2:00PM Water Cooler 6/28/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, as Yves accelerates away from New York, I have taken on more posting duties, and I will complete Water Cooler after having completed a post on the Poor People’s Campaign. My extra posting duties will be complete as of this evening, but I am traveling next week, and my posting will be random on Monday and Tuesday, and then sputter out until July 4 is over, though I will do as much as I can. –lambert P.S. Adding, that the cat seems to have gone off somewhere, so I’m very worried about foxes, which we have in abundance this year, although it seems unnecessarily. Perhaps the cat is simply visiting someone else. UPDATE All done!

* * *


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

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

“2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [RealClearPolitics] (average of five polls). As of June 26: Biden flat at 32.0% (32.1%) and Sanders still rising at 16.9% (16.5% ). Warren up 12.8% (12.4%), Buttigieg down 6.6% (4.0%), others Brownian motion, though maybe not Harris, who just pulled even with Buttigieg. Of course, it’s absurd to track minute fluctuations at this point.

* * *


On the debates, I’m a little debated out. I think the sensible thing to do is to wait to see what the polling averages (above) say; they were wrong in 2016, but they’re still better than the hot takes. (FiveThirtyEight has some interesting before and after charts here.)

Festival of Biden:

Biden (D)(1): “Biden defends civil rights record after debate showdown with Harris” [The Hill]. “‘I know and you know, I fought my heart out to ensure that civil rights and voting rights, equal rights are enforced everywhere,’ Biden told the Rainbow PUSH Coalition convention, hosted by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.” • And so we wait for Jackson’s response:

Biden (D)(2): “Jesse Jackson: Biden was on the ‘wrong side of history’ on busing” [The Hill]. “‘My judgment is it was the wrong side of history,” the civil rights activist in a CNN interview. Jackson, who was a Democratic presidential candidate in 1984 and 1988, said that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who criticized Biden’s stance in the Thursday night debate, ‘was on point.'” • Ouch.

Biden (D)(3): Then again, does the current moral panic matter to voters? Especially black voters?

Biden (D)(4): More from the same Greenberg poll (which I can’t find online):

Biden (D)(5): Biden’s letter to his supporters:

Hard to see how [genuflects] Obama would pick a racist for Vice President…

Biden (D)(6): On class, however, Biden gets a free pass:

Booker (D)(1): “Booker’s problem with New Jersey progressives” [Politico]. “TRENTON, N.J. — Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) uses progressive rhetoric on the campaign trail to rail against Immigration and Custom Enforcement policies and promote economic fairness. But when it comes to scandals engulfing Democrats in his home state, Booker’s been mostly silent. On Friday, he’ll be back in New Jersey for a $2,800-per-head fundraiser co-hosted by two of the state’s political bosses anathema to many in the Democratic base: Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, who oversees a jail in Booker’s native county that houses undocumented immigrants and has been cited for poor conditions, and South Jersey power broker George Norcross, who has been accused of crony capitalism by progressive activists.”

Harris (D)(1): Harris walks back #MedicareForAll support:

Sanders (D)(1): “Ending America’s Endless War” [Bernie Sanders, Foreign Affairs]. “. In the nearly two decades since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States has made a series of costly blunders that have not only weakened our democracy but also undermined our leadership. We need a foreign policy that focuses on core U.S. interests, clarifies our commitment to democratic values both at home and abroad, and privileges diplomacy and working collectively with allies to address shared security concerns.”

Williamson (D)(1):

Not to be totally countersuggestible, but isn’t Williamson’s “golden egg” just as sensible as anything The Blob has proposed, and far less lethal?

Realignment and Legitimacy

On reparations, Bree Newsome is the woman who climbed the flagpole at the South Carolina capitol to take down the Confederate flag:

So who writes the check?

“Did the Democrats Step on a Second Big Land Mine?” [Politico]. “Every candidate on stage Thursday pledged in one way or another to radically alter the Trump administration’s draconian approach to undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers. Prodded by the questioning of Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart—as much an impassioned advocate as journalist—the candidates pledged to restore protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, to refuse to deport those here illegally who had committed no other offense and to provide health care for the millions in the country without documents…. Without question, the country as a whole, and not just the Democratic Party, has shifted to a more accommodating position on those here illegally; big majorities oppose the deportation of all undocumented immigrants, according to Gallup, and a path to citizenship is now favored or strongly favored by more than 80 percent of adult Americans. But almost the same percentage want an increase in border patrols to stop the flow of more undocumented immigrants….. These candidates aren’t explicitly advocating open borders, but taken together, the policies advocated amount to almost the same thing.” • Being very naive and leaving out words like oligarchy: If the first duty of the State is not to put its own citizens first, then what is State for?

Stats Watch

Personal Income and Outlays, May 2019: “The consumer is strong and steady as underscored by the Federal Reserve while prices are showing a little more pressure than expected” [Econoday]. “[T]he modest but respectable showing for core prices in today’s report will help turn the heat down on the Federal Reserve to cut rates.”

Consumer Sentiment, June 2019 (Final): Down, but “roughly intrend with where it has held for most of the past year, in fact exactly where it was in June 2018” [Econoday]. “For the Federal Reserve, the steady showing for sentiment will support their confidence in consumer spending but the weakness for inflation expectations.”

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, June 2018: “In the first sub-50 reading in 2-1/2 years, the Chicago PMI fell” [Econoday]. “Deterioration in June was wide with only employment showing improvement. But further gains for employment in this sample are in question given contraction in new orders and a second straight month of contraction for backlog orders. In contrast to the general weakness, input prices are rising with some members of the sample blaming tariffs for the pressure.”

The Bezzle: “Tesla accused of firing pro-union workers at Buffalo solar plant” [Buffalo News]. “A union alleges that Tesla fired some workers at its Buffalo solar products plant because of their pro-union stance and that the company in at least one case tried to interfere with a worker’s efforts to find another job…. The Pittsburgh-based United Steelworkers union, one of two unions attempting to organize workers at the South Buffalo plant, filed the charge last week. The two unions launched their drive last December.”

Tech: “Jony Ive Is Leaving Apple” [Daring Fireball]. “Ive is, to state the obvious, preternaturally talented. But in the post-Jobs era, with all of Apple design, hardware and software, under his control, we’ve seen the software design decline and the hardware go wonky. I don’t know the inside story, but it certainly seems like a good bet that MacBook keyboard fiasco we’re still in the midst of is the direct result of Jony Ive’s obsession with device thinness and minimalism. Today’s MacBooks are worse computers but more beautiful devices than the ones they replaced. Is that directly attributable to Jony Ive? With these keyboards in particular, I believe the answer is yes.” • Exactly. Plus no ports and endless dongles is Ive too, as well as the removal of the MagSafe connector. Of course, now if I trip on the power cord Apple might sell me a new machine. So there’s that.

Tech: “A Major Police Body Cam Company Just Banned Facial Recognition” [New York Times]. “Axon, the company that supplies 47 out of the 69 largest police agencies in the United States with body cameras and software, announced Thursday that it will ban the use of facial recognition systems on its devices. ‘Face recognition technology is not currently reliable enough to ethically justify its use,” the company’s independent ethics board concluded.”

The Biosphere

“Heat waves and climate change: Is there a connection?” [Yale Climate Connection]. “Extreme heat may not trigger the same visceral fear as a tornado, but according to NOAA’s natural hazard statistics, it causes nearly twice as many fatalities in the United States each year – more than any other weather hazard…. Extreme heat occurred very rarely 50 years ago in the United States…. But as a result of climate change, the [graph of temperatures plotted on a] bell curve has already shifted by one standard deviation interval – a measure that tells you how spread out the values are – according to a 2016 paper by climate scientist James Hansen. As a result, extreme summer heat now occurs about 7% of the time.”

“NASA drone will soar over Saturn’s largest moon” [Nature]. “Hydrocarbon-rich clouds in Titan’s atmosphere rain methane and ethane onto the moon’s surface… [The Dragonfly drone] will study [Titan’s] atmosphere as it flies around, and touch down for extended stays on the moon’s surface. The drone will explore areas where methane- and ethane-rich lakes recently dried up — and in the process, might have left behind residue rich with organic compounds like those that may have existed on early Earth before life arose. ‘Titan has all of the key ingredients needed for life,’ says Lori Glaze, head of NASA’s planetary sciences division.” • Plus, we could ship the hydrocarbons back to earth!

“Cockroaches may soon be unstoppable—thanks to fast-evolving insecticide resistance” [Science]. “Researchers have found that [German cockroaches (Blattella germanica)], which have long been a prevalent urban pest, are becoming increasingly resistant to almost every kind of chemical insecticide…. [I]f the findings hold, this widespread resistance could make it impossible to treat cockroach infestations with chemical insecticides alone. Instead, the researchers say, people will have to use what’s known as “integrated pest management,” which involves setting traps, cleaning debris off surfaces, and even vacuuming up the tiny suckers, in addition to chemical treatments.” • As long as we don’t spot any carrying tiny tools….

Health Care

“Democratic Voters Don’t Actually Understand ‘Medicare For All,’ New Report Says” [HuffPo (RH)]. “Two-thirds of Democratic voters think that people with employer coverage could hold on to their policies… A key selling point of the Sanders and Jayapal proposals is that they would eliminate out-of-pocket expenses. Copayments, coinsurance, deductibles ― they’d all go away, so health care would be literally free at the point of service… The ability to wipe out out-of-pocket costs is an advantage of Medicare for All that rival plans, as written, would not have…” • Polling by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, so hmm.

“Fifth Circuit Questions Standing Of Parties Defending ACA In Texas v. Azar” [Health Affairs]. “Texas was initially filed by 20 Republican state attorneys general and governors, later joined by two individuals, after Congress zeroed out the individual mandate penalty in the 2017 tax reform bill. The plaintiffs argue that the penalty-less mandate is no longer enforceable as a tax and thus is no longer valid. Because they believe the entire ACA relies on the mandate, the plaintiffs ask that the rest of the ACA also be struck down… On June 26, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals asked the parties in Texas v. United States to respond to three questions… The questions relate to whether the Democratic attorneys general and House have standing to intervene in the case and, if not, what that means for the appeal.” • This is an excellent post, and as it turns out, Texas has broader Constitutional at stake.

“MSDNC, Single Payer, and the Serenity Prayer” [Paul Street, Counterpunch]. “Listen to how Holt framed his question: “Many people watching at home have health insurance coverage through their employer. Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan? Just a show of hands, please.” (Two of the ten candidates on the stage, Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio, put up their hands.)… There was nothing in Holt’s question about how a “government-run plan” would bring health care costs dramatically down while delivering superior outcomes. There was nothing about how M4A would be a great democratic victory for the people or about how the de-commodification of health insurance helps produce healthier, happier, and freer people in other countries.” • The article broadens out from there…..

Guillotine Watch

After the Deans, the mainstream economics departments:

Class Warfare

“The Psychological Impact of Seeing YouTubers Spend Millions” [WIRED (KM)]. “it’s saying something that the YouTubers who can count on getting more than 10 millions views per video are also the ones who can literally hand out chunks of gold with the help of sponsors like Honey, an app that scours the internet for coupons to reduce your online shopping bill. ” • Sustainable!

News of the Wired

“The Great Model Train Robbery” [Bloomberg]. “Another potential outcome is that they’re in the private estate of an affluent, unscrupulous model-train antiquarian, puffing around in some secret basement railway—like stolen Rembrandts or Vermeers, their singular artistry appreciated only in secret.” • N-o-o-o-o-o-o!!!!

Maybe I should have filed this under Guillotine Watch, but today is my day to be kind. Thread:


(I have never seen a Tweetstorm structured like “a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.” But perhaps the lives of celebrities are like that.)

Signs of progress, or not:

I’m not sure the OED should be going into the “Who needs to read?” business…..

* * *

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 (Samuel Conner):

Samuel Conner writes:

This image is the main “get the plants big prior to gifting/planting” area; in this image are (in no order) Tithonia, lettuce, spinach, sweet basil, rosemary, hummingbird mint, swamp and purple milkweed, radishes, purple coneflower and of course tomatoes and peppers. Quite a bit of badly maintained lawn too, but that will gradually be replaced with something more useful.

I got off to a late start and had some initial bad germination results, so nothing is in the ground yet, though this year I’m using containers for lettuce and radishes and eventually spinach (getting late, though), so I will get some food before the main “in-ground” plants are producing. The benches in this image are made of plain dimensional lumber and inverted terra cotta pots; this seems to do a pretty good job of flummoxing the slugs — I’ve found some dried up slugs in the saucers under one of the large lettuce pots. At the lower right corner are the two “prized” Purple Milkweed, which have over a dozen blossoms forming, and also loads of aphids, which are betrayed by the ants that swarm over them. Frequent inspections and water spray for the aphids will probably be needed for the rest of the season. But that will also permit early detection of Monarch larvae, which can be moved to more numerous and less valuable milkweed varieties.

A tip for Rosemary germination: I’ve found that Rosemary does not germinate well in starter medium. But it goes great guns in damp humid warm lit conditions in a DIY humidome: use a clean plastic chinese takeout container with clear lid; very damp paper towel in the bottom and damp coffee filter on top of that. Seeds on the filter paper. Fasten the lid on tightly and set in a bright warm spot, and check daily. I started loads of seed hoping for a dozen plants, and got 200. This works well with other seeds too, especially tiny ones that produce very vulnerable seedlings, like mint and oregano. I’m still learning how to keep the seedlings alive after moving them to starter medium, however.

I have way too many plants but most will be given away. Among the gifts this year are loads of perennial butterfly and hummingbird attractors, which will reduce the need in future years

There are loads of great tips, here. And giving plants away is really good for one’s karma, I think.

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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. JCC

    Living in the land of coyotes, I worry about the cat constantly, hunting her down every evening and carrying her, against her will, inside.

    It’s a pain in the butt, but necessary.

    1. Geo

      “against her will”

      I’ve had my cat for 15 years and, I swear, I could be rescuing her from the jaws of a wolf and she’d still fight me on it. You’d think I’d have developed some minuscule measure of trust from her by now, but nope.

      I used to call her my lil’ Republican because she’s afraid of everything but I’m thinking she’s more like a Democrat: she’d rather lose to a coyote than be rescued by me.

      1. voteforno6

        I grew up in a part of the country that resembled Siberia (with family restaurants) in the winter. We had the opposite problem – getting them to come inside was no problem. They would put up a fight when they needed to go outside (and they needed it – cats can get cabin fever as well).

    2. TimD

      We lived for about ten years in the Canadian Rockies east of Banff. The cats/prisoners were only allowed out under direct supervision due to coyotes, occasional cougars, very occasional wolves, pine martens and fishers. Evidence for all of the above in footprints in the snow and some video. The local grizzly bear seasonally concentrated on the crabapple tree across the street and otherwise avoided humans.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        My sister lives in Alaska and is always amused when she visits and sees cats just lounging around out in the open.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Fortunately, the cat returned. I think the cat was adding another household to his circuit ;-) As readers have pointed, I am clearly not the only one feeding it.

      1. Bernalkid

        Saw the New Riders back in the day a few times and could of sworn Garcia played the pedal steel. Oh well, if you remember, you weren’t there, I guess.
        This was maybe 71 or so though.

        1. sleepy

          I believe Garcia did in fact play the pedal steel with the New Riders. I’m going back to a 1970 concert.

    1. Geo

      What a weird world. Fox town halls are more evenhanded for Sanders than CNN. Tulsi’s antiwar message is more welcome there too.

      For all their talk about loving bipartisanship you’d think the Third Way/DNC people would be rallying behind Tulsi and Sanders for their ability to win over Republicans. Unless, and this may sound far fetched, those calls for civility and bipartisanship aren’t sincere and they have an agenda behind it!

      1. Big River Bandido

        I think American electoral politics is in a great state of flux — potentially a total realignment. A gifted and competent politician who could truly capitalize on the moment stands a decent chance of remaking the nation.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > A gifted and competent politician who could truly capitalize on the moment stands a decent chance of remaking the nation.

          That’s why I focus on the campaign detail so much; looking for structure in the moments.

      2. richard

        the only concievable bipartisanship is on the Isle Of Civility, where rich people play unfettered, without facing bigotry from the simple folk for simply being who they are
        Working with rand paul to stop/slow down wars doesn’t count. it’s only bipartisan if it’s a s*&^ idea that started with repubs

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > What a weird world. Fox town halls are more evenhanded for Sanders than CNN

        Presumably, they hope to split the Democrats. But Sanders is Lincoln 1860 (or more likely Frémont 1856) so they will end up hoist on their own petard.

    1. jrs

      yes it minimizes it, but one complaint is none of the candidates mentioned the GND? Inslee’s plans are more detailed than the GND. So the issue is to what extent one advanced the branding? Meh, some value in that, but I can’t get worked up over it. He didn’t push his plans enough either though. Wish we had the fighter we need.

      Lots of them called for carbon tax and dividend, ok if you can get it. One reason Inslee has moved beyond that is it failed 2-3 times to pass in WA.

      Sander’s mentioned taking on fossil fuels, yes, but only among a long string of things (and last at that). The reason for hope with him may be less that than his appointments and the movements he inspires, that’s what will make things happen if anything.

      And the sunrise movement meanwhile during the 2nd debate is tweeting support for of all people: Kamala Harris. I got the tweet the very person they quote: Varshini (business as usual is a death sentence) Prakash tweeted support of Kamala Harris. “I’m so blown away by Kamala Harris right now” What do these people really think they are going to get with her? Because um they are going to get business as usual. Obama 2.0.

      1. GramSci

        What do these people think they are going to get with her? A worldwide epidemic (flu? ebola?) or famine which will temporarily “solve” the climate crisis. Business as usual is a death sentence, but it’s much a much more likely death sentence for the Global South than for the Washingtonians.

        Brown people are also often understandably scandalized by the resurgence of racism under Trump, so Harris saw that she could become their preferred commander-in-chief by criticizing Biden for his opposition to busing. She no doubt had been planning that dagger thrust.

        Ironically–or not–Harris is probably too young to appreciate that forced busing was the idea of the racist, Republican majority of the Burger court that included those paragons of colorblind jurisprudence, Lewis F. Powell and William Rehnquist. In Milliken v. Bradley (1974) it was Thurgood Marshall and William O Douglas who dissented from forced busing.

        1. Cal2

          When Harris attacked Biden, she claimed to universally represent the interests of black Americans, talked about busing, etc. She constantly mentions race. It’s much of the basis for her campaign and her ‘firsts.’
          Got me curious, what actually is her family background?

          She always talks about her 100% East Indian mother who raised her, after her parents divorced, when Kamala was seven. Her mother then took her to Montreal to work at Jewish General Hospital and teach at McGill University. Harris graduated from Westmount high school in Montreal.

          Why doesn’t she talk about her father, professor Donald J. Harris? In his own words:
          ” My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town) and to my maternal Grandmother Miss Iris (née Iris Finnegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me). The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner [plantations] and agricultural ‘produce’ exporter… who died in 1939 one year after I was born…”

          Kamala’s father is at least 3/4 white European from the elite slave owning planter class of Jamaica. That is not good for her image. And, he harshly repudiated her: https://www.jamaicaglobalonline.com/donald-harris-slams-his-daughter-senator-kamala-harris-for-fraudulently-stereotyping-jamaicans-and-accusing-her-of-playing-identity-politics/

          Wow, it seems Kamala is mostly East Indian, followed by Irish, with 1/8 African blood, at most.

          Her attack on Biden seems more like cultural appropriation and political opportunism than advocacy.

          1. MoBee

            Race is complicated, but telling Black folks that they are not Black, or not Black enough? It is a bad look, not to mention a fairly context free ahistorical one, particularly from (presumably) non-Black folks.

            1. marym

              This morning I read that “not black enough” is being joined by “anchor baby.” It’s birther-ism all over again and just as disgraceful (Link).

              Plenty of policy reasons not to vote for Harris, but having a slaveowner great-grandparent or one with “unknown ancestry” are not disqualifiers for the US presidency, and growing up as a dark-complexioned multi-ethnic person is as USAmerican as apple pie.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                > having a slaveowner great-grandparent or one with “unknown ancestry” are not disqualifiers for the US presidency, and growing up as a dark-complexioned multi-ethnic person is as USAmerican as apple pie.

                ADOS is already splitting. Nobody could have predicted…

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Harris graduated from Westmount high school in Montreal.

            Westmount is the home of the Quebec Anglo haute bourgieousie. That is, to me, an absolutely astonishing data point.

      2. edmondo

        If the Kamala-Biden debate exchange lasted a few more minutes, Kamala would have been arrested for Elder Abuse.

        Both Biden and Bernie looked like they were past their sell-by dates.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Bernies been hustling his ass off in Iowa, New Hampshire, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, New York, Illinois, and any other state i missed.

          Its hot outside on the picket lines and giving speeches in the parks.

          Plus, MSDNC had a weird light that made Bernies teeth look yellow.

          Moreover isnt that ageism? Identity Politics is like a shackle the bosses use to yank us lowly workers…

        2. Oregoncharles

          I do not understand why anyone past 70 would run for President. It’s a post that visibly ages people; they’re all too likely to die in office – maybe that’s why so many people are running for VP. They’re either really dedicated or out of their ever-loving minds.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        I may be wrong, but wasn’t the thing they tried for in Washington a tax on carbon emissions? If so, that is nothing like a FeeTax on Very First Sale of fossil carbon beFORE it is burned.

        The nice thing about the Full Metal Hansen FeeTax is that the First Seller of the FeeTaxed fossil carbon gets to turn around and charge the full price of the FeeTax he/she had to pay . . . to the First Buyer. And the First Buyer gets to turn around and charge the full price of the FeeTax which he/she had to pay to the First Seller . . . to the Second Buyer. And so on down to the very last buyer-consumer at the End of the Line.

        That is how the Full Metal Hansen Carbon FeeTax punishes fossil carbon consumption. And that is why the higher we raise the at-point-of-first-sale fossil carbon FeeTax, the more punitive it becomes all the way down the buy-sell-final use chain.

        And that is why it will only work in One Country sealed off against a Hostile Trading World. If Forcey-Free-Trade is permitted alongside a Hansen FeeTax, our Trading Enemies will simply dump their no-Hansen no-FeeTax high-fossil drek, smut and poo into our economy. That is why we have to abrogate all Forcey-Free-Trade agreements before the Hansen FeeTax or any other fossil carbon control can work. If our Trading Enemies are allowed to dump their fossil carbon discharge production into our low-fossil-carbon-emissions economy, they will do exactly that. And we will get to breather our Trading Enemies’ smoke as they go rolling-coal through our unprotected body political-economic.

        1. GramSci

          I don’t think a country need cancel all trade agreements to make the Full Metal Hansen work. One could, for example, have a wellhead First Seller tax for domestically-produced oil, and a port-of-entry First Seller tariff for imported oil.

          Now, getting to international carbon forbearance! That’s a bigger problem :-( .

      4. Svante

        To the Kleptocrats, Naomi Klein, et al. write how-to manuals of how to shock ‘gnaw into resilient GE (monoculture) crops, geo-engineering/ sequestration scams, fracked gas infrastructure (like NYC is doing, now) and of course tax & ratepayers bailout of 40-60 yr old reactors. We’re basically screwed, people here yap on and on, but seem to think it’s some lame plot line to “Stranger Things?” If you question anything at all, you’re a deplorable, MAGA churl. Guess DNC LCC will throw this election with Harris and Beto? Koch’s DCCC & ALEC will assure no more uppity jihadist Congresswomen or State reps?

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          I, for one, am all for the Political Realignment happening under ‘Boomers’ who are all nosedeep in a smartphone and tucked away in Suburban Bubbles…

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Of course, it could be possible in theory to take these how-to manuals written by Naomi Klein , et al. and use them to reverse-engineer some shock-doctrine anticipation and prevention actions.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            That’s an excellent idea, and it certainly is odd that no NGO is doing it. Or any political party.

            I do like “Shock and Gnaw.” That’s a keeper.

      5. Mo's Bike Shop

        I like the idea of a Green New Deal, go CCC! but assume any first round will be a pigs ear like the ACA: Corporations hoovering up the cash before it has a chance to gain any velocity and maybe a few helpful amendments around the edges.

        The country was really falling apart before FDR found an opening. It was the one time my dad voted for a Democrat! The idea of paying regular, unqualified people good money to go out and work to make all of our lives better is going to enrage the pragmatic, engaged voters for a good time to come. Basically, until they need help with the sandbags.

        1. foghorn longhorn

          Corporations dont pay taxes, they are expenses passed on to their customers.
          Tax the f out of them?
          It comes out of your paycheck, are you feeling wealthy today?
          Diesel went down ten cents a gallon yesterday, felt like a pay raise.

      6. Vilma Virtanen

        > Prakash tweeted support of Kamala Harris. “I’m so blown away by Kamala Harris right now”

        Has it ever been mentioned here that in Finnish ‘kamala’ — same spelling, same pronunciation — means horrible, terrible, horrid, frightful, dreadful, ghastly, dismal, dreary and a long string of similar synonyms?

      7. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Varshini (business as usual is a death sentence) Prakash tweeted support of Kamala Harris. “I’m so blown away by Kamala Harris right now”

        I would bet it’s generational politics, which is fantastically corrosive and debilitating.

        “The choice of a new generation!”™

    1. Randy

      Unused. You want to be able to easily see the roots poking out of the sprouted seeds. A magnifying glass might help as some herb seeds are really, really tiny.

      For ordinary seeds such as peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. I just put them between a damp folded paper towel. Paper towel on a small plate with plastic (gasp) wrap on top to keep them from drying out. When you see roots, plant.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Thanks! I tacked your comment to the tail of the tip from Mr. Connor and saved the textfile for future use.

        Just a thought — I recall reading somewhere that earthworms eat some small seeds and their introduction from Europe was detrimental to some native North American plants.

      2. Samuel Conner

        Yes, a fresh filter.

        I like the damp paper towel method, but it did not work well this year for me (with the exception of cold-treated milkweed, which germinated well under those conditions).

        A Youtube video suggested cold stratifying lavender seeds on a moistened dinner plate inside a sealed ziploc bag, and then using that as a “humidome” to germinate the seeds after the cold-treatment period was over. Lavender being notoriously difficult to start from seed (and the video seeming to give astonishingly good results) I tried that and got nuthin, but the “humidome” method, modified with re-purposed chinese takeout enclosures, worked beautifully for Rosemary and nearly every other species I tried it on.

        Now my big problem is that the numerous tiny starts (mint, oregano, bee balm, chamomile and (very desirable for my h-bird agendas) cardinal flower tend to die when I transition them from shade-cloth-protected conditions to direct sun. I’m sure there’s a simple solution.

        I tend to learn by making mistakes, and I don’t know how many seasons I have left for that. It’s important to get one’s lessons shared to others while one can.

        1. Samuel Conner

          Another nice feature of the modified humidome — chinese takeout container rather than dinner plate — is that you can stack these quite high on your windowsill and the lower ones will still get enough light, if light is needed, for germination (the take-out container lids being transparent or translucent). It’s a lot cleaner than starting in growing medium in flats and leads to many fewer “empty cells”. OTOH, it is significantly more effort to transplant the fragile seedlings into starting medium after their germination in a humidome.

          You can also cold stratify in these containers, though their height leads to inefficient use of refrigerator space compared with damp paper in ziploc bags, and just move them from cold/dark to warm/lit conditions when the stratification period is ended.

          One concern is that over prolonged time one may get mildew or worse growing on the paper — also an issue (for me — I think I must have a moldy house) with the paper towel method. It may be possible to pre-emptively beat this back by pre-soaking the filter paper and the seeds in household strength hydrogen peroxide. I don’t think that will hurt dormant seeds and if put into lit conditions for a while the reactive species should quickly dissociate so that there will be little left when the seeds wake up. Another experiment for late winter 2020.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I second that. I never have been able to start Rosemary. Now I will try again using Mr. Connor’s tips.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I only got bugs in my garden, when under pressure of time — O convenience! When will we learn? — I started using flats.

          So I will state that growing from seed is in all cases* the best. I ended up losing more in time and disappointment than I gained.

          (I will make exception for trees from a place like FedCo.

      1. Samuel Conner

        My experience with the Rosemary was kind of amazing. The seeds swell as they absorb water from the damp substrate, and within about 3-4 days you have emergent radicles. Within a week some of the seeds have fully emerged cotyledons and are standing upright. The radicle is, of course, constrained by the substrate to lie horizontally on the filter paper, so the geometry of the seedling is not optimal.

        Aside: I suspect that if one could find a way to hold the seeds in place on the substrate, that standing the “humidome” on its side might give a better result in terms of “hypocotyl up, radicle down” geometry.

        It’s tempting to plant these newly emergent seedlings in medium as soon as they give evidence that they have woken up and the radicle is emerging, but I had better results leaving them in the “humidome” for at least a week so that they got larger and the seed coat was shucked off of the cotyledons (it was pretty easy to help this along with a small probe, too). It seems (my experience; others’ mileage may vary) that the well-hydrated seed coat comes off of the cotyledons pretty easily, but if it dries out (as it will if the seedling is moved into drier conditions, such as starter medium without a dome — my medium gets mildewy if I cover it with a dome to keep things really damp), it takes longer and sometimes will not come off at all.

        One thing (of the many things) that I don’t know is whether Rosemary is able to produce adventitious roots from the hypocotyl. Because the radicle is at right angles to the hypocotyl for seedlings started in these conditions, one ends up transplanting them into growing medium sort of canted to orient the root “down” but not so much that the stem is horizontal. If it were safe to set them deep in the medium with much of the hypocotyl underground, this would not be necessary.

        That will be an experiment for next year if Google (or an NC commenter) doesn’t tell me sooner.

          1. Samuel Conner

            It’s a good idea. I’m considering getting a decent camera and cleaning up my indoor potting bench area to make it more presentable. It would be cool to have a time-lapse movie of hard-to-germinate seeds thriving under controlled conditions.

        1. albrt

          I don’t know the answer to the question for seedlings, but I know that basil cuttings will root, Thai more easily than Genovese.

      2. polecat

        One thing I’ve done, is to leave the spent seedheads/flower inflorences on my perennials through the winter .. only to be trimmed off* when there is no futher danger of frost, for 2 reasons:
        1.) To allow the plants to harden off, thus being better able to survive Winter’s cold spells (assuming said plants are zoned for a giving area) .. and 2.) Use the cold of winter to advantage, to stratify the seed, which ofter sprout the following Spring. Once the seedling get going, and gain some size, they then can be ID’d and then transplanted elsewhere if desired.

        *I usually wait for new growth to appear, so as to not cut back too hard and shock, or kill the plant.

  2. Grant

    Harris, of course, backtracks on single payer hours after taking a strong stand during the debates. Goes to show that the debates are, more than anything, theater. People can pick apart presentation, the inflection of a person’s voice, their facial expressions, their tone, or the words they say. Obama was great at all that, said wonderful words that made lots of people feel so great. Was he equally great on policy? No. Bernie’s presentation wasn’t great, but it rarely is on that stuff. I wouldn’t hire him as a lead in a romantic comedy. But when will people pay attention to policies and who is most likely to push for those policies? Harris raises her hand, doesn’t support the thing she said she did. Bernie does. Do we then value the superficial things more, or the policies and who is more likely to push for needed changes? Bernie, and to a lesser extent Warren, wants to take on the very interests that Harris went to Martha’s Vineyard and Wall Street to ask for money and support from. Call me crazy, but I think that matters more than the theater.

    However, regardless, she did a huge service by going after Biden. It needed to be done, it should continue. Bernie and Bennet, of all people, added on. If Bernie wants to win this thing, and he can, he has to not only go on the offensive far more, he also needs to remind people that anyone can say that they support this or that, and anyone can “come around” to single payer and other structural changes months before they run for office. But he is the indie band that really made great music and influenced tons of people, and the others are stealing his riffs. He is the Velvet Underground, and the original is better than the second generation, watered down version.

    On the questions asked towards him; when you are for the system staying in place at its root, you have less to discuss. In regards to healthcare, for example, if you support the ACA with some minor tinkering, you say I support the ACA, I will do this or that superficial change, healthcare is a human right, applause. If you want structural changes, there is far more to go in to. How will single payer be implemented? It isn’t only an issue of policy or process, it is social movements, getting more people elected that will push for it, it involves taking on concentrated private power and the media. It is a complex issue. How he is supposed to answer that in 30 seconds is beyond me. We can critique his answer, but whatever it is, it is a bumper sticker. If you don’t like his bumper sticker, you might suggest another, but it won’t be tons more. He did give good bumper stickers, and given the complexity of the issue, him seeking structural changes and the time he had, I don’t know if tons more could be said.

    Bernie’s presence was dominant both nights. The framing of questions were essentially forcing candidates to respond to what he is pushing for. Same goes with questions on socialism. It is him setting the terms of the debate, him forwarding a platform others are copying and him identifying and targeting those essentially funding most everyone else on stage. When he is asked about single payer, the so called journalists could actually put aside their own ideological and class bias and try to forget that their large employers are giant corporations that get most of their ad revenue from other giant corporations. But, they can’t and won’t. Their questions will be rhetorical, as if he hasn’t answered over and over again how it would be paid for, how it works in other countries, how Medicare is different from private insurance. The moderators could ask an accurate question about how single payer systems do have less waste, would save tons of money collectively and tons of money at the individual level, and far less social costs, and allow him to respond on his own terms. Why is that the case and why is it then not a given to get passed, especially given its popularity relative to the alternatives? Then, if other candidates don’t agree, and they don’t, they can respond to the substance of what he said on his own terms. That would be an actual debate. Instead, the rhetorical question essentially sets up a dynamic where the debate is between Bernie and the person asking the question. Forget Maddow asking what he would do if AFTER Roe was gone.

    He has to do better, although I think he did better than others seem to think he did. I think he has to be more forceful and to do more to challenge the framing of the questions asked. He can easily turn it around on the moderator and do so in a way that forces others on the stage to respond to the substance of his policies, but there are limits as far as that goes if the issues is complex, he is for structural changes and he has seconds to respond. He could and should have roasted Biden and others on the stage, and if he wants to win, he better do just that moving forward. But he has to have space to do so. If it isn’t given to him, he has to take it somehow.

    Would have been nice to actually discuss the environmental crisis and, you know, the potential collapse of human civilization, but oh well. We have the capitalist version of Pravda and pretty much par for the course in that regard.

      1. Pat

        Can we make him the non George Michael member of Wham, please.

        Garfunkel had a beautiful tenor. I cannot say that much good about Biden.

        (I should add that even a backhanded comparison to Obama is an insult to both Simon and Michael).

          1. Kevin Hall

            Winner, Biden/Obama = Milli Vanilli

            Sounded pretty good but was a total fraud to the core.

            I still love what Dr. West had to say about Obama. “It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G”

        1. ambrit

          Garfunkel also acted in that curious American Zeitgeist film; Mike Nichol’s “Carnal Knowledge.”
          Any comparison to Obama, even backhanded, constitutes ‘fighten words.’

      2. Granr

        LOL! I was thinking maybe of capital’s front man, Bono. He claimed to be influenced by the Velvets, but you wouldn’t know it by the stuff his band put out.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          Not to defend Bono, but The Joshua Tree is good. Haven’t listened to it in a decade, but it would be fine if it’s the only CD in the car. Never explored their other stuff even after the album, because the posing was just so rank. That Time mag cover, ugh. Bennigan’s style authenticity.

          1. Carey

            I liked ‘The Joshua Tree’ at the time, but even then there was something
            about it that didn’t sit right: I can now pin it down, I think, as vacancy;
            blankness. Perfect for the time, for what was to come, and what we’re
            living with now: no solidarity in it, just oh *my my my my* feelings…

            Bad music for a bad time

    1. Geo

      “He could and should have roasted Biden and others on the stage”

      Agree with much of what you wrote but on this I feel he’s smart to stay out of the fray for now. Let the others do the damage. His core base is strong so he’s safe for now. But, he’s smart to not be seen as an instigator (anymore than he already is).

      Went to Mother Jones and Raw Story to see what the centrist side is saying and a lot of them are pissed at Kamala for hurting Biden (Unity!!!) and some even saying she should apologize and that she’s doing Trump’s bidding. Granted, these aren’t the types that Bernie can win over but it was interesting that a few commented they were impressed he didn’t go after others and stayed on his “one note” (disparaging but nice for them).

      Bernie would be best served to spice up his routine and stay on point. Let the rest of the clown car tear each other down.

      That’s my two cents at least.

      Edit: Also interesting was seeing a bunch of Biden defenders digging up dirt on Kamala.

      1. Big River Bandido

        I think you’re spot on. Sanders has nothing to gain by playing along with this farce. Not all those clowns will be able to hang on too long, and time (and lack of money) will start to winnow out the scum, probably sooner rather than later. There’s simply not enough demand to support that many campaigns, especially when over 20 of them are so redundant, so pathetic, and lack any real political constituency. Ultimately, the final choice for the Democrats will be between Bernie Sanders and Anyone But Bernie Sanders.

        If the Unity Caucus is going after Harris, that’s a win-win for America; Biden goes down and takes another of their candidates with him. I’m inclined to think that Harris needn’t have gone after him so much — Biden looked and sounded terrible on his own. But if Harris gets taken down in retribution — by the neoliberal Heathers, no less — that would be cosmic justice, indeed.

        1. Darthbobber

          Me too, though it’s been a long time at this point. It was never the equal of the old Guardian, a weekly I miss sorely.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > he’s smart to stay out of the fray for now. Let the others do the damage. His core base is strong so he’s safe for now.

        “Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself” –Napoleon (apocryphal)

        An example would be Iowa 2004, where IIRC Gephardt took Dean down, but Kerry was the beneficiary.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I hoped Bernie might have been President four years ago, when he was four years younger and the country in a little better shape. The election of 2016 is finally in the past.

      Bernie is and has been consistent in his message and actions. He is not flashy but he is the leader we need to edge this nation away from the brink. We really don’t have much time left.

      1. Geo

        I hope he wins. It’s nice to see his ‘16 platform become this season’s party platform (for the most part) but none of the others, with the exception of Warren on some issues and Tulsi on others, was pushing these ideas two years ago.

        Be great to have a leader and not a follower.

        That said, my other fear is that by the time he gets into the Oval Office the damage to our ecosystem, economy, and global standing will be so bad that it would take an act of god to make any of it right – and the blob will blame it all on the evil socialist. If these same charlatans can push the idea that Trump is an “aberration” and without him everything would be sunny, they’ll do the same to Sanders.

        But, like you said, we don’t have much time so I’ll take what we can get. And, who knows, maybe the system will crash under Trump’s watch and Bernie will ride in with a mandate like the one Obama flushed away. Silver lining? /s

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Yeah but the Blob holds no sway over young people.

          Basically if we can scare them enough to participate in the political process, Bernie stands a chance at winning the South and Nomination.

        2. Svante

          Pretty much, the damage had been done, before Carter wanted to exploit our “lead” in PV, Fission, wind, geo-thermal, semiconductors, efficency enhancement, smart grids, computer networking, autonomous everything. The difference between these lying, duplicitous, churls and leaders like Bernie & our great new congresswomen, is that the DNC/ DCCC kleptocrats want to use GND, M4A, Resilient agriculture… to line their pockets, by forking us to their shark friends. They simply read their script. https://truthout.org/video/scotus-hands-gop-gerrymandering-victory-ensuring-massive-election-rigging/

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I agree with your view of the Green New Deal as a wonderful vehicle for wealthy players to to line their pockets. Given the current structure of our economy and politics I don’t see how it could be anything more than that.

    3. nippersdad

      Re: framing. I was particularly disappointed with his answer to the Gotcha Vermont M4A question. That really was well within his bailiwick and he could have done much more with it than he did. The stump speech is fine, but when you are being attacked (IMHO) it would be far better for him to go on the offensive.

      Had he asked the questioner if she (Savannah Guthrie?) understood the underlying socialist dynamics of the basic insurance concept, then she wouldn’t have asked such a question in the first place. Vermont is a small state. Small states have small pools with little bargaining power that would only serve to make insurance more expensive within the context of states being cost constrained. That is why, worldwide, nation states typically sponsor such programs, not the provinces. California or New York may not have such problems but that was not the question asked, and ignorance should be highlighted whenever one is attacked lest one invites yet more ignorant attacks.

      Pull that on a moderator a couple of times and maybe you will earn yourself some respect from them. Even were they to respond with wails of “Bernie was mean to me” that wouldn’t necessarily work against him. They, after all, were the ones framing the gotcha questions in the first place, and his base would lap it up.

      Just my $.02, but he really does need to “welcome their hatred” a little more than he does.

      1. edmondo

        Bernie is too busy trying to “win over” the Clintonites to “welcome their hatred”. He’s toast.

        It’s all over except for the claims that the nomination was “stolen” from him again.

      2. Grant

        I largely agree with you, but I personally think people should pay attention to what makes him unique relative to the others. He is seeking structural changes, which requires him having sufficient time to flesh out his responses. To ask question on how he would get single payer, in that format, is problematic from the jump. Once the field thins and they get more time to go into more nuance, I think he will do great. The others are not seeking structural changes. They say, I largely support what exists, I offer these peanuts, insert platitude, applause. He had seconds to respond, and had to deal with the framing of that question and the heightened scrutiny he deals with more than others. He has to do a better job, but if the same dynamic exists, there isn’t tons more he say or do. If he wants and needs more time to time respond, he might have to just take it and then take his lumps in the media for his microaggressions, or whatever.

        Having said that, I am sick to death of the corporate media running these debates. The format is stail, the questions are often misleading and framed in a way that affirms the ideological and class biases of those in the media, and it is a horrible way to debate important issues. The DNC should be pressured to stop having the same type of hack moderators and the same format. Could you imagine them having one debate, just one, moderated by the DSA? Could you imagine what questions they would ask? There would be a huge qualitative difference and many of these candidates, especially Harris and Biden, could be further exposed. Or, once there are a few candidates left, having almost a roundtable and relatively free flowing discussion and debate? The candidates agree to the topics, agree to have a certain amount of time on each topic and then let the conversation lead where it may. I not a fan of Bill Maher, but almost like what his show is. Not only would the conversation be more organic, but you could get a better feel for them as people. It would be more natural and would get these hack moderators out of the way. I know it won’t happen, but the way it is, it really benefits the fake and scripted politicians, and it makes most of this just theater. Theater most Americans hate. We have very low turnout for elections, and I think the debates we have doesnt help most Americans to feel connected to any individual or the political system collectively.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Or even a debate moderated by the League of Women Voters, the way it was in my youth, before the Fake News MSM networks and the 2 Parties colluded to fire the League of Women Voters from moderating these TV debates.

      3. Leftcoastindie

        I think it was Lester Holt that asked the question and threw in California and a couple of other states he said “had tried M4A and didn’t work”. I live in California and we “tried” to get a bill passed but didn’t succeed so we never got the chance to have a go at single payer. However, Vermont did succeed in actually trying to make single payer work but as you suggest the state was too small to make it work on it’s own.
        If we had actually passed the bill and tried to implement single payer in California I think it would have worked splendidly. Our population is larger than Canada’s and our economic output is two times the size of Canada’s, so it wouldn’t be a failure in California if we had actually “tried” it.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I was particularly disappointed with his answer to the Gotcha Vermont M4A question.

        In general, I think he’s translating the stump speech to the debates, and I don’t think that works because TV and stadiums are different mediums. He needs simple and sharp for TV (he doesn’t need to change his personality, everybody knows he is what he is). What I am hoping, more than hoping, is that this is no indication he’s not listening to his staff (like a pitcher throwing off a catcher’s signs).

        On the other hand, the argument could be made that Sanders, alone among the candidates is seeking to bring non-voters into the system. So the argument could be made that the message must be identical everywhere, to avoid people’s legitimate sense that candidates are pandering to them by tuning their messages. If so, then, the stump speech should include optimizations for TV (and not the other way round).

    4. Ptb

      Yes Harris changing her position is super lame.
      Agree that the debate was largely about addressing Sanders’ issues.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Harris, of course, backtracks on single payer hours after taking a strong stand during the debates.

      Which is remarkable because:

      0) The same question was asked in a previous debate, and in any case

      2) There’s a history of establishment candidates being given questions in advance, and

      3) She’s a prosecutor, ffs. How does somebody who did cross-examination for a living misunderstand a question?

    1. Summer

      Cory Booker in a nutshell: “Booker is attending a fundraiser tomorrow co-hosted by an Essex County pol who contracts out jail space to ICE for migrant detention–jail space that’s been cited for filthy conditions and detainee mistreatment…”

          1. foghorn longhorn

            Just like 2016,
            Vote for Bernie in June or get Trump in November
            This equation is not difficult

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Thatd be a good bumper sticker down here in the South where we are all coming to despise our Coastal Liberal DNC elitists.

              Reminds me of Edwin Edwards V David Duke for LA Gov in 91- “Vote the Crook” – because Dukes the KKK Grand Wizard. Needless to say, my Metairie grandparents voted ex KKK dude.

    1. albrt

      Wow, very sorry to hear that. Mr. Dixon was a pretty big influence on my political development over the last ten years or so.

  3. 3.14e-9

    Milkweed! Second plantidote in the past month (or so) featuring Asclepias species. Thank you, Mr. Conner.

    Not wishing to detract from the generous horticulture advice, I would like to note that, while the intense color and more-manageable growing habits of A. purpurascens might make it a “prize” to humans, to the Monarch, plain old common milkweed is by far the more-valuable variety (A. syriaca). Although common milkweed can get out of control in a home garden, it’s not easy to establish, so if that’s what your “more numerous and less valuable” varieties are, please reconsider their worth, from the butterfly’s perspective. If you have the time and inclination, you might even consider donating seeds to Monarch Watch. The page at the following link has information about what varieties they need, in which regions, and there’s also a link to detailed propagation instructions for anyone else who would like to incorporate milkweeds in their pollinator gardens:

    Bonus for NC botany geeks: A fascinating short blog post and video on the coevolution of the Monarch and milkweeds, by a leading Monarch researcher at Cornell University:

  4. Savedbyirony

    Since it is an open thread and there are sports fans here, 2-1 women’s USA national soccer team so on to the semis against England they go. (And the anti-pay equality pundits can root against them again then.)

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        A team that can sue its own national organization during the march to a World Cup… Bad-ass is the word that comes to mind.

        (I do wish they hadn’t run up the score against poor Thailand — or at least extended some sort of helping hand to them after the game. Going there to help train the next team would not only be good for their karma, it would help with geopolitics, too.

    1. Darthbobber

      And perhaps we could pursue equality of funding for other nations’ women’s national teams with our own. Then our women’s team could perform on the international stage at the same mediocre level as the men’s team.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Well, once they were released, they would be ex-felons and therefore no longer qualified to fight forest fires. QED.

      It’s a really nice, pretty planet, why are we such jerks?

      1. Cal2

        Dollar an hour as prisoners, 100 an hour with benefits as firemen. What a bargain.

        Kamala The Cop

        “During her successful 2010 campaign for attorney general, Harris backed Senate Bill 1317, a measure making it a criminal misdemeanor in California to have truant children. “Instituting a statewide plan on truancy was part of the reason I’d run for the office in the first place,” she writes in The Truths We Hold.”


        “Take Cheree Peoples, arrested in April 2013 after her daughter missed 20 days of school. The girl had sickle cell anemia and chronic pain, and she had gone through multiple blood transfusions and surgeries. But getting excused absences was difficult, Peoples told HuffPost this year, and suspicious school officials provided few of the resources promised. After pleading not guilty, Peoples spent more than two years navigating dozens of court dates and eight different prosecutors. “

  5. Sanders meh...

    Sanders in Foreign Affairs. Seems like he is a Russiarussiarussia-dude after all… Less than impressive. What “resurgence”? They are not allowed to get their economy in order? What does it mean?
    Liberal democracies in Europe? Well, how about “it is not in Europe’s interest to be a vassal to USA whose policy is to make the life of everybody else worse”? Trade with Russia is not negligable.

    “President Vladimir Putin has a grandiose vision of restoring the power that Moscow commanded in the Soviet era, something he knows he cannot achieve. But what he can do, what he is trying to do, is to destroy the alliance of liberal democracies in Europe and North America that stand in the way of Russian resurgence”

        1. Acacia

          None. I’d like to see the discussion move to ways the power of the parties could be dissolved and more direct forms of representation emerge. Right now, it’s like we’re at McDonalds arguing whether the Big Mac or the Happy Meal is “better”, instead of asking why we’re at McDs in the first place.

  6. Sharkleberry Fin

    Marianne Williamson was a one-woman Greek chorus, a swan-like lone Fury, revealing the pettiness, delusion, animosity, and mental foggy-ness coursing through the debate gaggle of Dem geese. Williamson clearly the only person up there who knows anything about theatre. Throw in the clown prince of mushy liberal media coverage, Chuck Todd, and the Oliver Peoples spokesmodel, a smarm-effusing Rachel Maddow, and you have Dante’s Eighth Circle. Highlights include Harris executing a flawless finishing move against a punch-drunk Biden, a cameo by Sanders as Franz Kafka’s Josef K pursued by the unfathomable authority of the One Percent, Buttigieg’s resurrecting Frankfort School theory in the midst of the ready-made SNL sketch that passes as political discourse these days, Gillibrand’s self-referential “corruption in politics” ignoring the baseness of her route to that stage was merely softer but no less profligate than the Trump’s and the McConnell’s, Swallwell’s “pass the torch [I was six]” line — Yes! But to anyone but Swalwell – plowing through the usual suspects like a car through a café, and Yang’s $1k gift that has landlords across the country chomping at the bit to raise rents on a sure thing. And I am positive I’m forgetting candidates, but who cares? Perhaps this first round of debates should have evoked blanket non-aggression pacts with one another and featured two two-hour blocks of folks just teeing off against El Jefe Trump? Line ‘em up, country music!

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      No offense, if Williamson is the Greek Chorus, Bernie is Prometheus trying to give fire back to the people. IOW she should be shaming everyone on that stage but Bernie.

      Shes “out of her element.”

      1. Spring Texan

        Well, I loved when she jumped in with“Just because you have a younger body does not mean you don’t have old ideas.”

    2. Charles Leseau

      I like her too, in my way, though I’m totally limited in my exposure to a Chapo interview just last week. I missed debate #1.

      I think she’s mislabeled as some post-hippie new age freako though, which is sad. She can speak poetically, and too vaguely about things like “politics of love,” but I also heard someone who speaks of history and who has a good feel for the kind of rot that has permeated the soul of the world right now. The problem is, I’m not sure she isn’t indeed the above new age freako. I heard very little actual policy. Did I hear any? I can’t think of anything specific. It was mostly critique, with definite hints of fence sitting and nebulous promises.

      As for the elections, I’m simply resigned to being unsurprised when we get the next round of garbage A versus rubbish B. I don’t claim to know we’ll be cheated, but I do assume it and predict another Democrat creature, who will likely lose to Trump.

      Why anyone takes the media politicians and pundits at face value at this point is beyond me. They’re going to wallpaper the Earth in corporate monoculture and this sci fi neon glam machine-made BS on display last night.

      Everybody globally will be homogenized, I reckon, in the next few decades. We’ve made what was a gigantic globe into a tiny wet marble floating around in the vastness of impenetrable space.

      And we already live in a world where people apparently find it perfectly acceptable and normal that there are house-sized signs advertising $4.99 juicy hamburgers as a visual part of our public spaces.

      And, of course, we are all so specialized that we can’t do anything but buy what we need. Nice little trick.

      Anybody trying anything different, and it’s bombzo time, or sanction time, or overthrow-without-media-saying-anything time, or get beat up in the street time. Forever, until mission accomplished.

      United States of Earth. Yay us.

  7. Dr. Robert

    Re: Great Model Train Robbery

    Billionaire John Menard is known for his passion for model trains, and pays a man to work full time on his personal model train set. He’d be my prime suspect.

  8. flora

    Act Blue is acting strange.

    Tried to donate to a few candidates via Act Blue using PayPal. Looked like everything was OK but the PayPal login page wouldn’t finish loading. I’d get a “this ActBlue page does not exist”, followed by a “Thanks for your donation to “.

    My normal PayPal login works fine. Checking PayPal’s activity log for my account showed no donation to candidate was made.

    The only clue was the ActBlue page didn’t properly let me login to PayPal. It went to PayPal then bounced to a Thanks for Your Donation window.

    I had to choose a direct cc donation with cc# to make a donation that worked on the ActBlue page. I finally went to the several candidates’ direct website and donate using a direct cc#. (not my preferred process) on their ActBlue page. Wonder how many people thought they were donating via PayPal on ActBlue but the donation didn’t really happen, even though the process pages made it look like everything was OK?

    Very strange.
    I can’t explain it. My PayPal account is good; my cc is good; my payment with direct cc info on the candidates’ webpages went thru but not using PayPal.
    I can still use PayPal to buy from vendors without any problem.
    Very Strange.

    My take away: if you think you’ve donated to a candidate via PayPal using Act Blue then login to your PayPal account directly and see if your activity log shows a payment to the candidate. If PayPal hasn’t recorded your donation then see above.

  9. Joe Well

    >>If the first duty of the State is not to put its own citizens first, then what is State for?

    Seriously? Et tu Lambert? You see these refugees as enemies?

    Mass naturalization of immigrants, just by itself, might wrest control of Congress, the White House, and numerous state legislatures away from Republicans for a generation. It might even kill that wretched criminal enterprise as a national force.

    In the bargain, we get a more diverse society, which for me, and many, many, other Americans is absolutely a benefit.

    So yes, my interests as a member of the 99% are absolutely aligned with granting citizenship to the refugees and the undocumented (not just an endless legal limbo) and getting them to vote. Real progressives have to fight for that.

    (And while we’re at it, DC statehood, NYC statehood, at least four Californias…New Englandize states suffering from gigantism into smaller states to counterbalance all the Wyomings.)

    1. lambert strether

      Just answer the question. Open borders advocates don’t seem to be able to.

      1. marym

        If the candidates are in favor of border security and aren’t arguing for any particular increase legal immigration (number of refugees, number of specific types of visas) I don’t see this as almost the same as open borders.

        On the closed border side of the argument, as reflected in current policy, a state that uses cruelty, violence, ethnic/religious/racial criteria, and for-profit detention to restrict immigration isn’t a state that would ever put 99% of it’s citizens first.

        1. flora

          Please understand that my following question doesn’t necessarily disagree with you; it’s only a request for more rigorous analysis (because we’ll need that going forward, imo.)

          … a state that uses cruelty, violence, ethnic/religious/racial criteria, and for-profit detention to restrict immigration isn’t a state that would ever put 99% of it’s citizens first.

          Why do you make that assumption?

          1. marym

            Those kinds of tactics devalue the humanity of their targets.

            A state or society that devalues people seeking entry intrinsically as a demographic as less human, unworthy of citizenship ever, will do that internally as well – restricting voting rights, or using prison labor, for example.

            1. flora

              If the state says, for example,’ I, the state , value all humanity and welcome all humanity’, and in the welcoming of all humanity ends up crushing the wages of citizens and people already here and now, how does that value citizenship? Why is denying people entry equal to seeing people as less than human? Couldn’t it be a case of seeing increased low wage labor competition as a thread to decent wages for citizens and the people already here? Canada, for example, has pretty restrictive immigration procedures. I’m too old to qualify. Does that make Canada inhumane?

              1. marym

                I don’t contend that opening the door to everyone supports citizenship, only that identity-based restrictions and atrocious treatment deny people’s humanity, and such a denial is a symptom in a society that isn’t limited to immigration and doesn’t serve citizenship or citizens.

                Not issuing work visas, or restricting the total number of green cards because it would depress wages or contribute to unemployment wouldn’t be inhumane. Family separation and long-term for-profit detention in horrible conditions instead of well-funded efficient systems of legal process, social service, sponsor evaluation, and humane treatment (jobs!!) is inhumane. Deporting immigrants who have served in the military is inhumane. Having “Build the Wall” rallies, not “E-Verify” rallies doesn’t serve citizenship, it undermines it.

                3/2019 – Trump seeks cuts to E-Verify

                05/2019 – Trump administration to add 30,000 seasonal worker visas as soon as this week

                06/28/2019 – Thread
                “Just some of the statements children made to lawyers about the unsanitary conditions at the @CBP facilities (pulled from this week’s Flores enforcement motion)”

                None of this serves citizens or a high ideal of citizenship.

                1. flora

                  Not issuing work visas, or restricting the total number of green cards because it would depress wages or contribute to unemployment wouldn’t be inhumane. Family separation and long-term for-profit detention in horrible conditions instead of well-funded efficient systems of legal process, social service, sponsor evaluation, and humane treatment (jobs!!) is inhumane.

                  Very excellent points. Immigration used as a corporate whispered bait-and-switch or arbitraged profits-scam is horrible.

                  Thank you.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > If the first duty of the State is not to put its own citizens first, then what is State for?

          I don’t see an answer. I see this hypothetical:

          > a state that uses cruelty, violence, ethnic/religious/racial criteria, and for-profit detention to restrict immigration isn’t a state that would ever put 99% of it’s citizens first.

          That may well be true. However, liberal Democrats seem curiously unwilling to see that everything you mention has been immigration policy for a long time, although Trump, as is his wont, started “saying the quiet part out loud,” in wonderfully clarifying fashion. It certainly seems odd that all these issues only became the focus of moral panics after January 20, 2017. (Not that NGOs hadn’t raised the issue before, but they only became the focus of intense media focus — including, as one expects after the Iraqi ventilators and Syria, dead children — only recently, which could lead those who take the long view to question whether the issue has been, as we say, “centered” in good faith.)

          Another way of saying this is to ask: If immigration policies that were not cruel led to exactly the same number of legal immigrants being admitted as today’s policies do, would you support them?

          NOTE I should repeat that I am not pro-cruelty. However, I view tens of thousands of excess deaths yearly due to dropping life expectancy in working class U.S. citizens as cruel, and not only to adults, but to children, and it seems reasonable to me that such numbers would earn focus from the political class, and the press. (By contrast, the number of deaths at the along the Texas-Mexico border is 69, several orders of magnitude less. 69/10000 = 0.0069, so, if we look to media coverage alone as the criterion for the value of a human life, we might view the value of a working class U.S. citizen’s life as ~0.001 that of a migrant’s. Of course, the working class U.S. citizens are deplorables. So the disparity is to a large extent justified.

          1. marym

            (This was partly composed before you’d fully edited your comment, so parts are even more disjointed than my usual offerings)

            I wasn’t responding to the definition of the state’s duty, just to the discussion as far as candidates. They aren’t advocating open borders. They’re not saying we should end requirements for entry or citizenship, expand the number or type of visas, or not have border security.

            If I had to answer the state’s duty question, I’d add protection of people already in the country whom the state explicitly agreed to admit, or looked the other way because it suited the state’s purpose, or is required by national and international law to admit at least provisionally.

            If the only alternative the state can propose for those immigrants is the kind of violence, cruelty, and gleeful racism we’re seeing (as you say) both explicitly in right-wing policy and implicitly at best in liberal policy, then what kind of state do we have anyway – one that will fail/already fails to protect its citizens.

            I can’t answer the optimal number of immigrants question. Random thoughts of what would go into an answer: There’s lots of work that needs to be done here now that isn’t getting done, because the state won’t fund it, or capitalists won’t invest in it. Change that and it changes how many workers are needed. There’s lots of reasons for depressed wages, job opportunities, resource (healthcare, housing etc.) availability,and life expectancy, besides immigration. There are parts of the country where immigrants don’t settle so reduced numbers won’t help. The pre-Trump process for asylum seekers (release pending a legal process) with improved resources would possibly allow a balance of humanitarian and immigration limitation functions (and, as I indicate above, jobs!! for people providing those services). /end random thoughts.

            Our current immigration policy is a component of a state that puts corporate profits and authoritarian control first, not citizens. We more need a different state, than some number of more or fewer immigrants.

      2. Spring Texan

        I grew up on the border and one of the things I don’t like about NC is the attitude of some there to immigrants. I agree with Joe Well.

        You can say ‘open borders’ and there are some who are for that but they are NOT most of us. While understanding you can’t have absolutely unlimited immigration, we can still have class and labor alliances across borders, support legalization of the undocumented, support decriminalization of mere-border crossing (hurray Julian Castro!), support more migration and acceptance of refugess, and support health coverage of everyone in the country. Labor rights and union organizing are things that generally appeal to Latinos at LEAST as much as Anglos IF they aren’t afraid of being deported.

        I had thought Beto was pretty good on immigration but Julian Castro showed me he isn’t as good as I thought, especially when he immediately started spouting stuff about ‘trafficking’ (a work used in similar ways to ‘white slavery’ a long time ago).

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > the attitude of some there to immigrants.

          I think you mean the views of some here on immigration policy, not immigrants. Or do you intend to imply that (unnamed) commenters, or the site proprietor and contributors, are racist? If not, exactly what “attitude” did you have in mind?

          >While understanding you can’t have absolutely unlimited immigration, we can still have class and labor alliances across borders, support legalization of the undocumented, support decriminalization of mere-border crossing (hurray Julian Castro!), support more migration and acceptance of refugess, and support health coverage of everyone in the country.

          Health coverage for everybody is a no-brainer on public health grounds: It’s the best way to prevent or mitigate epidemics, especially given the prevalence of immigrant/migrant labor in food services, health care, etc. So I don’t see health coverage as being key to the immigration policy discussion.

          Now, please read the post; I carefully underlined the relevant part:

          These candidates aren’t explicitly advocating open borders, but taken together, the policies advocated amount to almost the same thing.”

          My concern is that the Democrats will end up backing into an Open Borders policy, based on a combination of pressure from an unholy alliance of Koch Brothers and Democrat Party-adjacent NGOs and the Democrat hive-mind’s “theory of the case,” which is Ruy Teixeira’s theory of “the coalition of the ascendant, and without an open and honest discussion of the merits of the policy. I grant that Blue coastal cities need cheap labor, but I don’t see why that necessarily should drive public policy for the whole country.

          You are free to characterize all this as an “attitude,” if you will, but I’d welcome clarification on precisely what you think the attitude is.

          Finally, I asked: “If the first duty of the State is not to put its own citizens first, then what is State for?” What is your answer?

          NOTE Another way of asking that question of Open Borders advocates is this: “Should Canada allow me to move there, with no visa, in order to get my illness treated under their single payer system”? No country in the world allows anything like this, of course, but why?

          1. ambrit

            To your last question, I would say that, up until now, there isn’t a unitary one world government. The “business” sector may be making experiments with “One World Trade” policies, but the social governing castes are not. Until world financial and social policies are unified at a world level, factionalism will be the norm.
            Perhaps “Fractionalism” is the sought after governing model.
            Fractionalism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractionalism

    2. flora

      There is never just ‘one good’. There are always ‘competing goods’.

      If letting borders open creates the ‘good’ of a more diverse and welcoming society, what about the ‘good’ of defending decent wages for the lowest strata of US workers by preventing near poverty-scale wages; because open borders creates labor that is so numerous that people will work for peanuts and never complain?

      Supply and demand, etc.

    3. Carey

      Why is a “more diverse society”, in and of itself, a good thing?

      The long term carrying capacity of the NA continent is, at best,
      about one-third of its *present* population.

    4. GramSci

      Hmm. I’m curious how far you are prepared to take this policy. Would you allow everyone in the world to vote in US elections? Or only those wealthy enough with sufficient resources to get to these sacred shores?

    5. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      We can win without talking about Immigration. This is a “culture war” issue aimed at Bernie. Bernies Hamlet and this whole debate is a play staged by rich people.

      1. richard

        yes, the whole openborders bruhaha smells a little of langley, if that’s not too foily…

        at least in some of its particulars

    6. Mo's Bike Shop

      What if they start voting for a party like the authoritarian ones they knew back home? People coming the hard way are not likely to be philosophy majors.

      Immigrating to another country, another culture is not like moving to New Jersey. If you want to be welcoming, you have to be capable of accommodating. Inviting a lot of people in to help our corporations avoid reproducing the means of production is not hospitality. That’s Baal.

      We can’t take care of our own poor right now. Many of our leaders don’t want to take care of our own. Do what we can for people in distress, but I suggest getting our house in order before putting out the welcome mat.

      And we are going to have to get so much more real about this when we are trying to cope with the chaos of climate change. In 50 years we’ll have a hundred different words for ‘climate induced resettlement.’ Most named after a geographic location.

      And how different is the ‘Immigrants will dilute Republican votes’ idea from Rush’s eliminationist talk about liberals? It’s Politics, you can’t just shoot your opponent, you have to work something out. That is only possible when both sides are agreement capable. When your only solution is that your opponent no longer exists, you have ceased to be agreement capable.

    7. big fuss

      NC’s fear of refugees/immigrants is really disappointing (along with the TERFs, but that’s another story). I figure this is because the readership skews old and white. I’d be curious to know how diverse these anti immigrant people’s social/family circle is. I’d be willing to bet not very much so, considering how dehumanizing the rhetoric surrounding immigrants can be here.
      Some also seem to forget about the immigration of their own ancestors here and how similarly wrought (to say the least) it must have been then. Is this not a case of kicking out the ladder after you’ve climbed? i get these are economically rough times, but the poor browns are not your enemy, the plutocrats are. God knows theyve suffered under the US led world in their own countries and often to American (elite) enrichment . Strengthen labor and bar paying immigrants less for their labor and the problem disappears. No ugly right wing nativism needed!

      p.s. the current affairs article regarding this issue is evergreen

      1. Yves Smith

        This is not “fear of” but a discussion of consequences. And a factually false smear and other lines of personal attack in lieu of an argument is a de facto admission you are not able to make a case.

        Please name a county in the world that has open borders as a matter of policy. If this is such a great idea, why are there no examples? The onus is on you to substantiate your position, not to try to cow those who are willing to look at what the results might be.

        Historically, the big advocates of immigration, starting in 1900-1905, were manufacturers, who were pushing back against resistance by native-born Americans over the perceived threat of immigrants to American culture. See Alex Carey’s Taking the Risk Out of Democracy, which describes the propaganda campaigns waged by manufacturers who wanted cheap workers back then.

        Have you managed to miss that big advocates of open borders are the top 10% who like their cheap (often undocumented and/or paid in cash) yardmen and nannies and cleaning women? Two earner households in big cities typically have what amount to servants. New York City’s Gini coefficient isn’t quite as bad as South Africa’s (the worst in the world) but since the data doesn’t pro-rate the time foreign squillionaires spend here (as some spend a lot of time here), nor is it able to adjust for high earner tax avoidance and evasion, I suspect NYC is close to on par.

        As to the past, the US then was land rich (as in capital rich) and encourage immigration primarily to farm. It also brought in conscript labor from China to build the railroads.

        American immigrants then weren’t “illegals” who sidestepped procedures. Prior to 1890, states controlled immigration. Ellis Island was a formal point of entry. The US began restricting the number of immigrants in 1924.

        Immigrants were also expected to adopt American culture, at a bare minimum become competent in English.

        I’m not persuaded by the Current Affairs piece. It nit-picks a particular reading of labor history, and hand-waves about the economic impacts of unrestricted immigration.

        Look at what happened in Germany when they took a step far short of open immigration, allowing in nearly one million Syrian immigrants in 2015. Chancellor Merkel saw this as a twofer: the opportunity to do the right thing along with providing Germany with needed workers. Syrians were an attractive group to let in because Syria is recognized as having a highly educated population.

        Unlike anything the hand-waving hopey-dopey left has proposed, Germany went to considerable lengths to try to assist the Syrians, based on the bad experience it had in the early 1960s when it took in hundreds of thousands of “guest workers” from Turkey but provided no assistance and was unprepared for the fact that many stayed on. From an in-depth study by The Century Foundation:

        …..today the 2.5 million people with Turkish background in Germany are considered the least integrated minority in the country, with unemployment at around 16 percent.

        So Germany tried a new approach:

        With the recent influx, the German government developed a series of systems to integrate the refugee population. No matter which border they cross to enter the country, federal authorities “fairly distribute” all refugees throughout Germany’s sixteen states using a calculation of the states’ tax revenue and population. All Syrian children with asylum status are eligible for government-provided schooling.19 Many teenage and adult refugees are currently enrolled in government-run “integration courses” which focus mainly on German language instruction but also include modules on the country’s history, law, and cultural norms. There is a plethora of public information, including instructional videos, for refugees to help them navigate the German bureaucracy.

        Even with all these efforts, Germany experienced what was widely depicted as an immigration crisis, including by the Syrian immigrants themselves:


        And the immigration produced an anti-immigrat backlash and a surge of far-right wing parties. A typical recap from Agence France-Presse:

        German Chancellor Angela Merkel won accolades for her stunning call on Sept. 4, 2015 to keep open Germany’s doors to hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, many fleeing war-torn Syria or Iraq.

        Three years on, scenes of far-right protesters chasing down foreigners in a German city have shocked the world. All of Europe has seen a sea-change since the migration crisis erupted.

        Britain is now just months away from quitting the European Union, the far-right is sharing power in both Italy and Austria, while right-wing extremist group AfD has become the biggest opposition party in Germany’s parliament. If there is a common denominator for these upheavals in European politics, it is the migration crisis seized upon by pro-Brexiters and far-right forces across Europe as the public enemy in their campaigns…

        One in four asylum seekers who arrived in Germany since 2015 have since found work, according to data released in May by the employment ministry’s think-tank IAB.Nevertheless, “migration remains the biggest challenge” for the bloc, noted Stefan Lehne, visiting professor at Carnegie Europe.

        And all the countries that allowed in a lot of Syrian immigrants in 2015 and 2016 have greatly curtailed the number they will admit per year.

        Better trolls, please.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > NC’s fear of refugees/immigrants is really disappointing (along with the TERFs, but that’s another story). I figure this is because the readership skews old and white.

        No, it’s because the Open Borders crowd, an uneasy amalgam of Koch-funded libertarians and identity-politics liberals masquerading as leftists, are out to screw the American working class as hard as they can, whether by intention or omission. Again. This insanely reductionist comment itself exemplifies the vacuity of this political formation, because — follow me very closely, here — the Koch Brothers are themselves [x] white and [x] old.

        All I’m asking of the Open Borders crowd is that:

        1) They agree that the purpose of a State should be to put the interests of its own citizens first (and sometimes, given the balance of forces between classes, this really does happen). Surely this is unexceptionable (except to anarchists, and if the goal of the Open Borders crowd is to abolish the state, they should be honest and open about it).

        2) They agree that labor arbitrage exists. This, again is unexceptionable; H1B victims step right up! (I mean, really; do the Open Borders crowd really believe that employers import workers out of the goodness of their hearts? As a diversity measure?)

        3) As advocates of Open Borders, they build points #1 and #2 into their case, and show the American working class why labor arbitrage should not be a concern.

        None of this should be hard. (Of course, liberal Democrats, following Texiera’s theory of the “coalition of the ascendant,” believe that demographics determine the destiny of their party, and therefore seek to raise the number of Latinx voters, period. It has nothing to do with justice, but solely party power.)

        The last time a ginormous political economy-scale decision was made on the basis that “everybody on the average will be made better off” was trade, which led to the deindustrialization of the country and left a trail of death and destruction everywhere but the rentier-driven Blue cities on the coasts. The working class was screwed hard, and by liberal Democrats, too (the Clintons, especially). I am sure that, after reading this comment carefully, you will be the first to understand that “Open Borders” should be treated with a hermaneutic of suspicion. Amazing as it may seem, the Koch Brothers and their objective allies may not be operating in good faith.

        NOTE On the identity politics, there’s a tradeoff, isn’t there? Some NC readers may be [x] old, or even [x] white, but the bright side is that they’re necessarily not [x] young nor [x] stupid, either. Capice? And see how fun and easy it is to smear people using idpol categories?

        UPDATE > along with the TERFs, but that’s another story

        A classic example of apophasis, “a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it, or denying that it should be brought up” (Reagan: “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience”). Do feel free to share your smears concerns openly and honestly, instead of employing passive-aggressive devices that do nothing to clarify your views or enlighten the comentariat.

      3. paintedjaguar

        And perhaps some of the readership here are old enough to recall the 1986 Reagan-era amnesty for long term illegal immigrants which failed to restrict future immigration and ultimately solved none of the underlying problems. Much of the current discussion on this topic is simply a replay with a side of amnesia.

  10. The Rev Kev

    Marianne Williamson

    A golden egg? Showering Syria with light? Well they are not exactly CIA talking points but they serve the same purpose as in saying “Please let the Jihadists win”. I doubt that this Marianne Williamson would ever wear a burka going by her history so I see no reason why she would favour a solution where an entire nation’s women would be forced to don the burka if the other side won. Maybe she should talk with people like Asma al-Assad or Vanessa Beeley or maybe fellow candidate Tulsi Gabbard about what is really happening there.

    1. polecat

      I seem to recall mention of eggs, golden or otherwise … as leathery objects, or something …

      Just don’t provoke them to hatch. The ultimate jihadi might pop out !

    2. richard

      i was giggling at the golden egg thing
      but you have convinced me to be more pissed off instead
      williamson accepts a hell of a lot of stupid premises for a radical (of any kind)
      is my first impression

    3. Plenue

      Yeah, I have no idea who this Williamson is, or why I should care about her. She seems to just be a fount of at best generic “love is good” ‘wisdom’ and at worst semi-coherent gibberish. The amount of “she’s so amazing” comments suddenly cropping up is a bit perplexing.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > favour a solution where an entire nation’s women would be forced to don the burka

      Last I checked, Assad didn’t advocate that. Anyhow, does anybody seriously believe that United States policy i the Middle East is designed to protect women, or does so in any way but accidentally? I mean, come on.

  11. Carey

    ‘Make Passengers Safer? Boeing Just Made Shareholders Richer.’:

    “..Our research, based on publicly available information, strongly suggests that the dedication of Boeing’s senior executives to increasing their company’s profits and stock yield—which also augmented their own compensation—resulted in management decisions that contributed to the two 737 MAX crashes. While much more information remains to be discovered, the reported evidence, still unfolding almost daily, points to executive culpability in the crashes that took the lives of 346 passengers and crew..”


  12. marym

    Brennan Center @BrennanCenter
    3:54 PM – 28 Jun 2019

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis today signed a bill that will deprive potentially tens of thousands [of formerly incarcerated people] of having their voting rights restored.

    The bill will require people to pay off even fines and fees that had been converted from criminal penalties to civil obligations before regaining their right to vote. Conditioning access to the ballot on ability to pay is *not* what Floridians voted for.

    1. Jimmie Q

      We never get what we vote for – only what will be allowed.
      Floridians have voted many times against giving public monies
      to charter/religious schools. Every election, the question reappears on
      the ballot. When is NO! ever recognized ?
      I think we get worn down having to repeatedly downvote the same ballot
      questions every few years.
      Democracy in action! – not

  13. Svante

    The debate was almost WHOLLY about addressing the DNC’s “Sanders issue.” The Democrat Party had such a good thing going, steadily forking fluffy, dazed, scared little lemmings to the constantly feeding sharks. Suddenly, it’s as if this is a BAD thing? Heck, tens-of-thousands of them are forking theirownselves, with opoids, ciggies, firearms, solvents? Hey BernieBros™ over HERE… Elizabeth Warren! She’s even a woman, too. And just LOOK at Comma-la and Beto, and Castro… And, Kirsten… she silenced evil Franken! She’s learned most of Bernie’s best boomer buzzwords?



        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Meanwhile, in Charo’s 78yr old breasts NEWS!!!

          This reference escapes me, but if it’s a way of taking a candidate down because of their body characteristics, don’t do that. There are better ways to take a candidate down.

  14. s.n.

    don’t know if this has been mentioned here on NC, but Justin Raimondo died on 27 June 2019, aged 67.
    Haven’t read him in years, but miss him already

Comments are closed.