2:00PM Water Cooler 8/26/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Politics

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

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

I’m abandoning the RCP poll on the Democrat Presidential nomination race, despite the fancy presentation, because I don’t like the way the polls used keep changing (and RCP doesn’t include Reuters/IPSOS either, at least not now, even though Reuter is one of the polls that the DNC uses to determine — if that’s the word I want — candidate eligibility for the debates. So I’ll try FiveThirtyEight (I know, I know) for awhile. Here are results going a week back, last updated 2019-08-26:

The pipeline for major polls feels oddly clogged. Over the weekend, we got a bunch of new HarrisX (C+) polls. Relative positions of Biden, Warren, Sanders are same, with Warren still firmly in third after Sanders. Morning Consult (B-) is still the pick of the litter today on sample size. CNN (A-) has Warren breathing down Sanders’ neck. Anticipation rises on something better than this screen dump shortly.

* * *

2020

UPDATE Biden (D)(1): “Joe Biden: ‘I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts” [Newsweek]. [staffer groans, slaps forehead].

UPDATE Harris (D)(1): Classy:

From a mainstream reporter, note well.

Sanders (D)(1): “Cardi B might be one of Bernie’s most powerful 2020 allies. Seriously.” [Politico]. “The fact that Sanders chatted about parenting with Cardi B in the moments before one of the most important events in the presidential race is a testament to the oddball alliance the two have developed over the past year. It’s a friendship and political partnership that’s drawn the attention of millions of people: Since Sanders and Cardi B unveiled a videotaped conversation this month that they had at a nail salon in Detroit, it has racked up a stunning 22 million views on their social media accounts.” • Sanders looked like he was having fun in that “converation,” too. And why wouldn’t he?

UDPATE Sanders (D)(2):

UPDATE Sanders (D)(3): “Elegy for Bernie? Not quite yet: Sanders 2020 poses a conundrum Democrats must solve” [Salon]. “[T]he overarching conclusion that Bernie Sanders is not an important factor in the 2020 race [is false]. He is older than either Joe Biden or Trump, but appears far more vigorous and alert than either of them. He remains second to Biden in most Democratic primary polls, neither surging nor declining much* while other candidates go through their exceedingly minor boom-and-bust cycles. Remember when your friends were confidently aboard the Pete Buttigieg juggernaut, for five minutes? Remember when Kamala Harris set Biden on fire that one time, and looked like the tough-as-nails leader who would prosecute Donald Trump for everything? Those were good times. Well, neither of those people has cracked double figures in any major poll this month.” • Because, I would argue, Sander has his own list, his own media operation, and his own canvassing operation. And then there’s the issue of whether the polling and the computer models are really providing good proxies for whatever is happening out there in the dark matter of the electorate….

UPDATE Steyer (D)(1): “Tom Steyer’s bets on private prisons and coal mining could spell trouble in 2020” [Los Angeles Times]. • C’mon. What good liberal doen’t love private prisons and coal?

Trump (R)(1): “Joe Walsh says he is challenging Trump ‘to make the moral case against him'” [CNN]. • I prefer the Eagles without Joe Walsh, thank you very much.

Trump (R)(2): “GOP fundraises off Greenland flap: ‘Support President Trump and his efforts to help America grow!'” [Politico]. “The National Republican Congressional Committee began running a promotion in which donors contributing $25 or more receive a limited-edition T-shirt depicting the semiautonomous Arctic island, part of the Kingdom of Denmark, as part of the U.S.”

Warren (D)(1): “Elizabeth Warren Draws Record Crowd of 15,000 in Seattle” [Bloomberg]. “Elizabeth Warren drew the largest crowd of her presidential campaign Sunday in Seattle, as an estimated 15,000 people turned out to support what she calls a movement for change. When touting her wealth tax of 2 cents on every dollar of assets above $50 million, Warren drew chants of ‘2 cents! 2 cents!’ The loudest applause came when she called for overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling that lifted campaign finance restrictions. Warren, who is running on a platform of economic populism with proposals such as the wealth tax and more regulation, comes in second behind Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden in many polls.” • 15,000 is impressive. “Two cents” is the very reverse of impressive (let alone “big, structural). And “many polls.” Come on. What is this, WaPo?

Warren (D)(2): “Elizabeth Warren Manages to Woo the Democratic Establishment” [Edward-Isaac Dovere, The Atlantic]. “Joe Biden is ostensibly the candidate of the Democratic establishment. But it was Elizabeth Warren—who’s built her career on trying to challenge the status quo—who spent the weekend wowing party insiders…. it was a surprise when more than 150 of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors similarly lined up on Thursday night after her speech at a dinner here—and it struck even some of the Democrats waiting to take photos with her. ‘These are people who should not like her,’ said one attendee, who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity to avoid showing favoritism. ‘And they love her.’ The next day, at the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee, party members were on their feet cheering when she took the stage for a brief address. Do the opinions of party insiders even matter anymore? The answer is a resounding ‘maybe.’ DNC members are among the superdelegates whose power in the presidential-nominating process was stripped [except in the case of a brokered convention –lambert] last year. But all the people at the summer meeting are active and influential in local politics, and they have the potential to softly sway opinions in ways that could ripple out of their communities.” • “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” ― Samuel Johnson. And so with the DNC.

Warren (D)(3): They give donations:

* * *

“DNC Chief Plans to Raise Money From Americans in Mexico City” [Bloomberg (Amfortas the Hippie)]. • You can’t escape them! So effing entitled, it makes me want to scream. You want the expat vote, do something about FATCA and make it less onerous for dull normals. Or, if you’re ambitious, work out a way to make existing Medicare portable across borders (appealing to the open borders crowd, too, naturally).

“Video: CNU Professor Rachel Bitecofer Explains ‘Exactly What’s Wrong with Democrats,’ Namely That They ‘Absolutely Suck at Messaging'” [Blue Virginia]. Bitecofer on Joy Reid: “Democrats absolutely suck at messaging. They don’t tap into emotion. They want to have these cerebral conversations with voters that don’t exist. Because, you know, we we are not typical people and we want to talk to ourselves. And you know, you have to tap into emotion the way that the GOP does. Not, I would argue, in such a negative way, but in a way that gets people to connect their day-to-day lives with the political process.” • Not sure what RussiaGate was but emotional, not to mention the occasional Susan Sarondon eruptions. And we went through all that “messaging is the problem” once already back in 2003 with George Lakoff; the result was Why Mommy is a Democrat:

(Ow! My eyes!) Anyhow, it looks to me like Bitecofer wants to be a Democratic strategist. Like Lakoff. Good luck to her.

“Democrat congressman says U.S. needs illegal immigrants to ‘mow our beautiful lawns’ and do jobs ‘Americans are not willing to take'” [Daily Mail]. “Mr Malinowski [NJ-07] who took the seat in the 2018 mid-term elections told those gathered at Cafe Brio on Tuesday evening there were a lot of jobs illegal migrants were doing that Americans would not do. ‘There are a lot of jobs in our community, that like it or not, for better or for worse, Americans are not willing to take.’ He cited health aides caring for senior citizens and gardeners as roles commonly done by those without a legal right to reside in the United States.” • The event took place at the Café Brio in Hillsborough, NJ. As I keep saying, is there some mysterious power that prevents the magic of the marketplace for raising wages for health aides?

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “The Cherokee Nation Nominated a Delegate to Congress as Stipulated in Treaties” [Teen Vogue]. “The Cherokee Nation announced last week that it has, for the first time in its history, nominated a delegate to the United States Congress in accordance with provisions in treaties the tribe has with the federal government. In a Thursday press release, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. nominated the Cherokee Nation’s vice president of government relations, Kim Teehee, for the job.” • Hoskin on Warren. Lots to speculate about there.

UPDATE Centrism:

Maybe we could dock the submarines in Greenland, thereby combining Trump Genius with Democrat Centrist Genius to create a glorious new world.

Stats Watch

Durable Goods Orders, July 2019: “Aircraft orders proved strong for a second straight month in July while core capital goods orders proved steady and solid despite a downward revision to what was still a very strong June” [Econoday]. “With the ongoing grounding of the 737 Max and amid prior questions over demand for capital goods, today’s report, despite areas of weakness, may help ease concerns at the Federal Reserve which is focused on the health of the manufacturing sector and specifically aircraft and especially business investment. On net, today’s report may reduce the need at the Fed, at least slightly, for further rate cuts.” • “Durable goods orders are new orders placed with domestic manufacturers for factory hard goods.”

Chicago Fed National Activity Index, July 2019: “Deep contraction in production pulled down the national activity index in July” [Econoday]. “[Production-related indicators] declines speak to the effects of slowing global demand and the slowdown in export demand. Personal consumption & housing was the next greatest negative… This index represents a wide roundup of prior indicators based on which and in contrast to many individual indications on the economy suggests that 2019 has been a poor year for the economy.”

Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey, August 2019: “Texas manufacturing activity unexpectedly snapped back into expansion in August” [Econoday].

Retail: “Now bigger than eBay, Shopify sets its sights on Amazon” [Financial Times]. “Shopify’s shares, which first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2015, have been on a tear this year. The stock has climbed more than 150 per cent since the beginning of 2019, making Shopify more valuable than well-known internet companies including Twitter, Square and Spotify. Its market capitalisation — now more than $40bn — surpassed that of ecommerce pioneer eBay earlier this year…. Shopify has investors excited because it is increasingly seen as the most likely challenger to Amazon’s ecommerce dominance. While many retailers, both traditional and online, have tried to tackle Amazon’s ‘everything store’ head-on, Shopify has succeeded by arming individual merchants with the same technology and capabilities, but with more control.”

Housing: “Here’s exactly what it cost to buy my 3-bedroom, 2-bath house near Daytona Beach, Florida” [Business Insider]. “[O]ur total cash needed at closing [was] $6,325.63.” • Readers, the arithmetic is in the post. Does that cash figure seem low?

Manufacturing: “Bjorn’s Corner: Fly by Steel or Electrical wire, Part 5” [Leeham News & Analysis]. • If you’ve been following the 737 MAX story, or Boeing v. Airbus generally, this is a really educational series — though I’d be interested to hear what our professional pilots say.

Manufacturing: No “dignity” in trying to type on a keyboard where the spacebar doesn’t work:

Tim Cook came up through his supply chain skills. Maybe Cook’s management of Apple’s supply chain wasn’t really all that hot? Since they can’t seem to avoid brand-impacting manufacturing defects?

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 24 Extreme Fear (previous close: 18, Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 26 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 26 at 11:56am. Note that the index is not always updated daily, sadly.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Unemployment. “The 2018 [sic] jobless numbers were 500,000 too high.” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 185. Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.

The Biosphere

“Brazil, the Amazon, and Global Warming: It Ain’t Quite What the Media Tell You” [Dean Baker, Beat the Press]. “The reason that we are worried about global warming is because rich countries, most importantly the United States, have been spewing huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for well over a century, while destroying the native forests on their lands. They also have paid to have forests in other countries destroyed in order to meet their resource needs. This is the context in which the destruction of the Amazon is a worldwide problem of enormous proportions. (The Amazon is treasure which should be preserved even if global warming was not a crisis, but that is a different matter.) The blame Brazil story is one where a group of rich boys are sitting around in their mansion eating a huge plate of cookies. Meanwhile, they send the housekeeper from room to make the beds and clean up. After the housekeeper finishes, she sees the last cookie on the plate and begins to reach for it. The rich boys then all yell at her for being greedy for wanting to take the last cookie.” • G7 set aside $20 million in “emergency aid” for the Amazon. The decimal point is in the wrong place. Because the “emergency” isn’t the fires.

UPDATE “Why Libertarianism Will Kill Us All” [Nathan J. Robinson, Current Affairs]. “[T]his whole “my property is mine to do as I see fit” framework only holds up if you fail to think about the most basic complications. If my “choice” to use my property one way ends up damaging the planet we all live in, then why should I get unilateral decision-making power? [Brendan O’Neill] poses the question: Is Brazil a sovereign nation, or isn’t it? As far as the Amazon goes, the answer should be: Of course it isn’t.” • Equally true for the United States, then. More: “Climate change as a problem is very difficult for many libertarians to deal with, because it poses a serious challenge to the individualistic view of property rights whereby I can simply ‘do as I please’ so long as I am not committing an act of violence against you. I suspect this is why so many libertarians are such vehement climate change deniers.” • But if Brazil (and the United States) are not sovereign, then what should they be? Robinson is silent (and so am I, since I don’t know the answer either).

“In Detroit, ‘revolutionary’ mapping could help residents with asthma” [Grist]. “‘What’s happening is, for better or for worse, a lot of Detroit is becoming reforested,’ says Daniel Katz, a plant ecologist at ​the University of Michigan School of Public Health. ‘And so, we have these vacant lots, and first there’s ragweed in them, but then other grasses come in and we get this kind of grassland habitat.’… [A]lthough the precise contribution of this increase in pollen is hard to determine, it can’t help but add to the city’s already heavy asthma burden. Detroit currently ranks in the top 10 cities in the U.S. for asthma-related deaths… Katz and his colleagues say they can create maps that show where in town ragweed is likely to be high, and where it will be low, something that has never been done before. This stands to give Detroiters who suffer from things like hay fever extremely accurate pictures of parts of town that they should avoid.”

“In Nepal, Out-Migration Is Helping Fuel a Forest Resurgence” [Yale Environment 360]. “A forthcoming paper by a NASA-funded research team, using the most detailed analysis of Landsat satellite images of Nepal to date, has found that forest cover expanded from 26 percent in 1992 to 45 percent in 2016. This makes Nepal an exception to the global trend of deforestation in developing countries. Many locals and experts attribute the forest regrowth to policy changes from about three decades ago… But there is another factor at play in Nepal’s forest resurgence: human migration. In recent decades, millions of Nepalis have left the country to work in the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia, and beyond. As Nepalis wire money home, population and economic pressures shift away from agriculture to other types of rural and urban livelihoods. The families of migrants often rely less on forest products or they abandon farmland, aiding reforestation and helping create what one 2016 study termed a “remittance landscape,” referring to the funds sent back to Nepal. A 2018 study, which mapped the spatial distribution of reforestation and out-migration in Nepal, showed that the areas with the highest out-migration experienced, on average, the most forest recovery. There is a “strong positive effect of international out-migration on forest regeneration in Nepal,” the researchers concluded.” • “Remittance landscape.” I wonder if the same process operates in the Philippines?

“Monsanto Behind GOP Effort to Defund Cancer Researchers” [The Intercept]. “In 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified glyphosate, an active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, as a ‘probable carcinogen,’ setting off a global debate about the world’s most popular weedkiller. … [A]ccording to a recent trove of documents, the ongoing political assault on the IARC has been scripted in part by Monsanto, the St. Louis-based chemical and seed conglomerate that produces Roundup and Roundup-resistant crops. Roundup has been cash cow for the company since the 1970s, fueling billions of dollars in annual profits. Its use has skyrocketed in recent decades since the company developed genetically modified corn and other crops that are resistant to it; it is now the world’s leading herbicide.”

“Conflicted Judge Abets Chevron Retaliation Against Heroic Lawyer Steven Donziger” [Activist Post]. • No time to assess the source for being overly tendentious and Making Sh*t Up™, but I love the headline.

Gunz

“Elementary school cheerleaders asked to sell raffle tickets – with a semiautomatic weapon as the prize” [CBS]. “While the cheerleaders’ raffle prize was an AM15, the football team is selling raffle tickets for a Glock 9 mm. Club president Robert Wooten told WKRC all the media attention actually resulted in an increase in ticket sales.”

Class Warfare

UPDATE “American Factory, Netflix — harsh truths about the new world of work” [Isabella Kaminska, Financial Times]. “Chairman Cao’s views on unions, meanwhile, are set out clearly from the beginning. ‘You all know how we stand on this. We don’t want to see the union developing here. If we have a union it will impact our efficiency, thus hurting our company, it will create loss for us. If a union comes in, I’m shutting down,’ he tells his fellow Chinese employees.” • Wait. I thouught that under globalization the magic of the marketplace was supposed to bring forth liberal democracy?

“The Obamas’ Netflix Doc American Factory Gestures Toward the End of the Working World” [Vulture]. “American Factory isn’t all black-and-white. [Chinese CEO] Cao and his ilk aren’t malevolent, exactly. They simply equate productivity with happiness and expect American workers not only to feel the same but to be grateful for the opportunity to experience such happiness. What Cao doesn’t grasp is that Americans no longer have faith in a social contract. Why should they give themselves physically and emotionally to a corporation when U.S. corporations feel absolutely no responsibility for the welfare of their employees? It’s the worst of communism (become a cog, a zombie drone) and the worst of free-market capitalism (you’re expendable in all ways).” • Hysteresis, in the most charitable reading. Contrast–

“Name, age, and Local 19: Why Philly men list their unions on Tinder” [Inquirer]. “[T]he guys who did talk to me — stagehands, electricians, operating engineers — most of them unwilling to let me print their names, told me this: It was a pride thing. ‘Going from non union to union, you realize you really earned something,’ one electrician said. ‘You bust your ass for it.’ Listing their local served a practical purpose — it was the most accurate way to describe their job because they didn’t have one consistent employer — but others said it might suggest they were a catch. ‘I always grew up hearing the word union and thought it pretty much meant you’d be taken care of,’ said Evan Sanders, who had recently left Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 for the Drywall Finishers Local 1955, whose profile read ‘union steel worker.’ He’s alluding to the fact that trade union members are paid well, have good health-care benefits, and get that most elusive of perks among young people these days: a pension.” ª Hmm…

News of the Wired

“Dairy Queen burgers are not made of human flesh, a county coroner is forced to confirm” [WaPo]. • There’s good news tonight!

“Complex quantum teleportation achieved for the first time” [Phys.org]. “In future work, the quantum physicists will focus on how to extend the newly gained knowledge to enable teleportation of the entire quantum state of a single photon or atom.” • Matter transmission a ways off, then.

“No Son of Mine Is Going to Be a Benthamite Utilitarian. This Is a John Stuart Mill Family, Dammit” [McSweeney’s Internet Tendency]. “Seriously, do you really think that hedonistic, short-term pleasure is just as good as long-term fulfillment? It’s like night and day, you dimwit!”

“George RR Martin: ‘Game of Thrones finishing is freeing, I’m at my own pace'” [Guardian]. This is interesting: “What did impress [Martin], however, was how those who had read the books kept the saga’s secrets. ‘The way in which no one spoiled the Red Wedding is one of the biggest stories in the history of television because there were literally millions of book readers who knew what was coming and they gave nothing away. Instead, they did something which I didn’t expect either – they recorded the shock and dismay of their loved ones.’ He laughs. ‘Suddenly, there were videos all over the internet of people reacting to the Red Wedding, all set up by their relatives who wanted to capture the grief and shock of their husbands, wives, siblings… Has that ever happened in the history of television? Not as far as I know.'” • Maybe I should have filed this under “Zeitgeist Watch.”

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

BM writes: “Garlic is very easy to grow here in Iowa. Next year we’ll grow even more.” When the time was right to plant garlic, I would always be too busy — I accelerate during the summer! — to do it. Which is a shame!

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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.

217 comments

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Silver grades Monmouth as A+ (!!).

      Adding, “Bern Notice” is a campaign site (part of Sanders’ independent media operation).

      I’d really prefer not to cite to campaign material directly, but rather to the original material. Thanks!

      Reply
  1. diptherio

    Nepali forests and remittance.

    I know a number of Nepalis who have traveled to places like Palau, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia for work. It’s not a good thing. The system in place is what we used to refer to as “labor sharks” in this country (one of my friends works at such a firm). Basically, you go into debt to pay the Rs. 50,000 or so to get an overseas job. If you can’t afford to buy a job, the hiring company might finance it for you. Add in plane tickets and most people end up spending the first couple of years abroad paying back the money it cost them to get there. Add in your standard abuses of foreign workers, and the separation of children from their parents, and you’ve got yourself a real crappy decision that lots of people are being forced to make.

    I guess I’m glad to hear there’s some kind of silver lining, but the human cost is massive…

    I’ll also add that the forests in Nepal are managed by local village committees, as a commons. I’d bet that has an effect too, as the people charged with managing the forest are dependent on its continued existence. [edit: I committed the sin of not reading the article first…they do cover this aspect]

    Reply
    1. diptherio

      However, the silver lining might have some admixture of baser elements in it as well:

      remittance income has changed consumption patterns so that people depend less on forests for resources. Thirty years ago, nearly all rural Nepalis cooked on firewood, but today, many use canisters of liquified petroleum gas imported from India. Likewise, migrants’ families tend to build houses from brick and concrete instead of traditional stone-and-wood homes. Some have shifted from raising cattle and goats, which they fed fodder cut from the forest, to raising chickens on imported feed.

      So more forests, but more fossil fuel use. More forests but more energy going to make bricks and concrete. The KTM valley is already covered in black-smoke-spewing brick kilns…trying to figure out the net environmental effects from all this would be…uh…complex, to say the least.

      Reply
  2. toshiro_mifune

    I prefer the Eagles without Joe Walsh, thank you very much.
    I pretty much had the same jokes in mind when I heard Joe Walsh might run against Trump.

    Also…. Can we agree Walsh was about the only good thing about the Eagles?
    Also, also…. James Gang was better than the Eagles

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      Eagles with Joe Walsh?

      In the City is a great song. And the album it was on is a total classic.

      This coming from an original punk rocker, doc.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      Oh comeon now. Cut them some slack. The original “Eagles” was good country pop.
      You want psychelidelicountry? Try some “Flying Burrito Brothers” or “New Riders of the Purple Sage.” Maybe “Pure Prairie League.”

      Reply
            1. ambrit

              What joy to hear that again. Last time I can remember listening to this album, it was in a friends apartment with a beer in my hand.
              We have to tell these younger cohorts that this present H— is not man’s destiny. The ’60’s stand as a testament to that idea.

              Reply
      1. a different chris

        But that’s the irritation. They were OK. Better than OK, occasionally. But they and their fans seem to regard them as what the Beatles would have aspired too, if they only knew. As best captured on that Seinfeld episode, as so much of our stupid culture was.

        Like I think I have said before, in so many ways and so many forums, if you want your entertainment sources (athletes, rock stars, Jon Voight) to also be people you would admire if you met them in a cafe you are just going to be sorely disappointed.

        The Eagles amaze me because they almost meet that criteria, except instead of being very good at what they do and fairly irritating personally, they are fairly good at what they do and very irritating personally.

        Reply
        1. KLG

          Yes, James Gang was better than the (later) Eagles. And I would vote for Joe Walsh for anything.

          Also, too: NC commenters showing their vintage ;-)

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Yes. I’m old and grey and in the way.
            But, H—. My wife saw the Beatles at City Park in New Orleans! And Elvis, who she was not impressed by.

            Reply
    3. carycat

      got to vote for Joe just to see if he will trash the white house even though Jim is no longer available to help

      Reply
      1. Bugs Bunny

        For those of you there, Wisconsin has an open primary. Sanders will win on the Dem side, might as well vote Walsh for GOP.

        Life’s been good to me so far…

        Reply
        1. richard

          here is k.kulinski covering walsh on abc
          no concrete material anything
          just a bunch of never trump gas (not decent! incompetent!)
          being released to no effect
          i think kulinski has him nailed

          Reply
      2. Craig H.

        There is a Joe Walsh music video which I could not find where the skit action is him going into a hotel room with his luggage including a golf bag with a few clubs and a baseball bat and a sledge hammer and then he just starts wailing with the bat and the hammer on the light fixtures and whatnot.

        Also: different Joe Walsh. Has Skunk Baxter ever tried to run for an election yet?

        Reply
    1. Carolinian

      All smiles at Anybody But Biden (or Harris) headquarters.

      Meanwhile here’s an important blog post by Wall Street veteran Pam Martens who says Epstein culture is Wall Street culture but without the victims being underage (sometimes they are right out of High School).

      http://wallstreetonparade.com/2019/08/jeffrey-epstein-learned-his-sexual-depravity-from-wall-street-then-took-it-to-the-next-level/

      She says Wall Street’s forced arbitration legal system protects high status predators.

      Reply
      1. Cal2

        “Epstein culture is Wall Street culture…without the victims being underage”

        It is OK for a married man, to sleep with a [different] woman, 31 years younger than him, and then to use his political power in exchange to reward her with a taxpayer funded complex insurance regulatory job for which she is not qualified ? How about if her medical experience was limited to raising money for a hospital? Sure it’s legal, but is it ethical?

        “Aside from handing her an expensive BMW, Brown appointed her to two patronage positions in state government that paid handsomely — more than $400,000 over five years. In 1994, she took a six-month leave of absence from her Alameda County [deputy DA] job to join the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Brown then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission, where she served until 1998, attending two meetings a month for a $99,000 annual salary.”

        And that’s before she even ran for statewide office and “forgot” to prosecute Wall Street. Good Old Steven Mnuchin, donated to her senatorial campaign in gratitude. Wow, just imagine, national office…

        https://www.ocregister.com/2018/09/26/california-is-still-living-in-willie-browns-world/

        https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2019/01/27/willie-brown-kamala-harris-san-francisco-chronicle-letter/2695143002/

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          I ripped out a comment by one Ember Brody, who is banned for multiple violations of our site Policies, including ad hominem, straw manning, attacks on readers, making shit up, and making the site look bad (racism). I had to rip out the many good comments taking him on, otherwise nesting would break.

          Any future comments by him will be expunged, and if I am forced to do that, I will also rip out his entire comment history.

          Reply
      1. ChrisAtRU

        I can’t imagine she’s pleased at all. Harris has negligible traction and Biden’s fall threatens to be precipitous from here on out. Those two constitute the best shots the establishment has to maintain unfettered control. If this holds, it’s truly a two-candidate race, and everyone not named Bernie or Elizabeth can take all the available seats … #Finals

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Ultimately, there is no demand for “New Democrats.” Even when HRC ran, her people pushed the message of a secret liberal HRC or simply declared she and Bernie agreed on everything. They needed to silence Sanders to prevent those divides from being realized, but without the nostalgia, “New Democrats” have been around for almost 50 years and wielded power over the Democratic party across the board for decades.

          Reply
          1. Eureka Springs

            I get your points but in fact have not House progs been greater in actual numbers much of, if not all that time?

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              I would put the number of “progressives” (not in the DKos sense) at closer to 30 at most. The various bills allow them to amass a great sounding 95% of the time style voting record, but when “Progressives” include Joe Kennedy III, they aren’t that progressive.

              By and large, the Democrats in Congress are non-entities or “New Dems” even if they don’t accept the Blue Dog/Third Way branding.

              Reply
        2. John k

          I doubt Liz can take Bernie in the primaries. First there’s the undercounted young votes, second he will do better with the indies, which can vote in some cases and which are not counted.
          Disappointed tulsi getting so little traction. Might end up with Bernie Liz ticket.
          Tulsi for secdef or secstate.
          Bill black treasury or AG.
          Lots in state, defense, fbi and cia need to be retired before change can proceed.
          And loan FBI agents to treasury to go after big evaders.

          Reply
          1. Eureka Springs

            Liz for P or VP? Just no. I’ve moved far enough right to consider voting for Sanders but if Liz is his VP choice, I’m out. And I need to know this answer before he gets my primary vote. Gabbard is the best choice for a potential 16 year Sanders/Gabbard run, and that’s out of the question with a Sanders Warren ticket..

            Reply
            1. Fiery Hunt

              That’s a bold call!
              I like it…but I’d take Liz as VP if it meant we get a Sanders Administration. And no, I don’t really trust her either…

              Reply
            2. Michael Fiorillo

              I like Tulsi, and there’s much to recommend her, but if you don’t think this video of her chanting Hare Krishna in Union Square Park (recorded by Michael Tracey, who is sympathetic towards her and has exposed MSM smears against her) would be a deal breaker for too many people, then we’ll have to agree to disagree.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GRNXTSwVVY

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Oh wow. This would play well with the same crowd who hated Mitt Romney because he was a Mormon. (A larger number of people than publicly admitted.)

                Reply
              2. Eureka Springs

                Well her use of terms “public and private option” bother me much more. And there is a youtube of her speaking to an AIPAC type of gathering which is bothersome at points to put it mildly.
                As for singing HK, the phone ringing in that video is the only thing offensive to me.

                Reply
          2. ChrisAtRU

            It’s going to be interesting to see how Club Dem handles this. I mean, we’re still what, six/seven months out?

            Do they try (in vain, invariably) to prop up Biden?
            – You can bet your bottom dollar big money donors are looking askance at this
            What about Harris?
            – Still stuck in single digits. That can’t be good. She was 1st one out to the Hamptons.
            And what about Warren?
            – I still remember those articles asserting that The Street was firmly of the “anyone but Liz and Bernie” mindset. Oh, what do they do now?

            I expect a ramp up in the nastiness. Don’t think it will play well this cycle, but when has Team Dem ever subscribed to common sense and logic?

            It’s funny in a sense since IMO Warren is functionally an heir to FDR’s legacy in that she wants to “save Capitalism”. Bernie has no such charter. Bernie wants to build a Democratic Socialist agenda and economy, and this will mean greatly reducing the scope of Capitalism. Warren says she is a “capitalist to her bones” … Bernie welcomes their (capitalists’) hatred, by which measure he is FDR’s heir in the opposing sense.

            Reply
    2. ewmayer

      I can see the resulting MSM headline: “Warren, Biden neck and neck in latest Monmouth poll, Harris nears double-digit support.”

      Reply
  3. ambrit

    Great Googly Moogly! Did you see the background of the “Why Mommy is a Democrat” page you inflicted on us? There’s a man sleeping on a park bench covered up by a newspaper, a real, homeless ‘deplorable!’ Observed in the wild!
    Who says that Democrats don’t have a sense of humour?
    The closest thing to ‘brain bleach’ I can think of is watching Teletubbies for an hour. That or “This Week.”

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I focused on the pennant reading “TEAM” in the foreground, telling in itself, but your catch is a thousand times better. The image is legit, too; I checked. The newspaper headline reads — are you ready? — “SUPREME COURT.”

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Oh good lord. SUPREME COURT! I’m laughing as I type this. The symbolism is priceless! The homeless man is protected in his right to sleep on the park bench by paper churned out by the Supreme Court as much as the rich man is protected in his right to sleep rough on a park bench. The ‘deplorable’ is actually being sheltered in his degradation by the Supreme Court’s rulings. I would say what delicious irony, but then, it has been a long time since we lived in the tent in the State Park in Lafayette, Louisiana. I would venture to say that the feeling is roughly the same. Same as it ever was.

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          he can not only sleep on a park bench, he can sleep under a bridge just like rich folks! with justice and equality for all, you bet.

          Reply
      2. Hepativore

        “Democrats make sure everyone plays by the rules just like Mommy does.”

        Good luck saying that one with a straight face, especially after the 2016 election. Plus, they are also very good at playing by rules that they have changed at the last moment to thwart candidates that make their corporate donors nervous.

        They probably have another last minute rule change planned to stop Sanders as Biden crumbles. I am guessing that they will strip Sanders of his “Democrat” title and force him to run as an independent candidate saying that he “violated his loyalty pledge” to the Democratic Party that they forced him to sign. Or they might simply say that Sander’s delegate votes do not count since he is not a “real Democrat” and simply appoint a DNC-approved candidate.

        I would like to be wrong on this, but Sanders is public enemy number one to the DNC. After seeing what they did to Gravel and what they are trying to do to Gabbard, they probably have more sneaky tricks up their sleeves.

        Reply
      3. ambrit

        And I just noticed the juxtaposition of the man sleeping on the park bench and the words “…plays by the rules.” Just as, supposedly, the homeless man did. Look where it got him!
        I’m beginning to wonder if the ‘children’s book’ “Why Mommy is a Democrat” wasn’t perhaps designed by someone working for the RNC.

        Reply
        1. Carey

          “Why Mommy is a Democrat” wasn’t perhaps designed by someone working for the RNC.”

          or the DNC. :–) ‘cuz we all want to belong to Mommy’s ineffectual Party, don’t we?

          Reply
      4. polecat

        I found it kinda creepy, with the Nerra-like Mommy finger-pointing ala the screecy hissy Donald Sutherland/Dr. Binell character at the end of the film ‘Invasion of
        the Body Snatchers’ …. I mean, just look at those flowers – they’re outta this world !!
        Even the youngins have that vacant, unemotional look in their eyes .. along with the faux smiles.

        Reply
    2. Jeff W

      Democrats make sure everyone plays by the rules…

      Sounds like something Liz “Big, structural changes!” Warren would say. And, if, by “playing by the rules,” some people end up sleeping on park benches with newspapers for cover, well…”TEAM!”

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Though, I’ve seen this book numerous times. This book was printed after the Supreme Court made up the rules for the 2000 farce. Democrats were very good at doing what “teacher says.”

        Reply
  4. Wukchumni

    “While the cheerleaders’ raffle prize was an AM15, the football team is selling raffle tickets for a Glock 9 mm.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    We have a semi-automatic
    Yes we do!
    We have a semi-automatic
    How about you?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Hey! If you can afford to support High School sports, you must have stuff to defend from the usual gang of miscreants. Those raffle prizes sound just right for the target demographic.

      Reply
    2. h2odragon

      she was excited for her 7-year-old daughter to join the cheer squad,

      … Certainly, it’s the *guns* that are the trouble here!

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Let’s get fired up
        Get rough, get tough, get mean
        Let’s get fired up
        And roll right over that lone shooter on campus
        Team!

        Reply
  5. Summer

    “The event took place at the Café Brio in Hillsborough, NJ. As I keep saying, is there some mysterious power that prevents the magic of the marketplace for raising wages for health aides?”

    They’re trying to create more jobs Americans aren’t “interested” on doing.

    As for lawns, remember when the children or neighborhood children would handle that?

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      I remember those days well. To the point where my parents removed the grass and replanted that yard space with ground covers that grew well in eastern Pennsylvania. No more mowing for the Slim family.

      And we stuck to our guns. Which made us oddballs in that neighborhood.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > To the point where my parents removed the grass and replanted that yard space with ground covers that grew well in eastern Pennsylvania. No more mowing for the Slim family.

        You were way ahead of your time!

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          There are a lot of jobs in our community, that like it or not, for better or for worse, Americans are not willing to take.’ He cited health aides caring for senior citizens and gardeners as roles commonly done by those without a legal right to reside in the United States.”

          Strangely, my family, including me, did such work, but then one could actually survive on the minimum wage back in the day.

          As I keep saying, is there some mysterious power that prevents the magic of the marketplace for raising wages for health aides?

          It’s called greed.

          That and perhaps the desire to lord over your enserfed employees working your fields for that nice feeling of superiority.

          Reply
          1. Oregoncharles

            “gardeners as roles commonly done by those without a legal right to reside in the United States.”
            I made a business of that for about 30 years, haven’t entirely retired. And hired Anglo young people to work for me, besides one Mexican guy for a couple of years. My Anglo partner is still working full time. It was a business you could create by handing out cheap fliers, then working hard.

            But the pol is right: most of the crews I see now are mostly latinos. Might be a hard business to get into.

            Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      From Monmouth:

      The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from August 16 to 20, 2019 with 800
      adults in the United States. Results in this release are based on 298 registered voters who identify as
      Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, which has a +/- 5.7 percentage point sampling margin of
      error

      Rated A+ by Silver though.

      Reply
      1. Pat

        Not now that he doesn’t like their results…

        Love that he is being called on his double standard by his own readers and followers.

        Reply
      2. fajensen

        Come on :).

        Who even answers the phone these days? Then compounded with “Who completes surveys these days”?!

        It’s no surprise that elections are surprising.

        Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      That’s really awesome!

      Put that in the bucket with the Bernie foxnews townhall where the fox hosts were caught off guard by the enthusiastic, unexpected response.

      The political landscape is changing. Long time vets like Rep. Lynch (whom I actually like, but he’s too conservative) don’t understand how things are changing. They came up in a landscape where private health insurance was a benefit, not a burden. They really look lost these days.

      The pivotal change really came right around the time of Obamacare, where deductibles and co-insurance really went mainstream. A LOT of big multinational companies got tired of raising premiums and started looking to deductibles and co-insurance to offset the cost of healthcare. Obamacare, unexpectedly, helped accelerate and deepen this trend. The recent phenomenon of jacking prescription drug costs way up is only throwing gasoline on the fire that Sanders started in 2016. I don’t think Bernie himself realized quite how the political landscape that he ran in for the 2016 election was different than, say, even 2008….let alone 1992 when the Clintons took a crack at healthcare reform.

      Now, Lynch isn’t an ideologue….he’s generally a bright guy, don’t be surprised if he comes around. He’d rather be on the Medicare for all bus lest he find himself under it!

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        “Obamacare, unexpectedly, helped accelerate and deepen this trend.”

        Further to this, I recall a lot of pundits/experts predicting that a LOT of employers would drop healthcare benefits altogether and just dump their employees on the Obamacare exchanges. This was quite wrong. It seems health benefits have much more appeal as a tax deductible means to attract and retain employees (or control them).

        What they didn’t predict was that it would create the dry tinder for a firestorm of a political backlash that would find its voice in 2016, and continue to gain strength to the present day.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          What they didn’t predict was that it would create the dry tinder for a firestorm of a political backlash that would find its voice in 2016, and continue to gain strength to the present day.

          Which rather explains why the DNC, RNC, everyone inside the Beltway, and the states’ parties leadership were all stunned by Trump in 2016. It does not advanced calculus to understand why he is President and the willful refusal to learn the causes of his election is why he or Vice President Mike Pence are likely to become President in 2021, especially if Sanders, Warren, or Gabbard are not chosen as the Democratic Presidential candidate.

          Reply
    2. fdr-fan

      That’s great! Not surprising to me. I had employer-provided insurance for many years, and it never worked as well as Medicare.

      The two-sided question isn’t valid anyway. Existing Medicare doesn’t prohibit private insurance, it simply makes private optional. You get the basic catastrophic coverage automatically, but for more you need to bring in the privates. Almost everyone opts for more.

      Reply
    3. WJ

      It’s amazing how out of touch these people are. I have decent insurance and even I would be thrilled at the prospect of getting rid of it and just going to the doctor. They do really seem believe that people are “happy” with their insurance and would be afraid to lose it. So crazy.

      Reply
  6. notabanker

    $20 million in G7 aid, for some perspective.

    If Jeff Bezo’s converted 20% of his reported $170B net worth into 1 year TBills for 13 days, it would generate more than $20 million in interest.

    Reply
  7. ambrit

    Re. that Daytona Beach house; the 5% down payment seems a bit low. Around here, I have heard figures in the 15% to 20% down payment range for ‘fixer upper’ properties.
    I played around with the “Mortgage Estimater” widget at the bottom of the original article and foud the figure of only $95 USD for monthly costs to be absurdly low. Off the top of my head, around here, I figured we spend roughly $125 USD for electric service, $60 USD for water and sewer, $10 USD for gas service (no usage in summer) , $35 USD for telephone, and $50 USD for internet cable service. These basic services for a well acculturated american run us about $280 USD per month. That is without iPhone service or cable television. Seriously now, hereabouts you can add $200 USD per month for those two fees alone.
    So, no, I do not buy the figures being floated. Also, I looked up Florida’s Homestead Property tax exemption and found that it only covers the taxes on the first $25,000 to $50,000 USD per year. So, that reappraisal of their home’s value from $92,700 to about $192,000 means they will now be on the hook for bigger property tax assessments.
    Another item I read in the Mortgage cost evaluation widget was the bald faced statement that one can afford to spend a third of their gross income on mortgage payments. When one’s income drops below a certain value, basic expenses will eat into that putative mortgage payments slice of gross income.
    My take on this piece is that it is aimed at the 10% class and those who want to be in the 10% class.

    Reply
  8. Synoia

    “Complex quantum teleportation achieved for the first time” [Phys.org]. “In future work, the quantum physicists will focus on how to extend the newly gained knowledge to enable teleportation of the entire quantum state of a single photon or atom.”

    Nice to know that the Brain of any of our beloved leaders could be teleported soon (teleportation of the entire quantum state of a single photon or atom)

    Reply
  9. XXYY

    https://theweek.com/speedreads/861039/joe-biden-want-clear-im-not-going-nuts

    After months of gaffes on the 2020 campaign trail prompting even his brain surgeon to chime in and defend his mind, Biden made a pointed comment about the state of his brain over the weekend. “I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts,” Biden said during a campaign rally in New Hampshire. … Biden made the declaration while speaking to supporters at New Hampshire’s Loon Lake…

    You can’t make this up.

    Now we have the Very Stable Genius who wants to buy Greenland vs. the “I’m not going nuts” guy at Loon Lake. Many comedy writers are hoping Biden wins it.

    Reply
    1. 'Carey

      WRT D’oh Biden: Jeebus.

      That they’re trying to foist this Democrat version of Dole’96 on us really speaks volumes.
      No, wait: Biden’s worse; much worse.

      Reply
    2. shinola

      Ya gotta wonder about someone who feels it’s necessary to come out & say ‘…I’m not going nuts”.

      Kinda reminds of that fellow who felt compelled to announce “I am not a crook.”

      Reply
      1. jefemt

        Don’t forget the Howard Dean scream that condemned him to the marginland….

        We can only hope… Not-Joey Sixpack Biden might suffer some Loon Lake derision…

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I have read that Dean was screaming to be heard over screaming crowd noise, plus getting infected by the excited screaming crowd energy.

          The media audio-shopped the crowd noise down and Dean up to fake the “crazy Dean scream”.

          Reply
    3. Jeff W

      “…prompting even his brain surgeon to chime in and defend his mind…”

      When you have someone’s brain surgeon and personal physician both being called on to vouch for the soundness of that person’s cognitive faculties*, it really is the beginning of the end. It’s just a matter of time.

      *although, strictly speaking, the physician said Biden is “in excellent physical condition.” [emphasis added]

      Reply
      1. notabanker

        Biggest party donors showing up for Warren is all anyone really needs to know. About the party, Biden AND Warren.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Warren must be stopped.

          I posted elsewhere:

          Warren thought the post-GFC settlements by big banks were unfair. They ripped off billions but were only fined millions and with no restitutions whatsoever.

          So what did she do last week? She wrote a letter to the Attorney General.

          Yeah, that’ll work.

          Sorry folks we cannot simply try and play fair with the monstrous forces the 1% use against us, the 99%. Warren – a former Republican fer chrissakes – cannot and will not technocrat her way to anything meaningful.

          So it’s either Bernie: a clarion call to wholesale change in the power structures; or Tulsi: a laser-guided rationality missile to take down The War Machine.

          There is a wholesale monetary and financial sh*tstorm brewing right now, today. So we’ll have a replay of 2008, an unprecedented generational opportunity to right the power structures. In 2008 a certain melanoderm one-term State Senator hoodwinked the entire country and squandered the opportunity because he was a fake charlatan and liar and the fix was in from the get-go. THIS TIME AROUND THINGS NEED TO GO DIFFERENTLY

          Reply
        2. Jeff W

          “Biggest party donors showing up for Warren is all anyone really needs to know.”

          Absolutely true.

          (The Monmouth poll would be consistent with the precipitous collapse of Biden’s support—the perception of his cognitive faculties, not helped by his “I’m not going nuts” denial, might have just reached a tipping point.)

          “Warren must be stopped.”

          Absolutely—that cannot be emphasized enough. I’ve thought for months that Warren, not Biden, represents the biggest threat to Sanders.

          Reply
        3. WJ

          +100

          First it was Biden with Beto, then Buttigieg, then Harris. Then, after the rapid failure of all these, Warren.

          Warren is the last chance acceptable, “reasonable,” and therefore pliable, candidate of the .05% intended to stop Sanders and together with Biden to force a second ballot at the convention.

          It is imperative that we push back on the increasingly common tendency to treat Sanders and Warren as a block, as though the two were not really ideologically distinguishable.

          Force Warren to articulate her stance on M4A. Force her to say something robust about student debt. About the justice system. Push her supporters to defend the differences between their candidate’s stances and Sanders’ policies. Insist that they confront these differences.

          The more this happens, the sooner we create visible space between Sanders’ vision and Warren’s.

          The threat is that people be allowed to rest secure in the belief that Warren is basically a younger professional female Sanders. No. No. No. No. No.

          Reply
  10. Summer

    “[T]his whole “my property is mine to do as I see fit” framework only holds up if you fail to think about the most basic complications. If my “choice” to use my property one way ends up damaging the planet we all live in, then why should I get unilateral decision-making power? [Brendan O’Neill] poses the question: Is Brazil a sovereign nation, or isn’t it? As far as the Amazon goes, the answer should be: Of course it isn’t.” • Equally true for the United States, then…..

    “If my “choice” to use my property one way ends up damaging the planet we all live in, then why should I get unilateral decision-making power?”
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/microplastics-pollution-falls-from-air-even-mountains/

    Just one example. This is beyond hypocrasy. It’s a mental disorder. Total whacko nation.

    I can’t read most of MSM anymore because that kind insanity just rolls off their tongue and they will swear to you they are “reasonable” and “rational.”

    Reply
  11. Lambert Strether Post author

    For whatever reason, I couldn’t get rolling today, and found myself 45 minutes in having accomplished virtually nothing. So I added some UPDATEs. Please refresh your browsers.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Quantum blogging?
      Don’t worry yourself too much. You do a much better job than any of us out here could.
      Oh no! Cognitive synchronicity just struck! I flashed on a Job Corps poster of possible future occupations for school age students I saw once in a now forgotten public venue. It had one of the “You could be a…” occupations as ‘Blogger.’ The artwork was, I swear by my plaque raddled brain, very similar to the “Why Mommy is a Democrat” artist’s work! Cute and fuzzy anthropomorphic critters.
      We have been living in curious and deconstructively degenerating times for decades.

      Reply
  12. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Biden staffers.

    Lets stop giving these people the benefit of the doubt. They lack the intelligence to recognize Biden’s gaffes until several days later.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      They are paid, and paid well I’ll venture, to not recognize said gaffes. As long as they keep Biden siphoning off enough first ballot votes from Sanders at the convention as to trigger a brokered convention, their work will have been done. Hillary will have implicitly promised them jobs in her administration for their loyal efforts.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I know a couple for over a decade anyway, and they are very clearly a step down from Hillary staffers who I might paint as out of touch. When I use the word “stupid” in this case, I mean they weren’t talented enough to be invited to join the Hillary people jumping on board the Harris campaign. You might say, but X got into Y school, he can’t be that stupid. I would respond, but he’s related to one of the people buildings on campus are named after.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Ah, first hand observation. I stand corrected. Would this be classifiable as a case of “Institutional Hubris?”

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I think there are just simply more stupid people among the elites and the courtier class than are commonly realized, and many simply won’t believe it even when a Joe Biden opens his mouth and speaks.

            I do like the idea of “institutional hubris.” They simply can’t believe people at certain levels could NOT be brilliant.

            Reply
        2. ambrit

          If, as I have been suggesting via the phrase, “America Needs Two Mommies,” these Dem aparatchiks will be back working for Hillary once she gets the brokered convention’s endorsement and picks Harris for Veep.
          One cannot be too cynical.

          Reply
      1. Carey

        Thank you for going to the Biden rally, petal. (really)
        As Animal Mother said in Full Metal Jacket: “..better you than me”.

        Reply
  13. a different chris

    >Maybe Cook’s management of Apple’s supply chain wasn’t really all that hot?

    Might just be the “go to the well one too many times” problem. You think something works, it does in a few consecutive instances, you get promoted to nose-bleed level and you believe your own BS. But in everything are the seeds of its own destruction, philosophers will argue.

    Reply
  14. Carolinian

    George RR Martin: ‘Game of Thrones finishing is freeing

    But, but, he didn’t finish–thereby launching that whole other internet phenomenon of people complaining about the result. He might want to dial back the self administered back patting.

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      he’s free to go back to procrastinating. i kind of feel sorry for him, seems like massive writer’s block, plus he let the plot (and number of characters, and subplots) spiral out of control, and now has no idea what to do, except for continuing to enjoy the money.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My gut is he knows people have convinced themselves ASOIAF is better than it is, ending aside even if he sticks the landing. I don’t blame George R.R. Martin but rather a lack of the commons. In this case, a literary soap opera after Peter Jackson and JK Rowling prepared the ground for became larger than it is within the popular culture. People have read it, and in this age of so much availability and seemingly diverse options has created a condition where we latch onto shared reading/viewing.

        The HBO series was fun. I enjoyed it, but it is what it is dependent on twists and borrowing from extreme events in history for a historically illiterate population. HBO didn’t stick the landing. I’m not even that upset about the last episode, mostly the blocking in episode 3 (or 4) drove me crazy.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          I thought the books were ok but the series was exceptional in its own way. i can’t think of any other made for television that offered this level of production values and visual sophistication (greatly aided by current digital effects). The showrunners ran out of story for the last couple of seasons but still did what they were hired to do–make it look great.

          Martin should pat himself on the back while not getting carried away.

          Reply
      2. polecat

        Why feel sorry for Mr. Martin .. I mean, he’s got more money then Gods .. be they the Old, or the New !! And if he prefers to abide by the One-True-God … e.i. $$$ … and flame out into literary obscurity, who are we to say otherwise ?

        Reply
        1. epynonymous

          Americans going nuts for a bloated historical fiction without an exit straytegy… Hmmmm.

          For me, the books were over after the red wedding, but grown more charitable since. HBO couldnt be bothered to end it right either, and instead deified the actors over the charachters.

          Reply
          1. pretzelattack

            they got progressively worse starting, for me, with a storm of swords. he was originally planning a trilogy, he should have stuck with that.

            Reply
      3. ChrisPacific

        I’ve lost hope that he will ever finish, but I enjoyed the interview more than I expected. This bit about his favorite part of the books, for example:

        There’s a long pause before the surprising answer comes. “I remember there’s a speech that a septon [the Westerosi version of a priest] gives to Brienne about broken men and how they become broken. I was always pretty pleased about writing that.”

        That one actually made enough of an impression on me to stick, and I agree it was one of his best pieces of writing. It showed a perspective that you don’t often find in heroic fantasy. There’s enough information in the quote to Google it if people are interested.

        Reply
  15. Cal2

    “Democrat congressman says U.S. needs illegal immigrants to ‘mow our beautiful lawns’ and do jobs ‘Americans are not willing to take’”…At the pathetic wages offered.

    When the labor pool of illegal immigrants “who pick our crops” evaporates, because of Trump’s heightened enforcement and there’s a shortage of workers, what is an employer to do??!!

    Raise wages. A few pennies more for a jar of garlic or a dime more for a head of lettuce? The Horror!

    “at Christopher Ranch — the nation’s largest producer of fresh garlic every job is filled. Even now, at the peak of harvest season, all 600 of its packing and processing positions are claimed. Its simple yet oh-so-complex and controversial remedy: a pay increase. Faced with 50 empty positions last summer, in January it hoisted entry-level wages 18 percent, from $11 to $13 an hour — and applications flooded in, creating a wait list of 150 people. Another increase is promised next year, to $15 an hour.

    Remarkably, costs stabilized. And business grew.

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/30/can-a-pay-raise-fix-ags-labor-crisis-yes-and-no/

    Reply
    1. Another Scott

      Wasn’t there a time when the view that American workers make too much money would be held by Republicans?

      And this guy served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, after getting a waiver for being a lobbyist. I guess the labor portion isn’t that important.

      Reply
    2. Lee

      Jobs Americans won’t do. Give me an effing break. I’m a Murican and white to boot, yet I have cleaned public toilets in bars and restaurants (before smoking was banned!), worked deep in the bowels of cracking vessels at refineries, and the list of dirty, dangerous jobs could go on. My mother, also a Murican and lily white to boot picked cotton at the southern end of the California Central Valley (see Weedpatch, CA) as a kid during the Great Depression for the princely sum of a penny a pound, and worked as a waitress for decades to support her family. When did American workers turn into such wusses? My guess is they haven’t; they just know what their labor is worth.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        There’s no reason i’ve never seen a white person working in the orchards other than the possibility they thought the work was below them and I didn’t see them toiling 50 feet above.

        The mythical Joads picked peaches, which would occupy maybe a week out of a year, what else did they do in the meantime?

        Reply
      2. notabanker

        Saturday afternoon I saw three landscaping trucks out doing jobs on the way home from lunch with the Mrs. One guy was trimming a long row of about 40 hedges, one guy pushing a lawnboy through a long city treelawn, and third guy was on a commercial riding mower cutting a couple acres of grass at a church. All three guys were white and over 45. The guy pushing a lawnboy looked like he was in his 60’s.

        But I guess you would have to actually visit “flyover country” to see that.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          One possibility for that demographic skew is the high dollar investment needed to purchase those mechanical tools. A riding lawnmower can get up into the thousands of dollars in price. Only older, ‘successful’ people can make that investment. I seriously doubt if a bank is going to loan money on a fledgling lawn service business plan. Even down here, such is a seasonal activity.

          Reply
          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > I seriously doubt if a bank is going to loan money on a fledgling lawn service business plan.

            Too busy shoveling out money to real estate developers building houses with stryofoam pediments, I guess….

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              Well, there is Hardiplank, a cement and wood fibre combination. No kidding, it is touted as fire resistant siding. It supposedly doesn’t rot either. A lot lighter than plain cement and a bit flexible. Very popular stuff. I have also seen cement poured mixed with styrofoam ‘granules’ to reduce the weight of a deck.
              But yes, I have seen and heard of many cases where banks have loaned construction money to developers, even when said developer has a spotty track record. As is usual for most of society, it is who you know that counts. Else why pay extra high tuitions for your scions to attend “the right” college or university. Networking, that’s the name of the game.

              Reply
        2. tegnost

          Hey that’s me! Yesterday watering as we’re having a heat wave (ooooo…upper 70’s, so not all that but very hot for the salish sea) hedge trimming I’m putting off til after the aforementioned heat wave, and I’ve got a bunch of pruning, end of summer deadheading, the apples haven’t ripened up yet, but soon I’ll be loading up buckets of those…driving the tractor, bucking firewood, using some logs as retaining walls for a woodshed that needs to be done by xmas and is to be built on some iffy ill so I’m extending out from the plot to reduce the grade and stabilize. It’s a great life, I’d recommend it to anyone. 59, so yes injuries, yes aches and pains, but sitting in a chair too much can break your back, too…before 2008 I was a landscaper/nurseryworker (bamboo) in seattle since ’89

          Reply
    3. marym

      Thanks for the report. I’m skeptical as to the whether current anti-immigrant policy makers are so with any particularly pro-US-worker intentions, but it’s good to hear a case where a wage increase was the response to a decline in available immigrant labor.

      Also interesting that this particular decline in available immigrant labor was due to better conditions in Mexico and traditional border enforcement, pre-zero tolerance family separation.

      Reply
    4. Amfortas the hippie

      i worked the peanut harvest for a couple of years(before billary took the subsidy away).
      physically exhausting,very long hours(peanuts won’t wait), no scheduled breaks,10 minute lunch, low, low pay,and no overtime(exempt under labor law).
      this last part is prolly something to be considered…but, also, for small farmers, the margins are so thin that it would likely take some generous subsidies to make it work at all.
      think about this when you buy a 39 cent head of iceberg.
      parity pricing.http://againstausterity.org/parity

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We drove back from Kings Canyon on the backroads-Hwy 245 via Woodlake, and went past oh so much fenced ranchland, but the cows had been raptured apparently, as we only saw around 20 in an area that might’ve had 20,000 say half a century ago.

        Reply
  16. Lee

    “Elizabeth Warren Manages to Woo the Democratic Establishment” [Edward-Isaac Dovere, The Atlantic]. …. • “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” ― Samuel Johnson. And so with the DNC.

    I think it is the prospect of being berned at the stake that has them worried.
    Sorry, sometimes I just can’t help myself.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Our Dems seem to have created quite a problem for themselves.
      Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch..

      Keeping Gabbard out the next debate is only going to compound
      their now-so-apparent lack of legitimacy.

      Go, Awesome Dems! #keepGabbardOut!!!

      Reply
      1. richard

        I think it will be marked by more voters than the dnc cares to credit, if steyer goes in and gabbard is removed. “Legitimacy” is the word all right; and way more people are thinking it than saying it.
        Gabbard should stay in through Iowa and NH at least, regardless of this debate h.s.

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        One wonders whether Sanders’s support would go up even more if he were to say in advance that IF he were nominated, he would invite Gabbard to be his VP running mate IF she were interested.

        Reply
  17. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: The Democrats messaging problem.

    Nope, its not “messaging.” Its the message and built up hypocrisy. People who have been burned aren’t going to come back for the same old crowd who burned them. I don’t even need to click through the BlueVirginia to know “Lowkell” wrote this. This has been his sorry bent since his RaisingKaine days.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Watching them try to recycle this stuff is pretty funny / depressing for anyone with an
      intact memory. Really: are they even trying, or is it just pure trolling?

      1789

      Reply
  18. BoyDownTheLane

    “Strictly Speaking” by Edwin Newman [1982] should be required reading for all those now immersed in faux journalism and “fake news”

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Bertram Gross’s ‘Friendly Fascism’ is timely reading, as well. I just started into it again, after reading it when it came out- in the early 80s, IIRC.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        yes!
        i read it after iraq 2.0…after reading C Wright Mills…and i recommend, based on my own reaction, that it only be read in a garden on a pleasant morning.
        like the recent epstein revelations by Miss Webb, we’ve been ruled by the aliens in Independence Day for a long while, now.

        Reply
        1. RWood

          America—a conservative country without any conservative ideology—appears now before the world a naked and arbitrary power, as, in the name of realism, its men of decision enforce their often crackpot definitions upon world reality. The second-rate mind is in comand of the ponderously spoken platitude. In liberal rhetoric, vagueness, and in the conservative mood, irrationality, are raised to principle. Public relations and the official secret, the trivializing campaign and the terrible fact clumsily accomplished, are replacing the reasoned debate of political ideas in the privately incorporated economy, the military ascendency, and the political vacuum of modern America.
          The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills, 1956

          Ah, those were the salad days…

          Reply
        2. Carey

          It’s a good book, isn’t it?

          From Gross, p.164: “..Publicly lament restlessness, family breakdown, alienation, and other forms of social fragmentation. But recognize that these powerful tendencies deepen the apathy that represents mass consent to governance by the Establishment’s upper levels..”

          It’s changing, though; right now.

          Sanders / Gabbard 2020

          Reply
  19. Henry Moon Pie

    Nixon: “I am not a crook.”

    Clinton: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

    Biden: “I am not going nuts.”

    Reply
      1. Carey

        Yes- I just wonder which candidate(s) are going to get the Eagleton treatment this time.
        And the McGovern one, if it comes to that.

        Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      While we are quoting, some incredibly prescient words from Hunter S. Thompson after hearing of JFK’s assassination:

      “It’s war from now on. These swine have murdered the myth of American decency”

      Reply
  20. johnf

    Tim Cook and Apple’s supply chain skills may be brilliant and profitable, but I believe you actually have to build things to know how to design them so that they can be built well. Apple outsourced their hardware manufacturing many years ago and I fear that they and we are starting to really suffer the consequences.

    For over a decade, they have been making some blunders that an experienced, practical mechanical engineer would not have made – or at least not repeated. Two that I unfortunately know a bit about are the cracking top cases of the polycarbonate MacBooks (from Environmental Stress Cracking) and the intermittent and ultimately catastrophic failure of the GPUs in a series of MacBook Pros (from thermal cycling of the carrier interconnects). It is as if Apple no longer understands the materials their computers are made of. Or that they no longer care.

    Reply
    1. fajensen

      It is everywhere, not only Apple. Everywhere! I relatively often meet engineers, who now grow apples, drive taxi, does odd-jobs as consultants while living in some of the very affordable areas of the country – they all say roughly the same story: They got tired of the stress, the never-ending leadership bullshit, and of cleaning up hard problems that never needed to exist, only that some extremely well paid and clearly over promoted through-and-through bunch of dum-dums decided them into existence – even against the officially written advice of Everyone. But, who reads anything these days? Not even the auditors, it seems!

      On “my” TBTF-project I (used to) quite regularly reject equipment that will show up without schematics, operating manuals, test instructions, that is literally shat into a cubicle with no basic regards for EMC, any electrical regulations and basic common decency. This is for a facility that will eventually produce radiation …. and it is totally acceptable to Our Great Leadership that it is undocumented how safety interlocks work!?!

      Because I was being rude to our special friends, the contractors, like that, I was relocated “senior specialist advisor” so it is now all being installed “as-is” According To Plan(!) and of course *nothing* will work when it comes to switching the plant on – that is, if it is ever allowed by the regulators, this after years of remedial work. By then everyone responsible will be safely retired or have failed into even cushier positions of more power and influence.

      If the area here was nicer, I would relax, run a little business from work, and not be looking for another job.

      I have seen too much. It scares me. I doubt that our technological civilisation is sustainable at the present level of ‘care & quality’ being put into the supposedly high-tech equipment and software services; stuff that we actually rely on – rely, in the ‘people will die if this stays down for a few weeks’-sense.

      I will go to a place with a large garden and sustainable living expenses. Then hope for the best.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I doubt that our technological civilisation is sustainable at the present level of ‘care & quality’ being put into the supposedly high-tech equipment and software services; stuff that we actually rely on – rely, in the ‘people will die if this stays down for a few weeks’-sense.

        Don’t worry. AI will handle all this, just as soon as we finish and debug the training sets.

        Reply
  21. dearieme

    I do enjoy irony.

    the man who performed surgery on Biden three decades ago following two brain aneurysms agrees with the 76-year-old’s weekend comment, saying that he’s clearly “as sharp as he was 31 years ago.”

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      I’m picturing the scene in The Man With Two Brains in which Dr. Hfuhruhurr’s (Steve Martin) famous patented “cranial screw-top” brain surgery goes wrong, and on unscrewing the patient’s dome, three lemons roll out onto the operating table.

      The Austrian highway patrol drunk test is a classic, too. :)

      Reply
  22. Summer

    RE: “The Obamas’ Netflix Doc American Factory Gestures Toward the End of the Working World”

    Is there anything about how those at the end of the working world are going to take out loans for mortgages and other assorted things and pay for mandated health insurance?
    And what is the working world going to look like for the insurance salesman? Loan officers?
    When does the discussion turns to those workers? Because that will more reveal what plans are being made….for a small portion of society.

    Reply
  23. Bugs Bunny

    On Warren in the Atlantic :

    ‘These are people who should not like her,’ said one attendee, who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity to avoid showing favoritism. ‘And they love her.’

    That sounds way too much like the Obama campaign in 2008. Frightening déjà vu.

    Reply
  24. Carey

    “..iceberg-making submarine.” Sorry, that was too good not to be repeated.

    [slowly whistles] And they say Trump! is loony

    Reply
  25. NotTimothyGeithner

    Of course I didn’t mean ‘let’s go kill Obama and Black Lives Matter.’ I was not trying to incite violence against Obama and Black Lives Matter. That’s crazy and stupid and wrong. It would end my career and it’s wrong.

    Hmmm…its not odd the #resistance is so high on this guy. Its actually quite fitting.

    Reply
  26. John k

    America needs illegals to do jobs that Americans won’t do. His is just incomplete…
    … won’t do at wages the top 10% want to pay.
    There, fixed it for you.

    Reply
  27. a different chris

    >This stands to give Detroiters who suffer from things like hay fever extremely accurate pictures of parts of town that they should avoid.”

    But should they grab their small children and chuck them in there for a few hours a day? Isn’t there some correlation between adult asthma and lack of exposure to these sorts weeds?

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      not necessarily to those sorts of weeds…but to all manner of bacteria and virii and fungi and everything else out in your yard right this moment.
      babies and little kids have supercharged immune systems, and our recent habit of sterilised environments doesn’t exercise that system.(like the butterfly that has to struggle to get out of the cocoon.)
      wife attempted to shield the boys from the world, but i put my foot down. “let them lick the dog”
      interestingly, c-section babies(like my youngest*) tend to have allergies, etc worse than those who pass through the birth canal.
      I hypothesize that it’s the bacteria-rich “slime” that the latter get covered with that does something…since in all the studies on this phenomenon i read, back when, all other things were more or less the same, except the c-section kids didn’t get vaginal secretions up their noses.
      I suggested to my doctor that he pass the idea to any researchers he knows in ob/gyn, and/or immunology to try to culture that secretion when there’s gonna be a c-section, and apply it to the baby.

      or baby mouse, i suppose,lol.
      (* momma has terrible allergies(everyone does out here, due to the mountain juniper, but hers is worse)…so it was not really a surprise. he was a trooper and got shots for 5 years, and that seemed to work a little magic)

      Reply
    2. eg

      As a life-long allergy sufferer, I can say with some authority to the good people of Detroit that the only solution to ragweed is a killing frost …

      Reply
  28. JohnnyGL

    https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1165990487133696001

    I think Stoller’s more or less correct on this thread. MMT is ‘printing money’. Yes, ‘printing money’ is a pejorative term for increasing the money supply via fiscal policy.

    Stoller’s right that a confrontation with big financial oligarchs is required, but MMT does allow the public to chose the shape of the battlefield.

    Inflation has been ‘off the table’ as a policy choice since the 1970s. That’s a very useful weapon to erode asset inflation of securities.

    It’s also more than just tax policy that can be used to restrain demand to create more space for public spending projects. Conceivably, increased capital requirements or lending restrictions could be imposed on banks or other non-bank lenders to reduce lending for M&A or LBOs or other risky, unproductive categories of lending. Payday lending, subprime auto lending would also seem to be ripe for restraint. I would think that sort of policy would be MORE effective in containing inflation, than, say, Warren’s proposed ‘wealth tax’ (as much as I’m in favor of that proposal, for other reasons). Taxing dead capital doesn’t impact ‘flows’ in the economy, it’s taxing a ‘stock’. Regulatory curbs on lending are curtailing ‘flows’.

    Separately, I think there’s still more fiscal space for expansion that won’t increase inflation. We STILL aren’t seeing sustained pay increases for workers.

    Back the Stoller’s point. It’s okay to ‘print money’. Banks do it all the time. They do it to make bad loans to fracking projects and ride-sharing companies that lose money. It turns out the private sector isn’t great at allocating capital and can be incredibly stupid sometimes.

    Reply
    1. Late Introvert

      It’s okay to ‘print money’. Banks do it all the time. They do it to make bad loans to fracking projects and ride-sharing companies that lose money. It turns out the private sector isn’t great at allocating capital and can be incredibly stupid sometimes.

      I have a gig filming training videos for the financial industry. It is clear who is doing well in 2019 and it is the Banksters. We shoot on location. Huge offices, gorgeous views, no cubicles for those folks.

      How about we get a piece of that business too and use it for M4A?

      Reply
  29. ewmayer

    Warren (D)(1): “Elizabeth Warren Draws Record Crowd of 15,000 in Seattle” [Bloomberg] … an estimated 15,000 people turned out to support what she calls a movement for change. — Thankfully such lowbrow stuff is beneath me, but as Lambert likes to say, just spitballing here, say I were a short-fingered White-House-occupying vulgarian looking to engage in some late-night Twittersnark about this. How might I proceed? Let’s see …

    “I see Pocahontas drew a ‘big crowd’ – I dunno, I saw a lot of empty seats! – of NPR-tote-baggers to a ‘movement for change’ rally in liberal-loserville Seattle … ya know, when I was a kid I once swallowed some small coins, mostly dimes and pennies, and the ER doc reassured my parents that it would be OK, just to watch my movements for change for the next few days. And that perfectly sums up EW’s policy proposals. Sad!”

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      NYC would be the “obvious” place for the G7 fat-o-cats to do the USA … so, continuing the Irving Berlin musical theme I used in reference to the Iranian FM “crashin’ Biarritz” in yesterday’s Links:

      Why NYC and wait around at Spago
      When you can Trump the rubes as Mar-a-Lago
      They’ll be agog-oh…

      Reply
  30. The Rev Kev

    Re all those people maintaining radio silence so that they could shock their relatives with what happened at the Red Wedding on TV. There is an echo of this in a story by Mark Twain about a con game. I forget some of the details but basically a theater troop would set up in a small town and put on a show over three nights. The way that it was done was to make the audience look stupid at the end of it and people were both embarrassed and riled up the first night. The people in the audience then went home and made out to those that did not see the show that it was fantastic and great and they had to see it themselves to cover the fact that they were made to look like suckers. The next night the other half of the town went and were also made out to be suckers so now the whole town was made to look stupid. The final night the entire town brought tickets and they were ready with eggs and rotten tomatoes to pelt the cast with but the cast had already left town after collecting the takings for that lucrative third night.

    Reply
  31. Carey

    O’Hehir (sp?) certainly takes his time with prefatory bafflegab in the Salon piece, but finally:

    “..Sanders also represents a wide range of policy positions that remain outside what many or most commentators and reporters view as responsible, mainstream politics — despite mounting evidence that actual voters do not share that view. It’s funny how the head-to-head polls that show Biden defeating Trump are seen as evidence of electability, while similar polls that show Sanders defeating Trump are seen as something else — snowflake-driven flukes that fail to anticipate how badly the Trump war machine will eviscerate the socialist, or whatever. (Whereas bumbling, grasping, terminally vague Joe Biden is somehow considered a fearsome opponent.)

    More to the point, mainstream journalists are like magpies, easily distracted by shiny objects and ever-eager to disobey Joan Didion’s famous dictum to “observe the observable.” Bernie Sanders wasn’t supposed to be the story of 2020: This was the Year of the Woman or the Year of Generational Change or the Year of Getting Back to Normal or the Year of Some Other Narrative That Explains Everything. At various moments, Buttigieg and Harris and Biden and Beto O’Rourke and whoever the hell else — there have been longing glances cast at Howard Schultz and Amy Klobuchar and John Hickenlooper and Steve Bullock — have appeared to supply “news hooks” for such narratives..”

    When you don’t want to see something..

    Reply
  32. Amfortas the hippie

    I’ll pick a nit…but that nit is on the head of the libertarians:

    “Climate change as a problem is very difficult for many libertarians to deal with, because it poses a serious challenge to the individualistic view of property rights whereby I can simply ‘do as I please’ so long as I am not committing an act of violence against you.”

    it was either Nozsik(sp-2) or Rothbard (maybe that odious bald canadian guy with too many letters in his name?)whom I saw make the argument that if a guy moves in next door and builds a tannery(smelly, hazardous, etc)…he IS doing violence upon you, his neighbor.(since your property is negatively effected)
    of course,since it’s “only” a property crime, he can squeak out of it by paying you appropriately.(ie: it’s not like he murdered you or anything,lol)
    if a “conservative is a liberal who gt mugged by reality”…what, pray tell, is a libertarian in this Doomy age, when plastic falls in the rain and is apparently inhaled by us all?

    (and speaking of teenagers…my eldest is all over fox sports at the moment. Mason, Texas won State last year, and Fox Southwest will be here this friday, if anyone is interested.
    add another layer of crazy to our lives: wife will be the human interest story.(they called her today)
    i am uncertain how i feel about being on a cable sports station
    https://www.gosanangelo.com/story/sports/2019/07/19/mason-wall-football-game-televised-live-fox-sports-southwest-texas-high-school-2019/1778699001/

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      There is no such a thing as bad publicity.
      Your wife is now ‘on the radar’ of Texas policy makers. Help her lever this to her advantage.

      Reply
  33. aj

    RE: “Warren…comes in second behind Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden in many polls.”

    Sounds like the pollster equivalent of the media trope “…some people say.” As in “some people say that Warren is actually ahead of Biden.”

    Reply
  34. pjay

    Re: “No Son of Mine Is Going to Be a Benthamite Utilitarian. This Is a John Stuart Mill Family, Dammit”

    LOL! This gave me a flashback to my undergrad days, in a time long ago and far away, when reading Mill’s ‘Utilitarianism” I encountered one of my favorite quotes of all time:

    “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The other party to the comparison knows both sides.”

    I’ve been dissatisfied ever since. But I feel good about myself for it.

    Reply
  35. Summer

    They keep saying the next recession is going to hit millennials hard, but this would be Gen X:
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/only-a-minority-of-people-ages-50-to-62-work-steadily-in-jobs-with-benefits-2019-08-26?mod=mw_theo_homepage/
    “Before the results of this study, as well as recent work on 401(k) balances, I had thought that the norm was traditional employment, with most people holding a steady job with health and retirement benefits from ages of 50 to 62. Deviations were the exception. The goal, to my mind, was to get people to stay in that steady job until their late 60s. It turns out, though, that people’s labor market experiences are significantly less secure than I had ever thought. “

    Reply
  36. ambrit

    I don’t know where to place this, but something from my weaseling around the internet about train travel in 1954. A bit pedagogic, but essentially a record of the robust infrastructure America had seventy years ago. We will have to get back to this level of civic infrastructure if we are to make it through the Time of Tribulations coming, as an intact and coherent civilization.
    The Jackpot idea takes on more significance when we remember that the population of America in 1940 was one half of what it is today.
    Population figures: https://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h980.html
    (I love it that a blog titled ‘United States History’ has a picture in the masthead of Greek or Roman biremes! Is there something about the history of North America that ‘they’ are not telling us?)

    Reply

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