificate of habitation.” Yet those planes flew millions of miles and the only problems/crashes were caused by pilot error or terrorist.

    787 is in the same category in my mind. The only mitigating factor is that the 747’s were all built in Seattle and the 787 is built in South Carolina, so assembler experience is less.

  46. Kilgore Trout

    If memory serves, Christopher Stone is the son of I.F. Stone, he of blessed memory….

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