2:00PM Water Cooler 10/15/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Trade

“Trade Woes Push IMF Global Growth Outlook to Decade-Low of 3%” [Bloomberg].”The International Monetary Fund made a fifth-straight cut to its 2019 global growth forecast, citing a broad deceleration across the world’s largest economies as trade tensions undermine the expansion…. The forecast for this year would be the weakest since 2009, when the world economy shrank, as the fund chopped projections from the U.S. and Europe to China and India.”

“China is giving the U.S. a taste of its own medicine” [The Week]. “[I]f the country we’re entangled with has a lot of leverage, they can force us to behave in ways we otherwise might not, and would really prefer not to. The thing is, if you’re pretty much any country other than the United States — especially a poorer or developing country — you already knew this. Because for decades, the U.S. has been doing to the world what China is currently trying to do to us.” • Payback is a b*tch….

Politics

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

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

* * *

2020

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 Updated: 10/15/2019, 11:00 AM EDT:

Loveable Joe Biden still cruising along as the brutally effective politician we alll know we is. Sanders’ heart attack doesn’t look like it’s caused him to lose support (though it may set a ceiling on it; tonight’s debate may give the first indication). Warren slips a bit; I see a lot of negative stuff about her among the extremely online, though I don’t think that’s very good proxy for whatever’s out there in the biomass. And here are the poll results:

(I used Sunday’s polls because of Morning Consult’s huge sample.)

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.”

* * *

Readers, there is another Democrat Presidential debate tonight. I will open the Live Blog at 7:30PM.

Biden (D)(1): “U.S.-China Trade Will Never Be the Same” [Bloomberg]. “From China’s point of view, a victory by former Vice President Joe Biden would almost certainly be the best outcome. Biden comes from the Clinton/Obama faction of the Democratic Party that has usually viewed free trade and cooperation with China as preferable to competition and confrontation. Biden has explicitly dismissed the threat of Chinese competition, laughing at the notion that “China is going to eat our lunch.” And he has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s trade war with China. A Biden victory probably would result in a substantial reversal and repudiation of Trump’s tariffs.”

Buttigeig (D)(1):

Way to insult every small donor out there, McKinsey dude.

Gabbard (D)(1): “CNN panel stunned after Bakari Sellers calls Tulsi Gabbard ‘a puppet for the Russian government'” [Raw Story]. • Another RussiaGate brain casualty…

Gabbard (D)(2): “Tulsi Gabbard Wants A New Job. A Primary Challenger Wants Her Current One.” [HuffPo]. • Wowsers, I thought the DCCC didn’t allow challengers to incumbents.

Warren (D)(1): This should make big donors happy:

I’m with Bernie on Medicare for All” My Sweet Aunt Fanny. (Note that Reid got Warren her first big job in Washington, for the TARP Congressional Oversight Commission.

Warren (D)(2): This should make big donors happy, too:

To be fair, this photo comes from the New York Times here; the caption is “literature on her policy proposals cover a wall,” so I can’t be sure that the lower part of the wall isn’t cropped out, with the Medicare for All folder buried way down at the bottom.

Warren (D)(3): This should make big donors happy, also too:

Who doesn’t love them some trickle down economics? Or “non-binding pledges”?

Warren (D)(4): “Ashlee Marie Preston, Warren campaign trans rep, apologizes for old bigoted tweets” [Blade]. • Poor vetting by staff.

Yang (D)(1): “Entrepreneur Andrew Yang’s quixotic U.S. presidential campaign gets serious” [Reuters]. “Now Yang’s campaign, which began in 2017 but has seen its fortunes rise sharply in recent months, is rushing to catch up with rivals. He stands near 3% in the latest public opinion polls, putting him in sixth place in the 19-candidate field ahead of numerous sitting lawmakers. His $10 million fundraising haul in the third quarter was the sixth-most among Democrats and more than triple his total for the second quarter. Most importantly, he continues to inspire a fervent following known as the Yang Gang, supporters who wear blue “MATH” hats – a tribute to Yang’s devotion to data that has since become an acronym for “Make America Think Harder” – and revel in his “nerdy” campaign. When Yang promised to become the first president to use PowerPoint in a State of the Union address, the Las Vegas crowd chanted, “PowerPoint! PowerPoint!'” • PowerPoint?! N-o-o-o-o…. (See Edward Tufte, “The Cognitive Style Of Powerpoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within.”)

Realignment and Legitimacy

“How the DCCC’s “Blacklist” Could Blow Up in the Democratic Establishment’s Face” [In These Times].”Now that Newman has replaced her staff, she’s months into a high-stakes fight against an eight-term incumbent whose last name is practically synonymous with the Chicago machine. Whether or not she pulls out a victory will serve as a barometer not only for the momentum behind the Democratic Party’s ascendant left flank, but for just how much the party establishment will stand in its way.” • Maybe. If Emily’s List is backing Lipinski, she’s hardly on the left.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of note today.

Marketing: “”Aspirational realness,” the Instagram cool-girl look, disguises advertising as authenticity” [Quartz]. “‘It’s not cool anymore to be manufactured,’ one teen told [The Atlantic’s Taylor] Lorenz.”

Shipping: “The trucking industry’s search for new drivers is starting to change the look of the sector’s workforce. The number of female truckers increased by 68% since 2010 to 234,234 in 2018… an increase that some trucking experts say has been boosted by the promise of equal pay for men and women behind the wheel” [Wall Street Journal]. “Women still account for just 6.6% of truck drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations, and they still confront big concerns over safety and harassment in the field. But compensation based on a per mile, hourly or other measure is generally seen as equal for men and women, which helps in recruiting in a business that has trouble luring new workers in a tight labor market. That’s critical for trucking companies as they reach out beyond the industry’s traditional demographics to replace an aging workforce.”

The Bezzle: “Why NASA’s Annoyed About Elon Musk’s Giant Rocket” [LiveScience]. “SpaceX has never flown a person into space in its Crew Dragon, its first crew-capable spacecraft. But already the company is showing off its much bigger, much shinier cousin: the Starship, built in Boca Chica, a coastal village at the southeastern tip of Texas, as part of a plan to carry giant crews into deep space. And NASA’s administrator is bristling. That’s because, even though the Crew Dragon — which consists of a capsule for carrying cargo and crew into space on top of a Falcon 9 rocket — is still very much in the works, it’s well behind schedule. Awarded a NASA contract in 2014, SpaceX initially said it would deliver an operational vehicle that astronauts could fly in by 2017. But that still hasn’t happened.”

The Bezzle: “Driverless cars are stuck in a jam” [The Economist]. “Waymo, the Alphabet subsidiary widely seen as the industry leader, committed itself to launching a driverless-taxi service in Phoenix, where it has been testing its cars, at the end of 2018. The plan has been a damp squib. Only part of the city is covered; only approved users can take part. Phoenix’s wide, sun-soaked streets are some of the easiest to drive on anywhere in the world; even so, Waymo’s cars have human safety drivers behind the wheel, just in case.” • And that photo. So many EVs and robot cards have these lozenge-like rounded bodies that are meant to look harmless and friendly. It makes me want to take a baseball bat to them and smask them up.

Tech:

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 44 Fear (previous close: 42, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 29 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 15 at 11:11am.

Rapture Index: Closes down one on Drug Abuse. “The lack of activity has downgraded this category” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 184. 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 affected the Index.

The Biosphere

“Massive California power outage triggers chaos in science labs” [Nature (Re Silc)]. “Jessica Lyons, a molecular biologist at Berkeley, says that each lab in her building has a single outlet that is connected to an emergency power system. The main freezer in Lyons’ lab, which keeps specimens at –80 °C, is plugged into that outlet. Lyons and her colleagues stocked the lab’s other freezers with dry ice on 8 October after being warned of the impending outage.” • While string theorists move right along…

“Scientists’ Declaration of Support for Non-Violent Direct Action Against Government Inaction Over the Climate and Ecological Emergency” [GoogleDocs]. “As scientists, we have an obligation that extends beyond merely describing and understanding the natural world to taking an active part in helping to protect it. We note that the scientific community has already tried all conventional methods to draw attention to the crisis. We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and nonviolent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law. We therefore support those who are rising up peacefully against governments around the world that are failing to act proportionately to the scale of the crisis. We believe it is our moral duty to act now, and we urge other scientists to join us in helping to protect humanity’s only home.” • Looks like over 900 signatories…

“Land Without Bread” [The Baffler]. “The loosely defined proposal for a Green New Deal hits the panic button, American-style, but it does not exactly lay a cornerstone. Which is to say that it avoids prickly issues of land use—generally reserved for states and localities that regularly do battle with sacrosanct private property rights. Yet the choices we make about our land are foundational to any future we construct, low-carbon or otherwise. It has always been so. Just ask the pre-Columbian indigenous peoples, the slaveholders and their human property, the “settlers,” the railroad barons, and the policy architects of postwar suburbanization and urban disinvestment. And consider the fact that sprawling suburban development devoured nearly 31 million acres of agricultural land—cropland, woodlands, pasture, and range land—between 1992 and 2012 alone, according to a 2018 report by American Farmland Trust (AFT). That is an area almost as large as New York State. More than a third of that conversion, 11 million acres, took place on prime farmland blessed with the world’s richest soil. That is an area roughly the size of California’s Central Valley. Protecting such land, and doing so in an equitable manner, is critical not only to our future food supply but also to mitigating and adapting to climate change.” • Excellent point.

Health Care

“Medicaid’s Dark Secret” [The Atlantic]. “Medicaid recipients over the age of 55 are expected to repay the government for many medical expenses—and states will seize houses and other assets after those recipients die in order to satisfy the debt.” • Horror story follows. And who do we have to thank for Medicaid asset seizure? You’ll never guess: “Bill clinton signed the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program into law as part of his deficit-reduction act in 1993. Previously, states had the right to seek repayment for Medicaid debts; the new law made it mandatory.” • And see NC, way back in 2014, here, here, and here. Naturally, nothing has been done.

Quick, let’s call those bright young people who did the ObamaCare “Tech Surge” and have them fix it:

I dunno though, maybe there’s no point fixing software that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

For those who really love their insurance company:

I think this is a brilliant, innovative proposal. Set up Potemkin Care, and if people want somebody to lose their paperwork and put them on hold, they’ll still have that option!

Games

“Fortnite Chapter 2 is live, exploring a whole new world” [Rock Paper Shotgun]. “After being swallowed by a black hole, Fortnite has now returned as Fortnite Chapter 2. Month. That’s a month, Epic. Month takes the battle royale action to a whole new island, one which (so far) doesn’t bear the scars of two years of mystical and cataclysmic events. Month even adds fishing, which now makes Fortnite officially an RPG (sorry, I don’t make the rules). Along with a new island free of seasons of remnants, Month has streamlined the arsenal. Though then added more new weapons, like a Bandage Bazooka to heal pals. And you can upgrade weapons at upgrade benches. And the game now has swimming. And boats. And haystacks to hide in. And explosive barrels. And… a whole lot is new, okay, and we’re all still discovering it. Today’s patch notes simply say: ‘Added: Chapter 2. Take your #FirstDrop and discover everything new.'” • Pretty dry patch note?

The wheels of commerce keep turning:

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“Alleged Japanese stalker studied reflection from photos of pop star’s pupils to find out where she lived” [Associated Press]. “A man arrested on suspicion of stalking a female pop idol used the reflections of her pupils in photos she shared on social media and Google Street View to find where she lived…. NHK and other media reported this week that details in the woman’s selfies were used to identify the train station she frequented. They said Sato looked at other images she shared, such as her apartment, to figure out where she lived….. [Tokyo Shimbun] also said people shouldn’t make the V-sign with their hand because fingerprints could be stolen.” • No V-signs in Asian selfies? Unlikely. A technical fiix were would be something algos could do, I would think. Catchlights in eyes are already recognizable by software in auto-focus mode for portraits.

Groves of Academe

“Is a way-cool new entertainment district what Iowa State needs most?” [Des Moines Register]. • By Betteridge’s Law…

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“What we know about Atatiana Jefferson, the woman killed by Fort Worth police in home” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]. “On Saturday at 2:30 a.m., Jefferson was playing Call of Duty with her 8-year-old nephew. Her neighbor called a non-emergency number to ask someone to check on the home in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue because the front door was open, which he said was not normal. About three minutes later, two officers parked around the corner from the house, went into the backyard and, when Jefferson looked out the back window, one of them shot her.” • Not exactly The Most Dangerous Game, because the element of danger seems to be missing.

Guillotine Watch

“PG&E bankruptcy judge questions $11 million payment plan for top executives” [San Francisco Chronicle]. From August, still germane. “U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali told a PG&E attorney that he took issue with the company’s argument that the payments were necessary to ‘appropriately incentivize’ 12 executives. He said the leaders should be motivated to perform well by virtue of their positions at the bankrupt company, which is responsible for wildfires that killed dozens of people and incinerated thousands of homes. ‘If they’re not incentivized enough, they ought to find another job, frankly,’ he said at a hearing in San Francisco.” • The prospect of being hanged is said to incentivize…

He didn’t deserve it:

>

Class Warfare

“The Best Economic News No One Wants to Talk About” [The Atlantic].

Let’s play a game of wish-casting.

Imagine a world where wage growth was truly stagnant only for workers in high-wage industries, such as medicine and consulting.

Imagine a labor market where earnings growth for low-wage workers, such as those who work in retail and restaurants, had doubled in the past five years.

Imagine an economy where wages for the poorest Americans were rising twice as fast as hourly earnings for high-wage earners.

It turns out that all three of those things are happening right now/. According to analysis by Nick Bunker, an economist with the jobs site Indeed, wage growth is currently strongest for workers in low-wage industries, such as clothing stores, supermarkets, amusement parks, and casinos. And earnings are growing most slowly in higher-wage industries, such as medical labs, law firms, and broadcasting and telecom companies.” • Hmm. If true, it’s due to the efforts of low-wage workers alone.

“Inequality is Literally Killing Us” [Counterpunch]. “‘The inequality of life expectancy,’ as economist Gabriel Zucman puts it, ‘is exploding in the U.S.’ The new GAO numbers ought to surprise no one. Over recent decades, a steady stream of studies have shown consistent links between rising inequality and shorter lifespans. The trends we see in the United States reflect similar dynamics worldwide, wherever income and wealth are concentrating. The more unequal a society becomes, the less healthy the society. On the other hand, the nations with the narrowest gaps between rich and poor turn out to have the longest lifespans. And the people living shorter lives don’t just include poorer people. Middle-income people in deeply unequal societies live shorter lives than middle-income people in more equal societies.” • Everything’s going according to plan!

“How GM Pits Younger Workers Against Older Workers” [Payday Report]. “Kevin is a 62-year-old General Motors employee who pushes a 300-pound cart with spare parts to provide support to workers on the assembly line. ‘There is a lot of joint pain from twisting and moving carts around. It’s hard to stop once you get in motion, so your ankles are sore, your feet are sore from twisting,’ says Kevin, who declined to give his last name. ‘I am at the age where you start to have arthritic type concerns just naturally because of aging, so it’s a lot harder for the older guys than the 21-year-old guys just starting out in the job,’ says Kevin. ‘They don’t feel the pain yet, but what they don’t know that once they abuse themselves to that point, there is no going back.‘ As a result, Kevin says that younger employees, particularly temporary employees hoping to make permanent status, are often willing to work faster and cut corners on safety to impress supervisors.” • Two-tier needs to be destroyed where found (including in Social Security).

“The Radical Guidebook Embraced by Google Workers and Uber Drivers” [New York Times]. “[Views of striking workers,] based on century-old ideas, did not emerge in a vacuum. It can be traced in part to a book called “Labor Law for the Rank and Filer,” which many Googlers had read and discussed. Its authors are a longtime labor historian, Staughton Lynd, and an organizer, Daniel Gross. They identify with a strain of unionism popularized in the early 1900s by the Industrial Workers of the World, a radical labor group known as the Wobblies that defined itself in opposition to mainstream trade unions…. And Googlers aren’t the only ones who have drawn inspiration from the book. Workers at the crowdfunding company Kickstarter, the site of a recent union campaign, have studied it. Organizers with one of the largest Uber driver groups say the ideas have influenced them as well.”• Solidarity unions v. business unions seems to be Lynd’s key distinction.

“After analyzing 3.5 million books, researchers learn most common adjectives used to describe men and women” [Boing Boing]. “Researchers at the University of Copenhagen analyzed 3.5 million English language books published between 1900 to 2008 to identify the adjectives most frequently applied to men and women. Unsurprisingly, women were described by their bodies and appearance and men were described by their thoughts and behavior. The World Economic Forum points out that computer algorithms that make important decisions about people’s lives were trained using much of the same data.” • “Death to the machines that think like men!”

News of the Wired

“Simone Biles surprised by her greatness: I really don’t know how I do it sometimes” [USA Today]. The headline makes Biles sound arrogant, but I think she’s matter-of-fact.

What a great map:

Correct:

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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 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 (Phil H):

Phil H writes: “Noting your concern over the possible lack of colorful Fall foliage this year, here is a possible substitute for the color-deprived: my Fall Cucumber. Left on the vine to mature seeds for next year’s garden, cucumbers bring a bit of seasonal gold. They are not quite as spectacular as, say, maple trees, but mark the time of year in their own humble & slightly rotund way.”

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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.

125 comments

  1. NotTimothyGeithner

    New York is easily the most polite place, though I might call it “considerate.” A person’s time is a valuable asset, and they don’t waste it on faux pleasantries or holding conversations in the doorway of grocery stores. We get it, you are happy to see your friend but gtfo. You don’t have to put up that garbage in the Northeast.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Yeah, from a certain point of view they are very polite; they are most considerate of their time, which means, one can say, they are the most considerate of your time!

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I was born in the metropolis of Keene, Cheshire County, so I do get up there from time to time. It may not be NYC, but it isn’t the trashy faux politeness so common in the South. Its getting better because of the 80’s migration.

        Reply
    2. JCC

      Based on personal experience, I’ve always found the cops a lot more pleasant, too, compared to other places I’ve lived… definitely a better sense of humor.

      Reply
    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Time is more valuable when you spend it being happy with others. Here among the working poors of New Orleans, social interactions keep us sane as well as forming bonds of solidarity. New Yorkers are considered rude and socially backwards.

      Reply
    4. richard

      I wouldn’t mind that kind of vibe at all. Seattle has a good deal of “fake pleasantry” to wade through; way too many Greg Turkington types. I have just been binge watching On Movies (At the Movies) with Turkington and his trumpite counterpart Tim Heidecker, and now recognize their duelling mental illnesses as a powerful lense through which to see the world ;)
      But back to the topic! To sum up, NY sounds delightful in that way. Let’s all pretend we live over there, shall we seattle, and all of you can just learn to stfu about kids, family, the weather, your cook out, and every other subject you can think of to suddenly cut in front of me in line :)

      Reply
      1. pjay

        Agreed, but there are a few pluses. Seattle traffic is pretty bad, but pedestrians rule downtown. When I was there this summer I was allowed to do things by drivers that I would have been mowed down for in NYC.

        Reply
        1. richard

          yes, portland is like that too, i’m told
          the humans occasionally manage to win one
          amongst the featureless scuffles of gray liberaldom

          Reply
    5. Mattski

      Old joke:

      Tourist to New Yorker: “Pardon me, sir, but can you point me to the Empire State Building, or should I just go screw myself?”

      Reply
    6. Toshiro_mifune

      G#dda#n right!*

      *Born in NYC, worked there for 20 years now, like Mr. T doesn’t have time for jibber jabber.

      Reply
    7. Bugs Bunny

      Compared to Paris, NYC is a splendid old club where everyone cares for each other and newcomers are treated like family.

      Reply
    8. Plenue

      There’s that New York narcissism I’ve come to expect. It can’t just be “NYC is actually very polite”, it has to be “it’s easily the most polite place”.

      Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

      Reply
    9. Procopius

      I remember noticing, while I was in the Army, that it was very common for people to stop in an office doorway to chat. Something about leaning against the door frame, I think.

      Reply
    1. John k

      I’m glad he got out and is speaking his mind. I sent links on this to a couple people who don’t believe she might not stay the course on m4a.

      Reply
      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        For me it shares a theme with Biden fighting for moar trade with China. That will rally his working class pals.

        When I think of the number of jobs that we gave tax breaks for sending to China, I don’t even blink when about whether we should axe a few hundred thousand white collar jobs in exchange for M4A. Perhaps they can retrain for a job that is as fulfilling as denying care to a generation.

        Reply
  2. Tmoney

    Friend of mine’s suggestion – a new progressive corporate tax rate. A rate that is inversely proportional to the CEO / worker pay ratio. 300:1 = 90% tax rate 10:1 = 10% tax rate. Now who could argue with that ? Oh and that’s total compensation, bonuses, options etc included. Shareholders should love it :)

    Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        This is why labor membership on corporate boards matters with strong anti-monopoly statutes and oversight and some other currently trivial concerns relative to other issues regulatory structures.

        Occasionally companies will have to reinvest. Though admittedly, I always thought labor unions made the mistake of not demanding ownership.

        Reply
          1. JTMcPhee

            Hard to make that work, as some regular posters here can attest. Starts off ok, but avarice and ego will out. They then become Management. My experience was with West Marine, a national boat parts and clothing thing. Good workers founded and grew the co., then the founder got tired and handed off to workers who looted for a while and then brought in the MBAs and “retail experts” to complete the crapification. The West Marine brand actually meant quality and value up to about 1995, then in come the branded Chinese crap products and looted the brand’s value. Went from pretty good place to work with a living wage, to tons of middle-micromanagement of youngsters working 28 hours on the clock/40 off the books, for coolie wages. The American business model: more and more work from fewer and fewer staff for less and less pay and benefits under metric-algo-driven “oversight” selling shittier and shittier products to smaller and smaller clientele for more and more bucks.

            Management guys did a couple of trick-the-analyst pump and dump cycles to jump the “value” of their options. Mr. Market was pretty slow to respond.

            I finally quit after my hours were cut to 15 a week in 2005 and went to nursing school at age 59.

            Reply
          2. Yves Smith

            I don’t mean to sound mean, but because it is a terrible idea. The American romanticization of entrepreneurship has enriched the people selling it.

            90% of new businesses fail within three years. Starting a new business is a great way to drain your savings or go bankrupt, ruin your marriage/relationship, lose any friends who you got to invest in your venture, and get stress-related illnesses.

            People should be on payrolls with decent protection of their rights and job security. The alternative is worse.

            The most common characteristic of people who start their own business is they’ve been fired twice, meaning they can’t get on in a normal work setting (or had super bad luck). And that doesn’t make them any more successful, but it at least gives them a logical motive.

            Reply
    1. Tim

      I think you need to get that idea to Senator Warren stat.

      NeoLiberalism in practice is using the markets to get the most productivity possible.

      The NeoLeft (Warren) in practice will be using the worship of the almighty dollar to get everybody to do the right thing.

      It’s better than Neoliberalism and is the last off-ramp for the elite before complete society upheaval.

      Reply
      1. Carey

        Assuming Warren is sincere about her Plans™, and that they could in fact be implemented, her time was *thirty years ago*. They decided to militarize the cops then, instead..

        Wishful thinking from the brunch set.

        Reply
    2. Dan

      Leveraging the GOPs “Deregulation and lower taxes for small business”, tax rates should reflect the number of employees and overall gross revenue and net profits as well.

      i.e. Mom and pop grocery store gets taxed at 10% net profits.
      Corporate oil company at 90%.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        @ Dan,
        I’ve long thought that this would be the most effective anti-trust measure. You make it a “hockey-stick” curve that shoots up abruptly at a certain income level – counting ALL elements of company, including abroad. Monty’s right: they would subdivide, not really to mom-and-pop level but small enough to avoid monopoly. And John K., too: the rate would be determined by gross revenue, as a measure of size.

        Might not work on those that declare no profit, like Amazon, but that could also be corrected in the tax code. Of course, this all depends on really collecting corporate taxes.

        I think it’s a serious proposal for preventing concentration. Do other readers see big problems?

        Reply
        1. Dan

          OregonCharles, how about
          “Dan’s job creation and tax enhancement act.”

          On your sliding scale, meaning the following only applies to high revenues, not mom and pop stores, how about using employee’s personal taxes to offset corporation’s tax rate?, Thus encouraging job creation and higher federal taxes overall?

          At a given revenue level, the more employees a corporation has, the lower the tax rate they pay. The fewer employees a corporation has, the higher the tax rate they pay.

          i.e. $100 million in revenue, a thousand employees, tax rate is 10%.

          $100 million in revenue, a hundred employees, tax rate is 90%.

          Amazon has no profits?, even if Amazon’s rate has been lowered by it’s large numbers of employees, 10% of huge revenue, is better than 0% of profits.

          If they fire employees, make employees independent contractors, or replace employees with robots, their tax rate goes up because they have fewer employees, and a higher level of revenue that is taxed at that rate. This encourages hiring of employees.

          Further sweetening could be added by making longevity of employee’s tenure, thus encouraging better working conditions to retain employees, and pay raises count more toward lowering the corporate tax rate.

          Imagine a Wall Street Hedge fund handling billions with a couple dozen employees = big taxes.

          Reply
          1. Oregoncharles

            Taxes are a very effective tool of social engineering, and work more reliably on companies than on individuals. So that would be worth doing, too.

            Reply
        2. Procopius

          One of the things I think we could do without making any changes to statutes is just to double the budget of the Internal Revenue Service. Let them hire enforcement people. On second thought, the Republicans (with help from lots of Democrats) has so gutted the IRS we need to triple the budget. It would pay for itself.

          Reply
  3. Henry Moon Pie

    “Solidarity unions v. business unions seems to be Lynd’s key distinction.”

    So what’s different about solidarity unionism?

    Check out Lynd’s speech from a few years ago on the occasion of the Wobs’ 100th anniversary.

    And his book, Solidarity Unionism.

    A couple of key differences:

    1) Never, ever, under any circumstances agree to a no-strike clause; and

    2) Never limit bargaining to wage and benefit issues. Everything must be on the table.

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      I have come to believe that the only viable answer to global corporatism is global unionism. Unf, the several times I have tried to join the Wobs, I have been rebuffed, usually b/c I am not sufficiently an ’employee’, although once b/c they weren’t “doing intake” at the time. “Intake”?. Yup, our little two-person business puts me in the employer class by their rules! So far, the only union that will have me is the National Farmers Union – Ontario, as an associate (disclosure: I am totally not a farmer). More unions really should consider where they can find friends, allies, and supporters, esp now that union membership is shrinking into insignificance. How else ya gonna pull off a general strike?

      Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        The National Farmers Union joined the AFof L (American Federation of Labor). Now they’re the A F of L, EIEIO.

        Reply
      2. Procopius

        My father was an executive in a precision measuring instruments company. After they moved from Detroit to Saginaw, MI, the employees voted in a union. I don’t remember if it was Teamsters or United Mine Workers, but it seemed ludicrous for highly skilled craftsmen. My father was amazed to find that the presence of the union increased productivity and improved labor-management relations.

        Reply
  4. Tomonthebeach

    Entrepreneur Andrew Yang’s quixotic U.S. presidential campaign – devotion to data.

    Really hollow. Data is no substitute for an empathetic heart and a willingness to improve the lives of all countrymen. Not seeing that.

    Reply
    1. Darius

      When you hear 21st Century boosters talk about data, remember that in the 20th Century it was called statistics, and everyone knew statistics lie.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        that’s ridiculous, it wouldn’t be f-ism of any sort, now it could be neoliberal, but that’s not the same thing. And whatever over emotional f-ism is, I’m pretty sure it would be horrid. You mean the current white supremacist perhaps, Yang would be an improvement, that’s saying very little of course.

        I don’t get any real impression that with Yang it IS driven by the data, it’s data as branding. Now when Greta Thurnburg says listen to the science, *that’s* the data. But what data shows that 1k a month could really be enough to live off of I wonder? Haha, it’s not, it’s so obviously not, that we wonder what the Yang Gang is even on about, teenagers who have never had to make rent probably. Or desperate people for whom 1k sounds like the best they’ll ever get from the government, well the later are sympathetic anyway, desperation is something anyone can understand as is playing for the best one can get, and if that’s a string free 1k in lieu of all else in one’s estimation …

        Reply
    2. Darius

      The 21st Century cult of data has replaced 20th Century skepticism of statistics. But it’s the same thing. I guess Silicon Valley tech bro’s have better PR flacks working for them than the nerdy CPAs of yore.

      Reply
  5. Isotope_C14

    “Maybe. If Emily’s List is backing Lipinski, she’s hardly on the left.”

    Emily’s List is deeply concerned about electing women. You should see Lipinski in a halter top and stilettos. If Divine were alive, there would be fashion war between the two of them.

    Reply
  6. Summer

    Re: “When Yang promised to become the first president to use PowerPoint in a State of the Union address, the Las Vegas crowd chanted, “PowerPoint! PowerPoint!’”

    WTF? They call that “thinking”? Are executive suites sucking out the brains of people?

    Reply
    1. Tim

      That’s got to be a pretty narrow slice of the electorate he has if that story is really true.

      Only professionals and education types use it. Of those most hate ppt as we refer to it. Too many meetings and presentations can be referred to as death by powerpoint.

      I am a big fan of bullet points, but the slide format “one at a time” is a distraction.

      Reply
    2. JohnnyGL

      Does anyone have the heart to point out that their pitch of “Make America Think Harder” doesn’t really comport with the lazy solution of just writing a check each month?

      We can debate it’s merits, but it’s certainly not “thinking harder”.

      Reply
  7. John k

    …due to efforts of the workers…
    Maybe markets. Lots of help wanted signs in s Ca, shortage of workers is likely forcing up wages.
    Shortage at least partly bc workers, such as my daughter’s family, left for lower cost housing.
    Rich retirees moving in demanding services, workers move out, result has to be higher wages.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      And housing costs still seem to rise faster than any wage growth. More importantly I think, the last two recessions in 2001 and 2008, occurred just after wage increases and worker shortages were becoming acute, IIRC for about a year, maybe 1 ½ years. Amazing how how income growth for the top 10% can go on for years, even a decade, without interruption while any increases in income and employment for the lower 30% start later and then whacked after 2-3 years at most.

      Reply
  8. ACF

    a mark of NYC politeness is the commitment to not being in the way, again from the innate respect for time. So if people run into each other in a store and want to chat, they make sure that where they are standing while they do it is not in the way (e.g. never happens in doorways, top/bottom of stairs, middle of sidewalks, choke points of any kind…)

    Reply
      1. urblintz

        yes… when I lived there we used to call the tourists “meanderthals” as they had no idea how to navigate sidewalks efficiently.

        Reply
        1. Jack Parsons

          In the early 90s I had the pleasure of walking slowly behind an affluent-looking family dominating the entire sidewalk. Looking back, it might have been T-bone. NYC has no shortage of self-important knuckleheads, but it’s exactly the kind of thing he would pull.

          Reply
  9. Steve H.

    > Massive California power outage triggers chaos in science labs

    I was involved in research that was being used as evidence in an environmental case that resulted in a $100 million dollar settlement. Our specimens were the physical evidence at the root of that research, and they were kept in freezers at the lab.

    Made me think, what happens when the cadavers in murder cases lose their cooling? I assume they have backups, but outages are becoming measured in days.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Do dead people have rights? Is it not against the law to desecrate a human body?

      Can dead bodies be ‘owned?’

      “This cadaver ‘belongs’ to so-and-so agency/department/corporation.”

      Reply
    2. JTMcphee

      Why are intentional shut-downs to reduce corporate liability exposure being referred to as OUTAGES? Hmmm? Especially since said corps put all their massive ratepayer income into C Suite and other payoffs, eschewing any kind of maintenance, let alone improvement, of the monopoly grid they took over, displacing all public utilities?

      Reply
  10. NotTimothyGeithner

    Lebron James is out to prove all Lakers are pure evil.

    This is another feather in the cap for neoliberals (Bill Clinton). Opening up China to Western markets was supposed to liberalize China after Tiananmen Square. Who could have known?

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Liberalized China.

      Is that a Chinese problem for the Chinese to deal with?

      Perhaps because no country can be said to be democratic, we can, or should, remain silent here too.

      Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They are all One Percenters…perhaps in the 0.1%, or more exclusive, group.

          Perhanps their wealth is not strictly correlated to evilness (many exceptions are claimed) , but they have more penances to perform, or at the very least, more money to give.

          Reply
        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          My loophole is Jabbar and Wilt aren’t suiting up for the Lakers. West is GM (or special advisor) for the Clippers which is hysterical.

          And Elgin Baylor is still alive. Good for him. I mean that. I had to look it up. He’s 85.

          Lebron once brought attention to police brutality. Yeah, he may ignored certain economic factors, but he wasn’t lamenting that people might speak out against a repressive government because he was worried about the box office returns for Space Jam 2, 3d, and 4 Electric Boogaloo. Oh should I have not mentioned what this was about at least from Lebron’s perspective. Bad new, Warner Brothers saw the box office returns for Transformers.

          Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The very act of the 99ers worshipping makes them rich.

        Take out the faithful devotion, the money vanishes. Seen that way, it appears the foundation of their wealth is quite shaky.

        Alas, evidently, humans have evolved a need to worship.

        Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Its not dumb as much greed and continued relevance. Lebron is gearing up his production company to market “Lebron James presents Whatever” to foreign markets. He might mix in the occasional small operation like the one he had on HBO. Its about Space Jam and selling sneakers on a brand that would be harder for a younger player to break through in a foreign country than in the U.S.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Jam_2 This is what its about. Remaking terrible movies with known brand recognition and celebrity power, and selling them to multiple markets. Who cares if it isn’t as widely seen in the U.S. as say Back to the Future? Does anyone in China or India care about Americana of 1950’s and 1980’s? No, not really. The Marvel movies for example are largely remakes of Iron Man which is only 11 years old, but they are factory produced nightmares (Thor 4 was a blast) for the purpose of appealing to 5% of the audience in every country versus 15% in one country.

        Recent history has shown, good numbers in China can save a movie otherwise considered a flop.

        Reply
    2. HotFlash

      LeBron? Unh, who is this person of whom you speak? Is s/he a member of the surnameless Grocery Checkout Dynasties?

      Reply
    3. Procopius

      Who could have known?

      Well, the China experts who were forced out of the State Department would have known, just as they knew the corrupt Chiang Kai Shek and his wife’s family, the Soongs, were a losing proposition. Lots of people who were not Christian missionaries would have known. Just about anybody who read a book on Chinese history would have known. Clearly none of those people were in charge of foreign policy.

      Reply
  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: “….. I became the ultimate gamer by using this little device to farm Amazon gift cards from my health insurance’s step tracking app.”

    Hilarious.

    Wasn’t there a link in the past couple of days about the economic “costs” of “unintelligent” ceos? It might have been the “glass floor” link. Well, the ceo of this “health” insurance company is certainly no match for the guy who thought this up. Underestimate the brainpower of Deplorables at your own peril and keep the gift cards comin’.

    Reply
  12. Summer

    “‘It’s not cool anymore to be manufactured,’ one teen told [The Atlantic’s Taylor] Lorenz.

    Never was and has been a quote of teens since the 60s….Jeez….

    Reply
  13. JBird4049

    About the “Land Without Bread,” Silicon Valley, aka Santa Clara Valley was one gigantic fruit orchard full of canaries with the occasional ranch, and I presume vineyards as well. Now almost all under concrete as San Jose’s civic leaders somehow became to believe that having for time the fastest rate of growth was the thing to have.

    The whole valley of 450 miles was deliberately covered with concrete in about fifteen years starting around 1960. There was the town of San Jose of course with some other small towns, but mostly it was just farm land. And to think that most Santa Clarans have never smelled the overwhelming beautiful scent of an apricot orchard in full bloom, but have enjoyed smog.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      James Dean’s East of Eden was set in nearby Monterey.

      And the new money to look forward to, at that time, was shipping fresh, iced vegetables in railcars to the markets in the East.

      Reply
    2. Lee

      Some of my fondest childhood memories are of trips through miles of Santa Clara valley orchards on our way from the peninsula for an outing in Ben Lomond or Santa Cruz. Now the same route takes one through an asphalt desert.

      Meanwhile, the state of California is passing legislation that overrides local zoning laws forcing cities, by way of market mechanisms and threats of lawsuits, to even further increase population density, as if local freeways and surface roads weren’t jammed enough already. Oh well, nothing a little sea level rise or a twitch of the Hayward fault won’t go a ways to remedying.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        part of the reason freeways are jammed is everyone is commuting so far, no affordable housing and often insufficient housing near where they work period. Density is necessary (but not sufficient of course) for public transit to work well.

        The threats of lawsuits are necessary, if the market plus existing zoning laws could have solved the affordable housing crisis they would have. It’s complete market failure. There are flaws in the plans, like insufficient parking, but if the status quo and NIMBY politics had any solutions we wouldn’t be here in the first place.

        Reply
      2. Adam Eran

        If they don’t go up, they will grow out.

        Density is your friend. It means transit works (enough potential riders are within a walk of the stops). The anti-density NIMBY is one of the constituencies that makes sprawl happen. What’s sprawl? It’s the civic design that 1) forces everyone to own a car (the most regressive tax, ever), and 2. Requires a commute to shop, work or even go to the park. Traditional, pedestrian-friendly, mixed use and mixed income neighborhoods are so desirable people pay premiums to live there.

        As for jammed roads, the Southern California Association of Governments mathematically modeled every congestion remedy known to man, including double-decking the freeways. Their conclusion: only one remedy provided significant congestion relief: mixed-use (commerce, offices, even light industry mixed in with residences).

        This is how we used to build since the dawn of time, before autos came along.

        Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          I think its mainly a California thing, it seems like they laid out that whole state so that you *need* wheels to do anything.

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            A modern post war California thing maybe. The state does seem the state was inundated with Baby Boomers after WW 2 and the Federal government really pushed for large suburban with full size homes and the large malls were bonus. Forget about apartments or mixed use. Also the house and lot sizes also increased. A lot.

            Looking at San Francisco, the housing went from apartments and row houses of different styles, then to full size houses on full size lots in the Sunset. In a city as densely populated as San Francisco.

            Having row houses or even bungalows instead of the ranch style houses would have increased population density greatly while still having houses with yards. Heck, with the row houses you could even have a bottom floor garage and still exchange houses at 2 for 1.

            Reply
          2. Mo's Bike Shop

            More appropriately:

            California was designed by people who knew you needed wheels to do anything.

            We’re really poor at evaluating new technologies. My dad enjoyed cars in use but was already complaining when I was a kid that it was a long term dead end because the fuel will run out.

            Reply
      3. ddt

        Oakland is currently I believe the no1 hotspot of new construction. Out of curiosity a friend asked what the rent was for a 2 bed one bath apartment in one of these new highrises. ~ $4k a month.

        Reply
  14. Dan

    Kamala’s corruption keeps oozing out:

    “Jose Diaz was exonerated after serving almost nine years in a California prison for two sexual assaults he didn’t commit. But the office of then-Attorney General Kamala Harris wasn’t ready to let him off the hook.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-14/kamala-harris-offices-fought-payments-to-wrongly-convicted
    Diaz was convicted in 1984 of rape and attempted rape. He was paroled in 1993, became a registered sex offender, and began the work of proving his innocence. It took 19 years for his conviction to be reversed — and two more years for the State of California to grant him compensation for the time he was wrongfully imprisoned.

    Diaz’s battle with Harris’ office began in 2012 when a judge reversed his conviction. As state attorney general, her staff vigorously resisted his claim for compensation and tried to make him re-register as a sex offender, despite a formal ruling in April 2013 that he was innocent...Multiple documents in the case appear on Harris’ letterhead and were signed by staff members with the notation under their names, “For Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General.”

    Just like her demanding prisoners not be granted parole “because the state would lose an inexpensive labor source,” Harris definitely is not “For The People.”

    So glad the talking Kamaleon has become as politically relevant as an
    identitypolitics Miz. Ed

    For those too young to remember:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LND1PypBnrU

    Reply
  15. shinola

    Re. The Atlantic article ““The Best Economic News No One Wants to Talk About”:

    Reminds me of that old saying (usually attributed to Benjamin Disraeli):

    “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies and statistics”

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Yes. Let’s see: a 5% raise at ten bucks an hour nets you..? While your rent / healthcare™ / continuing education™ costs head for the stratosphere..

      Reply
    2. eg

      The one truth almost buried within is that the biggest factor supporting wage increases at the bottom are the States raising the minimum wage — the one policy fought most viciously at every turn by our not-so-friendly neighbourhood oligarchs …

      Reply
      1. Darthbobber

        Yes indeed. Significant increases in the minimum wage in a number of states undoubtedly fuels a great deal of that “bounty. ” And the selection of industries is pretty cherry picked. To say nothing of going by industries rather than workers, since there are well-compensated workers in the low paying industries and vice versa.

        And of course most employment is outside the listed industries.

        Reply
  16. Cat Burglar

    Yes, the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program — I have a few friends and co-workers who are experienced with the program. One — a ranch hand and ex-logger with lots of chronic pain from injuries and very little money, but who still has to work physically in his mid-60s — had a sister that owned a house in a small town nearby, though she lived in a neighboring state. She was a Medicaid recipient, and when she died left her entire estate to her Cocker Spaniel, and appointed her brother as executor of the will. He moved in to the house to better take care of the dog and oversee the property for the dog. Every so often the Medicare Recovery people call, but in the last ten years, the dog has not yet been unhoused…

    Reply
  17. barrisj

    Re: the Syrian clusterf**k…classic “blowback”, with the US-created FSA “going crazy”. Chalmers Johnson would have been pleased to see his thesis yet again validated. Stoopid Yanks just never learn, do they?

    Reply
  18. ewmayer

    Re. “The Labor Department’s New Report Isn’t So Gloomy – The Atlantic” — Would be interested to hear other readers’ takes on this. Sounds to me like the featured analysis took some recent min-wage hikes and inflated them into grand-sounding wunnerfulness headlines, e.g. “growing the fastest in 20 years”. Well, when your wages have been getting crushed for 20 years, even a slight uptick will result in that. I.e. the bar was extraordinarily low, and min-wage hikes have just made a tiny dent in the overall wealth inequality which has accrued in the last 40 years. I.e. an exercise in cherry-picking – at least that is my quick-take.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The wage growth is led by “clothing stores” amid the retail apocalypse, so that leads me to believe, employees at a limited set of high end clothing stores are over represented or cuts at stores have led to fewer if better compensated on average employees.

      Reply
    1. Geo

      After the Shirley Sherrod lies with manipulative editing it was evident anything from O’Kieff should be taken with a mountain of suspicion. His output of lies and fabrications since then has done nothing to redeem that reputation.

      CNN is often bad. O’Kieff is always much worse and even if he gets something right (broken clock…) should still be banished to the trash heap he slithered out from under.

      Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      There’s also the minor matter of the number and mix of attendees at said rallies not exactly supporting their campaign and party narratives.

      A real journalist would have asked about Sanders.

      Reply
  19. Plenue

    There’s something very similar to the NBA-Hong Kong affair going on in the video game world. In fact it’s basically the same story.

    A professional player at a tournament put on by the Taiwanese division of Blizzard (a massive, highly profitable video games company) voiced support for the Hong Kong protestors live on stream. Blizzard responded by banning him from play for a year, revoking his winnings, and firing the two stream hosts who let him make the statement. https://variety.com/2019/gaming/news/blizzard-bans-blitzchung-hearthstone-hong-kong-china-statement-1203363050/ They’ve since reduced the ban and let him have his prize money, while insisting China totally had nothing to do with their reaction. https://www.pcgamer.com/our-relationships-in-china-had-no-influence-on-blitzchung-punishment-blizzard-says/

    The fan backlash has been massive and swift, including taking a Chinese character from one of Blizzard’s games and turning her into a mascot for the protests. https://www.polygon.com/2019/10/9/20906320/overwatch-mei-blizzard-hong-kong-protest-banned-memes

    To which Blizzard has responded by…not selling physical merchandise of the character. https://www.keengamer.com/articles/news/overwatchs-mei-statue-removed-from-gear-shop-amidst-hong-kong-protest/

    Blizzard has a long history of people overreacting to every decision it makes, and usually there will be people who stand up in its defense. But this time it seems like pretty much everyone is united in hating them for what they did (and they’re correct to do so).

    Reply
    1. Massinissa

      There was actually a major event tomorrow for Overwatch that Blizzard just cancelled today, the day before.

      They also have their major annual convention (Blizzcon) in two weeks… Many observers are expecting mass protests there. I half expect them to cancel that too, but that would be much more major. Blizzcon is a big deal for Blizzard,its where they make all their major annual game announcements.

      Reply
      1. Plenue

        Mildly curious what they’ll announce. Blizzard is weird right now. They seem to have fallen into that trap where video game studios get massive resources and can do basically anything, but then can’t seem to do much of anything. It’s been over three years and Overwatch still doesn’t have a story.

        Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    Re: How to use a dial telephone

    If you had an equivalent one made to teach people how to use mobiles, would it say to hold a mobile like you would a slice of pizza?

    Reply
    1. foghorn longhorn

      Bring back cursive writing, dial telephones, and standard transmissions and you would cripple a whole generation.

      Reply
    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      A landline had the best user interface. At most, you might use it the wrong way up once. Compare that to a USB.

      Reply
  21. jo6pac

    Well in a little while the dog & pony show will start. Sadly it’s not even good kabuki theater.
    I think I’ll smoke a little mary jane, pour a cold one, and seat in the sun for awhile. Then watch reruns of Star Gate.

    Thanks Lambert and others for watching and commenting on it so I don’t have to;-)

    Reply
  22. Fern

    RE Warren’s post: “For most of America’s history, when our companies did better, our workers did better”.

    Progressives are so hungry for progressive candidates that they have closed their eyes to Elizabeth Warren’s long and accessible record as a right-wing activist who evolved to be a “centrist” with a commitment to child care — a reform based on her one personal run-in with the shortcomings of capitalism.

    Here is a link to a video of Warren addressing the Federalist Society about bankruptcy law in 1991 — long after she claims that studying bankruptcy turned her into a liberal. Her take on bankruptcy? It protected society from socializing the losses incurred by companies involved in environmental litigation and companies with large pension liabilities.

    Warren explains to the Federalist Society that a leading cause of business failures is that businesses started offering “retirements that you wouldn’t believe” to their workers. She rolls her eyes and gets a big chuckle from the Federalist Society audience.

    Then she goes on the explain that: “The bankruptcy system is something we should say a little prayer for every night, because what it does is it stands between keeping this as a private loss, and moving it over to a socialized loss”. In other words, the government might otherwise have to step in to help the pensioners.

    I am posting the link to the video, which I set to start at the point where Warren talks about “pensions you wouldn’t believe” as a cause of bankruptcy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6D417ZeJXA&feature=youtu.be&t=3068&fbclid=IwAR38AeH4kvq24AbJ6a4t95EFyX_4ldzJt4co2RHhfV_EwGB2I-6efq0ro1E

    Reply
  23. The Rev Kev

    “Checking out this photo of a Warren office wall of plans…I’m not locating Medicare for All”

    Wait, wait, I think that I spot it. It is in the bottom left pocket – behind ‘Big Pharma’. Literally behind.

    Reply
  24. polecat

    Maybe Tulsi will get in another TKO .. the question is – For whom will the bell toll this time ??

    She could double-punch her way up the que.

    Reply
  25. RWood

    Re: “Alleged Japanese stalker studied reflection from photos of pop star’s pupils to find out where she lived” [Associated Press]

    This “trick” enlivens a later Michael Connolly, Five Dragons I think.

    Reply

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