2:00PM Water Cooler 7/11/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Trade

“Cargill reports sharp drop in fourth-quarter earnings” [Financial Times]. “Cargill has reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter earnings as it battled extreme weather events, the spread of a deadly pig virus and the fallout from the US-China trade spat…. Cargill is part of a small group of companies which dominate trade in global agricultural commodities. It has been a vocal proponent of free trade and under Mr MacLennan’s leadership it has executed a sweeping series of deals to focus on food and agricultural businesses where it best competes.”

Politics

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

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

“2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [RealClearPolitics] (average of five polls). As of July 10: Biden down at 27.1% (27.3%), Sanders up at 15.3% (14.9%), Warren down at 13.7% (13.9%), Buttigieg down at 5.0% (5.3%), Harris having jumped, flat at 15.0% (15.0%), others Brownian motion. Sanders, Harris, Warren now clustered, Biden having rebounded in the past few days, putting the busing controversy behind him, I’m guessing.

* * *

2020

Festival of Sanders:

Sanders (D)(1): Pat on the back

Sanders (D)(2): I welcome their hatred (via Knifecatcher who comments: “OK Bernie. I hadn’t seen this page before but it’s pretty metal”

This page is really fun. Do click through.

Sanders (D)(3): Gonna be tougher than FOX:

Gravel (D)(1):

Harris (D)(1): “Kamala Harris says credit scores should include rent, cell phones and utilities” [MarketWatch]. At the Essence Festival, “Harris called for amending the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require credit reporting agencies to include payments of rent, cellphone bills and utilities when calculating credit scores.” • What could go wrong?

2019

Squad v. Pelosi (1):

Squad v. Pelosi (2): Pelosi is 70’s dinner party in so many ways:

Normally, I’d be sympathetic to Pelosi, here; yes, legislating involves sausage-makling. But (a) I haven’t seen Pelosi do a lot of legislating this year, (b) I have seen Pelosi do a lot of obstructing (#MedicareForAll), and (c) Pelosi’s brand of cautious incrementalism isn’t suited to the times.

“‘Outright disrespectful’: Four House women struggle as Pelosi isolates them” [WaPo]. “‘When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,’ Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post. ‘But the persistent singling out . . . it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful . . . the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.'” • Throwing gasoilne on the fire (and I do seem to remember a fracas where Pelosi subtweeted a rebuke to Maxine Waters — after Waters had received death threats).

Only Wall Street reads Lenin:

* * *

“Kentucky makeover: Amy McGrath challenges Mitch McConnell as a pro-Trump Democrat” [Courier-Journal]. “‘And you know what? Who stops them along the way? Who stops the president from doing these things? Mitch McConnell,’ she continued on MSNBC. ‘And I think that that’s very important, and that’s going to be my message – the things that Kentuckians voted for Trump for are not being done. He’s not able to get it done because of Senator McConnell.‘” Oh gawd. This picture isn’t parody. A [x] woman MILO:

Naturally, “Amy McGrath’s Senate campaign brings in record money in first 24 hours after announcement.” So that’s alright then.

Identity Politics

On intersectionality (dread word):

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Public Thinker: Adolph Reed Jr. on Organizing, Race, and Bernie Sanders” (interview) [Public Books]. First I’ve read of Reed’s personal history; it’s very interesting to see him situate himself. (He’s retired now, and writing a book on the left since World War II, which is, I think, the book we need).

[REED:] it is kind of interesting to me to see how open the alliance between the identitarian and the corporate wings of the Democratic Party are about their shared commitment to defeating the left. That’s a plus, too, because sometimes it’s in these critical moments that people show you where they are coming from.

It’s dangerous as hell, this moment. The big challenge for us now, and the big opportunity, is that we have issues, public support, and sentiment that we haven’t had before to help us try to build the broad and deep movement that we need.

“Welcome to the Hellfire Club” [The American Conservative]. Quite a rant:

Surely I’m not the only one who noticed that the Epstein sex abuse timeline is nearly identical to the Catholic Church sex abuse timeline. Both investigations were initiated in the early 2000s. Both revealed that the exploitation of children was an open secret in the highest echelons of power. Both investigations were closed a few years later, though not resolved. We assumed justice would take its course, and slowly began to forget. And then within two years of each other, both scandals emerged again, more sordid than ever. And on both occasions, we realized that nothing had changed.

Whew. Now I get why people become communists. Not the new-wave, gender-fluid, pink-haired Trots, of course…

No: I mean the old-fashioned, blue-collar, square-jawed Stalinists. I mean the guy with eight fingers and 12 kids who saw photos of the annual Manhattan debutantes’ ball, felt the rumble in his stomach, and figured he may as well eat the rich.

Stats Watch

Jobless Claims, week of July 6, 2019: “The labor market opens July with significant strength as new jobless claims for the July 6 week came in below expectations” [Econoday].

Consumer Price Index, June 2019: “Jerome Powell back in May was right, apparel prices were destined to recover which headlines a June consumer price report that will not be raising expectations any further for a rate cut at the month-end FOMC” [Econoday]. “The jump in apparel will be getting the headlines but housing is the important key, rising 0.4 percent for rents (3.9 percent on the year) and up 0.3 percent for owners’ equivalent rent (3.4 percent on the year). These are fundamental costs for the consumer and the tangible pressure provides a steady to rising floor for the core.”

Banking: Over the transom from alert reader JM:

So now the price of entry for a bank account is a smartphone or a PC (unless you want to queue up in a public library). But looking on the bright side: Screwing really poor people out of overdraft fees they never hear about could be a nice little earner! Readers, have any of you recieved letters like this?

The Bezzle: “Tesla Revamps Autopilot Team amid Pressure to Deliver on Elon Musk’s Promises” [Car and Driver]. “According to sources cited in The Information, one of the biggest challenges for Autopilot to advance beyond the current capabilities is adapting to the challenges of city driving, which brings complications not encountered in a limited-access highway settings such as pedestrians, parked cars, and obscured signs.” • I read this and started laughing. It is true that controlling scope is the key to project success, but who signed off on the requirements document — or whatever those agile kids use these days — for an “autonomous vehicle” software system that didn’t need to handle “pedestrians, parked cars, and obscured signs”? (Note that Google’s captcha system, for which I assume I am doing free labor to train some machine-learning algo, hasn’t even gotten to pedestrians yet.) Anyhow, Musk fired a bunch of engineers. That should solve the problem.

Tech: “Google employees are eavesdropping, even in your living room, VRT NWS has discovered” [VRT News]. “VRT NWS was able to listen to more than a thousand excerpts recorded via Google Assistant. In these recordings we could clearly hear addresses and other sensitive information. This made it easy for us to find the people involved and confront them with the audio recordings…. VRT NWS listened to more than a thousand excerpts, 153 of which were conversations that should never have been recorded and during which the command ‘Okay Google’ was clearly not given. But as soon as someone in the vicinity utters a word that sounds a bit like ‘Okay Google’, Google Home starts to record. This means that a lot of conversations are recorded unintentionally: bedroom conversations, conversations between parents and their children, but also blazing rows and professional phone calls containing lots of private information.” • So, does “Okay” sound like “Okay Google”

Tech: “Banned Chinese Security Cameras Are Almost Impossible to Remove” [Bloomberg]. “U.S. federal agencies have five weeks to rip out Chinese-made surveillance cameras in order to comply with a ban imposed by Congress last year in an effort to thwart the threat of spying from Beijing.But thousands of the devices are still in place and chances are most won’t be removed before the Aug. 13 deadline. A complex web of supply chain logistics and licensing agreements make it almost impossible to know whether a security camera is actually made in China or contains components that would violate U.S. rules.” • So how many of these cameras are really needed? Can we just turn them off?

Tech: Stop it, stop it, stop it. Thread:

All I want is to subscribe to accounts and have Tweets from those accounts appear in reverse chronological order. That is all I want. Stop it. Go away, algos. Stop it.

Manufacturing: “Five Basic Facts About Boeing Missing From Coverage Of the 737 MAX Story” [Forbes]. • tl;dr: Boeing is TBTF. Worth reading for the bullet points, though.

Manufacturing: “Southwest updates safety information cards to avoid Boeing 737 Max confusion” [USA Today]. “Southwest Airlines used to tuck the same safety information card into the seat back pockets of its Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 737 Max 8s…. In mid-May, Southwest quietly introduced separate cards for the two planes. Now the 737-800 is the only plane listed on the safety card for that aircraft. Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said the move was made ‘to alleviate any confusion from customers so they know exactly what aircraft type they are on.'” • Ouch.

Manufacturing: “American Airlines’ toll so far from the 737 Max groundings: $185 million and 7,800 canceled flights” [Dallas Morning News]. “American Airlines lost $185 million and canceled 7,800 flights during the second quarter after regulators grounded Boeing 737 Max jets.” However: “American Airlines has 24 737 Max series aircraft in its fleet, accounting for about 1.4 percent of all flights.” • AA also “a labor dispute with union mechanics seeking a new contract,” so it’s not clear how many of the cancelled flights are due to the 737, and how many to AA’s failure to sign a contract.

The Fed: “Powell Confirms July Rate Cut” [Tim Duy’s Fed Watch]. “What pushed them over the edge to a rate cut was the potential disruption triggered by President Trump’s repeated use of tariffs as a negotiating club. The uncertainty caused by the actions was sapping business confidence and threatening to force force [sic] to endure [sic] the costly process of reworking current global supply chains. The Fed felt they had little choice but the respond with lower rates just as they would with any adverse economic shock. In other words, Trump got the Fed to cut rates, but had to damage the economy to do it.” • When you think about it, what does “damaging” “the” (whose?) “economy” even mean? Unless you have some sort of commitment to maintaining the “current” global supply chain as it is.

The Biosphere

Storm surge pricing:

“Writing the Inner Life of Trees” [To the Best of Our Knowledge]. Review of Richard Powers’ The Overstory, and interview with the author.

Steve Paulson: Most novelists who want to write about the more-than-human world write about animals. We can identify with them, at least to some degree. Why did you want to write about trees?

Richard Powers: It’s interesting that you said how much easier animal empathy identification is. Of course, that’s the way we’ve been shaped by natural selection — to be extremely sensitive to things that look like us. That empathy is only grudgingly given outwards beyond the circle of the human. And I thought if we really want to get to the heart of why we feel so alone here — what psychologists call “species loneliness” — that we should take the problem directly in hand and say, what would it take for a human being like me to look at a tree and say, “I will give this the sanctity that I ordinarily only give to my own kind”?

SP: Was it your goal to create empathy for trees?

RP: I think it was the goal of the book. I would also call it a necessary first step for whatever transformation is going to be required of us to live stably on this Earth.

“Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future” (PDF) [Holmgren Design]. From 2012, still germane:

I believe the evidence of global instability leading to energy descent if not total collapse is so overwhelming that it is incumbent on everyone to begin taking personal and household responsibility for reorganising their lives to adapt in place (or consolidate with family or friends). Paying off debt, teaching our kids to garden, and turning our hobby into a business is not going to solve the problems unleashed by permanent energetic and economic contraction, but after forty years of public policy denial of the limits to growth conundrum by government, the media and other sources of power and public policy, the bottom up adaption strategy is the only one with any remaining utility.

I don’t see this as being a contradiction to collective action, but as a complement to it.

“Tracking the Agrichemical Industry Propaganda Network” [U.S. Right to Know]. “The public has a right to know about the industry ties of industry PR and lobbying aides. U.S. Right to Know has uncovered many documents that shine light on how the hidden corporate connections of front groups, academics, journalists and regulators who oppose transparency and public health protections for genetically engineered foods and pesticides. The following fact sheets provide more information.” • A useful aggregation.

Water

“Trump administration threatens veto of bill that combats PFAS contamination” [Free Press]. “The White House this week issued a statement saying the president’s advisers will recommend he reject the annual defense authorization bill currently being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives, in part because it includes measures aimed at reducing the level of chemical contamination nationwide that they believe go too far…. The White House this week issued a statement saying the president’s advisers will recommend he reject the annual defense authorization bill currently being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives, in part because it includes measures aimed at reducing the level of chemical contamination nationwide that they believe go too far.” • thanks to alert reader MN for keeping us posted on PFAS.

MMT

It would be nice if this perspective took hold over there in Barber’s #PoorPeoplesCampaign:

Our Famously Free Press

This is very sad:

2019 – 114 = 1905, so the paper had survived several technical and social revolutions already. It’s almost as if there’s something uniquely and lethally toxic in today’s business environment.

Class Warfare

Missed this in June, still germane:

See, neoliberalism is working.

“Delta workers seeking to unionize say they are ‘under siege’ by management” [Guardian]. “Delta workers described break rooms, bathrooms and daily group briefings as loaded with anti-union content from Delta. Televisions in break rooms play anti-union videos, in addition to posters and flyers containing anti-union material. New hires are given an anti-union briefing, though deemed voluntary, which workers noted new hires are under pressure to attend.”

“‘A white-collar sweatshop’: Google Assistant contractors allege wage theft” [Guardian]. “”It’s smoke and mirrors if anything,” said a current Google employee who, as with the others quoted in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. “Artificial intelligence is not that artificial; it’s human beings that are doing the work.”

News of the Wired

“Metallica to publish children’s book, The ABCs of Metallica” [Guardian]. • Is your child getting enough metal?

“Logan Co. man allegedly driving stolen vehicle filled with uranium, a rattlesnake, and Kentucky Deluxe” [Oklahoma News 4]. “Sgt. Gibbs said “[t]he uranium is the wild card in that situation.’ The uranium hasn’t resulted in charges. Guthrie police are still trying to figure out exactly what the suspects were going to use it for. There are no charges from the rattlesnake either. ‘It happens to be rattlesnake season at the time, so he can be in possession of this rattlesnake because he has a valid lifetime hunting and fishing license,’ Sgt. Gibbs said.” • A busy day for Sgt. Gibbs.

“Man ridicules Olive Garden’s demand letter over trademark dispute” [Ars Technica]. • Very funny, and I can’t think how I missed it at the time. “Mr. Forcements—may I call you Branden?”

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An extremely red flower against an extremely blue sky.

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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.

128 comments

  1. Louis Fyne

    Just as a semi-related aside, “surge” pricing is how full-time uber drivers make their income…normal fares are near money losers.

    Everyone’s a capitalist on Twitter until it’s their turn to pay the “market price”

    (Now of course the ethics of weather-related pricing is very debatable, just don’t take it out on the bottom-of-the-totem-pole Uber driver.)

    And of course taxis don’t have that issue….but since how local municipalities blatantly looked the other way as the Uber/lyft-jitney muscled in, go blame City Hall?

    Reply
    1. polecat

      That spineless jelly mold is NOT offal enough !! What are you waiting for Nancy ?? Get on it ! You have moarrr donors to attend to ….

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          Sorry pardner. I do that to offset the Southern stereotype of the Redneck Birth Control Clinic and it’s Skoal flavoured K-Y. (Originally a co-branding concept of Johnson and Johnson and R J Reynolds.)

          Reply
  2. DJG

    Saint Francis of Assisi, who overturned a few things, ora pro nobis. The American Conservative is preaching revolution.

    This is how revolutions are born. America is reaching the point where, 200 years ago, a couple French peasants begin eyeing the Bastille. The question is, can conservatives channel that outrage into serious reform before it’s too late? Can we call out the fetid, decadent elites within our own ranks?

    Read the whole piece. Wow. And Davis is pinning lots of blame on Clinton as well as bringing up Monica Lewinsky. I’m not sure that Monica Lewinsky deserves this, and I hope that she will forbear, but dragging the sneering Democrats into this inferno isn’t such a bad result.

    What is most disturbing, though, for our democratic society is that we now seem able only to replace the permanent brezhnocrats through sex scandals. The ossified structure isn’t bending to democratic demands. So now the only way to deal with the entrenched is through accusations of rape. Maybe this time someone can get the accusations to turn into real criminal charges. I don’t know.

    Lambert Strether mentions Adolph Reed and intersectionality above. When we don’t deal with who has the money and who has turned money into power (and the Gini coefficient = inequality), which neither party wishes to do, we end up with fights over who gets to wear nailpolish. (And never the Vietnamese immigrant woman trapped in one of those forlorn salons.)

    Reply
    1. Goyo Marquez

      I think the problem Adolph Reed skirts above, is the problem of Democracy. The leftish/liberal elite hate democracy as much as the billionaires hate democracy. They both disdain the plebs and want to limit the plebs right to make laws.

      The billionaires because poor plebs want to vote billionaire money into pleb pockets, the leftish/liberal elite because the ignorant, superstitious, gun toting plebs reject elite moral dogma and think moral questions should be resolved by majority vote.

      Socialism is democracy.

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > we now seem able only to replace the permanent brezhnocrats through sex scandals.

      I remember the first sex scandal I blogged about: Jack Ryan, 2004. The scandal that took him down made his opponent, the then unknown Barack Obama, a U.S. Senator. What I did not note at the time was that Obama also won his 2004 Democrat primary because of a sex scandal (Blair Hull).

      At the time, I put the Jack Ryan scandal down to Republican hypocrisy, which was easy to do in the days of the Bush administration. But now I go “Hmmm…..”

      Reply
  3. just another leftie

    No: I mean the old-fashioned, blue-collar, square-jawed Stalinists. I mean the guy with eight fingers and 12 kids who saw photos of the annual Manhattan debutantes’ ball, felt the rumble in his stomach, and figured he may as well eat the rich.

    well put, that’s why i love the Water Cooler

    Reply
  4. Dan

    “The Epstein sex abuse timeline is nearly identical to the Catholic Church sex abuse timeline….”

    Another Kamala Harris failure as a “progressive prosecutor in San Francisco…

    “The Catholic news site, CruxNow, reports that several survivors say that Harris ignored their requests for help for years despite complaints that Catholic priests who had committed acts of sexual assault and sexual abuse were still active in parishes in California. One victim even says he pursued Harris’ attention for more than five years, writing her again and again asking her to take an active role in policing the Catholic sex abuse crisis in California.”

    “She did nothing,” Joey Piscitelli, the head of a California group called SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests) says, adding that Harris “never responded to him when he wrote to tell her that a priest who had molested him was still in ministry at a local Catholic cathedral.”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/48948/kamala-harris-slammed-over-treatment-clery-abuse-emily-zanotti

    “Harris’ failure to release those records is significant because Hallinan’s team was gathering evidence as part of an investigation into pervasive clergy sexual abuse. That investigation disappeared when Harris became the district attorney.”

    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/clergy-sex-abuse-victims-contradict-presidential-candidates-claims

    Reply
  5. Knative

    Why would you support a pro-Trump Democrat? Just to knock out Mitch McConnell? Why can’t they find a Democrat to run who isn’t pro-Trump? Like. I don’t get it. She said she’d confirm all of Trump’s judge pics, and that was the main reason all these people told us we needed to vote for crappy Dems. God.

    Reply
    1. JacobiteInTraining

      Did you not get the memo? I could have sworn we’ve talked about this.

      You see, The Resistance© against literal-fascism is delicate work. You ally with Himmler to get rid of Goebbels, then ally with Rohm to get rid of Goebbels. Next, after a break for brunch…you get set up with Goering to get rid of Rohm, Speer to eliminate Goering, and in 20 or 30 years you end up with someone honorable like Rommel who we can all work with.

      Resistance is thirsty work!!!

      Reply
        1. John Zelnicker

          @Off The Street
          July 11, 2019 at 6:36 pm
          ——-

          It’s always after 5:00 PM somewhere. (With respect to Jimmy Buffet.)

          Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I’m a Dönitz man myself but yeah, what you say does seem to reflect what is going on. When the ‘Left’ allies itself with people like Brennan and Mueller as well as the FBI and the CIA you do wonder what the game plan is and how it all plays out. That is the thing about Trump Derangement Syndrome. Just in how Trump tends to say what is supposed to be the unspoken assumptions out aloud, he tends to make his enemies reveal what they are really all about in their attacks on him. So now we have a situation where a supposedly ‘liberal’ Rachel Maddow acts like a lunatic in her attacks whereas you get a Tucker Carlson from Fox actually saying what people are thinking and sounding totally reasonable. Historians are going to have fun with this era.

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          I have a coolaid drinking friend who told me that fdr was corrupt, which surprised me as I had not heard that particular criticism. I did a little research and could find no support for this position, which left me wondering if the current dnc regime, which hates the new deal and loves to smear opponents, has adopted this position. he had a long struggle with tammany hall, and iirc eleanor had a role in its final demise. i suspect he heard this on one of the many liberal radio shows he listens to or msnbc tv shows, but i didn’t want to ask to avoid an argument.but hey, fdr was a commie right?

          Reply
          1. jsn

            For the last thirty years there’s been a well funded effort to salt the record with revisionist histories by people like Seth Lipsky and Amity Shlayes (a couple of creeps) to cast the success of the US in and after WW2 as being despite rather than because of FDR.

            Along wit directly funded “scholars “ like Seth and Amity, Unz and other alt right and proto alt right sites support this counterhistory with a steady stream of decontextualized snippets of contemporaneous journalism from the New Deal era while an assortment of Koch and Mellon funded nonprofits pay charlatans like Seth & Amity to produce comprehensively footnoted BS to cloud the historic waters.

            There’s serious money behind this and lots and lots of bought true believers who peddle this BS while their patrons make their immediate world better for them. Not quite as disgusting as Epstein, but even more broadly corrosive.

            Reply
            1. anonymous

              “There’s serious money behind this and lots and lots of bought true believers who peddle this BS while their patrons make their immediate world better for them. Not quite as disgusting as Epstein, but even more broadly corrosive.”

              Yes — their cynicism and dishonesty has very practiced comouflage. Political correctness, industrial scale gaslighting is all in good fun — even spiritual. This isn’t harmless sh$t. Well meaning people don’t recognize it — and these same well-meaning, often “cool” connected, types are blind and silent when something like St Vincent Hospital closes — See A Game Of Mates (Murry and Frijters) for a sketch of its concrete applications.

              Reply
            2. jsn

              I recommend, of all people, Conrad’s Black’s biography of FDR: while Black doesn’t get MMT, as a like mind he obviously admires FDR who in my judgement may have been a high functioning psychopath and as such, Black, who is of a similar temperament with different life experiences shaping him, wrote a sympathetic biography of a very complex megalomaniac who envisioned a better world and burned his life short to make it so.

              FDR grew up as a social outcast amongst the highest of the elite with his uncles vision of the justness of an incipient American empire. He was capable of empathy, but mostly exercised it as an abstraction, psychologically torturing many of his close associates and looking first after himself up to the point it threatened his popular image.

              While very difficult to be around as an intimate, he was incredibly effective in the abstract as a politician and succeeded in bending a corrupt and exploitative America to his better vision of it, which vision benefited the vast majority of Americans and citizens of the nations that fell into our orbit at wars end.

              Reply
              1. anonymous

                I recommend for today’s readers: The Woman Behind the New Deal: Frances Perkins (Kirstin Downey).

                Frances Perkins, IMHO, did more for women in this country than all the Presidents combined.
                The Squad should challenge Nancy Pelosi to form a womens study group around this political titan. How is it that what Perkins accomplished can’t be done today? These “radical” ideas have been working pretty well for 85 years. Plus the political struggle that brought them about.

                Reply
        2. Mo's Bike Shop

          It’s not really that Tucker is less of a toady, he’s just staking out a spot that’s far closer to the Known Universe. When you say something so stupid that an informed person has to defend Trump, you lose. The DNC has nothing to offer other than ‘Trump is awful.’ It’s important to remember that the upper echelons of the Democratic Party are convinced that the Pied Piper strategy worked perfectly except for those meddling Ruskies. I’m not anything close to Marketing, but I watched the DNC in 2016 shout Trump!Trump!Trump, never letting up from him as the focus of attention, and just shook my head. I want to thank whoever summed up Hillary’s campaign pitch as “Don’t you dare ask for anything when we get to the store.’ The Democratic Party at this time has nothing to offer anyone who isn’t umbilicaled to regular media grooming of their worldview.

          Reply
          1. jsn

            My grandmother told me there are three kinds of people:

            There are people who make things happen.

            There are people who watch things happen.

            And there are people who say, “what happened!!?”

            And the last is the title Hillary chose for her book…

            Reply
    2. todde

      it’s not about knocking out this or that guy.

      It is about controlling committees.

      When you control who chairs committees, the donors will pay more.

      it makes their real job of raising money so much easier.

      Reply
    3. jrs

      plus giving Trump help to win in 2020 because the line might as well be PR from Trump’s mouth itself: “I’m wonderful, it’s just that Mitch was blocking all my wonderful legislation”.

      False on so many levels, but we have Dems writing Trump PR at this point.

      Reply
    4. Another Scott

      The Dems have completely mismanaged the Trump-McConnell situation. As the article mentions, there are policy differences between Trump and McConnell, and Trump tends to have the less-bad position. Rather than exploiting these differences and perhaps areas where they (shock!) agree with Trump, which may serve to hurt Trump’s relationship with McConnell and isolate the majority leader, they have chosen all-out “resistance.” The end result is the Trump has actually implemented the atrocious tax plan, and gotten his judges and appointees confirmed quickly. Could a good strategy prevented the implementation of these policies? Maybe, but it seems more likely than the path that Democrats tried. But it would be worse for the fundraisers, consultants and MSNBC, which I suppose is the main point of the resistance.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        Trump is significantly bad enough if enough areas that matter to want to unseat him, not to have him pass legislation. That is legit and a legitimately left position. Oh sure many of the Dems aren’t any good and of course aren’t left, but that’s another matter.

        Reply
      2. pretzelattack

        all out resistance sans impeachment, which as ever is off the table (bad for other reasons, but still, consistency). but horrors, if they succeeded it would diminish the flow of funds from the hoi polloi, which can regularly be squeezed for contributions by news of the latest trump transgression. kind of like the republican with abortion, they don’t actually want to succeed in making it illegal (imo) because it is such a useful tool for extracting money and turning out the vote. you are absolutely right about the main point of the resistance (do they wear berets, and have papier mache guillotines?).

        Reply
      1. Chef

        I figure most Kentukyans aren’t all that for gun control.

        The job of any elected representative should be to represent their constituents’ interests, should it not?

        Reply
        1. a different chris

          No, not in the sense I get from your post — “hey he wants the living room painted puke green, so paint it puke green”.

          They are supposed to be leaders. They are supposed to study the problems, come up with solutions, and explain how it’s gonna work to us.

          The thing to note is that the Rethugs almost do this, they do skip the “study” part and just come up with so-called solutions with BS explanations that appeal to the lowest part of the psyche. But something always beats nothing.

          And to your specifics, seems a lot of “law abiding gun owners” are pretty OK with, well better and more straightforward laws about background checks. So why not talk about it?

          Reply
  6. Rick

    Twitter is having a meltdown atm (19:10 UTC) – it’s interesting to note how much content on this page references it.

    I say Twitter is a leading contender for nationalization, especially since major national and international US policy is announced there.

    Reply
    1. notabanker

      I’ve given up on it. I still have my account, but I look at it maybe twice a month. It’s become completely useless and is infested with polarizing political extreme views regardless of who I follow.

      Reply
        1. notabanker

          I was lucky enough to have never created a FB account. I followed twitter for two very specific hobby interests and it’s just gone to hell. I go to it every once in a while to look something up and I have 20+ notifications and they are all @sosandso just had a recent tweet. Gee, thanks. The TL itself is garbage and obviously manufactured to manipulate. After reading some of @jack it’s easy to see why. Pretentious egotistical jibberish.

          Reply
          1. Mo's Bike Shop

            Perhaps a national Instant Messaging service with an open API for creating opt-in filtered environments? The most sensible enthusiasm I’ve seen for twitter are from specialist interests–it’s like everyone is at the Con every day sharing casual enthusiasm and tidbits of information.

            Reply
    2. Kurtismayfield

      No no no no. No way am I having the Federal Government support this “internet Unicorn”. Only if the Twitter owners decide to pay the Federal government to take it, then I might reconsider.

      Let one of the big companies waste their money on it. Google can support it with their ad revenue, or Amazon can buy it with their server money.

      Reply
  7. Dan

    Rick, how about restoring the “Fairness Doctrine,” (media time must be given for rebuttals), and applying it to social media, since it’s so damn important now, for reasons you outline.

    “Kamala Harris says credit scores should include rent… and utilities…”
    “What could go wrong?”

    Well, people whose rent and utilities are paid by tax payers in public housing would get an artificial credit rating boost, thus leading to another mortgage bust and big bank bailout?

    “Paging Steven Mnuchin, paging Steven Mnuchin, pick up the white courtesy phone…”

    Reply
    1. Summer

      She’s proposing this when homelessness is on the rise. So imagine how many people there are who are not homeless but stuggling with rent, utilies and phone? And I’m throwing that out there for any one that may think it is something to help the REALLY struggling.
      Yeah, they are trying to reel in more lower middle class suckers into over priced homes.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        my brother in law is making some bank in the Permian Basin, and wants to be smart about it…apparently taking to heart my warnings about the ephemeral nature of that “New Saudi Arabia”>
        so we’re looking at property for him around the county(just the local paper, so far)
        remember that this is a tiny county…all the houses listed we’ve either driven past for years or been in.
        little 1960’s era brick houses with concrete floors with hardly any yard for more than 100K. clapboard shacks in the barrios(*) for 80. even a 2/1 in an actual ghost town on 1/4 acre “lot” for 140.
        and the signs have been on them for 10+ years.
        i understand wishful thinking and realtor psychology,lol, but damn…
        it’s as if they can’t let go of the boom times.(or, tinfoil sez, there’s collusion to attract a more substantial tax base than the locals can possibly provide)
        rent on teh square is super high, too.
        I told BIL to offer 50 and see what happens.(there’s a certain coolness to living in a ghost town, after all)

        (* we have 3 barrios, Old and New and the White Barrio,lol)

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          “…offer 50 and see what happens.”
          That’s what we did, and ended up in Hattiesburg. Blast!
          The asking prices were inflated ten years ago and have never really dropped very much. Now, with an arguably weaker local economy, the asking prices are going up again. Real Estate is practically the definition of “disconnected from reality.”
          Don’t even think about Commercial Real Estate. One thing I have noticed over the years; when an older home on a business corridor street comes up for sale, it is re-defined as ‘Commercial’ and the asking price goes way up. No one wonders how this works out, what with almost all the start up businesses going under inside of a year or two.

          Reply
        2. polecat

          Does it come furnished with Russia Russia Russian star thistle ?? .. it’s supposed to make “Excellent …” (rubs hands in Boris-like anticipation) honeypot …

          Reply
    2. polecat

      If you will allow me a small quibble :

      ‘White-$hoe’ courtesty phone is perhaps more apt, in light of the perps referred to. Are they not both scumb–s .. er .. lawyers ??

      Reply
    3. jrs

      well I guess if that’s what one assumes credit scores are used for. But maybe they are used to rent an apartment and they are. They can be used for employment (but not in CA, I believe that is illegal as it should be).

      Reply
      1. Dan

        Or buying expensive new cars…people in public housing don’t need to rent elsewhere in this era of lifetime intergenerational estates in them.

        Is there a crisis of people with credit scores too low to rent?

        Bottom line, anything to relax lending requirements, which her scheme is, has the effect of raising the debt levels of Americans, thus serving her master tenant, under her lousy stewardship of the A.G.s office, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

        Reply
        1. Summer

          No, it won’t relax lending standards.
          Homelessness is on the rise. That is counting people already on the street. Other figures above show rents up.
          Again, this is serious. Homelessness is on the rise. So imagine how many people are struggling already with late payments on this and that to make payments to ever increasing rents?
          And people that don’t get evicted, but have struggled through with late payments on phones, utilities, etc…say an opportunity arises for a less expensive place..BUT..there credit is now shot so they are stuck longer in the place leeching them dry.

          Reply
        2. Summer

          The Democrats can’t help themselves it seems from setting traps for low income people and always claim to be the champion of working people.

          Reply
        3. Summer

          “Is there a crisis of people with credit scores too low to rent?”

          I wanted to say one more thing about this. The reason Harris is giving is that it will help some people improve their credit scores.
          The are people getting rents jacked up and the way they are paying them is through floating some bills late. How do you think the utility and phone companies are feeling about this?
          You don’t think there was any lobbying by them to make this a credit issue to put the squeeze on people already being squeezed with high rents.
          Most low income people aren’t in public housing because there isn’t enough. They can only hope a cheaper place comes along that they can get in and being hit with a credit score blow isn’t going to help.

          Reply
  8. Lemmy Caution

    Read the Welcome to the Hellfire Club link and it resonated.

    This Epstein thing is squalid from top to bottom and its been horrifyingly clarifying about how things work in this country. It is sickening to think of how Epstein and his right-hand women have been going around for decades recruiting, grooming and molesting girls.

    During the same time they are photographed going to black tie events, walking the red carpets, hob nobbing with the elites in politics, finance and entertainment, all while wearing self-satisfied smirks and surrounded by an aura of invincibility. To think of the lives these grotesque people have ruined while they yuk it up makes me sick.

    I was going to say something here yesterday along the lines of, “At what point is violence justified, when the insititutions and the laws that are supposed to safeguard us all have clearly, repeatedly failed, and not only failed but have been willfully subverted by those with power and influence?” I didn’t post it yesterday though because I thought it may come off a little loony.

    But in the “Welcome to the Hellfire Club” link, the author basically asks the same thing — is violent revolution the only recourse left to the powerless to try to rebalance the gross inequities that are now paraded before us every day?

    At what point does the last pretense drop away of this being a society built on law and justice? And then what happens next? Feels like we’re closer to ever to finding out.

    Reply
      1. polecat

        And lets not forget the recents calls to make it a crime to disparage our vaunted representatives who do the people’s .. er, sorry … I meant the DONOR’$ work, in both the House & the Senate.

        Reply
    1. Tvc15

      The answer is yes in my opinion because the system is rigged and impossible to change working within their evolving set of rules. See the DNC. Not to digress to the other Clinton, but she was able to dictate the terms of handing over her servers to the FBI, WTF! In what world would the average wage slave be able to do this? Same with Epstein. Ugh, if we can blow up the system without violence, great, but I’m skeptical it can be done.

      Reply
    2. Summer

      Everything is rigged to keep these kumbskulls failing upward.
      Everything is always getting better as long as people forget.

      Reply
    3. jrs

      whether it’s justified is one matter, but there is the practical reality of who is likely to use violence, and it will be lone nuts, right wing crazies etc.. That IS the U.S. at present. I really don’t see any indication otherwise.

      So does introducing more violence knowing this is how things are make sense? Likely no. Decent leftwing tactics might be direct action like wildcat strikes. But I’m almost certain it will not be entirely too isolated people fantasizing about violent revenge.

      Not that I think there’s anything wrong with it so much as, for the people who would pick the right target it’s pure fantasy, mental m@sturbation, and for the people who aren’t afraid of violence it’s almost always a function of deep anomie and thus can not serve a social end, and usually the wrong targets as well.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        given the surveillance environment, as well as the Machine’s long, assiduous practice with counterinsurgency, i think that any kind of organised uprising is very unlikely.
        it will be chaotic and ad hoc…just like it has been…and won’t make the national news save as “crazy man does crazy stuff…oh look how crazy this man is”
        any organised “resistance” will be swiftly and quietly crushed, for the most part…and we’ll never hear the truth of it.
        aside from the fantasy of violent revolt…and the sysiphean task of peaceful political change…all that’s left is the Withdrawal of Consent…including Nonparticipation. This, too, is a hard row to hoe.
        to do almost anything, one is sucked up into the System…and it’s increasingly difficult to live even peripherally to that System.
        so i avoid banks, and walmart and insurance companies as much as possible.
        and i never say anything online that i wouldn’t say on the courthouse steps on the square(which gives me pretty wide latitude,lol)
        i expect nonparticipation and withdrawal to be …errr…underreported, too.
        but i reckon that’s where the action will be, at least initially.

        Reply
        1. NotReallyHere

          @Amfortas – good comment

          and non-participation is already happening in terms of peak-age employment participation, falling membership of social organizations, suicide rates, etc etc.

          The problem is that this route is extremely slow and isolating to the individual.

          “Illegal” ( but wink-wink encouraged by both parties) immigration masks the problem at the highest levels for now. So they continue to roll out the quasi-religious mantras of Global warming, threatened “identity” and “patriotism” to convince themselves that someone cares.

          I suspect these”wedge issues” keep a dwindling number of faithful distracted while the water circles the drain.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            this from wiki:”Libertarian socialists have more recently appropriated the term to refer to the nonviolent strategy of achieving a libertarian socialist economy and polity by means of incrementally establishing and then networking institutions of direct participatory democracy to contest the existing power structures of state and capitalism. This does not necessarily mean disengagement with existing institutions; for example, Yates McKee describes a dual-power approach as “forging alliances and supporting demands on existing institutions – elected officials, public agencies, universities, workplaces, banks, corporations, museums – while at the same time developing self-organized counter-institutions.”[29] In this context, the strategy itself is sometimes also referred to as “counterpower” to differentiate it from the term’s Leninist origins. ”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_power#Strategy_and_ideological_concepts

            is what’s happening already…organically…and without ideology or really organisation that i can see. Like the black, and especially the gray, markets…and barter and time barter…it’s happening in the interstices.
            of course, it’s always been there in certain kinds of places(rural towns and the Panthers come to mind), but i’m noticing it(as in people talk about it without having read Kropotkin,lol)..more and more in my wanderings and bumping into things.

            Reply
          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            How about selective non-participation? Full participation in low-monetized or non-monetized social groupings, neighborhood interactions, etc.

            Low participation in monetized activities which direct the money up the class ladder smoothly and fastly. It shouldn’t be totally hard to figure out which those activities are.

            You don’t need a weathermarx to know which way the cash flows.

            Higher participation in those monetized activities where the money circulates around for a while at a low and middle class level before floating upwards. Buying food at farmers market before Walmart if the choice exists. Cash not credit. Etc.

            Passive obstructionism. Uncivil obedience. Grudging obedience without co-operative compliance. etc.

            Reply
            1. marieann

              “selective non-participation”

              This is how I live, low technology, non consumption, shop local whenever I can.
              I use cash frequently, grow produce, make do and mend. Of course I am old and this is how I started out….and I just never grew into this modern world of ours.

              Reply
              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                There should be clubs, gatherings, events, etc. for those Younger people who would like to learn such skills to learn them from knowledgeable old people who know these things.

                Perhaps the “maker” movement could expand itself to being a “maker and fixer” movement and capture this knowledge for the non-old membership.

                Reply
        2. Fiery Hunt

          Count me in on the Bathrobe Revolution!
          (Withdraw! makes a great battle cry…)
          I stopped voting in 2008, never been on a social media platform, and refuse to buy into this tribe or that one.

          Work for myself, pay my taxes, try to reduce my impact on the natural world and that’s it. Looking for some land here in Nor. CA….gonna try to build a house for me and the girlfriend and try to prepare to beat the coming climate chitstorm/Jackpot.

          Reply
              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                But do buy their shinola ( if there is any “they” still making shinola and it is a kind of shinola-something you want and/or need).

                Because paying the makers and doers of shinola to survive in bussiness making or doing shinola helps preserve the skillsets and the conceptual possibility of “shinola” against the day when more people are ready to support the making and doing of shinola to regain some shinola into their lives and back into the society.

                Reply
          1. a different chris

            Stopped voting? Why? What does that accomplish except to allow the people that don’t think like you to get more of what they want from the government?

            I will never, ever understand this. It only takes a short time once a year. I like a lot of what Russell Brand is about, but not this.

            Reply
        3. pretzelattack

          this makes a lot of sense. as things get worse and worse, at some point a general strike would actually be feasible, but by that time it may be too late to really halt the train wreck–feedback loops in the social sphere.

          Reply
        4. Jeotsu

          The revolution will not be televised.

          Copycat crimes are a very well known phenomena. Such arts are ‘Inconvenient’ when it involves murders and food tampering. But having organized uprisings cascad via copycatting would be catastrophic to the entrenched power structure when it involves effective infrastructure sabotage, targeted killings of billionaires and CEOs, etc.

          In our era of pervasive watchers and a compliant MSM press, I would not be at all surprised if stories were (are, have been) suppressed for the ‘public good.’ You don’t invest multiple billions into your intelligence agencies and not maintain that sort of capability.

          I don’t think this is a particularly ‘foily’ prospect. We see such intervenions overseas in places like China. Stories about ‘inconsistencies’ in our own media (OPCW, Skripals, etc, etc) get discussed here, but rarely or never in the MSM.

          You won’t know the revolution is happening until the lights go out one night, and then don’t come back on. Or when the local Walmart hasn’t had a restock in weeks and weeks, and nobody can explain why.

          Reply
    4. ambrit

      Yes. I’ve been ‘self censoring’ on this subject for some time now. Silly fool that I am. I imagine that the real revolutionaries won’t let on at all about their plans and surreptitious actions. A rule of thumb in conflict management is to never make threats. Just act.

      Reply
      1. Inode_buddha

        Consider the following: If John Hinckley had been a better shot, Reagan would not have been able to abolish the Fairness Doctrine, and therefore the MSM landscape (and its influence on politics) would be vastly different than it is today.

        Reply
    5. Todde

      If you think there is a need for violence, dont talk about it on the internet or phone.

      How and who do you mobilize to commit it?

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        to point out a thing in the world is not the same as advocating for that thing.
        given the history of the last 100 years, that sort of reasonable statement is likely no defense,lol.
        but the broader history of humans says clearly that “the People” will only countenance so much BS.
        when I first read Livy, I wanted to charge out and find a Bastille(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_the_Orders)
        But we’re already in the Bastille, and our participation is essential to that virtual bastilles functioning.
        there ain’t gonna be a Whiskey Rebellion or Revolution 2.0…Machine has all that figured out(see: army field manuals on counterinsurgency.)
        they have plans on the shelf for any contingency….except for nonparticipation.
        I met this guy in the early 90’s when they had moved the Farm to Bastrop, Texas.
        He was crazy as a latrine rat, but…if you can look past the odd cadence and odder rhetoric..I reckon he was spot on, way back then
        https://wulfzendik.wordpress.com/drop-out/
        The Powers forget just how much they need Us.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Spartacus Shrugged.

          ( What if someone were to write a novel titled ” Spartacus Shrugged”? What would it be like?)

          Reply
  9. Summer

    Re: “I read this and started laughing. It is true that controlling scope is the key to project success, but who signed off on the requirements document — or whatever those agile kids use these days — for an “autonomous vehicle” software system that didn’t need to handle “pedestrians, parked cars, and obscured signs”?

    Then think about the other post regarding the banks and only sending emails about overdrafts.

    It doesn’t matter if this crap works or is beneficial. It’s a rat hole everybody is being sent down against their will.

    Reply
    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      (Note that Google’s captcha system, for which I assume I am doing free labor to train some machine-learning algo, hasn’t even gotten to pedestrians yet.)

      I am hitting myself for not noticing that. Bravo.

      I still assume self driving cars is field testing for the DOD. Has anyone traced the path from DARPA in Baja to where we are now?

      Kind of like the fortune cookie game, any problem with self driving vehicles becomes a funny feature when you add the phrase ‘on the battlefield.’ In ten years we will only be reminded of this stuff when the National Guard Autonomous Chuck Wagon runs over someone’s chicken coop. There’s not even an agreed three letter acronym for these, that’s not market prep.

      How is the Hydrogen Economy doing? I assume really quite lucratively in quarters I don’t know about.

      Reply
  10. Roy G

    Thinking a lot about Epstein and the donor money grab that we call ‘politics,’ and I think we should rename the Dem primary process ‘the Lolita Express.’ Creepy for sure, but beyond a few of the candidates, also very apt.

    Reply
  11. Carolinian

    Maybe Pelosi does have a problem with POC, women’s branch. Anybody remember Cynthia McKinney?

    And Dem sugardaddy and maker of bad movies Haim Saban likes all the Dem candidates except one.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2019/07/democratic-candidate-sanders/

    “We love all 23 candidates. No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders, and you can write it.[…]He thinks that every billionaire is a crook. He calls us ‘the billionaire class.’ And he attacks us indiscriminately. ‘It’s the billionaire class, the bad guys.’ This is how communists think. So, 22 are great. One is a disaster zone.”

    Adds the article

    During the 2016 Democratic primary, Saban claimed that Sanders had been an “anti-Israel person” for 25 years. Between June 2015 and June 2016, Saban and his wife donated $7 million to Priorities USA, the primary super PAC that supported Hillary Clinton.

    Reply
  12. Oregoncharles

    AOC questioning Powell: “This was the best five minutes of questioning of Powell from what I saw, and I watched most of it.”

    Doesn’t she have an economics degree? Apparently it’s actually worth something, properly wielded.

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyCsxzd2a50

      For your viewing pleasure….she gets him basically to concede the Fed’s understanding of the drivers of inflation is junk….then, she inches toward suggesting policy implications of min wage. He won’t go there, naturally, nor should he. But, he certainly doesn’t use the opportunity to say, “oh no, don’t you dare do that.”

      And, yes, title that the youtube user put on there is good, too. Phillips curve either needs a major overhaul or is just completely useless.

      Reply
    2. voteforno6

      The meme I’ve seen floating around from those suffering from AOC Derangement Syndrome is that she’s really dumb. I just have to shake my head at that.

      Reply
  13. JohnnyGL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2k3eSEIT2o

    Bernie Sanders goes on Maddow.

    Q: How do you get legislation past Mitch McConnell?

    A: I’m going to Kentucky and I’m holding rallies in communities all over Kentucky, one of the poorest states, and calling on people to pressure the Senator to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr, pass Medicare for All, etc.

    The full use of the Bully Pulpit and the broader power of the executive branch gets tested if/when Sanders get elected. I eagerly look forward to seeing it!

    Reply
    1. Geo

      Love Bernie’s fearlessness. Goes on Fox. Goes on Maddow. Goes to Liberty University.

      He believes in the universal appeal and rationality of his message and rarely falters in countering partisan spin against that message.

      They say we get the leaders we deserve. I hope America deserves Sanders.

      Reply
    2. Jeff W

      The élites (the politicians and the media) can’t imagine such a strategy, much less assess whether it will work or not. I think when the populace has Mitch McConnell’s Senate offices in Louisville, Lexington and elsewhere under siege, perhaps with pitchforks and torches (only for effect), the politicians and the media will disparage the crowds, à la Mr Potter, as the “discontented, lazy rabble,” but they’ll be quaking in their boots.

      That’s really the difference between Sanders and all the other candidates vying for the Democratic nomination—Sanders has a theory of change and of power. It scares the élites to death—they don’t want to see it even articulated, much less tested.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        I don’t think the elites are of one mind on people power. One thing Trump and Obama had in common was the use of people power to give themselves an ego-trip. I think some of the top brass in team dem that are more willing to blow with the political winds, like Durbin, say, do believe in people power.

        Watching the recent Pelosi-freshman class food fights makes me think that Pelosi isn’t actually scared of people power, she’s seriously just too snobby and detached to think it’s even a thing!?!?!?

        When she does the eye-roll at social media circus and says things like, “they’ve got 4 votes, that’s it”, she really believes it. The idea that they are trying to change things up has Pelosi reacting like a bee just flew in the window. She’s frantically swatting at it, trying to get it out of the room.

        Reply
        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          More like the people several layers down in her support staff are too snobby and detached to notice and bring it to her attention. Really giving off the Captain Smith vibe. And what was the idea behind that Dowd column?

          Reply
    3. anonymous

      This is great. Sanders will, as he says, draw crowds of tens of thousands too — real people power — in areas where other democrats have a connection or much to say. In his comments Jamarl Thomas contrasts how Elizabeth Warren seeks the people’s attention — talking up impeachment, reparations, and such — how are people supposed to feel involved or get behind those kind of rallying cries?

      Reply
    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      The DemParty Nominating Convention process is engineered to prevent Sanders or any other Sanderform candidate from getting nominated. The “must get 50% on the First Ballot” is one of the requirements engineered to prevent a Decent Democrat from being nominated.

      The Decent Democrats have only one single chance to outsmart the Catfood Democrat Battlespace shapers. And that is to pool all their collective voting delegates and delegations together behind one single Decent Democrat in order to get that Decent Democrat voted for by that magic 50%.

      Such a thing has never been attempted or even thought of. But it is the one single only chance the Decent Democrats have. One chance. One time. Miss it on that very first ballot and its gone.

      After that, the only thing the Decent Democrats can do is force the Convention to go through the hell of hundreds or thousands of votes without ever surrendering or accepting any Catfood Compromise Candidate. FORCE the Super Poobah Delegates to Brokerise the Convention. Force a Brokered Convention to happen in such an atmosphere of hatred and bitterness that the Catfood Nominee pre-loses 20-30 per cent of the votes it “would have gotten” due to the bitterness and hatred. It would be a step to exterminating the Catfood Wing of the Democratic Party.

      Reply
  14. Louis Fyne

    “…2019 – 114 = 1905, so the paper had survived several technical and social revolutions already. It’s almost as if there’s something uniquely and lethally toxic in today’s business environment….”

    Clinton + GOP + NAFTA (candy/snack/pacakaged food production, auto parts, etc.–quality blue collar jobs for the black community) burned down the black middle class. Obama salted the earth by whistling past the foreclosure mills.

    I like to see someone add that chapter to HuffPost’s hagiography of Obama.

    Reply
    1. Dan

      Don’t forget this gem:

      “we find a strong correlation between immigration, black wages, black employment rates, and black incarceration rates. As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, the wage of black workers in that group fell, the employment rate declined, and the incarceration rate rose. Our analysis suggests that a 10-percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced the black wage by 4.0 percent, lowered the employment rate of black men by 3.5 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by almost a full percentage point.”

      http://www.nber.org/papers/w12518

      He dissemployed some folks!

      Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps someone really COULD add that chapter to Wikipedia’s hagiography of Obama, assuming there is one. And every time the Lords of Wiki take it down, the Record Correctors could put it right back up.

      Reply
  15. Summer

    RE: “I find no compelling economic, political, moral arguments for using the unemployed to stabilize prices. Guaranteeing the right to decent work to all is long overdue. Fed’s key responsibilities are regulatory/supervisory, not hitting the ‘right’ # of jobless people…”

    Sanity exists!

    And you’d think that if unemployed people were good for the economy, there wouldn’t be so much resistance to hiring the unemployed or the stigma.
    It’s total Alice In Wonderland insanity: Unemployed people are goid for the economy and be sure to denigrate them any way you can.

    Reply
  16. petal

    On my route to/from work there is a house with a big rainbow flag hanging out a window, and various signs in the yard: 2 black lives matter signs, another one “we believe in science, etc etc etc”(I think it’s a “Signs of Justice We Believe yard sign), and get this-next to the 2 black lives matter signs is a “Kamala Harris For the People” sign. I wish I could post a photo. It’s so funny. Can’t make this stuff up.

    Reply
    1. Jen

      Petal, I can’t help but sing “love me, love me, love me I’m a liberal” every time I pass that house. I find it interesting that the colors of KH for the people sign are red, yellow and black.

      Reply
      1. petal

        Jen, wondered if you had seen it! Every day I look at it and wonder if it’s some kind of joke, or perhaps that I’ve traveled into some alternate universe. Then I realise it isn’t. In a way I am fascinated by it and those that live there. I’d be curious to interact with them and log observations. Yes on the colours-I don’t get it. I associate those 3 colours with Indigenous peoples(Australian and NA)?
        It just seems to keep getting better, that little stretch of road, doesn’t it? And I must listen to this song. Cheers!

        Reply
    2. Carey

      Yes, I’m noticing quite a few expensively-produced signs in yards around here (Central Cal coast) saying something like:

      It doesn’t matter who you are

      Or where you’re from

      Or what you do

      We Love You and Welcome You (paraphrasing)

      Possibly not an organic movement? Heh

      Reply
    3. polecat

      You could get creative, and make some ‘addendum’ signage, such as “who are Her BIG corrupt $$ Donors” to place to the Right ! Ha! .. of the queen cobra’s. I can see it now – bold, black outlines, firey,flame red in the centers !! skittel sh!ting unicorns on ea. end .. to match the rainbows, of course.

      Reply
  17. fdr-fan

    Re uranium, what strikes me immediately is that Logan County includes the site of the former Kerr-McGee Cimarron nuclear processing plant. (Think Silkwood.)

    Wouldn’t be surprised if some uranium was still hanging around there.

    Reply
  18. kareninca

    Has anyone else noticed that neoliberalism is on its way to killing off middle aged people who are affluent and credentialed, too? I’m not looking for sympathy for that subgroup, just observing. Almost everyone I know who is 55ish is a physical wreck. Not so bad that they are going to die soon, so it wouldn’t show up in the stats we usually look at. But very bad anyway. They are nothing like the people who are one generation older, who are generally in good shape. Even when the younger ones are as well off and have educational credentials. I guess it’s stress. 55 is the new 75.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      As one of the hosts here keeps saying:

      “Everything is going according to to plan.”

      And the smart™phone is the planners’ most effective tool

      Reply
  19. richard

    Vino the olive garden blogger is my new hero.
    “Please respond within 9 days in limerick form.”
    seriously, the new gold standard for mike drops…

    Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “Five Basic Facts About Boeing Missing From Coverage Of the 737 MAX Story”

    I like when the writer wrote: ‘What has largely gone missing in all this reporting is an understanding of the role that Boeing plays in the national economy. If the 737 doesn’t safely and expeditiously return to service, there will be big economic consequences for the United States.’ Admittedly the writer mentions that part of his funding comes from Boeing but – Damn! Is he implying that they should bring back the 737 MAX because it is TBTF? That the occasional crash should be put down as a cost of doing business? Is this like that time that a car executive worked out that with the faulty car they produced did explode in a crash and burnt their passengers to death but that it would be cheaper to pay out the families of those roasted corpses than to actually fix the faulty design of that car?
    I wonder what sort of planes the author travels in?

    Reply
    1. Carey

      If much of the USian political economy is essentially hostage to a single, large, but private, entity, isn’t there really a larger message being put forth here?

      Reply
    2. Carolinian

      Is he implying that they should bring back the 737 MAX because it is TBTF? That the occasional crash should be put down as a cost of doing business? Is this like that time that a car executive worked out that with the faulty car they produced did explode in a crash and burnt their passengers to death but that it would be cheaper to pay out the families of those roasted corpses than to actually fix the faulty design of that car?

      No. Think about it. If a series of planes crash and Boeing is quite obviously at fault then no more Boeing. This is not at all like the Pinto case where solitary crashes by individuals could–Ford thought–be swept under the rug. All air crashes and particularly if they involve Americans are high profile events. Boeing surely knows this although perhaps they have forgotten a bit since air crashes of large planes are far less frequent than they once were even as air travel itself has exploded.

      So one might argue that Boeing management themselves didn’t think about it and that might be right. But the MCAS case seems to be one where they mistakenly thought the odds were too low for it to matter, not that crashes would happen but the “savings”–whatever those might have been–were worth it.

      Reply
  21. McWatt

    Lambert: You are so funny and clever. Thanks for finding everything you do every day. It’s a joy to see your take on things.

    Reply
  22. Amfortas the hippie

    Holmgren is one of my heroes.
    in that old paper(still very germane), is this snip:
    “…The early adopters of energy descent at numbers 2 and 3 Aussie St become the agents and magnets for creative change at number 1 and 4…”
    from section 7.
    that’s me, out here.
    aside from my numerous idiosyncrasies and usual incomprehensibility, it’s what i’m most known for.
    I’ve thought for a long time that it’s a necessary function(I was Doomer when Doom wasn’t cool)
    …like a living museum of the future exhibit…here’s things you can do to make it when it all goes to hell.
    (Archdruid:”collapse first, and avoid the rush!”)
    I noticed a long time ago that there’s no economic or social incentive to grow a little localism and autarky until the $hit has already gone through the fan…and i’ve worried about this. when Hurricane Rita plowed through east Houston, 350 miles away(we didn’t even get clouds, here) the trucks stopped running out here…and by the end of the week, the county was out of gas, food, bottled water, diapers and almost beer(!!!)
    local store owners took to driving to dallas and new mexico for supplies.
    little in the one grocery store but dry corn shucks and canned oysters.
    I saw this as a clear and present danger….almost channeling Clauswitz,or Sam Houston…our supply lines are too long and fragile.
    but literally no one wanted to talk about it.
    they’re getting a little more amenable to such discussions these days, but there’s still a defacto taboo.
    this place is almost perfectly situated, geographically, and even socially(given the right push) to be a model “transition town”, but everyone is encouraged and cajoled to pretend real hard that BAU will continue forever.
    I’m rambling(did too much again, today) and medicated…so i’ll stop now. But this is a topic that’s close to my heart.
    the Club of Rome was right…the Dirty F&&ing Hippies were Right…the way were doing things cannot last.
    and we’ve likely wasted what time and resources we had to attempt to mitigate the suffering that’s coming.
    Thanks for including this in WC

    Reply
  23. Oregoncharles

    A bit of good news: butterflies on the butterfly bush! Two Painted Ladies, a swallowtail, and damn cabbage butterfly.

    Not enough, but something.

    Reply
  24. Carey

    “..the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.’”

    I’ll mildly object to AOC™’s framing, here: Pelosi’s little hit-jobs
    on these subjects have little or nothing to do with the color of
    their skin. Good for keeping th idPol crew employed, though..

    Reply
    1. anonymous

      I think your right. It’s not their age. It’s not their color. It’s not even their gender. Stick to issues and policy. 78% of the women under 30 prefered Sanders over Clinton in 2016. The public will respond.

      Reply
    2. Pat

      Oh I bet AOC knows it isn’t her identity that rankles Pelosi. But if your opponent’s stick is inclusion, why not point out they aren’t being inclusive. While I would also lay odds that more people get that Pelosi is protecting an abusive status quo and is full of manure than the Democratic leadership’s worst estimate, chipping away at the front is still a good thing.

      Reply
  25. dk

    PrivacyMatters

    In Firefox or Chrome, hit Ctrl-Shift-i for the debugging console, in the console paste (or type):

    [...$("input[name=interest_checkbox")].forEach(e=>e.checked=false)

    Then hit Enter to uncheck all the boxes.

    Was going to post earlier but twitter went down for a while and couldn’t test it.

    Reply
    1. dk

      And of course it’s wrong, there’s a missing closing square bracket inside the quotes.
      [...$("input[name=interest_checkbox]")].forEach(e=>e.checked=false)

      Reply
  26. Ford Prefect

    RE: Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future

    At least we all don’t have to become vegetarians. Somebody is going to have to shoot the deer and trap the rabbits so that vegetable gardens stand a chance. We have more deer now than when Columbus first arrived. The suburbs have provided the ideal habitat – no predators and lots of food.

    Reply

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