2:00PM Water Cooler 5/31/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, this is a travel day for me, and I got nuthin’, though I’m trying to plough through the Mueller report (“One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” –Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest). Talk amongst yourselves!

* * *

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):

Carla writes: “Year after year, the most spectacular Rhody in the neighborhood.”

* * *

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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. Oregoncharles

        They get that big – some of their ancestors are trees, from the Himalayas. Portland OR is a good place to see really big ones. Even the NW native gets really big, but usually rangy because it’s in the woods.

        Edit: taking you too seriously, aren’t I?

      2. Carla

        Not a bit of it!

        In fact, today I found an even bigger one in the ‘hood and said “Damn! How did I miss that?”

        1. polecat

          Some of the rhodies I see around here that are in full bloom hurt the eye so much that I gotta wear shades ! Of course, I do that when I step out the front door when visually assaulted by both the Lemon balm on the one hand, and the Lithiodora on the other, dualing it out to where all I can see are after-images. Then the Ca.Poppies hit like a laser, causing polecat to grope for purchase like a blind man !

        2. Whoamolly

          Saw one exactly like the photo, in front of a house in coastal British Columbia. In fact if I think I have a picture here somewhere.

      3. Punxsutawney

        Biggest one I ever saw was on a sheep farm in New Zealand. Must have approached 30′ tall.

    1. a different chris

      haha I’m clicking on your link then the page then refreshing and thinking “wtf it just keeps coming up blank”… and then I suddenly got it!

  1. Wukchumni

    (“One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” –Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest).

    As much as i’ve always relished the idea of never going into a coffee shop sans newspaper-where the sensational stuff was often on the 9th page, now that my eyesight isn’t what it once was, I find myself squinting and being too proud still to wear a cheap pair of reading glasses (it’s similar to buying a minivan-you’re done) it only works if I have good available light, otherwise I might as well be Mr. Magoo.


    1. a different chris

      No it’s not. It’s not at all. As proof, I point to the fact that I have five sets of cheap reading glasses (because I can’t find one otherwise) and a super-duty Ford type set for special work.

      I can’t afford 5 minivans and an F350, so there.

      1. crittermom

        I interpreted what Wukchumni said differently.
        I saw it as saying that if you now need reading glasses and drive a minivan, you’re ‘over the hill’. Hence, ‘done for’!

        Wukchumni, care to elaborate?

        1. Wukchumni

          Yes, i’m over the hill, but in a deep state of denial.

          My eyes were quite an asset once upon a time, and i’d see older numismatists back in the day whose orbits were failing them, and they couldn’t grade accurately(differentiate between 1-70 possible conditions of any given coin) anymore (one of the main keys to success) and some would wear this ‘jewelers headband magnifier’ thing where they kind of looked like Geordi La Forge, and not in a complimentary fashion. They looked ridiculous.

          Funny thing is, I could care less about coins, and much prefer to be in an Ansel Adams scene, aka the big picture. My eyesight is crystal clear outdoors.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It seems to me that one feels one’s age, when one sees the current pictures of the stars of one’s childhood.

          2. ambrit

            My Dad started off his working life as a draftsman, back in the days of slide rules and pencils. (He always finish sharpened his pencils on a piece of fine sandpaper.) He said that, “Once your eyes start going, look for another line of work.” (He was even more prone to puns than myself.)
            Your implied dig at the “fantastic” aspects of numismatics did not go unnoticed.

            1. polecat

              I’m to the point where, whilst throwing clay on the wheel, that I have to don glasses as I do the finishing touches on a lip, shoulder, or foot .. least it become an unintended funkart clay piece.

              1. ambrit

                Yeah. As a friend of Phyl’s who was also an artist put it; “At the end of the day, it all becomes “End of the Day” artwork.”

      2. Wukchumni

        I’m eligible for barely there senior-discounts, but find menus to be age discriminatory towards later era quinquagenarians in general, and once when I tried to order a senior selection when I was 54 and half at an eatery, I got carded and the waitress who couldn’t have been older than the internet, chastised me and told me to come back when I was of legal age.

      3. Barbara

        Because I have repeatedly lost, sat on, stepped on, you-name-it, etc. my reading glasses, I finally decided on an expensive but final solution. I had a pair of no-line bifocals made, with clear glass in the upper portions and my reading strength in the lower area. If I say so myself, they look cool and my reading glasses are always ready for use.

      4. Oregoncharles

        The dollar store usually has them – because, as you say, you can’t have too many.

        I also occasionally buy them at the thrift store, so now they’re marked with bits of tape for extra strength (good for really close work) and too weak – which suit my wife.

        1. polecat

          Who says cheap Chinese junk isn’t worth the expense. I, like a phool, purchased a set of spendier Cosco readers .. thinking they were of good quality .. WRONG! I scratched the bloody hell out of 2 of the 4 pairs of lenses in less that 2 weeks, lost a screw on another set, and sat on the remaining one, rendering it unusable. Sooo, as per you, Oregoncharles, I’m back to the Quatloo Store for moar cheapies.

          I’m resisting the siren call to acquire perscription lenses.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        I gave my mom a cheapo magnifying glass with LED lights for Christmas a while back. Ended up being the thing she kept thanking me for.

          1. Mo's Bike Shop

            Big Lots, not an endorsement, but that’s where I got that one. The LED light aisle.

    2. katiebird

      Last month I had cataract surgery in both eyes. And in a month have gone from extreme near sightedness to complete near sightedness.

      The change was overnight and totally confusing. I went weeks without being able to read at all until about noon. I finally last week figured out the reading strength I need (+2.00) and can read NC even in the early morning again.

      But I still haven’t found a glasses style I like. And I don’t think I look right in glasses. I’m thinking about getting progressive lenses with nothing on top or mid range….. But maybe getting used to my own face wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

      Oh, and no complaints about the new lenses, they are a miracle. Even fixed the astigmatism! I am just getting used to a dramatically different way to function.

  2. JohnnyGL



    I’d like to draw attention to the calendar for the 2020 primaries. It looks very different than 2016. The graphic in the 2nd link shows it. It really hits hard in early-mid March and is mostly done by then. Looks like at least 2/3 of the country will have voted by 3/17.

    Something to keep in mind when you’re reminding yourself, “it’s early”. That should now get revised to, “It’s early, but things are going to come fast and furious and be mostly done by April 2020.”

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      The cowardice of a political system’s 2 parties to have rolling primaries over several months rather than a one-day nationwide primary cannot be understated. Then again, I’m one of the wishful ones asking for a popular vote so my electoral impact isn’t a tiny fraction of someone from Wyoming.

      As with healthcare, war and peace, and human dignity in general, our betters have other ideas than what the will of the people clearly desires.

    2. ACF

      Yes, but the point of “it’s early” is to remind everyone to calm down. Most people who may vote D aren’t paying close attention yet. Not much has really happened yet. The first debate will be a very big deal, at least until the second debate, etc. Sometime in October and November more people will start paying attention. And then it will accelerate, as the headlines turn from debates, gaffes, oppo and fundraising to actual results. For the next three months, most people are thinking about the ordinary business of their lives far more than seriously considering who to vote for more than 6 months in the future. So much of the commentary these days are just efforts to seize control by constructing a narrative, and I think the huge field may actually be providing an inherent push back, space that currently prevents a media narrative from congealing and trying to drive the voting. Now, individual candidates face concerted media narratives for or against, sure, but none will be able to dominate the race for some time to come
      just my 2c.

      1. Big River Bandido

        I think the first “debate” will be nothing but a joke. Twenty-three candidates? Even if only a third of them “qualify”, it will still be enough to make a mockery of the process and of any statements that come from it. I have no intention of watching it. The only action going on right now is the chase for money, campaign staff, and organizing.

        Until the Setzer Poll starts coming out a couple months before the Iowa Caucuses, there’s nothing happening in the actual race. Those Monmouth and Emerson polls and Nate Silver’s prognostications based on them, are worthless.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          I loved the link this morning of Nate Silver gaming out the debates. Did not read it, but wow they prefer a horse race. I mean, will there be grain shortages later this year? Would a Green New Deal cut into Corporate Subsidies? Who cares!

          Will there be a Bonus March that knocks everything into a cocked hat*?

          *Wow again, Der Google is really giving me a Flowers for Algernon vibe this week. Has anyone done work on how much they punish using the privacy protection options? Should I set up a larry.tweezerhead account to bookmark the last Web Libraries now?

    3. Ernie

      Your comment (and a little spare time) prompted me to do the math. By March 17th fully 68% of all pledged delegates will have been chosen. Perhaps as bad or worse than the earliness is the compression in the calendar. Nearly 64% of all pledged delegates will be chosen in the two week period between March 3rd and March 17th. [I used Wikipedia for the source of the primary dates and BallotPedia for the source of the pledged delegate counts for each state.]

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is that like having to decide on one’s college major by the third grade?

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        Harder to run a brokered convention that way. Not that I’d be surprised that the Qualified but Stupid did not game that out.

        I’ve always been baffled by the Media Consent that the Primary Season for Democrats must be sealed up as soon as possible or ZOMGBBQ. Even for 2004, when Garrison Keillor was still singing the “We’re all Republicans Now” song; it was their only chance to intervene in the narrative, and they wanted it over as soon as possible. Ford vs Reagan worked out great for the Republicans in the long run.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One comment about the coming election.

      When do we prefer a candidate whose program rates, say, only a 60 (on a scale of 1 to 100), over another candidate whose program rates an 80?

      Is it electability (in the general election)?

      I think it’s more than that.

      The equation I have in mind, for picking the candidate, is

      (program grade) x (party nomination probability) x electability (probability of winning in the general election) x (probability of getting said program passed through Congress).

      So, for example, for Biden, the numbers could be

      60 x 70% nomination wiith help x 50% beating Trump x 60% passing Congress = 12.6

      And for Sanders, the numbers might be:

      80 x 50% nomination x 60% beating Trump x 30% passing Congress = 7.2

      In this hypothetical example, you go with Biden, even if his program rates only a 60, on your scale.

      Of course, the diffifult part is assigning a number to each of those probabilities, but it shows the candidate’s program is not the only factor. And it’s not just about electability either.

      1. Grant

        What part of the equation takes into account the qualitative differences in policy (which will vary by the person)? With Biden, for example, lots of things might pass that would be horrible. So, is voting for him to pass things in the short term something that should increase his support? Look at all the things he worked with his friends on the right to pass in decades past. Or, what about a factor that takes into account what can be accomplished in the short term versus the medium or long term, or what shape the country, working people and the Democratic Party will be in if someone like Biden was elected and he didn’t solve any of our problems? Will the context that produced Trump go anywhere? How about a factor for Biden doing next to nothing on the environmental crisis?

      2. Punxsutawney

        As to the program part for Biden, he would get a zero from me economically. And putting a zero anywhere in the equation will of course make the result…err zero. ;-)

        1. RMO

          Most likely you’re right. Biden just may have a chance at a win but I think the end result of that would be a one-term presidency for him after which he loses to a “smart” version of Trump because the establishment status quo will have had four more years to increase the overall level of misery. By that, I mean a Republican candidate who has much of Trump’s “strengths” (ability to grab headlines, make a substantial number of voters believe he is on their side, the instinctive ability to sense and exploit weaknesses, a genius level proficiency at BS etc.) but combined with the sort of ruthless competence and knowledge of how politics works behind the scenes that history’s most powerful and frightening authoritarians have had.

          1. JohnnySacks

            A 2 year yawn of grinding status quo then a GOP sweep in the 2022 mid terms followed by a Tom Cotton presidency in 2024. The Biden legacy.

        2. richard

          I think, you are pretty much right. Biden has horrible baggage and isn’t essentially likable at this point. I don’t care what kind of straight-talking, man of the people mythos obtains in the beltway. His crew is limiting his exposure for a reason. Does this f*&%ing remind us of anyone? Anyone?
          as for the rest
          except for tulsi (the constant refrain)
          they are either corporate media creations or slaves to donors
          (or essentially gutless-warren)
          and thus would allow trump to run populist again
          the only way he can win
          bernie, as k. kulinski sometimes says, is trump’s kryptonite

          1. Cal2

            Bernie with Tulsi as Vice President = 12 or 16 years of progressive politics in the white house.

            Biden with ?? as Vice President = Lots of Democrats stay home election day,
            4 more years of Trump.

      1. aleph_0

        The debunking causality argument isn’t that clear. Most wealth is inherited so I’d add that the kids are also taught to lie, cheat, and steal.

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        There’s a lot of fallout too. But that’s how the finally rich get there. For people whose capital is measured in money.

    1. Biph

      I wonder how much fear of a ticket they couldn’t afford contributed to every “beater” car stopping at the pedestrian crosswalk? Makes the Swedish way of ticketing people based on their income seem an even better idea.

  3. Stephanie

    I’ve been passing the wind map of the U.S. previously linked by Lambert around the office and today a co-worker returned the favor by sending me to this online wind & temperature globe.

    Its been an unproductive but very educational morning!

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        Thanks!…to you and Steph.
        my youngest wants to be a meteorologist. these kinds of visualisations serve to extend/heighten his interest.
        very cool.

  4. Pat

    Considering this morning’s discussion of the use and misuse of ‘freedom’. I’ve been thinking there should be an appropriate rewrite for Kristofferson.

    “Freedom’s just another word for ________________________”

    I just haven’t come up with anything I like. Anybody else want to try?

    1. BondsOfSteel

      sucker. It’s not the freedom to choose… it’s the freedom to be scammed.

    2. Oregoncharles

      I don’t think that song, or that line, can be improved on.

      So how close are we?

    3. turtle

      Easy. The way it’s being used by blowhards now, “freedom” is just another word for “selfishness.”

      They mean “freedom” as in “I’m free to do whatever the family blog I feel like family blogging doing, regardless of who or what gets hurt.”

      Not only that, but if you take anyone or anything else into consideration, you’re an “enemy of freedom.”

      Of course it makes perfect sense in Blowhardian English.

      1. turtle

        I should add another question: has there ever been another word that more clearly and immediately identifies a blowhard — or, rather, scumbag seems even more appropriate — from a large distance?

        Of course we had to go and elect one of whatever type this is as the president of the most powerful nation on this planet. Sigh.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          the term “Ur-Moron” bubbled up from my drug addled brain this morning.
          I think it fit the cultivar.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        I like this one best. Even though it has 7 syllables, it fits the melody, in a Dylan sort of way. To actually use 5 syllables and rhyme with the original:

        Those in charge will choose

    4. Mo's Bike Shop

      “Freedom’s just another word for ‘I haven’t thought this through’
      Haven’t, haven’t, but Sammy was pleased, yeah
      But, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
      Hey, feelin’ good was good enough for me, mm-hmm
      Good enough for me and my USG”

    5. richard

      because apparently they have the freedom to appear on every screen no matter how much I scroll

  5. Wukchumni

    We’ve got a really good Superintendent @ Sequoia NP, and Woody Smeck has been the majordomo of the big trees park since 2013, and we’re lucky to have him. He’s soft spoken and down to earth, and NPS uses him to fill in temporary gaps @ top management @ Yosemite NP & Grand Canyon NP, as shenanigans have ousted Superintendents there.

    A nice interview with him:


    1. Cynthia

      Leon Redbone sounds a bit like Hoagy Carmichael in Howard Hawks’ “To Have and Have Not” (1944). His ragtime sound was buttery soft and soothing to the ears much like Hoagy Carmichael’s. Here’s film clip of him and his band performing “Hong Kong Blues”:


      You can also hear him perform “Am I Blue” with Lauren Bacall, who was only 19 years old at the time:


  6. Wukchumni

    Mueller has been particularly silent on something, what’s e’ trying to hide with the old silent vowel trick that never fooled anybody?

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Most people voted “None of the Above” is a really good reminder of where we are. At least where we get to vote for our oligarchs.

    1. pjay

      Echindne reads the Mueller Report. Mueller said the GRU hacked the DNC, etc. Echindne believes Mueller and restates as fact what is yet to be proven, etc.

      I also read the Mueller Report (well, part one anyway). It is, indeed, impressive “how very clearly it states that the Russian government was behind the different forms of cyber warfare aimed at Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and, more importantly, at directly affecting the 2016 US elections…” More impressive are these bold assertions when we have *still* not been provided any evidence. The IRA stuff is ridiculous. The GRU hacking assertions have been challenged explicitly by Binney and the VIPS, as well as others. These challenges have been *ignored* by Mueller, the media, and all Russiagaters, as have key witnesses and alternative lines of inquiry. There is considerable evidence that the intelligence community was engaged in an extensive operation to entrap Trump and/or members of his campaign, most of which was understated or omitted completely in the Mueller Report.

      Given all this, why should we believe these statements by Mueller? If you believe them, I respect that, but I would like to know why. There are many reasons *not* to believe Mueller. Here are a few:


      I fully understand that one person’s “facts” are another person’s fancy, especially these days. But I am asking an absolutely sincere question. Why should I believe Mueller’s statements about Russian hacking and other “meddling”? I have a lot of reasons not to.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        For a nation that loves CSI-wherever, there’s not much appreciation for forensics. I’m in the evidence should first be tested for it’s realness club.

    2. tegnost

      I had visitors from the big city up for a few days and I was roundly excoriated in the vein of these posts, as well as being told in no uncertain terms that if you didn’t vote for hillary you are a bigot and a racist, and centrist republicans should abandon the party in droves to join the dems without the slightest bit of irony or self reflection. And no I’m not kidding, I was told I’d better “get in line”…I suggested maybe learning a different turn of phrase. Nothing else matters. or will get any air. Then jill biden on trevor noah…add in the compressed primary schedule and I found that all my fragile hopes are lost. If we get a centrist depublican, which currently looks more likely, it will be a phyrric victory, but hey, like jonathan pie says, sometimes you gotta hit rock bottom. Maybe lamberts take on it will improve my outlook…

      1. polecat

        Let guess and venture to say that these visitors are not .. uh .. friends, but now fiends instead ..
        They would be in my little black book.

        1. tegnost

          no, they’re friends…
          I went to the powell memo as proof that there was actually a plan, such as it was, and got a kick out of the use of “enterprise” as opposed to the currently popular “free enterprise”…I’d like to think I made a little headway…

  7. Wukchumni

    I want my MMT

    Now look at them yo-yo’s, that’s the way you do it
    You play war in the ‘stanbox on the MMT
    That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it
    Money for nothin’ and your f.o.b.’s for free

    Now that ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it
    Lemme tell ya, them guys ain’t dumb
    Maybe get a blister on your little finger
    Maybe get a blister on your thumb

    We gotta mouse clique coven
    Custom money deliveries
    We gotta move these units
    We gotta move that democracy

    We shoulda learned to fix our infrastructure
    We shoulda yearned to fix our slums
    Look at that selfie-stick, we’ve got an i.e.d. blast in the camera
    Oh, man we could have some video hits numbers fun

    Get your money for nothin’, get your clicks for free (Ow, yeah)
    Get your money for nothin’ and your clicks for free (What’s that?)
    Get your money for nothin’ and your clicks for free (Look at that, look at that)
    Get your money for nothin’ and your clicks for free (I want my, I want my, I want my MMT)


      1. Wukchumni

        The lyrics on this one also from 1986 proved timely…

        I have legalized robbery, called it belief
        I have run with the money, I have hid like a thief
        Rewritten history with my armies of my crooks
        Invented memories, I did burn all the books

        And I can still hear his laughter and I can still hear his song
        The man’s too big, the man’s too strong


        1. Jen

          And this:

          I’d just like to go to work, but they shut it down
          I’ve got a right to go to work but there’s now work here to be found
          And they say we’re going to have to pay, we’re told
          We’re going to have to reap from seed that’s been sowed


          Thanks for sending me down this Dire Straits rabbit hole. Amazing stuff.

  8. Wukchumni

    Blasted through more Freedom Molecules than you could shake a 6 speed manual transmission stick at, the other day.

    I reckon when I burn firewood here, it takes the stored energy from the Sun & 30 years of growth, about 30 minutes before running out of btu’s, done.

    The EROTI on 87 octane is a bigger time scale @ 100 million years old.

    Ode to F.M.


    1. epynonymous

      You noticed its not freedom gallons?

      Peak oil theory was a price manipulation from 74, but after commodities market pump-and-dumps in the 80’s we’ve had relatively effective regulations. That’s because it’s ownedd by the regulators, and vice versa.

      Monopoly creates rises in rent extraction, but stable commodities. Copper gets 2 dollars a pound at the scrap yard, and we’re told gasoline is stable to silver prices.

      But I guess that’s a model that assumes rational actors are still making the decisions.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    The following is an amazingly interesting link at the nexus between political campaigns and information security.
    What I Learned Trying To Secure Congressional Campaigns

    Here’s a teaser, under the heading “Things that went badly” …

    Attempts to work with the DNC and DCCC. The national party was so unhelpful that in the end I had to treat them as part of the threat model.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      (A good icebreaker with these people is talking about how much you both hate VAN.)

      Hee Haw Hee Haw!

    1. jo6pac

      pbs might have received a call from sandy alderson if they show it then the checks would stop coming.

      Thanks for the link

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      gag me with a spoon.
      so: “the internet is too dangerous, citizen…don’t use it. instead, use one of these approved information outlets…”
      i’ve got a box of booklets and magazines from the 50’s that contain the same sort of breathless paranoia…the only thing missing in this new iteration is the word “communism”.

      1. The Rev Kev

        But wait – it gets better. Much better! There is a new Call of Duty coming out which features innocent children in Syria, murderous Russian soldiers, gas attacks, heroic White Helmets and more. There is an article about this at-


        Another article at Sputnik has a clip from this new game-


    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      Is that Public Radio International? They used to tell me about Chomsky and Honduras. And used a deliberately French-syntax name. Oy.

  10. freedomny

    That rhody is magnificent!

    Also coolest website I recently found is: https://fallingfruit.org/

    Tells you where all the edible fruit and nut trees are in your neighborhood….

    In our “civilized” society, foraging and learning the skills of past generations has unfortunately been lost. I’m hoping that more folks get interested in this.

  11. Andy Raushner

    Remember this about the Mexican border issue and why Trump besides 20 years of Republican whining over it: Land owners on the border are big Republicans. There you have it. With the surge from Mexico that started in the early 70’s and cresting at elevated levels in 2007, Republicans must deal with it while Democrats generally due to tribal politics, have washed their hands of it. Trafficking them over? Go right ahead. Trump much like GWB has gutted custom enforcement on trafficking to such a degree, getting over via trafficking while expensive, has plenty of funding from Evangelical Christians and Republican capitalists has increased numbers. The Russian Mafia which has long ties to the Trump Organization runs the sex trade from Asia and has little problem joining in on that little money making scheme.

    Under Obama, border customs agents inspecting goods flowing into the US was more prevalent…..in the west coast, much more prevalent. Trump has basically turned it all on the southern border due to property owner concerns and indeed, trafficking which had stopped growing under Obama era rules, have accelerated again. Wall Street’s connection and the big bank connection with these property owners cannot be understated either. It all fits like a glove, especially how over the last 100 years they got deeds to the land. Most are ‘royality” of the elite now.

    At some point, some Democrat is gonna call the Republicans out on this. They are scared for be labeled a “racist”, but those fears last so long. Trump is making a fool out of the customs process. He should and imo Republicans will be called out on it in the next decade.

  12. MIchael

    Perhaps this election calls for a new strategy by the “left”. Direct attack on Trump’s inability to pick a viable cabinet and his willingness to accept a revolving door of subpar appointees. So he is psycho puppetmaster.

    What if…Bernie picks a VP (Tulsi G), Treasury Sec (Eliz W), Sec of Defense (?), Attorney General (?) etc and attempts to build a governing “platform” to be elected en masse.

    Give the people a clear idea of WHO will be the next admin while thinning the field, stealing the spotlight, baiting Trump and the DNC.

    At this point the D’s are putting a “lesser Bob Dole” out there with the inability to gain a majority of electoral college votes but lots of negatives to be exploited. Committee to Re elect the President wins hands down. UGH!!!!!

    Single candidates with a pitbull VP are so 2000’s.

    Joe Bob says “Check it out!”

  13. Savanarola

    WOW that rhody! I’ve never seen one even half that glorious. Around here they are decidedly spindly understory bushes.

  14. ChristopherJ

    investment in vpn worth it, bypass foxtel and straight to bt sport on youtube. Scouser hoping for Liverpool win….

    1. ChristopherJ

      Dour game. They all looked like they’d been on the piss for a few weeks.

      Tottenham with Harry Kane. It was like watching England at the next WC, only early

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