2:00PM Water Cooler 9/30/2019

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Patient readers, as usual I’ve accumulated too much material over the weekend. Back shortly with more. –lambert UPDATE All done!

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


“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

* * *


Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart. Here is (are) the latest Dem Primary Polling as of 9/25/2019, 12:00 PM EDT:

Biden leads, Warren, Sanders, Undecided neck-and-neck. Here are the latest results:

I think dk has started a really neat project, and in the near future we’ll seek your feedback (within reason) for the tool “live.”

UPDATE 2019-09-24: These screens are from a revised version that now includes Undecided-Refused, which is in grey.

UPDATE 2019-08-30: Now the polls aggregated (all available) are shown at the bottom of the poll. We also give more detail about each poll than RCP, and allow candidates to be selected or deselected. That’s three reasons what dk is doing beats RCP, and if we can make the individual polls selectable/highlightable, that will be four reasons. With more to come, grid willing.

* * *

Biden (D)(1): “Hillary Clinton Defends Joe Biden After Controversy About How He Interacts with Women and Girls: ‘Get Over It'” [People]. “‘We can pick apart anybody. I mean, that’s a great spectator sport. But this man who’s there in the Oval Office right now poses a clear and present danger to the future of the United States. So get over it,’ Clinton said. ‘Look at the candidates, look at what they’ve accomplished, look at what they have fought for — and vote for anybody to get rid of Donald Trump.'” • Sigh.

Biden (D)(2): “Biden Campaign Demands TV News Execs Stop Booking Giuliani” [Daily Beast]. • Come on, man.

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie Sanders’ endorsement for Bill Clinton in 1996” [Reddit]. “Yet, without enthusiasm, I’ve decided to support Bill Clinton for president.”

Sanders (D)(2):

Sanders (D)(3): “Young Black Voters In The Carolinas Say They Like What Bernie Sanders Is Saying About Racial Justice” [Buzzfeed]. “”I feel like he’s learning so much that he didn’t know previously. I’ve watched a lot of Bernie Sanders videos, and just the knowledge that he’s accumulated from last time he was running to this time, it’s just so different,’ said Jada Bethea, 20, a UNC Greensboro student at the Bennett rally, who mentioned campaign co-chair Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator who is black, and also on the tour with Sanders…. Bethea’s friend, Kylah Burnette, 19, also a student at UNC Greensboro, agreed. ‘[Sanders] has said over and over that there’s a lot of things that have been happening in the black community that he didn’t know about,’ she said. ‘He’s one of the few that’s been open to educating himself on that.’ She added that she thought Sanders handled Black Lives Matter protesters in 2016 more respectfully than his opponent, Hillary Clinton.” • Which wasn’t hard.

Sanders (D)(4): “Bernie Sanders Is in Trouble” [Politico]. I’m shocked to hear this from Politico. “With just four months until the first-in-the-nation caucuses, Sanders is in trouble. As he delivered his populist gospel to large crowds of camouflage-clad high schoolers, liberal arts college students, and trade union members across Iowa last week, a problematic narrative was hardening around him.” • “Was hardening.” Note lack of agency. An emptied Rolodex of Democratic strategists…

Trump (R)(1): “Trump Quotes Ally Who Predicts a ‘Civil War Like Fracture’ in America if He Is Impeached” [New York Magazine]. • Cf. “It’s Time for a Bluexit“, The New Republic.

Warren (D)(1): “CNN’s latest Nevada and South Carolina polls: Live analysis” [CNN]. “Our South Carolina poll suggests the Massachusetts senator has a lot of work to do. She gets only 4% of the black likely primary voters. That looks quite similar to the 2% Warren was earning amongst this group in previous polls by Fox News and Monmouth University…. Black voters, of course, make up a majority or near a majority of Democratic primary voters in southern primaries such as Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. Warren’s going to run into some major problems in southern primaries if she can’t do better with this bloc of voters.”

Warren (D)(2):


Warren (D)(3): Interesting tactic (that an NC reader testified to):

The candidate’s time is a campaign’s most precious resource, so presumably the staff has decided this works (local news coverage?)

Warren (D)(4):

Holy moley. First, 2019 – 25 = 1994. Even accepting the corruption frame, is that when C02 began its rise? Second, is the issue corruption, or business as usual?

* * *

Campaigns, with staffers: Biden, Sanders, Warren. • Plenty of grist here…


A dash of cold water:

“Democratic candidates try to campaign through an impeachment gale” [Los Angeles Times]. “For most of the lesser-known candidates, however, the Trump scandal poses an existential threat by guaranteeing they get even less attention than before. ‘The problem for all of them is it denies them oxygen,’ said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic strategist who was deputy campaign manager for John F. Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid.’ … The candidates are also grappling with the reality that not every voter is pining for the expulsion of Trump. The night House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings were underway, canvassers with Working America, the organizing arm of the AFL-CIO, were out talking with voters in Scranton, Pa. They had 65 conversations. Not one of the voters mentioned impeachment.”

“Pelosi says public opinion shifting in support of impeachment inquiry” [Reuters]. “‘If the facts are persuasive to the American people, they may be to some Republicans,’ Pelosi said during the event.” • Oh.

“For Dems, Ukraine Is Perfect Extension of Russian Narrative” [Michael Tracey, RealClearPolitics]. “‘Ukrainegate’ now provides Democrats an opportunity to revive and reframe the previous Russia-specific allegations, because they’re part of the same overarching narrative…. None of this excuses or justifies Trump’s behavior, which (as usual) is stupid, self-defeating, and corrupt in a variety of respects. But any forthcoming impeachment will be inescapably tied to what came before it in the narrative timeline. The Ukraine phone call is not a singular event, whatever Democrats might now want to claim — it is the latest iteration of the ‘collusion; saga that brought such spectacular humiliation to the political and media class.” • Stupid, indeed. If only Trump had phoned up Bibi!

“The Right Way to Impeach Trump” [The New Republic]. “For Democrats, there’s also a straightforwardly political case for impeachment—the information an impeachment process would reveal could damage President Trump at the polls next year by mobilizing Democrats and Trump opponents, swaying whatever small share of voters might be persuaded to change their minds about Trump, or depressing Trump supporters. Additionally, vulnerable House and Senate Republicans would be forced to take difficult and potentially costly public votes on the president’s actions.” • h, great. Impeachment in an election year. Sure, impeachment is political. That political?

“POLITICO Playbook: What Pelosi is telling vulnerable Dems about impeachment” [Politico]. “It’s not about President Donald Trump; it’s about the Constitution. That’s the message Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants House Democrats to remember as they gear up for what will be a key week in their march to impeachment. “We have to proceed with our hearts full of love for America and our hearts full of love for the Constitution. And not with negative attitudes towards him, but a positive attitude towards our responsibility,” she said on a conference call with House Democrats on Sunday.” But see above.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“The Myth of Class Reductionism” [Adolph Reed, The New Republic]. “Black, female, and trans people tend to be disproportionately working class. So any measure to advance broad downward economic redistribution—from Medicare for All to a $15 hourly minimum wage—can’t coherently be said to thwart the interests of women, racial minorities, or other identity groups. What’s more, this brand of class denialism artificially separates race, gender, and other ascriptive identities from the basic dynamics of American capitalism. True, African Americans, Latinos, and women are disproportionately poor or working class due to a long history of racial and gender discrimination in labor and housing markets—conditions that have worsened alongside the postwar deindustrialization of American cities. But this means that these populations would benefit disproportionately from initiatives geared to improve the circumstances of poor and working-class people in general…. Black Democratic and other neoliberal elites have shown again and again in their sustained denunciations of the Sanders program since 2016 that they ultimately rely on race-specific arguments to oppose broadly redistributive initiatives that would improve the circumstances of African American working people along with all others.” • Very good to see Reed at TNR!

“Democrats keep talking tough on Silicon Valley. This week, they can’t stop taking money from it.” [Recode]. “At least 16 events featuring six candidates or spouses are scheduled to raise money over a six-day period that ends Wednesday, one of the largest bank rushes of the campaign so far. All told, it’s a reminder that for all of the Democratic Party’s new rhetoric about the role that tech companies have played in corroding our democracy, presidential candidates are still dependent on the deep well of Silicon Valley money. Tech billionaires might be increasingly toxic, but not quite enough to repel Democrats in 2020. The names of venture capitalists, Big Tech executives, and other rich Silicon Valley liberals litter the invitations seen and tallied by Recode, with tickets going for up to $2,800 a head. While it is nothing new for presidential aspirants to court the tech wealthy, the volume of cash-chasing over the course of this week is as high as it has been at any point in the primary.”

“America’s Electronic Voting System is Corrupted to the Core” [Jennifer Cohn]. “Just two vendors — Election Systems & Software, LLC (ES&S) and Dominion Voting — account for eighty percent of US election equipment. Thus, corrupt insiders or foreign hackers could wreak havoc on elections throughout the United States by infiltrating either of these vendors.” • And it goes on from their, horrid detail after horrid detail. A must-read.

Stats Watch

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, September 2019: Fell, and missed the consensus range. [Econoday]. “New orders fell sharply… Employment is deeply below breakeven… This report, though often volatile, is filled with unexpectedly deep negatives.”

Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey, September 2019: “Texas manufacturing activity continued to expand but at a slower pace in September, with the general business activity index edging down” [Econoday]. “Though employment is a strong plus in today’s mixed report, the overall moderation in the regional survey is not likely to reduce the Fed’s concerns about weakness in the manufacturing sector and its exposure to global trade risks.”

Shipping: “PE-backed truckload carrier files bankruptcy. 339 trucks impacted” [Freight Waves]. “In a November 2018 article, private equity firm KJM was described as being ‘unlike the others’ and ‘having daily involvement in the support functions of the business, allowing the company to implement growth initiatives and improve the customer experience.’ Unfortunately, for the 450 employees and stakeholders of Cold Carriers, a truckload roll-up assembled from four of KJMs acquisitions, the PE firm was not successful in running an asset-based truckload portfolio and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday… KJM is a buyout shop, using a leveraged buyout model of acquisitions… In many of these models, the operating companies will be loaded up with debt and required to service it on behalf of the private equity group. It works in businesses that throw off significant amounts of cash flow, but rarely works in trucking due to the cash-flow cycles of the business. Private equity firms have a spotty track record in buying asset-based truckload carriers and making a profit.”

Shipping: “The U.S. blacklisting of vessels operated by a subsidiary of Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation has oil traders scrambling to find alternative capacity…, as companies turn away from one of the world’s biggest tanker owners” [Wall Street Journal]. “The U.S. action is over allegations that some of the Chinese company’s ships were tied to illicit Iranian crude shipments. The impact may reach beyond the ships the U.S. has targeted since oil traders are wary of inadvertently getting caught up in the net Washington is casting around Iranian crude exports. As one broker put it, ‘There is panic, and it’s snowballing.’ The search for new crude carriers is driving up tanker rates just as relative calm in the shipping market seemed in sight after a summer of turmoil in the Middle East.”

Retail: “Rent the Runway Offers Cash and Apologies to Angry Customers” [Business of Fashion]. “Rent the Runway will temporarily stop accepting new subscribers and is issuing payments to some customers as the fashion rental platform scrambles to fix its snarled supply chain. Over the last few weeks, hundreds of customers have complained on social media about not receiving rented items. Users left frantic comments on Rent the Runway’s Facebook page and on Twitter about missing dresses they’d chosen for events. Some also said they were unable to get through to the start-up’s customer service team. ‘My dress never arrived and customer service isn’t responding. HELP! My event is TOMORROW the 21st!!’ a typical Facebook post read…. It has raised over $300 million in funding and has a $1 billion valuation.”

Retail: “Forever 21 files for bankruptcy, will close up to 178 stores in U.S.” [MarketWatch]. “The privately held company based in Los Angeles said Sunday it will close up to 178 stores in the U.S. As of the bankruptcy filing, the company operated about 800 stores globally, including more than 500 stores in the U.S….. Forever 21 joins Barneys New York and Diesel USA in a growing list of retailers seeking bankruptcy protection as they battle online competitors. Others like Payless ShoeSource and Charlotte Russe have shut down completely.”

Tech: “Rumors of Disk’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated” [The Next Platform]. “In other words, what HDD might lose in share to SSD could be made up as more applications require a less expensive tier since cost drives so much of what happens in datacenter storage…. Data volumes are not expected to shrink in any industry, after all. This bodes well for disk as well as the other tiers in an increasingly complex storage stack.”

Tech: “Google Draws House Antitrust Scrutiny of Internet Protocol” [Wall Street Journal]. “The new standard [DNS-HTTPS] would encrypt internet traffic to improve security, which could help prevent hackers from snooping on websites, and from spoofing—faking an internet website to obtain a consumer’s credit-card information or other data. But the new standard could alter the internet’s competitive landscape, cable and wireless companies said. They fear being shut out from much of user data if browser users move wholesale to this new standard, which many internet service providers don’t currently support. Service providers also worry that Google may compel its Chrome browser users to switch to Google services that support the protocol, something Google said it has no intention of doing.”

Tech: “Why You Can’t Really Consent to Facebook’s Facial Recognition” [OneZero]. “[Law professor Nancy Kim] maintains that what lawmakers and companies often call “consent” is an abuse of the term that sanctions unfair arrangements. Building on her insights, we argue that the consent offered by Facebook and every other company using facial recognition is tainted… Facebook’s facial recognition policy may be legal but it fails the consentability standard by obscuring risk and corroding collective autonomy. The company doesn’t explain the big risks of turning on facial recognition; users are led to believe that by enabling facial recognition, the worst that can happen is they’re making it easier for Facebook to send targeted ads and identify them in random photos. Since these risks seem low-stakes, it’s easy for folks to embrace the service and expect that their friends will, too. Leadership at Facebook can predict this. They realize that making it easy for users to consent protects against a mass opt-out.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 56 Neutral (previous close: 52, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 59 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 30 at 12:09pm.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Drought. “Several nations are suffering from drought conditions” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 185. Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing. I wonder when, in 2020, the index will start flirting with 190 again. So far, the latest impeachment push hasn’t changed the Index.

The Biosphere

Moar coral:

I have made coral an honorary plant for Water Cooler. Surely there are some oceanographers or coral fans in the readership?

* * *

“The Grey Zone of Climate Economics” [Hereticus Economicus]. “Half a degree of warming may not seem much. Ditto for one more degree added to the global average. But consider this analogy of a person running a fever. When you’re running a fever of 37°C, symptoms are minimal to non-existent. You can walk, you can do work, you have an appetite, you don’t have headaches, you don’t sweat. All that changes if your fever reaches 38°C. Now you’re tired. You’re more sensitive to light. Your appetite is smaller. You have headaches, shivers. You’re sweating. It’s more difficult to stand up and do work. You may feel like throwing up. And as the fever gets higher, these symptoms amplify, new ones develop, and once you reach 40°C, you’re a case for the hospital emergency room. The climate is an open system; and no model [to predict it] is perfect. That being said, it’s beyond question that human civilization must strive to replace antiquated technology with better systems; to become more productive, more efficient, and eco-friendly. We should strive to do more with less, not less with less.” • A seductive analogy. But I’m not sure that climate is like the body. A government is not like a household.

“Why is the Gates foundation investing in GM giant Monsanto?” [Guardian]. “The fact is that Cargill is a faceless agri-giant that controls most of the world’s food commodities and Monsanto has been blundering around poor Asian countries for a decade giving itself and the US a lousy name for corporate bullying. Does Gates know it is in danger of being caught up in their reputations, or does the foundation actually share their corporate vision of farming and intend to work with them more in future? The foundation has never been upfront about its vision for agriculture in the world’s poorest countries, nor the role of controversial technologies like GM. But perhaps it could start the debate here? In the meantime, it could tell us how many of its senior agricultural staff used to work for Monsanto or Cargill?” • It could?


“‘What they put on the fields contaminates our water’: Iowa’s pollution problem” [Guardian]. “Fellow city council member Ryan Askeland, who owns and runs the town’s only restaurant, was also at the meeting: ‘They described the harm it could do to infants under one-year-old and I thought, ‘Holy cow, what they’re putting on the fields is poisoning us.”” • The original headline, from the URL, was better: nitrate-problem-iowa-dont-use-the-tap-water-for-babies. Austin Frerick: “In a nutshell, children in Iowa are being poisoned so Big Ag can profit.”

Health Care

The Backroom Deal That Could’ve Given Us Single-Payer Portside. From 2013, but an angle I never considered.

“Opinion: Importing cheaper drugs from Canada isn’t the miracle cure for high U.S. prices” [MarketWatch]. “A recent study estimates that the entire Canadian drug supply would be exhausted in 183 days, if only 20% of U.S. prescriptions were filled using Canadian prescription drug sources. The U.S. and Canada cannot force the companies to manufacture more. Also, Canadians could end up paying more, and Canadians are not happy about this. U.S. drugmakers could give up on Canada and focus on the more profitable U.S. market.” •


If not the market…

Our Famously Free Press

I’m sure Jeff had nothing like this in mind:

“Read, Attend and Comment: A Deep Architecture for Automatic News Comment Generation” (PDF) [Ze Yang, Can Xu, Wei Wu, and Zhoujun Li, arxiv.org]. From the abstract: “The reading network comprehends a news article and distills some important points from it, then the generation network creates a comment by attending to the extracted discrete points and the news title…. Experimental results on two public datasets indicate that our model can significantly outperform existing methods in terms of both automatic evaluation and human judgment.” • Oh good.

News of the Wired

“A New Theory of Obesity” [Scientific American]. “[Kevin Hall, who works at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,] has done two small but rigorous studies that contradict common wisdom that faults carbohydrates or fats by themselves. In both experiments, he kept participants in a hospital for several weeks, scrupulously controlling what they ate. His idea was to avoid the biases of typical diet studies that rely on people’s self-reports, which rarely match what they truly eat. The investigator, who has a physics doctorate, has that discipline’s penchant for precise measurements. His first study found that, contrary to many predictions, a diet that reduced carb consumption actually seemed to slow the rate of body fat loss. The second study, published this year, identified a new reason for weight gain. It found that people ate hundreds more calories of ultraprocessed than unprocessed foods when they were encouraged to eat as much or as little of each type as they desired. Participants chowing down on the ultraprocessed foods gained two pounds in just two weeks.”

Home renovation project:

Replies are full of accounts who want to this door. For some reason. And vendors!

One take!

* * *

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 and coral 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 (MG):

MG writes: “Rural America, not always what you think it is but yes, the RV belongs to someone serving time for meth and is permanently parked in the empty lot behind mine. Ganesha mine, not consecrated and has only been fed fruit a couple of times so undoubtedly a bit owly.” I suppose Ganesh falls into the category of a garden project. And that looks like a cornfield in the background…

Thank you readers, I think I have enough plant images by now. But please don’t forget about taking a picture when you see the leaves turning on a tree, or when you complete a garden project…

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Another Scott

      Please read this article on the Southern Poverty Law Center.


      I think this is the money quote:

      “The biggest problem with the hate map, though, is that it’s an outright fraud. I don’t use that term casually. I mean, the whole thing is a willful deception designed to scare older liberals into writing checks to the SPLC. The SPLC reported this year that the number of hate groups in the country is at a “record high,” that it is the “fourth straight year” of hate group growth, and that this growth coincides with Donald Trump’s rise to power. There are now a whopping 1,020 hate groups around the country. America is teeming with hate.”

      1. Dan

        Amazing how a fundraising scam like the SPLC can remain in action.

        “one of the employees who spoke to CNN alleged the organization suffers from a “pervasive racist culture” and an environment in which a woman is not seen or heard. She also said qualified African-American employees were regularly passed over for promotions — including one African-American colleague she describes as brilliant. She added, “My boss only hires white people.” Parse that…
        The employee described the current upheaval at the SPLC as a revolution against the organization’s leadership, “initiated by employees” because workers were “tired of seeing the pervasive culture exist” unchallenged by those in charge. The SPLC fired co-founder Morris Dees on March 13 and launched a top-to-bottom external review of workplace culture, headed by former Michelle Obama chief-of-staff Tina Tchen.”


        “You have mail! Suckers wanted”


    2. toshiro_mifune

      I’m not sure* how much of what the SPLC says about hate groups I’d take at face value.

      * Ok, I actually am pretty sure and it is “very little”.

      1. Wukchumni

        They pegged our evang militia/church pretty good I thought. Nobody in the community would’ve dared spoke up against them in such a fashion-as truth be said, everybody was a little afraid of their antics which included a shooting range behind their house of worship, and perhaps as a result of the SPLC, said church high-tailed it to Idaho, changing the name of the outfit in the potato state to the Lordship Church.

        A California church with longstanding ties to far-right extremists and a militia of its own is preparing for war.

        In a 22-acre compound at the southern edge of Sequoia National Park in California, a secretive cohort of militant Christian fundamentalists is preparing for war. One of the men helping train the flock in the art of combat, a former Marine named Steve Klein, believes that California is riddled with Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cells “who are awaiting the trigger date and will begin randomly killing as many of us as they can.”


          1. Wukchumni

            In theory, loosely this was the plan…

            A monumental crisis unfolds, and the flock of 40 decides to take control of things concerning the other 2,000 residents vis a vis the ends of barrels & end time of bibles. Most of the voting precinct volunteers were from the clan, so they had knowledge of what political party you belonged to, quite disturbing.

            Oh well, Idaho’s gain is our gain!


            1. Carla

              “Most of the voting precinct volunteers were from the clan, so they had knowledge of what political party you belonged to, quite disturbing.”

              Registering to vote, voting, and declaring a political party are all public acts. The secret part is who and what you vote for at any particular election. I don’t know how it works in other counties and states, but in Cuyahoga County, OH, anyone can request, online, a list of all the registered voters in the county. The list gives our names, addresses, ages, party affiliation if any, and which elections we have cast a vote in, going back several years.

      1. Yves Smith

        Hate speech is defined under the law in most countries:

        Hate speech is a statement intended to demean and brutalize another, or the use of cruel and derogatory language on the basis of real or alleged membership in a social group.[1] Hate speech is speech that attacks a person or a group on the basis of protected attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity….

        Laws against hate speech can be divided into two types: those intended to preserve public order and those intended to protect human dignity. Those designed to protect public order require a higher threshold be violated, so they are not specifically enforced frequently. For example, in Northern Ireland, as of 1992 only one person was prosecuted for violating the regulation in twenty-one years. Those meant to protect human dignity have a much lower threshold for violation, so those in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands tend to be more frequently enforced….

        The United States does not have hate speech laws, since American courts have repeatedly ruled that laws criminalizing hate speech violate the guarantee to freedom of speech contained in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There are several categories of speech that are not protected by the First Amendment, such as speech that calls for imminent violence upon a person or group. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that hate speech is not one of these categories.

        So it appears to be clearer to define than pornography but we don’t make it illegal in the US.

        Presumably a hate group is one that promotes hate speech or worse against social groups or protected attributes.

    3. Tom Stone

      In response to Elizabeth Warren’s heartrending plea for financial support I have sent her campaign a $3 bill and urge all who read this to do the same.
      If you don’t happen to have one in your wallet they are available online or at your nearest brick and mortar joke shop…

      1. The Observer

        Why are you “sharing” this? Why is it being published? What interesting/new insight is being offered?
        I don’t get it.

      2. T

        She’s soaring! Soaring. And also had a wealth tax plan before Sanders, who merely had bills.

        Remind me to gouge my eyes out the next time I consider reading the news.

  1. McWatt

    Rural Iowa water:

    I can attest to Iowa water problems as we have had the water tested on our Iowa farm and found it heavily contaminated with nitrates. Not only should people not be drinking the water, they shouldn’t be swimming in Iowa ponds or rivers. Having the smallest cut on your body while swimming can lead to devastatingly deadly results. There is already an overabundance of grains, let’s stop chasing yields and stop using commercial fertilizers and poisoning the ground and the well water.

  2. Carla

    I just threw some extra in the Tip Jar, over and above my regular monthly donation. Thank you, Yves, Lambert, Jerri-Lynn and all the rest who quietly lend various kinds of technical and moderating support to this exceptional blog. It’s my home on the web — no small thing.

  3. Drake

    ‘If the facts are persuasive to the American people, they may be to some Republicans’

    Or put another way, if the American people are sick and tired of TDS-inspired policital theatrics, maybe some Democrats will be too.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      I gave up on Star Wars when the whole movie was about blowing up the Death Star–a second time. This reminds me of that.

      1. Drake

        Which second time are you referring to? Return of the Jedi, or one of the newer movies, which would actually be a third time? Or the one that was entirely about the operation to steal the plans for the original Death Star? Yawn.

        The Star Wars saga is the most overrated garbage in the history of cinema, with Indiana Jones a close second.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          The “Scary Movie” franchise, anyone?

          There is plenty of real garbage out there. Take a spin through the movie offerings on Netflix (admittedly, a few Cohen Bros films are there…)

          At least the Star Wars movies are occasionally fun and distracting.

          1. JBird@hotmail.com

            The Empire Strikes Back was the best, but then somehow having a decent story became superfluous along with acting; what finally got me real annoyed was Jar Jar Binks, the alien from Jamaica. I don’t expect high drama, plot or acting like an Ivory and Merchant film from a summer flick, but please don’t be insulting

            1. Drake

              Empire Strikes Back is the one Star Wars movie I really do enjoy. It actually has good writing, good acting (or as near as your ever going to get in that context from those actors), good everything. It actually works as a movie, os opposed to an animated comic book.

              As for Jar Jar and his many equivalents, they seem to me like stock racist stereotypes from 1930s films made into aliens and robots so as not to be offensive. Which to me is offensive on a whole new level.

              1. polecat

                Yeah, it seems as though Lucas really dropped the ‘Bochi’ ball (I doubt he even speaks it !) where the prequels were concerned.
                Talk about resting on one’s laurels …

        2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Easy now, Cowboy.

          Dr. Jones is a SAINT!

          As a Classics Major, Ive appreciated the storyline in ‘Last Crusade.’

          BTW First Blood and Transformers are excellent as well.

          But yeah, Star Wars is garbage. Rogue One kicked ass and Solo was decent. The main plot and storyline is to tell the same story but this time with women. When the Purple Haired character played by laura Dern chastised Poe Dameron because he was a toxic male and ‘hotheaded?’ Puhleeeze. Its like JJ Abrams was trying to teach moviegoers a lesson.

  4. a different chris

    >Dietitians scrupulously matched the ultraprocessed and processed meals for calories

    I really liked this article. And I think he’s got something. It matches what all us Pollan-heads have been claiming. But as a standard jaded NakCap reader, I have to point out one thing: I have still never seen a decent proof that they have any idea what a “calorie” actually is. Also note that there’s a lot of new stuff on gut biota (which we exist to serve I suspect, not the other way ’round) which I didn’t see any control for in the article.

    A calorie is, even if measured correctly somehow, not a calorie if your gut just shrugs at it and mostly waves it down the poop chute because it doesn’t yet have enough “troops” to really process it. Ideally, before the actual test was started, the gut biota needed to be “primed” with the new food arrangement.

    OTOH, maybe a week is enough. In which case his study is really, really interesting news as it provided enough time for the re-arrangement.

    1. inode_buddha

      “Search Results
      Featured snippet from the web
      The calorie was originally defined as the amount of heat required at a pressure of 1 standard atmosphere to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1° Celsius. Since 1925 this calorie has been defined in terms of the joule, the definition since 1948 being that one calorie is equal to approximately 4.2 joules.”

      Encyclopedia Britannica

      (also, most of modern physics and engineering)

      In other words, a unit of energy given off as heat, which our cells most definitely do. Every time we eat something, we are participating in the heat death of the universe, accelerating it ever so slightly.

      1. dearieme

        The “calorie” of dieters is actually the kilocalorie i.e. a thousand of the little fellas defined above.

      2. Tim

        You are correct but missing the point: bio-availability is a real thing, whether water or food.

        If your body can’t keep it all to burn it all up later it won’t, and therefore you will not have truly absorbed all of the calories you ingested, and will not be able to burn them later.

        The bio-availability of ultra-processed foods is higher than lesser processed foods for the same calories “consumed”.

      3. Titus

        No we don’t, that lacks any foundation. The universe is slowly expanding , maybe not slowly, but inflating into nothing.

    2. Lee

      Depending on the source of a calorie, the amount of calories it takes to digest it differs pretty significantly. I guess highly processed foods might also be considered predigested and therefore, one would assume, burn fewer calories to digest than unprocessed foods with the same caloric content.

  5. JohnnyGL


    Re: Warren

    This Native American stuff just keeps on popping up. Here’s a 2012 interview where Warren tells a story of how her grandparents had to elope because her grandma was part cherokee. Of course, it’s not true.

    Re-running the Clinton 2016 playbook isn’t going to work.

    1. foghorn longhorn

      “Re-running the Clinton 2016 playbook isn’t going to work.”
      That’s my hot take on this, she is clinton redux 2,0, but even waspier, if that is possible.
      That’s old news and racist, what are you a deplorable?

      1. JohnnyGL

        Before she had the power of incumbency, she under-performed Obama in 2012 by 7 points (Warren got 53.5% and Obama got 60.5%).

        Her opponent, Scott Brown also did 7 points better, outperforming Romney by about the same margin.

        Ted Kennedy cracked 70% a couple of times. John Kerry put up 65% in 2008. Warren got 60% in 2018.

        Warren hasn’t put up stellar numbers in a solid blue state in her two senate elections.

      2. Big River Bandido

        I suspect her popularity problem is concentrated in places like Lawrence and Worcester, old post-industrial towns much like Youngstown or Milwaukee but even older (i.e., older industries). Thomas Frank had a lot to say in Listen, Liberal about the part of Massachusetts left behind by neoliberalism and the “eds and meds” boom.

          1. Big River Bandido

            Yes but if those reliably Democratic towns and ethnic groups don’t turn out to vote, their predilections don’t matter. In the midwest those towns and groups saw large drop offs in turnout. No idea if similar towns in MA showed similar results, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised. My Iowa ancestors, after all, came from MA and upstate NY, and the politics in those places show a lot of continuity.

            1. Swamp Yankee

              Yes indeed, the continuity of political culture in Greater New England/Yankeedom, stretching from the six New England states proper through upstate and western NY to the upper Great Lakes states like MI and WI and even into portions of Iowa, MN, and arguably, a lineal ancestor of the PNW, is a real thing. Population-cultural realities are powerful. Works the other way around, too — Las Vegas, e.g., was a Jim Crown town.

              As far as Warren, here in SE MA, she is not very popular, whether in small towns like Plympton or Berkeley or post-industrial small cities like the aforementioned Brockton, Fall River, or New Bedford. This is anecdotal, but based on a long train of observation over the decades. There is the sense she is the candidate of the inside-Rt.128 belt only, and that she is not one of us (her accent is frankly weird to our ears, just as ours probably is to her in her heart of hearts) and is only using us for her national ambitions. She’s never around here unless she’s running for office; it’s staffers who come see us after destructive Nor’easters, not the Senator.

              Whereas Ed Markey is seen, I think rightly, as being actually from here and more present in terms of caring about the people of the Commonwealth.

              With all this said, I voted for Warren twice and view her as a second choice after Bernie.

              But I don’t have a lot of goodwill towards her, and many absolutely loathe her here, and that’s a reality we all ought to take into account.

      1. Tom Stone

        Dalepues, Warren’s identity problem is a serious issue, if she could moonwalk lie Michael Jackson it would be a big help.

    2. Big River Bandido

      The Pocahontas meme has left an indelible mark on Warren’s political identity. This is also an indication of how culturally clueless she and her constituency are. How perfectly appropriate that it just won’t die.

      1. JohnnyGL

        It just seems so weird that this very intelligent woman is past 70 years old and hasn’t worked out identity issues that most people hash out when they’re around teenage years into early adulthood.

        She’s still got weird concepts like DNA=ethnicity in her head.

        A Harvard Law prof and US Senator doesn’t get that race is socially constructed? In 2018? It’s unreal. On top of that, she’s getting advice from people who also don’t know that race is socially constructed? Seems like a very insular group to get advice from.

        Personally, I thought this was overblown in 2012 in her Senate race. But, when you put the whole picture together, it looks a lot worse. Obviously, the DNA fiasco really showed just how bad the thinking on this really is with her inner-circle.

        1. Big River Bandido

          What’s especially shocking is how her long-term mishandling of this allowed Trump to own her on the issue. She hasn’t a prayer of defeating him after that. She’ll run exactly the kind of campaign that will play right into his hands.

          It’s such amateur politics I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. Truly mind boggling.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Picked up the reference too but could not remember the exact name. Just thought of it but so I won’t spoil it for other people, the first two initials of his surname start with DU as in DUD.

    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      And I’m personally peeved by people who hold their phone like they are talking into a piece of pizza. So one more thing.

      Hold it upside down like a mike or anything else. Jeez, Captain Kirk would slap that out of your hand.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          An anecdotal observation:

          I see a lot of seniors, mostly women, in my neighborhood talking into their phones like that. I always sort of imagined it was because they were talking to a group of grandkids on Skype or facetime but maybe it’s just a way of using the phone.

          I’ve also noticed that a lot of seniors keep their smartphones in those leather or vinyl wallet-type cases. What’s that about?

          1. anonymous

            Seniors were used to phone handsets that were big enough to have the receiver of audio on the user’s ear and the transmitter at the user’s mouth. Think of the appearance of an old telephone. Having the microphone on one’s cheek instead of at one’s mouth doesn’t seem to those seniors to be the best place to pick up their voices.

  6. BobW

    I really don’t understand how people can shop for clothes online. In a store clothes and shoes of a given size do not fit the same, even from the same manufacturer. You cannot get a good fit without trying them on in a fitting room. There must be a huge volume of returns. How’s that for being green?

    1. Chris Smith

      I get most of my clothes online at this point for simple reason: better selection and quality than local brick and mortar. I primarily use three different vendors that only sell their in-house brand: one for businesswear (shirts and slacks), one for things I wear when not at work, and a third for guayaberas. I know the sizes that fit me from the vendors which I accomplished with some measurements and some trial and error. The products from my preferred vendors are of higher quality (especially in the realm of durability) then the crap at my local brick and mortar.

      I usually buy custom tailored suits, but usually have that done when I am in Kolkata where I get better prices and better quality than I do locally.

    2. marym

      I decided maybe 12 years ago to buy only stuff made in the US if that category was made here – clothes and accessories, home furnishings, kitchen/dining stuff, mostly. On-line is practically the only way. “Medium” is usually fine for me. I have simple tastes and don’t have to buy for a family, so limited vendor choice and several or all of the exact same item in different colors is ok. Limited vendor choice also means some stability in sizing expectations. A few near-by boutiques occasionally have clothes made in the US and Canada for a little variety.

      1. Dan


        A good thrift shop will be overflowing with high quality American made suits for $20 to 50$. At that price one can employ a tailor to make them custom fitted.

        That’s as environmental as you can get. I found a fifty dollar bill in the opera pocket of a suit I bought that way. It was meant to be.

        1. Brent

          Years ago, I started a job as a ‘Limo’ driver (Drove black Lincoln Town Cars. 95% of it was picking-up/dropping-off businessmen/women at BWI/Dulles/Reagan airport.).
          The dress code included a black sport coat, an item too upscale to be part of my limited wardrobe. Though I wasn’t optimistic, I decided to see if I could find something passable at the nearby Goodwill. (Owings Mills/Reisterstown – just outside of Baltimore).
          Jackpot! Tons of high quality men’s dress clothing. E.g. An entire rack of white dress shirts (1/3 of them were French cuff).
          Found my black sports coat – Armani (perfect condition) – $12.
          Guessing the big selection of men’s wear was donated by surviving family.

          I’ve been to other Goodwill stores, and most of the merchandise wasn’t nearly as nice.

    3. Toshiro_Mifune

      I started buying online as it was the only way to find clothes (especially shirts) that actually fit me properly. Most shirts are cut for men who have for more generous proportions than myself so for a while (10 years ago) the only choices were online really. It became a matter of knowing who was actually consistent with their sizing and who wasn’t and then sticking with only those who were consistent. Also the online sales, esp Brooks and Bonobos are really good. Hickey was even better for sales but they shut that down a while ago.

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    So this RV that belongs to the person in jail for meth…was this person pulling a Heisenberg or was the RV just a RV?

  8. BobW

    Regarding the steel door: In East Lansing I lived in an apartment that had steel-clad doors in a steel frame. Did not even realize this until I came home one day to find crowbar marks on the door, and the robber did not gain entry. I think he could have gone through a wall with less effort.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I was burglarized by someone (or several someones) who pried open a door, then broke through a wall.

  9. smoker

    Speaking of Silicon Valley Tech Presidential funding (disgustingly going on for well over a decade now, from one of the most inequality/income disparity ridden areas in the country), and Facebook ‒ anyone else from the California Silicon Valley and Bay Area here who were totally unaware, or also noticed how little press the September 19th Facebook Employee suicide from the roof of Facebook’s Menlo Park Headquarters received? I live in Silicon Valley and hadn’t discovered it till Friday, the 28th.

    this is the only post I could find regarding details of the workplace.; details provided by an ex Facebook (and ex Google) employee.

  10. Henry Moon Pie

    This explains a lot about how the neocons came to infest places like DailyKos so completely:

    Gordon MacMillan, who joined the social media company’s UK office six years ago, has for several years also served with the 77th Brigade, a unit formed in 2015 in order to develop “non-lethal” ways of waging war.

    The 77th Brigade uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as podcasts, data analysis and audience research to wage what the head of the UK military, General Nick Carter, describes as “information warfare”.

    I’m sure the “greatest military” in the world is several steps ahead of these Brits.

      1. Procopius

        Other similar UK organizations are:
        The Integrity Initiative
        Belling Cat
        The Atlantic Council
        77th Brigade
        They’re all financed by the British government, but I think only the 77th Brigade is staffed by active duty military officers. I used to know the name of the Pentagon unit, but am too tired to bother looking it up. A good source to keep track of them is Craig Murray’s blog.

  11. notabanktoadie

    Second, is the issue corruption, or business as usual? Lambert

    Since the finance system is fundamentally* corrupt: both.

    *e.g. Only depository institutions may use fiat in account form, not citizens.

  12. Tolly

    CO2 rise was a concern even earlier than 1994. I remember casual discussion of the problem with friends circa 1989.

    The Captain Planet cartoon premiered in 1990.

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a precursor to the Kyoto Protocol, was 1992.

    1. aleric

      Another earlier pop-culture example is Theme from Flood from They Might Be Giants 1990 albumn Flood. “… why are the ocean levels rising up? ” TMBG and all their fans knew what they were talking about.

      1. hunkerdown

        Yes, I remember first playing that on my CD player in 1990 after tearing the shrinkwrap off. Followed immediately by what has turned out to be a song about Twitter, all the more relevant by the MI6 infiltration reveal on Moon of Alabama today.

        TMBG were really good before they became their Lincoln shtick, the unofficial but permanent house band of 19th-century politicking, complete with bunting, straw hats and tuba music.

    2. Bugs Bunny

      I learned about the “greenhouse effect” in grammar school in the 1970s and it was a known phenomenon before then. I mean, they were teaching it to kids.

      This is nothing new.

    3. Procopius

      Oh, I think concern goes back even further. I first learned the word “ecology” at Michigan State University in 1960, and the undertgrad I was talking to was concerned about the “carbon cycle.” I think that was before the data showing global warming became ubiquitous. You had to be in pretty obscure specialties to be aware of it.

  13. GF

    Tech: “Google Draws House Antitrust Scrutiny of Internet Protocol” [Wall Street Journal].

    Mozilla Firefox has a beta version of its built-in VPN (Firefox Private Network) that can be downloaded from its web site. The ISPs can’t not accept it because they can’t read/see it happening.


  14. Big River Bandido

    Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton in 1996 reminds me of AOC’s endorsement of “the governor” last year. Sanders was able to be a bit more up front; Bill Clinton didn’t control his ballot line.

  15. Wukchumni

    “The Grey Zone of Climate Economics”

    It doesn’t take much change in temperature to manifest significant differences. All of the existent glaciers in the Sierra Nevada were formed in the Little Ice Age, when temps dropped almost 1 degree C.

    Imagine going up 2, 3, or 4 degrees C, whee!

  16. Jeff W

    Warren: “…I might just call you to say thanks!”

    If some candidate called me to thank me for chucking in $3 (or any amount) to his or her campaign—it certainly would not be Warren—I’d be less than impressed, perhaps even horrified—”Yeah, Liz, I really want to be calling me, rather than trying to win over other voters who don’t support you. What is that about?”

    Maybe it’s an effort to put a positive spin on the notorious “call time” (dialing for dollars) in Congress or perhaps it’s an attempt to divert attention away from how she’s rolled over $10.4 million from her big-donor-funded Senate campaign to use in her “grassroots-funded” primary campaign—and if Warren calls even 10 grassroots donors, I’d be surprised, so it’s likely as phony as it is inane, I’d guess—but it’s such a loony talking point, I’d view it as yet another reason not to support her.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Scrambling for Tankers; Union Pacific’s Transition; Stumble on the Runway”

    It does not end there. The US is sanctioning Russian ships and entities that are delivering Russian jet fuel to Russian forces in Syria. That is just nuts. Can you imagine US ships being sanctioned for delivering US fuel to US forces to one of the 800 overseas US bases?


    1. Christopher Fay

      The U. S. doesn’t invest in boring capital goods like tankers. Boring, how to innovate that business. All U. S. tankers will be owned by foreign companies, and the tankers are registered here and there but not Deliware.

  18. ptb

    re: Adolph Reed quote (without having read thre article):

    True, African Americans, Latinos, and women are disproportionately poor or working class […] But this means that these populations would benefit disproportionately from initiatives geared to improve the circumstances of poor and working-class people in general

    I think this is a sizable part of why Republicans can generate such a surprising amount of working class opposition against social programs.

    Connecting this circle really is a necessity for both struggles – racial/ethnic inequality and wealth/income inequality. the historical parallel was that unions didn’t realize their full potential in bargaining power until they let black workers join.

  19. blowncue

    Chuck Grassley, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson send letter to IC IG asking why his office included paragraph requiring first-hand knowledge of irregularities alleged in form subsequently revised, when ICWPA statute contained no such requirement. If I understand correctly, whoever drafted the 2018 instruction form was freelancing inappropriately. In other words, second-hand information not a statutory barrier for IC IG involvement.

    See Julian Sanchez of CATO Institute’s twitter feed for more, including flaming of The Federalist.

    Senate letter here

  20. The Rev Kev


    So I was reading this piece and I began to see a parallel with black Africa. Follow me for a minute. We all know that black Africa is corrupt and the leaders always steal the wealth there. It is only through the generous charity of the west that grants aid that helps the poor people in Africa. Actually we don’t know any such thing at all. That wealth that is being stolen you will find in either London or New York after making a brief stopover in the Caymans or Lichtenstein or some other such place. Corrupt African leaders were recruited into this and taught how to use such financial schemes to pad their wealth – people like Robert Mugabe-


    You don’t think that he could have accumulated all that wealth without it being safe in say London or New York in spite of all those sanctions? And that everybody knew all along where it was kept? And all that foreign aid? Most of it, I bet, goes to western countries in staff, services, etc and not much sticks around in Africa based on what I have heard about Australian overseas aid. So my point is this.
    What if it was the same in the US? The guy that wrote the Bluexit article was bitter about how the Red States took in more of his taxes. What if it turned out that that was deceiving and that nobody was looking at where all the wealth being generated in those Red States ended up? What if some of those Blue States (Washington, New York, etc) were acting as wealth pumps and sucking the resources and generated wealth up with just a fraction making its way back as taxes. What if those Blue States could not go it alone financially if they did not have access to all those Red States? Hey, Red State or Blue State – I have no dog in this fight but do wonder about this point.

      1. The Rev Kev

        But how much wealth from the flyover States flows to New York, specifically Wall Street? New York as a State of tax-payers may not see that money but some people are. As an example of this at work – remember how a consortium of private equity firms took control of Toys “R” Us which covered the United States, sucked it dry of money, and then threw the carcass and its workers away? That is how it works.

        1. JBird4049

          Good good grief, more than some federal largesse flows around the states. Many of the largest ports especially on the West Coast are Blue state. Most of the food grown or raised is Red states. Most of the parasitical financial inspired are coastal. The railroads and highways that we all depend on go through both. The reds could starve the blues, while everything else like replacements parts like light bulbs and tires, the blues would block

          But let’s get real here. The entire American economy is interlinked with all supposedly red and blue areas interwoven and aside from maybe some small states like Montana, Nevada, and Hampshire, there would be a big economic hole.

          No, like some have mentioned, it is the blasted financial vampires and their minions who are sucking the economy dead. One of the reasons people don’t talk about when mentioning declining brick and mortar sales is the declining number of places to buy along, the lack of selection because of just-in-time stocks as well as the end of stocking anything besides medium and large anything. Add the destruction of specialty stores like men’s/women’s clothing, toys, or stationery because of private equity and of course people will stop buying. There is no where to go and anyone over forty might not understand why it was easier to go to a real store. They lack the experience and for good reasons.

          That is why I get annoyed when people start saying how unimportant or useless a particular state/county/city. Talk like blames the victims and enables the people actually destroying America. Do not play the game.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > The reds could starve the blues

            And that’s before we get to pipelines, water supply, power lines, and above all data centers. All the stuff the imperial core shoved off on the colonial periphery.

            1. JBird4049

              Didn’t think about the data centers, back-staff offices, or the emergency backup headquarters some companies (at least the smart ones do) usually have located in a red nowheresville.

  21. Tom Stone

    Hillary Clinton’s defense of Joe Biden’s conduct toward women is delightful.
    I know I shouldn’t laugh at such things, but I have a low sense of humor and can’t stop myself.

  22. anon in so cal


    Attempted take-down of Jimmy Dore re: Syria? Alleging donations from a pro-Assad group. Imagine Charles Lister’s donations from UAE and Saudis?


    Cambodia’s Tonle Sap lake levels at critically low levels:

    “At a Cambodian Lake, a Climate Crisis Unfolds

    A trifecta of climate change, hydropower dams and illegal fishing are threatening the Tonle Sap, and the people who rely on its fish.

    “This is the first time it’s this dry, and the first time the forest burned up,” he said.

    Tonle Sap Lake is the largest body of freshwater in Southeast Asia. Its wetlands support critically endangered species like the Bengal florican; its sediment provides nutrients for croplands; its fisheries are among the largest and most biodiverse in the world.

    And it has reached a tipping point. Just three years after the 2016 drought, another hit the region earlier this year. Local and global leaders should agree to stem the mushrooming of environmentally destructive hydropower dams, combat illegal fishing and mitigate the impacts of global warming. If such action is not taken soon, the Tonle Sap’s days are numbered. With it will vanish an ecosystem that has supported millions of Cambodians and their neighbors for centuries.

    Like the Mekong River as a whole, Tonle Sap Lake is beset by problems both local and global. In recent years, a trifecta of climate change, overfishing and the creation of new dams has threatened to unmake the Tonle Sap.”


    1. John A

      The guy attempting to take down Jimmy Dore relies on Bellingcat for his disinformation. Bellingcat is funded by NATO think tank Atlantic Council and basically blames Russia/Syria/Venezuela etc., for all the bad in the world. Bellingcat has no professional qualifications for what he claims to be an expert in.

  23. Wukchumni

    Got my first counterfeit goods from Amazon today. In theory they were Orbit brand 1-Outlet Programmable Hose Faucet Timers i’d ordered, in practice no-name inferior knockoffs with a slew of recent 1-star reviews attesting to quality.

  24. VietnamVet

    The fact that people dying because of expensive insulin has started to be noticed. Shipping drugs directly from Canada was debunked in today’s link. The corporate state purposeful monopolizes manufacturing to increase prices and profit at users’ expense. Besides pricing, monopolies are not redundant. Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico caused shortages. This is guaranteed to get worse as climate changes. Back when laws were enforced on the Elite, companies were broken up to increase competition. This doesn’t work if there is only one manufacturing plant in North America. Also, increasingly, stock chemicals are coming from China and are at risk due to Donald Trump trade wars. A collapse in supply could be near. There is no future planning. If the government was functioning for the good of the people, it would contract out the supply of drugs it purchases from a secondary North American source. If that doesn’t work, get into the business itself.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      In the States I’ve seen posters stuck on traffic signs “Cash for Diabetes Test Sticks”

      What part is that in this whole nightmare?

      BTW there was a little US flag on the posters.

      Always something new happening America.

      1. JBird4049

        This is off topic, but your post somehow reminded me of the Buffalo Springfield’s song For What It’s Worth.

    2. Procopius

      Spare parts for all military aircraft and most armored vehicles are all sourced from China. All military comms gear comes from China already. If they really cut off HuaWei, There Is No Alternative.

  25. David Carl Grimes

    “Has nobody noticed that there is treaty between Ukraine and the USA, signed at Kiev in 1998 and ratified by the US Senate in 2000. It’s an agreement on “Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.” Here, read the cover letter for yourself:”


  26. ObjectiveFunction

    “Experimental results on two public datasets indicate that our model can significantly outperform existing methods in terms of both automatic evaluation and human judgment.” • Oh good.

    Wait, aren’t you always asking for ‘better trolls please?’ Your wish is the market’s command!

    Golem Mentat^8

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