2:00PM Water Cooler 10/17/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, today is a travel day for me, and f u cn rd ths, that means my hotspot has failed. So talk amongst yourselves! –lambert

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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 (Re Silc):

Re Silc writes: “Big burl in my Vermont woods.”

* * *

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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.

117 comments

  1. dcblogger

    Bernie Sanders Campaign Explains Iowa Caucus process
    How to Caucus in Iowa
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7CDk1NnzUc&t=154s

    The Nevada Caucus: The Basics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6AoVlqBBGs&t=35s

    The Nevada Caucus: Early Voting
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW4pxlt3b6k

    The Nevada Caucus: Caucus Day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7zJHcDfzHQ&t=138s

    I hope lambert will consider running these links tomorrow, whoever you support, these videos do a great job of explaining the process for newbies.

    Reply
    1. divadab

      Right and especially in Nevada, where Harry Reid made sure Bernie got beat in 2016 by calling around and getting all the local unions to pack the caucuses, and the local Dem chair broke the rules several times in Clinton’s favor, it’s important to get more than “enough” people to caucus for Bernie. The Dem establishment showed themselves to be cheaters and liars top to bottom in 2016 and I doubt they have changed in the meantime.

      Reply
      1. T

        Is there a roundup of 2016 shenanigans (changing rules during conventions, not opening polling locations, closing polls while people where in line, etc.) and what, if anything, is in place to correct?

        Sometimes I worry the hyperfocus on gerrymandering is – in some cases – a way to distract from other means of disenfranchising.

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          Should we start a roundup here on NC? I say yes.

          And I’ll start with the massive voter suppression during the 2016 Arizona Democratic Primary. The number of Maricopa County polling places was drastically reduced. The result: At some polling places, people waited in line for five hours.

          Reply
          1. divadab

            I’ll add –
            1) corrupt Brooklyn Dems purging the voter rolls and effectively disenfranchising about 200,000.
            2) National Dems cheating by e.g. giving debate questions to their corrupt candidate before the debate
            3) Super-delegates publicly endorsing Clinton before even one more candidate had declared.

            The whole process, aided hugely by the controlled media (who would rather show an empty podium than a Bernie Sanders speech – what filthy scum!), is as corrupt as can be and populated by people who lie habitually and take bribes as a matter of course. I can;t stand it but it’s like picking a scab – you just can;t look away!

            Reply
            1. Dan

              I will second the 2016 California primary, sabotaged for Bernie by a Hillary campaign worker, the secretary of state, Alex Padilla, who unfortunately is in the same position today.

              Watch “Uncounted” on Youtube for the whole sickening story

              Reply
              1. dcblogger

                in 2017 Bernie people mounted a concerted effort to take over their local Democratic committees, which was only partially successful. The point being, this time around at least in some cases Bernie people will be in charge of the party machinery. But really the only real protection is to simply overwhelm them with numbers. So, the best thing we can do if we do not live in Iowa, NH, SC, or Nevada is to phone bank to identify Bernie supporters.
                https://berniesanders.com/call/ or find a phone bank party near you
                https://map.berniesanders.com/

                Reply
                1. Mike

                  And, lest we forget, the only primaries where Hillary got her biggest margins – Super Tuesday, guaranteed to favor the candidate with media favoritism and name recognition. (And, where the DNC probably put to use the lessons learned from Bush’s antics with voting machines in Ohio, Florida, and who-knows-where-else!)- After all, the same companies that scorched the Dems in 2000 and 2004 are now supported by Dem administrations to place those faulty machines nationwide.

                  Throw a chair at that.

                  Reply
                2. Dan

                  Don’t forget the newspaper comment lines, letters to the editor, Facebook connections etc.

                  https://www.agilitypr.com/resources/top-media-outlets/top-10-iowa-daily-newspapers-by-circulation/

                  https://www.agilitypr.com/resources/top-media-outlets/top-10-new-hampshire-daily-newspapers-by-circulation/

                  Let the poor people in these places who could profit from Bernie’s election know about the advantages of his policies:

                  A week or so ago I saw a “spread sheet to promote Bernie Sanders policies” here on N.C.

                  The search function is basically useless on this software so i cannot provide the URL. Does anyone have it bookmarked?

                  Reply
                    1. Prairie Bear

                      This is so true! Maybe not as bad as it used to be. Iowans traditionally only really care or want to hear about Iowa things. It became a standing joke after a while that every news story had to find the “Iowa connection” before it would even be run. I was born and grew up here, and am exaggerating a little, but not much.

                3. Carey

                  >But really the only real protection is to simply overwhelm them with numbers.

                  The good thing is that when they steal the nomination
                  this time, *everyone* will know it.

                  Reply
                  1. JBird4049

                    That is what worries me. If everyone knows that the Democratic 2020 nomination was stolen, regardless of who wins the election, the political mood will be ugly, which I don’t think either party truly gets. People in charge rarely understand that most of their power comes from the acceptance of those underneath them. Restated, the base of a society’s acceptance of the legitimacy of its political or governing system, that gives that systems its authority to govern, and therefore power.

                    Perhaps Neoliberalism greatest flaw is its steady erosion of the various social, religious, governmental, even economic connections that create, maintains, and governs or runs society, even a civilization. Acceptance requires connections or at least is greatly helped. Once the acceptance is gone, the government generally has only brute force, which just adds to the collapse, but the tipping point is usually not seen until it’s been tipped. Then Humpty Dumpty is truly smashed and good luck putting something in to replace the now missing framework.

                    Reply
                    1. Carey

                      I mostly agree, with the exception of:
                      “which I don’t think either party truly gets..”

                      From my POV, that why there’s been a
                      bipartisan™ agreement for militarizing
                      the cops, for the last 20-30 years..

                      YMMV.

                    2. JBird4049

                      What is wrong with the heavy machine gun and mine resistant armored personnel carriers, fully functional assault rifles, military grade body armor, grenade launchers, and bayonets? It’s a dangerous world out there. /s

                      :-)

                      (Actually, I was shocked by everything on the list, but baffled by one department’s request for bayonets. I mean really?)

              2. anon in so cal

                There’s this, too:

                “Voter registration ‘mistakes from the DMV are absolutely unacceptable,’ Alex Padilla says

                BY MICHELLE INEZ SIMON OCTOBER 09, 2018 05:38 PM

                California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Oct. 9, 2018 addresses mistakes at the DMV of registering approximately 1,500 ineligible individuals to vote, including some non-citizens.”

                https://www.mcclatchydc.com/latest-news/article219752130.html

                Reply
                1. JBird4049

                  There are 19.9 million Californians registered to vote. That means that 0.0000753% of them were wrongly registered by the DMV or 19,898,500 registered Californians were not wrongly registered by the department. Aside from this shocking and horrific threat to my state’s electoral integrity, putting aside political fear mongering, what is the point of the article? Mistakes happened and things go wrong. Go after the voter fraud in the California Democratic Party. Heck, go after the Republicans. They still have members in the state legislature and I’m sure that they are also doing corrupt stuff as well.

                  Reply
            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Yuuuuup.

              Literally everyone around me is programmed for Economic-less, Neoliberal, and Centrist thoughts. Ignorant of all context. Unable to participate in the political process with anything more than superficial gut feelings. Citizens need to get more involved.

              Reply
          2. Lydia Maria Child

            There was also one case where a close decision was decided by coin flips; 6 of 6 coin flips went in favor of Clinton and against Sanders. Amazing odds!

            Reply
          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > What about electronic voting?

            Even worse. States and localities are still buying them (except barcoded printouts are being sold as “paper”*). My final conclusion on them is that the real product of e-voting machines is election theft, and both party establishments are happy to buy.

            * The barcoded printout is not a ballot but a receipt. The actual ballot is digital. The attack surface for election theft software now simply includes the printing software.

            Reply
      2. pjay

        Wasn’t Nevada where the Bernie Bros rioted and terrorized the poor Hillary supporters in 2016, throwing chairs and such? At least that’s what Rachel told me — the very last time I tuned in to her show.

        Reply
          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Ralston still has a job, and is a respected election pundit for Nevada. Sadly for him, he never made it to the national pundit level, I assume because the lie was too obvious.

            Reply
            1. Librarian Guy

              Similarly, “the last time I watched” the PBS News hour was mid-August of this year, when they had “the Venezuelan Ambassador to the US” on– interesting, I thought, I’m sure the moderator will viciously attack him & Maduro & Chavismo for all the damage they’ve done to our little brown brothers. But the moderator didn’t and the “Ambassador” started out with a long list of crimes and abuses by Maduro that were never committed by Chile in Pinochet, Brazil’s current fascist strongman, etc. . . .Oops!! That Ambassador was from a Rump, CIA-created and funded “government” that has no official presence or power in Venezuela, except for a fake “President” Juan Guaido, who runs around giving press conferences.

              PBS might as well have resurrected the late Emperor Norton and brought him on as the Sovereign Ruler of the Pacific States . . . they forever lost all credibility for me as a news organization, & I no longer watch the News Hour.

              Reply
    2. Prairie Bear

      I haven’t checked to follow up for a while, but several months ago the Iowa Dems were making noises about finding ways to “open up” the caucus process, including devising some way for people to participate online. I’m sure nothing would go wrong with that.

      Reply
    1. DonCoyote

      Dems Seeking Middle Aged Queer Black Woman to Run for President

      According to Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez, Donna Brazile’s name has been floated as the most likely candidate, with Perez saying “with Donna you have a strong woman of color who has openly admitted to being bisexual, and, at 60, she has the experience many democrats are looking for to lead the party. She’s old enough, but not too old. Gay enough, but not too gay. I think she’s a winner.”

      Democrats have reacted favorably to the prospect of Brazile’s run, including CNN political commentator Chris Cillizza who said “Donna Brazile is an obvious choice, and she checks many of those demographic boxes. As long as she chooses an asian-hispanic male running mate, say, I don’t know, Tyson Beckford, the dems will be unstoppable.”

      Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        One of my all-time favorites from the Onion: “American people hire lobbyist to represent them in Congress”

        Reply
        1. Geo

          Never saw that one… brilliant!

          Mine had always been “Studies find the cost of living isn’t worth it” but that may have replaced it.

          Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Not to be churlish, but I ran that on October 16. McSweeney’s seems to have caught fire this year; The Onion-like in quality, though not in scope, and with a different schtick. Makes the New Yorker’s Borowitz look like the ham-fisted third-rater he is. (Surely there is a German, or better yiddish — Borscht Belt — word for an absolutely terrible comic, who still plows on with his act?)

      Reply
  2. Altandmain

    So it is almost election day here in Canada. We have pretty much :

    – Our incumbent, Justin Trudeau, a Liberal who has broken many of his promises and is quite a neoliberal that loves identity politics
    – A Conservative candidate that seems to be even worse and unable to articulate how his politics would help the Canadian people (they won’t and he is not a good enough liar to hide it)
    – The Green Party is a lot more conservative on economic issues than most Green parties around the world
    – That leaves the NDP, a historically social democratic party that has become more economically centrist, although still left wing. It is also into identity politics.
    – I guess the Quebec residents get to choose the Bloc as well, a separatist party
    – Then there is the PPC, a new party that is a fiscally conservative anti-immigration party

    Talking with everyone around me, nobody I know seems to thrilled at the choices. Reddit is filled with partisans though….

    Probably the least bad outcome is a Liberal minority government with the NDP forcing proportional representation, which Justin Trudeau promised. I would like an NDP government that was more working class focused that ditched identity politics, but I know the first past the post system will not allow it.

    Reply
    1. danpaco

      Most of the idpol stuff I’ve seen from the NDP is Singh taking his turban off and putting it back on. Trying to prove to the rednecks amongst us that he is indeed just a regular guy.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Exactly. Ive been seeing picks of him all week with a yellow turban on reddit. No real campaign other than Voe for this guy from the NDP.

        Reply
    2. PKMKII

      Our incumbent, Justin Trudeau, a Liberal who has broken many of his promises and is quite a neoliberal that loves identity politics

      Yeah, he loves minorities so much he tries to look like them!

      Reply
          1. Down2long

            Chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream cone I call him to my AA friend’s. All skinfolk ain’t kinfolk. “We thought we were electing a brutha” as one of my more dispirited black friends said.

            They saw right thru that thin chocolate layer

            Reply
    3. Mike

      Well, let’s bite a big one…

      Canada is not a country walled off from influence by its neighbors or the rest of the globe. What gets attention among the elites running Canada, just like other nations opting for neoliberalism, is the way they can squirrel away the savings they create by starving their own populations of needed budget. We should recognize the global nature of this movement, and the global nature of its funding – a funding gleened from profit uninvested in their home countries, a profit sitting in Seychelles, Panama, Cyprus, Malta, the Bahamas, and other dark depositories of the world. It creates enormously wealthy individuals at the expense of common citizens, and the “populist” responses are just window dressing to hide the further looting of OUR wealth. That wealth is busy destroying what little “democracy” exists anywhere.

      There, that was satisfying… for me, at least.

      Reply
      1. Carla

        “We should recognize the global nature of this [neoliberal] movement, and the global nature of its funding”.

        YES! Shorter: We must recognize the global nature of money

        Reply
        1. Mike

          Thank you, Carla- it seems my posts tend to verbal effluvia with ideology (VEWI) at times, which is why I get blocked at times, but sometimes God IS in the details.

          Reply
        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > We must recognize the global nature of money

          Money Capital.

          The set of social relations, prime among them wage labor, that creates this elite and enables it to do its looting. See the Reuters story on Cambodia in this morning’s links.

          Reply
          1. Mike

            Absolutely necessary correction. Money is not a neutral entity within capitalism. Under financialized fraud of current procedures, the concept of “value” behind “money” is absurdly and grossly lost. I stand educated in something I should’ve known.

            Reply
    4. eg

      A good summary, Altandmain — though I would counter that the Bloc is a Quebec Nationalist party, which is not quite the same thing as a separatist party (the distinction generally escapes English Canadians)

      Much gnashing of Conservative teeth on Toronto talk radio at the prospect of being left without a dance partner should they somehow win the most seats but fall short of a majority — they seem to have forgotten that their boy, Harper, once relied upon the Bloc for his minority government

      I believe that your “least bad outcome” is also currently the most likely …

      Reply
  3. divadab

    Wow on the yellow birch burl – yellow birch my favorite tree, never seen a burl as big as this and holy cow it will make a couple of beautiful bowls when the time comes to harvest. Yellow birch has such a lovely grain – the wood ranges from deep cherry color to blonde like hard maple – it’s my preferred flooring, almost as hard as oak but much more pretty.

    Reply
          1. Big Tap

            Yep. Burl Ives in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” playing Big Daddy. If anyone remembers the picture today it was for Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman performances . Tennessee Williams play the movie was based on had a theme of homosexuality which was largely eliminated in the movie version. Ives won a best supporting Oscar that same year (1958) for another film “The Big Country”. He was not nominated for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”.

            Reply
  4. anonymous

    Some reading from Matt Stoller:
    https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/when-democrats-used-to-indict-plutocrats (includes a great video clip of Stoller on MSNBC standing firm against Stephanie Ruhle)

    https://www.wired.com/story/corporate-americas-second-war-with-the-rule-of-law/

    and an op-ed in the NYT, “Tech Companies Are Destroying Democracy and the Free Press”: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/opinion/tech-monopoly-democracy-journalism.html (no paywall or sign-in at http://archive.is/Nl97G)

    Reply
    1. Cat burglar

      There is independent confirmation of Stoller’s take on 1970s deregulation as a Democrat intitative in a Counterpunch article by a logtime union activist: “The Irishman Cometh: Teamster History Hits The Big Screen (Again).”

      Steve Early, the author, points out that the National Master Freight Agreement covered 450,000 workers at one point. But then — “Meanwhile, Hoffa’s major collective bargaining achievement–the National Master Freight Agreement—was on the road to ruin. Today, it covers only 50,000 drivers and loading dock workers. De-regulation of interstate trucking, under President Jimmy Carter, did far more damage to the NMFA than any corrupt scheming by Teamster locals that became “mobbed up,” with Hoffa’s help during his rise to power or under his presidency. ” It would be interesting to know more about the policy origins of interstate trucking deregulation. My Dad, who worked as an attorney for P.I.E. during its day as an interstate truckline, predicted at the time that de-unionization would be one of the effects of deregulation.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        It seems that if we put this development together with the undermining of strong unions like the Mineworkers, we can see a pattern. Often, the old-guard Left will defend union actions as if they were a monlithic representation of their membership (and, further, they represent unorganized workers by their actions as well). Seems we miss the details of contracts, and the long history of surrender by the bureaucrats in charge of unions. Many of them were deply in bed with the CIA, long supporting the gutting and destruction of Left-leaning unions in this country and abroad. This alignment could not do otherwise than innoculate unions against any form of progressive, let alone socialist, policies, and led to betrayal of members and non-union workers hoping that unions would truly work for them.

        Many a job I had where unions were denied a voice, and that denial was supported by rank-and-file laborers who felt the corruption and dues would not advance their ideas. Captured by the Right, they weer fodder for the corporate message “stick with us, we’ll take good care of you”. It’s landed us where we are today.

        Reply
    2. notabanker

      Thanks for the links. IMHO, it’s better that Stoller be heard than not, but I have a hard time with his ultimate premise. Google and Fakebooks monopolies should be broken up, like Amazon, and Microsoft and Oracle before them. The press has been polluted by advertising for decades. That they somehow policed themselves from the influence of advertisers in a more noble manner is preposterous. Even when when advertising was removed from PBS, oligarch contributions stepped right in to steer programming.

      I guess I just have a real problem with the internet broke the media and now democracy is ruined. It was pretty much ruined before that.

      Reply
        1. polecat

          So Matt, the Matrix it is … do I have that right ?

          I’m gettin pretty tired of Agents Smith, Zuckerberg, Dorsey, Jeffery, and the rest of the digital Gang deciding what MY reality to be is.

          Reply
        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          I don’t agree with a lot of Stoller’s worldview, but he operates in good faith, has a sense of basic fairness, and gets angry about things that are good to get angry about. Readers will know I don’t say any of those things about very many people. He’s always worth a read.

          Reply
    3. Hamford

      Wow, I thought it was awesome how Stoller called out Yang being backed by big money interests. Since Yang was on Jimmy Dore resisting any talk of trust busting, I have long thought he was the silicon-valley technocrat plant in this race.

      Now “Yang-Gangers” are ostensibly everywhere, and I hazard to guess they may be astroturfing us.

      We need to call out UBI for what it is- corporate subsidies. The “freedom dividend” will free corporations to continue to pay non-living wages.

      Jobs Guarantee set to a living wage all the way. Let’s free the American people to have a choice to leave bad employers… That’s freedom! Not some hush money “dividend”.

      Reply
  5. Jason Boxman

    So I applied for Global Entry recently, and as it happens, I can’t get an appointment for an interview in Boston in the next 12 months, at which point my provisional approval expires. (It’s $100 to apply.) Between the government shutdown in January and personnel being reassigned to the southern border, I guess there’s no one left to do interviews.

    America really is exceptional.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Sorry to hear about your particular run in with “drown it in the bathtub” ideology.
      A Stupid and Cunning Plan:
      Find an “officially” designated ‘terrorist organization’ in your home country. Contact them and ask for a letter of “Condemnation” from them. Use said letter to apply for ‘Political Refuge’ here. Repay home country ‘terrorist organization’ by loudly proclaiming and describing said ‘terrorist organization’s’ “bogus” grievances.
      For example, if you were from Canada; “Those Francophones denounced me for making fun of Sartre in the original! The nerve of those people! Is there no exit from this absurd theatre of madness?”
      Now, if you are from Ireland, and you mentioned Boston!?!? That should be a slam dunk.

      Reply
    2. Carl

      When there were no appointments in my city, we just went to the airport one day and they took us without an appointment. Worth a try. Also, you can do the interview in any airport in the US (or major ones, at least).

      Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      On two-tier:

      Sources also report that the deal talks about a three-year “pathway” for temporary part-time workers (TPTs), who make $17 an hour and have few benefits and no rights, to transition to full-time permanent status. Any such provision will be worthless, since there will be nothing to stop the company from laying off part-timers to prevent them from meeting the requirement of a certain number of years of consecutive work. The real purpose of this provision will be to allow GM to rapidly expand part-time and temp labor at the expense of full-time jobs.

      That “pathway” word is one of those mushy process words to watch for (like “pathway to citizenship,” or #MedicareForAll as a “framework,” or, indeed, “surge” (as in Afghanistan) ). Mentally substitute “obstacle course” and expect few or none of the promised results.

      Reply
  6. B1whois

    I’m throwing this over the transom because it’s the most in-depth look that I could find at what’s coming up on the Supreme Court. These decisions will be coming down during the period of election so they can have a large influence. They might particularly benefit Elizabeth Warren, with the idea being that a lawyer president is needed to fight the Supreme Court. I know that’s a pretty ignorant formulation, and that’s why I’m going with it.

    From the weeds podcast: “Vox’s judiciary reporter Ian Millhiser joins Matt to analyze the Supreme Court’s new term and what the left gets wrong about the courts.”
    https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5tZWdhcGhvbmUuZm0vdGhld2VlZHM&episode=OWI5MTU4YmEtZmYxNy0xMWU4LTg5ZTgtODM1NzY0ZDU3Zjcy
    I also hope that this podcast episode could be included in a lynx or water cooler post by this site.

    Reply
      1. Dwight

        Accidental accent marks, sorry. Solicitor General.

        I wish presidential candidates would name their cabinets, to the extent possible. No more surprises from Citibank.

        Reply
        1. B1whois

          I feel like it would be very difficult for any president to deal with the Supreme Court. isn’t Congress responsible for dealing with the Supreme Court, by passing new laws? What can the AG and the solicitor general do about Court decisions that change legal Frameworks? I really wish I knew more about how our government functions in theory and in practice.

          Reply
          1. Expat2uruguay

            According to my little bit of research, the only check that the president has on the Supreme Court is his ability to appoint justices. So, the next president can’t do anything about the justice that are already there and the decisions that they make.

            Reply
            1. dcrane

              Except that, in theory at least, a president could dilute their power by expanding the Court (assuming a compliant Senate).

              Reply
          2. Dwight

            You are both right and I overstated the case in saying “Bernie can deal with the Supreme Court.” I really meant to say that we don’t need a lawyer (Warren) as president since the president can be advised by lawyers on legal and legislative strategies and judicial appointments. The attorney general (Warren? I would prefer a Nader’s Raider type) and other lawyers could strategize with Sanders on how to best pursue progressive goals within the constraints of Supreme Court decisions and corporate and bureaucratic obstruction. Part of that would just be aggressive enforcement of laws on the books.

            As for the decisions coming down next spring, I think they will be used once again to raise the prominence of divisive social issues and push the need to vote for the lesser evil, just in time for the Democratic Convention.

            Reply
          3. scarn

            If Bernie gets the throne, and if he can pressure a hostile congress to enact his policies, then the court as currently constituted will probably block most of it. We will have to fight that opposition with a movement that is organized, loud, and willing to break the rules in order to exercise power. It’s good to learn how the court operates, and it’s history, so that we can understand why it is not a legitimate obstacle. We don’t stop social revolution because of precedent or constitutionality, but we should use both if they leverage us forwards.

            Reply
            1. Yves Smith

              That makes no sense. Courts do not have the power to overturn legislation unless the new laws arguably conflict with the Constitution issues. The usual vector for courts interfering with an Administration is to argue that it has exceeded its legal authority.

              Reply
            2. Henry Moon Pie

              We’re already seeing a revival of the old “substantive due process” of the Four Horsemen. SCOTUS almost stopped the New Deal in its tracks, as it was designed to do, and given the court appointments at all levels of the federal judiciary over the past 20 years, they can be expected to try the same if Bernie wins by some miracle.

              Reply
  7. Duck1

    Re the thylacine @links thread, book I enjoyed greatly, though some years ago now: The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in the Age of Extinctions, David Quammen. Discusses the tasmanian tiger along with Raphus cucullatus and others. The loss of these creatures is very sad.

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  8. Wukchumni

    Tails of brave ulysses…

    I’ve mentioned previously that bears have been scarce this summer/fall in Mineral King, and last night after we walked the nature trail taking in the radiant fall colors* backlit by late afternoon sunshine, we took in some pie @ the Silver City Resort, and one of the employees there told us of a 400 pound brown shade bruin sighted just that morning, and it was scared away & treed by one of the ‘house dogs’ a Chihuhua that barks & backs up at the same time and maybe weighs in @ 22 pounds dripping wet.

    *it looked like a panorama of pastel colors, red, yellow, green, orange & lime, and will only intensify in hue until the first rain knocks off 96% of the leaves on Quaking Aspens, game so over. No rain in the 10 day forecast for those contemplating a visit.

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    1. turtle

      Did you mean to write that the Chihuahua was 2 pounds instead? A brief search shows that anything above around 6 pounds disqualifies them in any pure breed dog show. If it was really a 22 pound Chihuahua, the bear was very smart to run away.

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      1. Wukchumni

        Honey Bear: the Chihuahua in question, had to have a little sweater made that she wore proclaiming “do not feed me” as the patrons of the restaurant were too generous with the handouts, turning her into a little wide bodied beastie of size. There is scant hope she’ll ever win any awards for best of show either, not to be judgmental.

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    2. Jessica

      The Canadian Rockies had an unusually high number of bears this fall, or at least an unusually high number of them coming into campgrounds and the like for food.

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    1. Pat

      I am a philistine who enjoys both Harry Potter and early Stephen King. However how can you not love a curmudgeon who says (“sometimes, reading Tolkien, I am reminded of The Book of Mormon”).

      RIP Professor Bloom

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    2. Steve H.

      Asked our Board Bartender, a Bloom fan, for the signature cocktail. He said “Well, it’s got to have bitters…”

      We settled for multiple Moscow Mules and watching “All Is True.” Worked just fine.

      Reply
  9. Expat2uruguay

    That’s weird. I submitted a comment and then it disappeared. But it does show up in the recent comments section. But it doesn’t show up in the general comments section. Since every single comment that I have made tonight has gone into moderation I guess I will assume that’s where it went and not repost it. LOL this comment went through without moderation! I guess it’s more of an art than a science

    Reply
    1. B1whois

      Amazing! But not an official campaign ad. It kind of reminds me of Mike Gravels Twitter account. I wish I knew where I could donate! What these guys are saying, that’s the stuff people who don’t generally vote are looking for!

      Reply
  10. Synapsid

    From BBC online news: Rick Perry will be leaving his position as energy secretary before the end of the year. Trump said “we’ve already got his replacement.”

    Reply
  11. Lambert Strether Post author

    Perry was almost never covered by the press. So I assume he did a lot of damage on behalf of the oil barons, with the silent assent of both liberals and conservatives. I’d love to believe Perry was ineffectual, but the projects Trump wants to be effective at, he is generally effective at (judges; gutting the EPA; to some extent foreign policy, difficult to unf*ck, given the scope and complexity of f*ckedness).

    Reply

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