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“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51
“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune
Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart. Here is (are) the latest Dem Primary Polling as of 10/1/2019, 1:00 PM EDT:
More wild swings: Biden and Warren up, Sanders down. And here are the poll results:
I think dk has started a really neat project, and in the near future we’ll seek your feedback (within reason) for the tool “live.”
UPDATE 2019-09-24: These screens are from a revised version that now includes Undecided-Refused, which is in grey.
UPDATE 2019-08-30: Now the polls aggregated (all available) are shown at the bottom of the poll. We also give more detail about each poll than RCP, and allow candidates to be selected or deselected. That’s three reasons what dk is doing beats RCP, and if we can make the individual polls selectable/highlightable, that will be four reasons. With more to come, grid willing.
* * *
Biden (D)(1): “Biden’s trip to China with son Hunter in 2013 comes under new scrutiny” [NBC]. “In 2013, I was one of four reporters who traveled aboard Air Force Two with Biden and his son to China, a visit that was sandwiched between stops in Japan and South Korea….. What wasn’t known then was that as he accompanied his father to China, Hunter Biden was forming a Chinese private equity fund that associates said at the time was planning to raise big money, including from China. Hunter Biden has acknowledged meeting with Jonathan Li, a Chinese banker and his partner in the fund during the trip, although his spokesman says it was a social visit.”
Sanders (D)(1): “Sanders has heart stent procedure after chest discomfort” [Politico]. “‘Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days,’ senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement Wednesday. ‘We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.'” • Like everyone else in America, I searched: “When do you need a heart stent?” [Harvard Medical School]; “After Your Angioplasty & Stenting Procedure” [Seconds Count]; “Stent: Why and How They Are Used” [HealthLine]. • There’s a certain lack of redundancy in the Sanders movement at the top levels, which could prove unfortunate.
Sanders (D)(2): “When You See The Word “Stent” — Remember Medicare for All” [David Sirota, Bern Notice (Nippersmom)]. “This campaign’s motto is ‘Not Me, Us’ — and because we are always on message for the 99%, we are encouraging media outlets that are reporting on stents to note that stents are a perfect example of why the United States needs to join the rest of the world and pass Bernie’s Medicare for All legislation. An October 2018 study published in Health Affairs found that stents — which are very common — cost up to six times more in the United States than in other industrialized countries with government-sponsored health care systems. The study found that one set of stents cost $670 in the United States “but only $120 and $130 in Germany and the U.K., respectively.” Another form of stent ‘remained about $1,000 more expensive in the U.S. than Germany.’ Why the price differential? In part, because America’s dysfunctional health care system involves a complex web of payers — rather than a single-payer Medicare for All system that can negotiate better prices.” • Normally, I rarely source to campaign sites, but this shows a disciplined campaign.
Sanders (D)(3): Nice timing, Steve:
“Maybe @BernieSanders shouldn’t exist,” says Blackstone’s Schwarzman in response to @alansmurray asking him to defend billionaires, which Sanders says should NOT exist pic.twitter.com/YG5tHoSz3K
— Cristina Alesci (@CristinaAlesci) October 2, 2019
The decor is everything.
Sanders (D)(4): “Killer Mike Still Believes Bernie Sanders Can Start a Revolution” [The New Yorker]. “[Michael Render, better known by his stage name, Killer Mike] had come to Greensboro to stump for Sanders again. He and the senator have stayed in touch, he said—Sanders appears in Render’s iPhone contacts as The OG. “He texts pretty cool. You wouldn’t know you’re talking to a seventy-something-year-old dude,” Render said. Recently, he and Sanders had messaged about reparations. Sanders had been opposed to the idea, but, in April, he announced that he would sign a bill funding research into the subject. “I educated him on that,” Render said.” • There’s “The OG” again! Oh, and “Still.” Nice spin, New Yorker.
Trump (R)(1): “Trump campaign, RNC say they raised record-breaking $125 million in Q3” [Axios]. “Former President Obama and the Democratic National Committee raised approximately $70 million for his re-election campaign in 2011’s third quarter. “Trump is going to have more resources to deploy earlier and more aggressively than any candidate in history,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to Obama, tweeted in response to the news on Tuesday.”
Warren (D)(1): “Warren gets ‘dramatic shift’ in support from black voters” [Politico]. “A Quinnipiac University national poll last week showed Warren winning 19 percent of the African-American vote — a nine-point jump over the poll’s August results. In the latest Morning Consult poll, released Wednesday, she’s up by five percentage points with black voters since August… Those advances have played a role in her surging overall numbers, which have seen Warren expand her lead over the African-American candidates in the primary — Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker — and even overtake Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders in some state and national polls.” • Hmm.
Warren (D)(2): “Silicon Valley donors starting to back Elizabeth Warren despite her pledge to break up Big Tech” [CNBC]. “Sen. Elizabeth Warren has vowed to break up big technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon if she becomes president. Even so, a growing contingent of Democratic donors in Silicon Valley, where many of these behemoth tech companies are located, are looking to support Warren’s 2020 campaign.” • “Even so.” And: “Meanwhile, Warren has sworn off taking part in big-money events in the primary and has vowed to not be swayed by wealthy business leaders.” • Oh.
Warren (D)(3): “Saagar Enjeti calls Warren’s credibility into question” [The Hill]. • Enjeti is from the Daily Caller, so cum grano salis. Here’s a new one: “This weekend a clip resurfaced of Warren claiming that her parents had to elope because she was part Cherokee, her mother was part Cherokee, and part Delaware.” • Haven’t seen the clip go by, and I’d want to authenticate it — but think of this as a preview of one possible future 2020.
* * *
“Why the Differences Between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders Matter” [Jacobin]. “Bernie is uniquely positioned to help us do so. Every time he opens his mouth, he clarifies who the enemy is — the billionaire class, the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, fossil fuel companies, Wall Street, the military-industrial complex — and names capitalism as the problem to boot….. More than any other figure in recent history can be said to have done so, Bernie is expanding our horizons. Rather than policies or plans alone, he is calling on social movements to overturn the entire state of affairs. For all her progressive policy ideas, Elizabeth Warren isn’t. If we’re serious about changing the world, that difference matters.”
“The Hazards of ‘Normalizing’ Impeachment” [The American Conservative]. “I must confess I am torn on impeachment. Not the “whistleblower report” or the House Democrats’ looming inquiry into President Donald Trump, that is, but on the question of whether impeachment should become a routine form of White Housecleaning or remain, as impeached former President Bill Clinton often said of abortion, ‘safe, legal and rare.’… Impeachment, James Madison wrote, is an “indispensable” tool “for defending the community against the incapacity, negligence, or perfidy of the Chief Magistrate.” Aside from elections themselves, it is really the primary one the Founders gave us to rein the president. With Justice Department guidelines now recommending against the indictment of an incumbent president for any reason, it is arguably the only one… Alexander Hamilton warned concerning impeachment in Federalist 65, ‘There will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.’ It’s hard to imagine the partisan weaponization of impeachment enhancing the power’s effectiveness or legitimacy.” • Yep.
“Dems, media aim to squash Barr’s probe of Russia collusion hoax” [New York Post]. “There are two known Department of Justice inquiries. One is a forthcoming inspector general report on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Congressional sources say the report is expected to be thorough and may include criminal referrals. The investigation led by US Attorney John Durham, who reports to Barr, is more comprehensive. According to a Justice Department spokesperson, ‘Mr. Durham is gathering information from numerous sources, including a number of foreign countries.'” • No leaks from either investigation, oddly.
“Trump Attacked the Women of Color Who Led the Push for Impeachment. Then CNN Erased Them.” [The Intercept]. “Then there’s the other narrative, one in which the media has selected different heroes of the burgeoning impeachment effort — without including the leftist women of color. According to a weekend CNN feature, credit for the impeachment effort should instead go to four freshmen members of Congress — all of them white women with backgrounds in national security work. These women, who rather unbearably call themselves “the badasses,” only came around to supporting impeachment in the last two weeks.” • The “badasses.” Oh my.
Our Famously Free Press
“MSNBC’s War On Accurate Graphics” [Front Page Politics]. • A catalog of horrors. Oddly, the errors for Sanders all go only one way. Like those coin flips.
“This Is the Moment Rachel Maddow Has Been Waiting For” [New York Times]. “Recently, I went to dinner at the home of Rebecca Kee, a preschool principal in San Francisco who turned to Maddow in her depression and confusion over the 2016 election. I brought a bottle of rosé, and she poured it into glasses decorated with charms that featured Russia-investigation figures on one side and characters from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” on the other. I sipped from the Hope Hicks/Beverly Crusher glass, and we watched Maddow’s show over veggie enchiladas…. Last year, Kee had a Maddow-themed birthday party, at which her friends and her two young sons put on big black glasses and slicked their hair to the side. Also in attendance was a life-size cardboard cutout of Maddow, which is now in storage so as not to startle guests….. After Rebecca Kee bought her Maddow cardboard cutout, she got a Robert Mueller one, too. For a time she would sit him in her front window, posing him near speech bubbles that she wrote herself. But after the real Mueller filed his report and failed to step into the role she had imagined for him, she tucked him away in the closet with Maddow. Now her car is decorated with Elizabeth Warren bumper stickers.” • Alrighty then.
ADP Employment Report, September 2019: “ADP estimates that private payrolls in September will rise a respectable 135,000 which matches Econoday’s consensus for Friday’s results. This would indicate monthly acceleration in private payrolls” [Econoday]. “Yet relative to ADP’s sample, which has been running hotter than actual payrolls and whose estimate for August rose a revised 157,000, a 135,000 rise would mark slowing…. ADP’s data are often hard to read and in any case are not always an accurate gauge for actual employment change as reported by the government, yet today’s 135,000 level, apart from any comparisons, offers confirmation that labor market conditions in September did remain solid.” • Mr. Market must be skittish.
Retail: “Amazon Inc. is taking another big step into brick-and-mortar business in a bid to get closer to consumers. The e-commerce giant is advancing a plan to open a chain of U.S. grocery stores with early outposts in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia… with many proposed locations outside urban cores and catering to middle-income consumers” [Wall Street Journal]. “That’s a different approach than Amazon took with its Whole Foods Market acquisition but it fits with the company’s growing effort to extend its online identity into the physical world.” • So if I have this right, Amazon destroyed existing bricks and mortar with e-commerce (and regulatory arbitrage), and now… It’s going into the bricks and mortar business? Except, no doubt, with a lot more surveillance and a lot more crapification.
Shipping: “UPS gains FAA permission for drone deliveries with few restrictions” [Los Angeles Times]. “The Federal Aviation Administration gave the courier permission to use delivery drones at with few restrictions, for example, letting operators fly the aircraft at night and over people. Current regulations prohibit drone flights after dark, above people, beyond the remote pilot’s line of sight and at weights heavier than 55 pounds. ‘We believe now there are hundreds of campuses across the United States where we’re going to be able to offer this solution,’ UPS Chief Transformation Officer Scott Price said in an interview. ‘We’re pretty confident we’re going to be at the forefront of trialing the various models.'” • Not un-neat, but very reminiscent of robot car hype turning into golf carts in retirement communities navigating fixed routes.
The Bezzle: “‘At What Point Does Malfeasance Become Fraud?’: NYU Biz-School Professor Scott Galloway on WeWork” [New York Magazine]. Very good. One nugget: “The interesting thing is whether or not these individual locations are special-purpose entities, meaning they can break the leases by declaring bankruptcy across multiple special-purpose entities. In other words, they may have employed what hotels do: If the Four Seasons New York goes out of business, it’s its own corporation. It just goes out of business. It just declares bankruptcy and gives the building back to the bank, but it’s not guaranteed by the headquarters in Toronto. Some of the reporting I’ve seen is that they have special-purpose entities so they can potentially close a bunch of their properties.”
The Bezzle: “Zimbabwe’s central bank has shut down the use of mobile money for cash transactions” [Quartz]. “in Zimbabwe, cash-in and cash-out has just been killed off by the government, because authorities have concluded the functions are being abused. Zimbabwean mobile money agents, mostly with the dominant EcoCash platform, have been capitalizing on cash shortages in Zimbabwe to buy cash for re-sale to mobile wallet holders at a premium of up to 50%. This means that when trying to access funds in your mobile wallet through the agents, one would only get about 50% of their balance.”
Mr. Market: “Dow tumbles more than 530 points by midday as stock-market skid gathers steam” [MarketWatch]. “The Dow Jones Industrial Average late-morning Wednesday was on pace for the worst daily drop in about six weeks, with the broader market logging a fresh session low. The declines have accelerated since the the market’s open and now put the major averages on track for the worst session since Aug. 23 after a reading on private-sector employment came in weaker-than-expected.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 33 Fear (previous close: 48, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 59 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 2 at 12:33pm. Quite a swing.
“Making War on the Planet: Geoengineering and Capitalism’s Creative Destruction of the Earth” [Monthly Review]. Important on the Precautionary Principle: “It is clear that geoengineering promoted in a context of a capitalist regime of maximum accumulation would be ruled out completely by a strong Precautionary Principle based on each of the criteria listed above. There is a near certainty of extreme damage to the human species as a whole arising from all of the major geoengineering proposals. If the onus were placed on status quo proponents of capitalist geoengineering to demonstrate that great harm to the planet as a place of human habitation would not be inflicted, such proposals would fail the test. Since the alternative of not burning fossil fuels and promoting alternative forms of energy is entirely feasible, while planetary geoengineering carries with it immense added dangers for the earth system as a whole, such a technofix as a primary means of checking global warming would be excluded by that criterion, too. Finally, geoengineering under the present economic and social system invariably involves some entity from the power structure—a single multi-billionaire, a corporation, a government, or an international organization—implementing such action ostensibly on behalf of humanity as a whole, while leaving most affected parties worldwide out of the decision-making process, with hundreds of millions of people, perhaps billions of people, paying the environmental costs, often with their lives. In short, geoengineering, particularly if subordinated to the capital accumulation process, violates the most sacred version of the Precautionary Principle, dating back to antiquity: .” • If you like your whiskey neat, there’s the Monthly Review. Also with a very clear picture of BECCS.
“Fire Sale: Finance and Fascism in the Amazon Rainforest” [Longreads]. “The following reading list attempts to make sense of the ongoing pillaging of the Amazon rainforest. From global capital to YouTube, carbon credits to indigenous land defenders in their own words, I tried to figure out who lit the match and how the fire might be stopped.” • Although the author doesn’t reach a conclusion, it’s a good list.
“People have more trouble identifying climate falsehoods than truths” [Anthropocene]. “When evaluating true climate change statements, members of the public knew what they knew, and their confidence was justified by their accuracy. If anything, they tended to be underconfident in their knowledge. But for false climate change statements, members of the public seemed to have no idea that they didn’t know. They tended to be overconfident in their knowledge, endorsing some false statements with high confidence.” • n=509.
“A 60,000-year-old cure for depression” [BBC]. • If one can put away the touristic aspects of this piece, there are interesting glimpses of Indigenous Australian culture, e.g. “songlines.”
“How to set-up a mobile mutual aid herbal apothecary” [Grassroots Economic Organizing]. “Atlanta-based herbalist Lorna Mauney-Brodek pioneered several mobile apothecary projects in the US, then took the tried-and-tested models to Ireland, inspiring projects in the UK as well. Her website, herbalista.org, provides a wealth of resources about a variety of community herbal projects, complete with set-up guides, recipes and widely used and accessible herbs. Below is an outline of general guidance for setting up a mobile apothecary project in your community. Please note: The sequence is not fixed — there is some overlap between the steps below, and each project is unique.” • Absolutely fascinating.
The Carceral State
“GEO Group Runs Out of Banks as 100% of Banking Partners Say ‘No’ to the Private Prison Sector” [Forbes]. “All of the existing banking partners to private prison leader GEO Group have now officially committed to ending ties with the private prison and immigrant detention industry. These banks are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, SunTrust, BNP Paribas, Fifth Third Bancorp, Barclays, and PNC. This exodus comes in the wake of demands by grassroots activists — many under the banner of the #FamiliesBelongTogether coalition — shareholders, policymakers, and investors…. This shift represents an estimated shortfall of 87.4% of all future funding to the industry, which depends on these bank credit lines and loans to finance their day to day operations. Together, these banks commitments — alongside a federal judge’s block on the Trump administration’s plans to expand family detention this weekend, new policy initiatives such as California ending all contracts with private prisons, and Democratic primary candidates publicly raising the idea of a federal ban on for-profit incarceration — . ” •
“Labor protest to block some airfreight traffic at LAX Wednesday” [Freight Waves]. “The California local of the Service Employees International Union is organizing a demonstration to highlight how developers and big corporations are reaping financial benefits from existing rules, while their workers are having difficulty making ends meet. Between 1,000 to 2,000 union workers and supporters are expected to meet up across from the Sheraton Gateway at Century Blvd. and Avion Drive and then march to, and around, the horseshoe road that fronts the passenger terminals. California Senator, and Democratic presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, is scheduled to address the crowd.” • I don’t really think I should have filed this under class warfare…
“The SEIU’s Nasty Fight With Its Own Staff Union” [Splinter News]. Here is the issue:
At the heart of this dispute lies the concept of “layoff protection,” an important part of Local 2’s contract—and one the SEIU would like to see disappear. Currently, if there are layoffs, the SEIU is obligated to find Local 2 members with at least five years of service another job within the organization. Their position can be eliminated, in other words, but the people cannot. Outside of the union world, this provision is sometimes derided as a “job for life,” a relic of over-entitlement in the workplace. But the reality is that for those working at SEIU, layoff protection is more a basic survival staple than a luxury. That’s because, unlike in standard private sector jobs, the SEIU has a convention every four years, which inevitably results in new plans, new campaigns, and a reorganization of the union’s goals. “As a result of that, like clockwork, you can count on massive layoffs,” says David Hoskins, an SEIU research analyst who serves as the chief shop steward for Local 2. “This provision is rooted in that history, and is a way to ensure that people… are not just tossed aside.” Without layoff protections, the idea of building a full career at SEIU headquarters is hopeless.
Perhaps the SEIU leadership doesn’t want staffers to build a career? (And I also wonder what the SEIU thinks about a Jobs Guarantee.)
“An Unpopular Article” [Craig Murray]. Inspired by BoJo’s leg-squeezing: “The initiation of more intimate physical contact is the most critical point in the complex courtship rituals of developed human societies. To insist that verbal agreement must always be sought before a move to kiss or an exploratory caress of a leg or a shoulder, is a fundamental change in culture which I am not at all sure is desirable. The essential qualifier is of course that, if the other person either verbally or by action does not welcome the tentative first move, then the initiator must desist immediately. It is my own belief that sex-negative feminism seeks quite deliberately to invalidate perfectly normal heterosexual courtship and that the chattering classes have far too readily adopted this, in the interests of identity politics…. To deny the existence of non-verbal communication, and make an issue of non-violent initiation of contact outside an erogenous zone, is to me not legitimate. I would also refer you to …. the extraordinary difference in the treatment in these matters by the media and political classes purveying identity politics of those within the neo-liberal ‘centrist’ consensus, like Bill Clinton and Brendan Cox, and those outside it, like Boris Johnson, Alex Salmond or Julian Assange. This is a misguided and an extraordinarily selective outrage.”
News of the Wired
“Unsung Beauty of Analog Devices Datasheets” [Neil Computer]. “I just want to thank the entire team at Analog Devices for paying intense attention to detail in their documentation, make it easy to access – datasheet links are everywhere on their website, a user doesn’t even have to go to the product page to download. Moreover, all links are directly to PDFs, there is no need to register. They’ve ensured absolutely zero impedance (pardon the pun) for their customers to access the most critical piece of information they need – i.e., the almighty datasheet. Amazing really, and it needs to be known outside of the electrical engineering world. We need to do a better job of documentation anywhere and everywhere we work – no matter what type of job we have.”
“Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies” [Popular Science]. “Radio was the clear choice. Unlike cell phones, which are expensive, traceable, and easily tapped, radio equipment is cheap, easy to set up, and more secure. Handheld walkie-talkies, antennas, and signal repeaters to boost transmissions are all available at a good radio shop or from a Motorola distributor. A radio network could provide communications in many of the remote areas in Mexico where the cartel operated. And, if they suspected law enforcement eavesdropping, the cartel’s drug smugglers and gunmen could easily switch frequencies or use commercially available software to garble voice transmissions echnology.” • From 2014, still germane. Pay attention, Hong Kong protesters!
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 (TH):
TH writes: “This is, yet again, a picture of our Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) with a Painted Lady visitation.” Everybody should have a butterfly bush!
For those looking for cause for optimism, my dad had a mild heart attack and a couple of stents put in back in 2009. He still goes to work every day. He’s a bit younger than Sanders, but has had more weight issues. After the procedure, he wasn’t out long before he was back up and resuming normal activity. He insisted he felt fine the whole time.
That is similar to my Mom’s experience (she had 4 stents put in a day or so before she turned 80) She was back to normal activities right away and lived to be 94.
But she wasn’t trying to run for President. I have no doubt that Sanders can do it. But, will the surgery have an impact on the perception of his campaign?
What a great reason to have 38 year old Tulsi Gabbard as his vice president.
Nice insurance policy too.
Were Sanders to drop out, she would climb in the polls like a rocket.
How about a picture of her in a bathing suit on her surfboard?
That would garner millions of votes from the apathetic ‘braws who might not even vote otherwise.
So looking forward to her in the next debate.
More likely a crowd pleaser would be her in traditional Hawaiian garb on an old monster wood board.
There has to be a joke in there somewhere about “monster wood” and Tulsi.
Speaking of which, have you seen her do those fitness live streams on Periscope? I believe the appropriate slang term is “Thicc”!
Oh no. Another lurking double entendre.
I take Tulsi for symptoms of hypertension, but not that sort of sanguinary infusion.
traditional as in “pre-contact” i assume
The tradition of the “Noble Savage in the Sylvan Eden” is a cosmopolites dream. Closer to the truth would be stuff like Hayerdahl’s “Fatu Hiva.”
some very bad news with gabbard
k. kulinski reports
she has come out in favor of “medicare choice”
more life support for “health insurance”
I give Gabbard a lot of credit even with this. It’s hard for someone who knows a lot about the VA to be excited about government run healthcare. Even with the minimal extent described in either M4A bill right now.
I think something like “choice” is what a President Sanders would be forced to accept too. I just think he’d fight harder and win more concessions before getting to the final bill.
the va that gets screwed by congress? i don’t think sanders would accept this phony choice.
Sorry, no credit from me (and I like Tulsi). Anyone who’s serious about legislating healthcare should also know all about the history of the British NHS and have a good grasp of the dangers and depredations of privatization. Further, anyone who wants to criticize the VA or NHS should be obligated to address what those services would be like with a doubled or tripled budget to put them in line with general US healthcare expenditures.
Allowing supplemental insurance is dicey enough (look at senior Medicare). Duplicative coverage is just unacceptable. Camel’s noses and all that.
that imo is all about local politics
Kulinski is working off this NPR interview. This is a very good explanation of “duplicative insurance.”
The liberal Democrat leadership really is digging in the spurs and yanking on the snaffle, isn’t it?
You missed one.
Also known as “duplicitous” insurance.
Biden’s been visibly confused at what seems like every single campaign event. Barely made a dent, so far. I bet Bernie shrugs it off.
Weirdly, if Sanders gets a wave of media attention out of it, might do him a favor. As long as he looks healthy and strong for next debate (no raspy voice), it might give him a kind of wounded-class-warrior appeal.
I just hope Bernie eases up on his heavy campaign schedule now
to pace himself. We need him well to go the distance!
This Bernie or Buster is sending healing vibes his way…
In retrospect, the hoarseness episode was a warning sign.
I had a stent installed ten years ago. I am 83 and still teaching. A stent in and of itself is no big deal; the underlying and surrounding conditions may be and that is not yet public information is it?
I’m afraid this is all the MSM and DNC needed to nail Bernie in the coffin of “old, white, man.” Biden could be a drooling, jibbering idiot, stumbling out of a brothel and they’d roll out excuses like, “that old scamp! At least he doesn’t have a stint in his heart.”
I’m looking forward to hearing how Team Blue No Matter Who spins their second loss to Trump :(
Stents are the most common procedure. So, rationally, “my mom had a stent operation 20 years go and she’s still going strong” ought to be the narrative of choice; and we did, after all, elect the wheelchair-bound FDR four times.
That said, the optics are terrible, and as soon as the usual suspects can work out how not to seem like they’re piling on, we can expect them to amplify it. But who trusts the usual suspects, whose biases are all-too-transparent?
The polls — supposing them to be on-the-level — over the next few days should be interesting. It may be that this event sets a ceiling on Sanders’ support. Which is bad for Sanders, because his floor is not enough for him to win.
I thought the little incident of Warren sending the Sanders staff food, and the Sanders staff thanking them (“we ate the cookies first”) was interesting. 1) Super points for passive-aggressive behavior by the Warren campaign, and 2) are the Sanders staff hedging their bets?
My late mother had stents put in when she was in her late 80s and lived to be 100. She was laid low for no more than a couple of weeks, and went on to live a long life. Of course, the media is going to portray Bernie as in ill health and too old, and should just drop out of the race. Go Bernie!.
Thank you. Also, Dick Cheney has have five heart attacks and a heart transplant and he’s still making the world a worse place. Ruth Bader Ginsburg ain’t exactly young and has had many health scares but no one (on the left) would tell her to step down.
Personally, I’m fine if Sanders has to serve his presidency as a brain in a jar. That would be better than the “youthful” candidates any day (anyone think Beto is better because he can skateboard and jump around?) And hopefully he and his team will use this as a teaching moment for their M4A messaging. Sanders has Senate health coverage and could pitch how all Americans deserve the quality care our reps get.
And hopefully he and his team will use this as a teaching moment for their M4A messaging
They already are:
Please refresh the page. I updated to include this.
Thank you for this. I didn’t think Dick had a heart.
“Dick Cheney has have five heart attacks and a heart transplant and he’s still making the world a worse place”
Is there any evidence that Cheney is capable of casting a reflection in a mirror?
Speaking of evil, Trump says to Giuliani “so, where’s the dirt”, Giuliani, saz annoyed ‘in my coffin, where else?”
I saw him this weekend. Seemed a lot healthier and on the ball than Biden did, that’s for sure-total 180 from that one. At the time(and I was looking), I did not notice any red flags. Plenty of energy, gusto, even stayed after to meet lots of people and take photos. No sign of anything amiss. My prediction is he will bounce back quickly. And, better to be honest about this stuff.
He walked several miles in the Iowa sun a few weeks ago. No incidents then. I know nothing of the onset of whatever it is that requires a stent, however.
My stents were for plaque build up in the coronary arteries. A very common killer in years gone by. One of my constricted arterial sections is generally referred to as a “Widow Maker.” The stent just expands out the constricted part of the artery and holds it open. A stent can become overgrown with plaque itself, so lifestyle ‘adjustments’ are part of the treatment regime. I was told that the overall plaque build up happens over a period of years. Basically, this condition is a disaster waiting to happen.
Now as to our politics also being a disaster waiting to happen, nah, some other time.
Campaigns are brutal diets. I loved Sanders doing the rallies because town halls, if honest, are hard even for the people who feed on the campaign.
A good defense is to try to antipate the other guy’s offense.
One such move by the latter could be to constantly (from now on) compare his new schedule to the one before.
“He would have done this, or that, before the stent.” The implication for the brainwashing target is that he’s ‘impaired’ now.
They would list out their imaginary ‘he would have done’ rally events.
“How come he is not at that strike? What is the matter?”
“Why is he not at 5 places at the same time? Still recovering from the procedure?”
> Be prepared.
All true, but the knobs are already at 11, aren’t they?
Remember “Vote for the crook, it’s important!”? “Vote for the sick man, it’s important!”
I mean, which would be better? Biden, or Sanders on life support? Not a hard question to answer. Even, or perhaps especially, if you’re looking at Sanders in comparison to the younger set.
In a way, it’s a shame Obama didn’t lose to Romney in 2012 (certainly a Romney administration would have been, if nothing else, less crazy-making than Trump’s). Then the internal splits in the Democrat Party would have opened up earlier. Sanders might have ended up running at 74, not 78…
Unless, heaven help us, the Queen of the Undead re-emerges from her tomb with the aid of her exoskeleton.
This has to be one of the most cleverly worded sentences I’ve read in a long time: ” There’s a certain lack of redundancy in the Sanders movement at the top levels, which could prove unfortunate.” The biggest failing of the movement is that it really isn’t a movement, it’s a campaign and it’s focused on the candidate.
Related to that, it also worries me that even if we get a Sanders presidency, all of the ousted and disempowered neoliberals that were snubbed by the Sanders administration will lie in wait until after his term or terms. We had better have a good successor to Sanders in 2024 or 2028, as the donor class and the neoliberal elites are immediately going to try and roll back or dismantle any improvements that Sanders made while in office.
It is one thing to remove the neoliberals and billionaires from power, but the hard part will be to prevent them from coming back in the future.
> will lie in wait
They won’t do that. They’ll outright sabotage every intitiative starting from the day after election day.. What The Blob is doing to Trump will look like a garden party compared to what they’ll do to Sanders. That doesn’t mean they’ll win, but it will take more than a winning campaign to really take power.
In a sense, one should take heart from how the Trump base has behaved. They seem to have an understanding that games are being played and refuse to be moved by them.
It’s put the fear of god into the congressional repubs and kept and internal party opposition firmly under wraps. A lot of opponents have self-purged through ‘retirements’.
It may turn to be easier to discipline team dem’s leadership than we fear, judging by how team R’s leadership has behaved. Then again, they’re also getting most of what they want. That shouldn’t be discounted, either.
The GOP id is dedicated to hating the weak, and Team Blue types are weak (Institutional strength gives them power they can use to bully). The GOP understands this on an emotional level. Any accusation made by “whiners” outside their tribe will be dismissed. No matter how much Team Blue tries to please their GOP masters, the GOP will always kick. The base and the elite are fundamentally contemptuous of Team Blue. The only reason white men like Scarborough and Frum are #resistance heroes is because they know their time in the GOP Is up and know they can push around Team Blue types without working hard.
Even the retirements are a bit over blown. Some were fairly natural for the wave. If you don’t make the leadership by X, you aren’t making it. A few like Flake misread the situation and thought they would be hailed as some kind of GOP saviors for a return to “normalcy.”
Someone outta say, and say a lot to the GOP that it’s base is comprised of a bunch of deadbeats that receives $5 in government spending for ever buck their taxed and in general rank last in just about any measure of what is considered civilized. Time for the return to strict federalism. True, I’ve been pounding this drum a lot the last couple of days, but as I go out and about I have to tell it stops trumps base dead in its tracks. Giving credit were it’s due I picked it right here at NC.
That Blue State Red State garbage is a bit overplayed. Those “white flight Republicans” Democrats lust after have their jackboots ready to go if needed.
Don’t get me wrong. People like Mittens are animated by their id. They’ve learned to act in public a bit, but they are the nastiest sort. They hide a bit behind the occasional hillbilly who often doesn’t know better, but blaming the poor for policies of the wealthy is a bit much. The kinds of Republicans beloved by Democrats are the most vile people on the planet.
I suspect that Sanders is very aware of the pushback that he would get from the Blob…it takes some serious political chops for someone like him to have gotten this far already. I think that’s why he has been building out a parallel media operation.
Actually, I think they will first try to sabotage him by putting as many of their people in the administration as possible. Personnel is policy, right? That would be the biggest battle during the transition, I think.
They will never let him in.
It will not be allowed. They will cheat him in every way, shape, and form.
Plus the MSM makes more off of Trump’s tweets than Bernie’s anti-rich policies.
What fascinates me is that he’s starting to talk about housing is a human right. Now, from what I can tell, it doesn’t matter a lick if Bernie is president. It *does* matter that after he kept saying during 2016 “Medical care is a human right” is now, (admittedly lied about) by the centrists as part of their platform. I don’t think we will make it to 2024, but imagine the centrists having to say that they have a “plan to end homelessness” and/or “housing is a human right”. I’m sure the landlord class will be furious.
the voting machines alone are already enough to keep him out.
That’s somewhat dependent on how congress fares. If there are lots of progressives winning decisively and the exit polls show peoples #1 concern was health care wouldn’t that constitute a mandate for government to come along and play ball with Sanders?
Pres has lots of power. Can’t deliver m4a on his own, but he can jail bankers, fire up the anti trust boys, net neutrality, stop wars, and all of this makes his polls shoot up. Then he proposes m4a, and promises to campaign against those that don’t support.
They can also get the JFK / RFK / MLK treatment.
Hope Sanders feels much better soon, and then keeps hammering “Not me, us”, because that’s
where the answer lies.
> keeps hammering “Not me, us”, because that’s where the answer lies.
Even worse than that, they would launch the same fury against Sanders day one that they launched against Trump day one. Those cast asunder by a Sanders win would neither lay nor wait.
Thank you, I think. I’m not sure I agree entirely. I think that Sander’s concept of being an organizer-in-chief makes the campaign more than a campaign (or a different kind of “permanent campaign”), as does the emphasis on bringing in currently “defranchised voters.” I don’t think there’s a word for a sort of amphibious institution whose chrysalis (to mix metaphor) is a campaign but whose butterfly is a movement.
I’d suspect/argue he’s going to appoint himself as a kind of ‘organizer in chief’ no matter who’s in the white house.
As well he should! Donations still coming in at $18 apiece…and by the truckload….
Sometimes I think it’s *better* if the DNC and their big-money donors do again deny Sanders the nomination, for just the reason you mention.
The organizing’s the thing.
NeoLiberal Centrists absolutely do not want a Sanders presidency. But on some level they know that denying Sanders the presidency again means Trump would win again.
Democratic Rep Al Green admitted what some posters on here have suggested.
Rep Al Green: “”I’m concerned if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.”
That quotation from Al Green pretty much says it all.
A point he made this weekend was that it is a justice movement, not just a campaign, and that this justice movement will outlive his campaign. He encouraged people to talk 3 or 4 friends who have been disillusioned and sitting out and get them to vote(get them involved again in the election system), and emphasised young people voting in much larger numbers. It is definitely being set up as a long term movement.
I thought “Not me. Us.” was one of the most powerful political slogans I’d heard in my lifetime. I’ve found it a bit curious that it hasn’t made a return this time.
But it has. It’s all over posts from the campaign, including the top of the homepage on his official campaign website.
In Trump’s republican convention speech in 2016, he laid into Hillary (“I’m with her” slogan) and said “for my campaign it’s not about you being with me it’s about me being with you. I’m with you.” I think that won him the presidency right there, and not one of the talking heads even mentioned it afterwards and it made them look like a collective of idiots.
Well that’s not even close to Sander’s slogan, it literally is about a savior (a he that is with us). Which Trump could not be less of, of course. So he said some nice things.
Guess who else did, and it’s actually closer to suggesting the need for a movement, not that there ever was one.
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack H. Obama
Liberals: I’m with her
Conservatives: I’m with you
Left: Not me, us
only no, things like the DSA actually ARE a movement, and much Sander’s inspired. So no it’s not just a campaign. That simply wrong I think.
Sure some glomming on to Sanders may just be about Sanders. Nothing wrong with just campaigning for a candidate you like, but it’s true everyone on the Sanders train isn’t necessarily part of a movement.
The questionis can Sander’s inspired movements survive without Sanders ENTIRELY? Because he might not die on us or anything, but he might not be the nominee. That’s just realism, Dem voters could choose Warren etc., Biden if they are really gluttons for punishment, and this illness might not help in getting votes.
Btw, I know some here question the DSA. Yea they aren’t perfect. If you have a better organization that is actually getting things done, feel free.
But if not, I’ve really wondered where this all gets us. If we throw away the ability to join with those who are actually accomplishing something to be oh so idiosyncratic and individualistic. I can be individualistic at times and take the flak, but that’s not a political movement, you can’t build a movement that accomplishes anything that way.
And campaigning for Sanders is great, but we do need more that just a Presidential campaign, more than just good ideas getting an airing, we need more.
That is not true. Maybe in your neck of the woods. People near me are organizing, and getting people involved. Bernie has inspired many to get involved and run for office. I don’t think people like AOC and Lee Carter would be in office without him, and the push towards single payer too, the fight for 15, activism around the environment, among other things has been aided by him. Has any losing primary candidate in US history had a larger impact? Has any politician on the left? Not in a long time. A field without him, this far out, looks much, much worse. My god, Warren would become the left flank. How horrible is that damn party?
Indeed he has. I recently hosted a Plan to Win event at the Arizona Slim Ranch.
Although I had 7 signups, only two people showed up.
And what a couple they were. A couple who were clearly in love with each other, and cautiously making plans for the future. The reason I use the word “cautiously” is because of the student debt they’re dealing with.
The man has a daughter from a previous relationship, and he’s interested in her education to the point where he’s considering a run for the school PTO board. A small start, but he wants to move on to running for public office, and ya gotta start somewhere.
That’s an excellent point that Craig Murray is making in ‘An Unpopular Article’, and I think it will prove
to be quite an important one, over time.
“in so many ways..”
Quick note on the SEIU guaranteed employment contract demand.
Try getting a job in the private sector sometime when the last job listing on your resume is for work you did for a labor union.
Re: Craig Murray post
IMNSHO, I think he and many males are missing the point. Women, for as long as I’ve been alive at least, have been using non-verbal communication to say ‘NO’. It has NOT worked. Many men pick up on the slightest sexual cues (when women want to do something), but totally miss the opposite cues (signs a woman gives when she is not at all interested). So while verbal permission may seem like an overreaction, it seems a reasonable place to start. These aggressive men have for so long presumed yes. Now they may have to actually ask first! This may cause some difficulties in initiating relationships, but it might give women some peace.
” Now they may have to actually ask first!” – if women insist on it. I wonder how that’s going? It would mean women have to be more explicit, too.
“This may cause some difficulties in initiating relationships, but it might give women some peace.” Do you notice the big assumption here? It is that men will be asking, and women answering. The arrangement is probably more mutual than it seems to me, but in my experience, it comes from women, since with rare exceptions (who deserve a lot of credit), they will not take the explicit initiative. That rule was the bane of my youth, since I consistently erred on the side of caution. I can count the women who didn’t just wait on one hand, out of probably hundreds I interacted with.
So yes, I think there will be some difficulties, if the new rule catches on. I also think men will do what they think they have to. But you won’t get “peace” if you reward only aggression.
I also think you underrate most women’s skills. If they weren’t interested, they weren’t shy about it. I can’t believe how rude and offensive some men are – here I thought the idea was to make a good impression. But I don’t think it’s because they don’t know.
Lambert this is the video of Liz Warren mentioning her parents get married. Specifically at 1:11start. Overall video 6:30.
I don’t know…I can think of a certain video of Trump that is much more damaging, and that didn’t seem to prevent him from being elected.
This would sink most candidates. How do you trust an anti-corruption candidate that lies about her parents identity and her identity by extension.
Not sure why this guy is so excited. Evidently he has just seen his first hardware data sheet. Such documents (often dozens or even hundreds of pages in length) have been a standard feature of the electronics industry for many decades, at a minimum. In the olden days you would write to the manufacturer and get back paper by return mail; for the last couple of decades it’s been possible to download PDFs of the same information in a few seconds, a real advance when one is weighing different parts and trying to make a decision (PDFs are also searchable unlike paper, which really helps).
Of course, manufacturers put tons of time into these things since they want you to know what’s in the part, have a good experience using it, design it into your product, and subsequently buy a lot of them. So it’s a sales brochure and an instruction manual rolled into one.
The guy’s real point seems to be that software documentation is generally atrocious by comparison. I can’t argue with that. The general approach seems to be to just throw a bunch of information at you, much of it machine generated, and hope users can somehow ferret out what they need. The whole software field is operating at a very amateurish level compared to more mature engineering disciplines (civil, mechanical, electrical, aerospace, etc.), and documentation is one place this shows up.
Last paragraph: yes. Speaking from experience, very often the issue is that software developers don’t want to do what engineers in the more mature disciplines do: design. Instead, they prefer to hack stuff together and leave interfaces vague. Parameters? Exceptions? “Go read the code and guess.” Imagine a mechanical engineer refusing to tell you how many bolts, which size, thread, their position, etc. would be needed to attach their widget.
Also another bit of crapification from Google and the like. It’s getting harder and harder to find those documents when you need to fix a machine you own. Unless you know exactly where to look, and you really constrain your search, one attempt to search for a dishwasher installation manual from 3 years ago will take you to an infinite amount of offers to buy a new dishwasher today.
Truer words were never said. And Google keeps buying out possible alternatives (aka the Microsoft Maneuver).
Not so long ago (I’m thinking the 90’s) it was still the case that when one bought a piece of software it often came with an entire physical notebook full of documentation. And maybe you never used it, but I sure miss the option. Lack of an actual design process does seem like the most likely culprit.
It was remarked at least by the ’80s, when lots of people were learning about computers and names like Dijkstra and Knuth were known at least among hobbyists, that programmers really, really hate writing documentation. Heck, they even really, really hate writing comments in their code so the poor schlub who has to maintain their obfuscated mess has a clue. The other side of the problem is that customers often demand changes while the software is being written, one reason why it’s so rare for any project to come in on time and under budget. There’s a whole specialty of “technical writer,” people skilled at figuring out how to use a program and explaining it for buyers. I was amazed at how well Microsoft did the documentation for Word 2.0.
>“An Unpopular Article” [Craig Murray]
I’m convinced he’s wrong on this one. It is a good summary of the views of people, almost always older, who defend it though. Just because ‘we’ve always done it’ doesn’t make it okay. Perhaps it’s just taken us a very long time to realize that.
I’m convinced it’s the subject for an informed debate.
True, I don’t hear many young men complaining about it, and I’m a gamer so I would have. It’s always the older ones who get weirdly defensive: “Yeah, well maybe I’ll just stop surprise groping people, see if you like that!” like it’s some sort of threat. People have been having babies for millions of years, I don’t think we’ll magically stop just because cultural etiquette is changing a bit. And yet they feel so threatened.
To be honest I don’t think the gropers even regard the women they target as people, they’re just female shaped objects without opinions worth registering. Hence the surprise.
The Victorians said much the same about their hangups, too, right down to the presumptuous claims of human progress through biophobia. The Neo-Victorians and their hangups will eventually pass too.
We’re just asking you to not going around touching without permission. I don’t get why this is apparently some radical, insurmountable obstacle. Lots of people in fact don’t want to be touched, whether it’s by their gross aunt or someone ‘courting’ them.
This bizarre entitlement on the part of the toucher that their right to touch is the default is, well, bizarre. Murray’s position boils down to that he presumes the right to touch, but is magnanimous enough to stop if they tell him to. Does it not occur to him that people might feel too awkward, or even scared, to refuse after it’s started? Initiating touching can itself constitute a type of pressuring.
Just get the permission before hand, this isn’t complicated.
During the ’70s many self-help books proclaimed that hugging was essential to life itself. Refusing to hug was self-destructive. They had social science “evidence” to back it up. I found it very difficult to refuse, and I am not a woman.
“People have more trouble identifying climate falsehoods than truths” [Anthropocene]
Who exactly is determining what is true and what is false? Since it is, after all, an evolving, speculative science that can’t conclusively answer simple questions or make testable predictions. This is mainly a test of religious orthodoxy. (“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”).
it’s no more speculative than evolution, and it does make testable predictions. it’s also conclusively answered what is causing the climate to change–us.
Is there any evidence of anything you just claimed? A single worthwhile prediction made that was found to be true? Exactly what percentage of observed warming is due to human activity? Which of the many models has most closely foreshadowed reality? I’m still waiting for the most basic answers. But before I ever get any someone starts yelling “the science is settled! we have to act now!”, like an inquisitor.
You might want to check out this evaluation of the 1967 Manabe and Wetherald model which described the relationship between CO2 concentration and temperature. The following 50 years of data have borne out their groundbreaking work.
try skeptical science. or the american association for the advancement of science. or the royal society. or realclimate.org.
re warming, more than all if it is due to human activity. the answers to your questions are readily available, if you want to look for them. hansen was pretty spot on back in the late 80’s–the models are projections–if we add this much c02, this happens. obviously, scientists can’t predict how much politicians are going to do about the problem. that isn’t a scientific problem.
unless you believe the oil and coal industry is an innocent victim, why haven’t they financed studies showing that the science is shaky? the only one that’s fairly recent, the B.E.S.T study, concluded the opposite.
the predictions and projections have been on the conservative side; for one thing, tipping points aren’t well understood yet, and for another, the constant pressure and the propaganda campaign, and attacks on individuals like michael mann, have probably intimidated some scientists
Googling is more effective than waiting:
That was fast:
I guess that should but any idea that the Sanders campaign is just a message campaign to rest. My hat is off.
All in all, I would prefer him to take less questions. They show the President’s aging, but I don’t think its the Presidency as much as the campaigning.
I like the town halls on one hand, but staying for a few more questions because things are going well turn well planned diets into snacks and shoving food in here and there.
Elizabeth’s comment above mentions laying down for a couple of weeks. (Other commenters did not mention recovery time specifically).
That was likely 20 years ago (her mom at 80 something and lived to be 100).
Could be technology advancing that much (from a couple of weeks to a few hours), or to individual considerations.
Sanders recovery looks to be remarkable. I think the challenge is that he will be tested not this once, but constantly.
Lambert, I think that video might have been taken last night, prior to Sanders’ trip to the hospital. I read a Twitter post earlier today from somebody who was there who thought it odd that Sanders asked for a chair, as he doesn’t do that. So I think it will be at least a few days down-time, which the man richly deserves.
I also have a Millennial report: Visited my daughter (age=24) in Richmond over the weekend. She works in one food truck and manages two partner trucks by VCU, and she says ALL the kids (even high school) are fired up about registering to vote. She’s for Bernie, as most are. As for Warren, she describes her as “weird” (which was a word I didn’t expect). My daughter clearly doesn’t trust Warren at all.
> Lambert, I think that video might have been taken last night, prior to Sanders’ trip to the hospital
I did doublecheck the text at Bloomberg, but I couldn’t find a contemporaneous report. Could you post that Twitter link?
> As for Warren, she describes her as “weird” (which was a word I didn’t expect). My daughter clearly doesn’t trust Warren at all.
Can you find out why she says that? (I don’t know if this will bother young voters all that much; after all, operations are something old folks have. Those who do not wish to be reminded of their mortality, i.e. the older voters, may be bothered more. But how many of them would have voted for Sanders in any case.) Please, more anecdotal data from your daughter :-)
>I guess that should but any idea that the Sanders campaign is just a message campaign to rest. My hat is off.
No joke! Bravo, Senator Sanders.
If any 78-year-old has a chance of recovering quickly it’s one with the godlike stamina of Bernie Sanders. I sure hope he lets himself rest. He clearly had a cold of some sort during the last debate and Iowa is just around the corner. If you need to slow down for a bit, better to do it now than when things start heating up.
This is dangerous. The incision in the femoral artery used to insert and place the stents is pretty big, and if that busts loose, he could bleed out before anyone could get him to a hospital.
Take a day Bernie! You’ve earned it.
“This weekend a clip resurfaced of Warren claiming that her parents had to elope because she was part Cherokee, her mother was part Cherokee, and part Delaware.
I just knew she was related to Joe somehow…
Carey Gillam interviews Dr. Linda Birnbaum-
‘The US government has become dangerously complacent [?] about public health’:
I’ve made mention of the nutty evang militia in town that hightailed it for Idaho, these sorts of people are seriously deluded, and spoiling for a fight.
They probably have enough ammunition stocked for a week or so. How much food do they have stocked and how are they going to move it to where their troops are deployed?
“Zimbabwe’s central bank has shut down the use of mobile money for cash transactions”
I keep a $10 trillion Zimbabwe banknote in my wallet as a reminder of what fiat money backed by nothing, can do.
I know you understand MMT and what was behind the Zimbabwe situation. You just refuse to accept it.
MMT is just another faith based monetary instrument in my understanding of what it’s all about, and Zimbabwe was pushing the faith hard, although towards the end, they actually put use-by dates on their worthless paper money, as if it mattered.
I was interested in what the hoopla was about regarding MMT and read all I could in regards on it here, and came away not very impressed.
So, you think Zimbabwe’s problems, with its complex history, the struggles of countries like Zimbabwe, the problems within the society and the real economy, in agriculture internally, that its problems entirely stem from it using a fiat currency?
Okay, can you explain to me how it and the US is an apples to apples comparison? Neither country’s currency is backed by gold or another commodity. So, that can’t be it. Are they different in any way? If the US dollar was backed by gold, can you explain how that would be net societal benefit? Would there be any drawbacks? Like, if we clearly need lots of state spending in response to the environmental crisis, would something like the gold standard be a bit problematic?
Unlimited amounts of fiat currency has brought us to the brink of our destruction vis a vis climate change, and it’s the only thing that will save us from ourselves in an environmental crisis, by making ever expanding amounts to counter time & tide?
The commodity which backs fiat is oil, every drop that emanates from down under allows more currency to be created.
…how’s that working out?
Huh? Your position is so nonsensical I don’t even know where to begin.
Please give me a primer, on why its nonsensical…
…what backstops fiat money?
Actually the idea that money needs to be ‘backed’ by anything, as opposed to being a credit/debt marker, is erroneous to begin with. But if you insist on viewing money as being backed by something, it’s taxes. The US government only accepts tax payments in the money it controls the issuing of, thus creating demand.
This really is super basic MMT. NC has hosted multiple articles on it over the years.
My take on MMT is that as long as a nation has its own currency, it can issue as much as it wants, and not worry about accumulating debt…
…aren’t we there already?
We have written extensively about MMT so it is frustrating to see you mischaracterize it. You really need to bone up on it.
MMT advocates have NEVER NEVER NEVER said that currency issue is unconstrained. It is constrained by the real resources in the economy. That means inflation is the constraint.
Second, MMT advocates point out that debt is a convention. A monetary sovereign does not need to issue debt. It can net spend. However, investors like having a risk free asset so it serves a purpose to issue debt rather than just net spend.
Like reality, the IRS does not need you to have faith in it.
Zimbabwe (Weimar, yada yada) tried to pay off its foreign debts with its own money after its production collapsed. That’s mistake number three.
Mistake number two is collapsing production.
Mistake number one is having foreign debts.
Aren’t Zimbabwe’s debts in US dollars, in which case they have most definitely not been keeping the MMT faith?
A very superficial Google search informs me that
Officially Zimbabwe’s debt is $7 billion, or over 200% of the country’s GDP. However, this figure is disputed, with figures as high as $11 billion being quoted, once debts to other African countries and China are included.
(OK, it’d be hard for them to have their international debts in their own currency. But that’s a problem for the MMT believers to explain, not me.)
Come on, MMT fans! I was hoping to wake up and find a reply.
Can a country like Zimbabwe borrow in its own currency, as MMT suggests it should? Or have I got it all back to front (quite possible, I’m not an economist)?
We should not have to spoon feed you.
MMT says that the constraint on net spending is real resources. Excessive net spending (deficit spending) produces inflation. We, as have MMT academics, say that all the friggin’ time.
You should be able to look at the condition of Zimbabwe and answer the question yourself.
Thank you, I get that bit.
But doesn’t MMT also advocate countries borrowing in their own currencies? That’s the bit I’ve never got my head around in relation to small developing countries. I’ve read a few things by MMTers, without finding a satisfactory answer. And I have read Modern Monetary Theory Isn’t Helping (Doug Henwood), which you’re no doubt more familiar with than me, which says:
“Another serious problem with MMT is its embeddedness in a rich-country perspective, and in particular American exceptionalism — in this case the “exorbitant privilege,” as a French finance minister once put it, that comes with issuing the world’s dominant currency. Countries around the world keep their reserves (basically rainy-day funds on a very large scale held by governments at their central banks) in dollars, which make them effectively a captive market for US Treasury bonds (which is how the dollars are kept). Also, major commodities like oil are priced in dollars, forcing countries to accumulate the currency to pay for essential imports. That means the United States, exceptionally, can run giant deficits and borrow on a vast scale with little constraint (so far). Nor do we have to worry about the value of the dollar (for now, though you have to wonder how long the exorbitant privilege will last in a world where US dominance is eroding).
But less privileged countries have to worry about foreign investors dumping their bonds and driving down the value of their currency, which would jack up interest rates and inflation. Salvador Allende’s government greatly increased spending and raised the incomes of the poorest in Chile in the early 1970s; that worked nicely for a while, but then inflation took off. Allende wasn’t operating from the MMT playbook, merely resorting to policies pursued by many progressive governments facing political opposition and resource constraints. But such experiments rarely end well, and similar problems would face a poor country trying to stimulate its way to prosperity today, as we see in Venezuela now.
Compared to the United States, such countries enjoy less “monetary sovereignty” — a core MMT concept. A monetarily sovereign state is one that can spend its currency at will, including from pure keystrokes. America enjoys a lot of monetary sovereignty; so do Canada, Japan, and Britain, though to a lesser degree. Those countries need, for example, to import things priced in dollars, like oil, and the value of their currency has a direct effect on living standards that Americans are insulated from because we can print the currency in which that oil is priced. Brazil, in turn, has even less freedom; it needs harder currencies like dollars and euros to import commodities and advanced manufactured goods; and poorer countries like Bolivia or Ghana have even less. To buy essential imports, these countries often have to borrow in those hard currencies. To pay off the loans, they need to earn foreign currency through exports.
MMT has little helpful to say about that situation — in fact, its advocates sometimes seem to lecture them that foreign borrowing is risky, which it is, but sometimes it’s the only way you can buy power plants and locomotives.”
I’d really appreciate a link, especially to something not too technical – an MMT for dummies, if you like – that explains this point, as in much of MMT appeals to me, even seems like common sense. Prod me with a fork if spoons aren’t to your taste, but prod me in the right direction, please! As a non-economist, I don’t know where to start.
Or perhaps an article in NC to clarify this? I’m sure I’m not the only one of your readers wondering about it.
The Henwood piece is a joke.
Thank you for taking the time for prodding me with that fork! (I did try looking through NC’s back issues, but MMT is not a listed category, and I didn’t know where to start looking.)
I’m still not sure how a country like Zimbabwe would go about issuing debt in its own currency (“Warning: ZWD Zimbabwe Dollar is obsolete and no longer legal tender.” – oanda.com, though I guess that’s a result of borrowing so much in USD and stiffing their economy).
“Turkey [and presumably Zimbabwe] can exchange lira [ZWD] for dollars to pay for imports of capital. (Might that affect exchange rates? Possibly. That is why floating the currency is important.)” (your link)
But, even assuming anyone wanted to lend, mightn’t that mean Z. needing ever increasing amounts of lira/ZWD to pay? Not if the economy is well-managed within real resources constraints, I guess, but in practice?
I still tend to my original view that MMT isn’t really for small developing countries, but it’s shifting, and I’ll keep trying to educate myself. Thanks again for bothering, it’s what makes NC so valuable!
On my wall I have a beautiful Iraqi dinar with Saddam’s portrait on it…for a reminder of a different sort
I have seen some of the Saddam era Iraki printed U.S. hundred dollar bills. So good it takes an expert to spot them.
“Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies” [Popular Science]. “Radio was the clear choice. Unlike cell phones, which are expensive, traceable, and easily tapped, radio equipment is cheap, easy to set up, and more secure. Handheld walkie-talkies, antennas, and signal repeaters to boost transmissions are all available at a good radio shop or from a Motorola distributor.
Communications between various NPS employees in Sequoia NP no matter where they are, are utilized via walkie-talkies, with signal repeaters ensconced on a number of peaks throughout the National Park. Its been in use for many decades, and one could be anywhere in the 400,000 or so acres and be connected.
The Forest Service uses a similar system in the Emigrant Wilderness (north of Yosemite). I was there a couple of weeks ago and they had a helicopter flying around rebuilding one of their repeaters (confirmed by a conversation with a couple of park rangers).
Here in central Vermont, ham radios were just about the only communication method that worked in some places in the first week after Tropical Storm Irene (late August 2011).
Re: “This Is the Moment Rachel Maddow Has Been Waiting For”
Maddow as media Rx for extreme depression/confusion provoked by TDS. Better than Zoloft? And then, regression to preschool-level play with cardboard dolls (only now life-size) that talk to each other?
Somebody should really make a short documentary about these bubble dwellers. No voice-over or Micheal Moore theatrics required. A Frederick Wiseman approach might be best. Just solemnly observe this woman, talking about her infatuation with Maddow, and moving her dolls around, cutely writing out the speech bubbles with the imaginary dialogue between Maddow and Mueller, and then smiling and chuckling at how “clever” it all is as she props them in front of her window for passing San Franciscans to appreciate, thumbs up, instagram, etc.
I don’t know why that woman would have put her Rachel Maddow cut-out in the closet for. Maddow has been out of the closet for a very long time now.
Derangement syndrome works both ways.
Was working for a local company when the disaster that was the McCain/Palin ticket lost to the sainted one.
The next morning, the owner and his wife showed up dressed in full black funeral regalia, acting as if the end were near.
Was out of that craziness in 2 weeks.
I worked for a Republican True Believer back in Bush Jr’s day. He had a full sized cardboard standee of Bush in the corner of his office. He knew we had fun talking about it, but we never dared twit him about it.
Bernie Sanders @BernieSanders
“Thanks for all the well wishes. I’m feeling good. I’m fortunate to have good health care and great doctors and nurses helping me to recover.
None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!”
1:30 PM – 2 Oct 2019
And this, from Reuters:
RIP One Pissed Off Liberal (OPOL).
A Sanders supporter and thorn in the side of centrists at Daily Kos has passed. A particularly fine example of his work: Are we too stupid to save ourselves?
that is sad news… one of the few there who pushed back consistently against the moulitsasism that makes the place beyond insufferable. RIP OPOL.
Sorry to hear of OPOL’s passing. Kos kicked me out in March 2016, and I sometimes lurk, but not often. OPOL was pretty good, and I’m sure old-timers will miss him/her. Somehow–I still get the emails–Kos came up with the $150K for their quarterly funding. I have no idea how or why. When I get my family paycheck on Friday, I’m going to send a bit more to @nakedcapitalism–a site that deserves our financial support, this week, and throughout the year.
I just went there for the first time, to see what it was all about. The comments are hilarious.
I see Devin is at it again, suing a reporter for $75 million for spilling the beans about the Iowa dairy his family owns…
Its right out of the Trump lawsuit playbook, make the amount so staggering that people pay notice, and then quitely drop the lawsuit 6 months later. It’s what they do.
The direct link to the questions (and answers and data) in the environmental quiz:
8-question environmental quiz
I would expect NC readers to score pretty well. They should have included the last question (“In 100 years from now, sea level will rise approximately one metre.”) as a lie scale for confidence. Note also: 509 Germans. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
It’s generally acknowledged (do a general Web search) that CO2 levels at the start of the industrial revolution was about 280 ppm. Today it is over 410 ppm-an almost 50% increase. So I take the answer regarding an increase of 30% in the last 250 years to task. It seems the facts on which this survey relies is based on the conservative estimates put forth by entities such as the IPCC.
418 ppm world wide average. There are places in China 431, Southeast Asia 428, India 433, Africa 429, some spots in the oceans – north and south that have a 100 day average of 430, so considering with CO₂ a little goes a long way. Not good. Where at 2080 now not 2100 per what the majority of models predict. I have direct access to satellite data, & monitoring it every day. It’s bad but it’s not hopeless, there’s plenty we can do, if we want to do it. I think part of that is knowing what’s going on. I’m not sad, or angry, or in panic mode, I’m focused on keeping the temp at 2C°.
What do you think we should tell all the low-lying places that will get flooded out at 1.5c, “Tough luck”?
That train has already left the station. Say little and get out of the way when the time for moving comes.
Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased more than 30% during the past 250 years. (True)
(from the link)
RE: WeWork, interview with the professor
“What other companies are still in Studio 54 right now?”
The case for stenting is not universal.
Angina = heart pain, stenting = increase the flow of blood to the heart. Not the same thing at all.
But you can be sure the press will treat them the same.
At least he wasn’t thrown into the back of a van like a sack of potatoes.
Another way of saying that is that the Sanders staff reacted in a calm and disciplined manner.
” These women, who rather unbearably call themselves “the badasses,” only came around to supporting impeachment in the last two weeks.” ”
So emphasizing them is correct: it’s the new recruits that make the difference (esp. Pelosi), not the ones who’ve been for it all along.
In other words, when the new CIA/MIL peeps are on board, now it’s all good? The other hypothesis is that, as a Constitutional matter, Congress should have been looking into it from the start…which is where I sit.
I’m not a D fan, and when the D’s promote “badasses” and ignore early leaders on this, it reinforces my suspicion of both. I think/hope I typed on this site back in 2016, “the the D’s and the R’s both ruined themselves, but neither party knows it.” I think that observation remains true.
No, when ENOUGH Dems support it, especially the more conservative ones, then it’s likely o happen. The Squad supporting it isn’t news.
I agree with you totally about the D’s and R’s, though I suspect they do know it and don’t care.
It’s our job to make them care.
> it’s the new recruits that make the difference
Arithmetically true. It’s the erasure of the pioneers that is the tell. It’s another way of saying they have no place in the Democrat Party.
“Trump Attacked the Women of Color Who Led the Push for Impeachment. Then CNN Erased Them.”
There was a link here the other day where not only did the main stream media erase these four coloured women but that they put forward four white women – who had ties with the security establishment – and made out that they were responsible for pushing forward the vote for impeachment. Whitewash complete!
Yeah, but when the muskrat-haired Satan does it it’s eeeevil, whereas when CNN does it it’s “messaging strategy”.
Looking at dk’s interactive chart, it reminds me of the individual kinetic chart for Kamala Harris and her campaign run for President. If you look at about the two minute mark, you can see the point in her campaign where her path crossed Tulsi Gabbards at the debates-
Latest USgov FY ended on 9/30, and Wolf Richter has his annual state-of-the-national-debt post, noting FY2019 deficit was $1.2T, total debt ticks up to over 106% of GDP.
But, I like to play devil’s advocate with these things, so first off, the recent history of the debt, by way of the total-new-debt-issuance numbers for the past decade-or-so’s FYs, starting with FY2009, wake of the GFC, when trillion-dollar deficits became the new normal – rounded to the nearest $0.01T:
FY ending 9/30 of year FY deficit
So, time to put on my evil orange party wig and imagine how I might spin the latest data, were I the Tweeter-in-Chief … OK, how’s this grab you? Playing fast and loose with the Tweet-char-limit by way of poetic license:
“In the latest fiscal year, we actually managed to grow the economy and reduce the deficit by a full 10% … no wonder the #LoserDems and their CIA pals are trying to stage a coup, we’re making them look like the chumps they are!” #TheRealImaginaryDonaldTrump
‘JPMorgan Chase Has a Pattern of Criminality; Now Wall Street Is Pointing to the Bank as a Cause of the Fed’s Emergency Loans’:
doing god’s work
Was looking at legislation that my Congressman Kevin McCarthy has been involved in, and he’s co-sponsored the renaming of 3 post offices, and the only bit of law making he’s done as of late that he introduced was the renaming of Success Dam, which is a white elephant in need of half a billion worth of improvements, as it’s only kept 1/3rd full on account of said dam having seismic risk of falling apart in a large enough temblor.
It was fun to watch him on 60 Minutes with Scott Pelley, making a fool of himself.
In Warren’s prominently displayed Facebook post today, she led off with the phrase: “I’m looking forward to seeing my friend Bernie Sanders strong”. Implying, of course, that Bernie’s weak. What a snake. It reminds me of when she said: “I’m a capitalist to my bones” shortly after Bernie explained that he was a Democrat socialist.
I can’t believe that I was once impressed with this individual. I guess I was taken in by her “aw shucks” mid-Western demeanor. She’s really good at that.
But then I looked into her history as a right-wing activist and read her disingenuous explanations for having registered as a Republican. I heard her say that she was just a poor little apolitical single mom who didn’t have time to think about politics when many, many friends and colleagues had testified to her history as an active and avid right-winger. I learned that she wrote, in 2003, seven years after she claimed to have converted to the liberal cause, that we don’t need “European-style, quasi-socialist safety nets”. She wrote this in tandem with her daughter, who made a killing off the private health insurance industry. There’s no explaining that one away.
Now, the right-wing press is saying that they have proof that she lied when she said her parents were forced to elope because her mother was part Cherokee. They say that they have documentation that her parents were married by a prominent local clergyman and that the marriage was written up in the local newspaper. If that’s true, we could be in for a rough ride. I shiver to think of the dirt that the Republicans could be sitting on, because she appears to have a history of dissembling.
warren gets less convincing the more you know about her
and how many other candidates do we say that about?
all of them but one
“I guess I was taken in by her “aw shucks” mid-Western demeanor.”
Sort of like Bill Clinton in that way now that I think about it.
1. > “I’m looking forward to seeing my friend Bernie Sanders strong”
If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” –Harry Truman (apocryphal)
Because dogs aren’t [family blogging] passive-aggressive!
2. > I learned that she wrote, in 2003, seven years after she claimed to have converted to the liberal cause, that we don’t need “European-style, quasi-socialist safety nets”.
This is from Jacobin:
she’s a member of the capitalist tribe, no dna test required.
I’d mentioned a few days ago that for the first time, I received counterfeit products from Amazon, and looking at the seller’s ratings, it’s not the first time they’ve sold bogus stuff.
How can Amazon allow this to happen, as it reflects horribly upon them?
The closer they get to being a monopoly, the less they will care about their image or how the sausage is made.
Because these sites cannot be policed algorithmically, and so the cost of doing that far outweighs the revenue gained from the counterfitting sites. So Amazon naturally goes with the revenue. See here.
In my book, Amazon has been horrible from day one, and 30% of the crapola sold there is returned.
Their real business is ripping off taxpayers through AWS and other direct taxpayer subsidies and using that loot to subsidize the warehouse side, destroying everything in it’s path, including entire forests being turned into cardboard.
> How can Amazon allow this to happen . . . ?
A short while ago, right here on NC was a post about how Amazon has ceded control of it’s platform to scammers.
Interesting reporting on the Yemen situation, with interesting historical/cultural background.
This is also interesting. Although it’s over two months old, it is directly relevant to the Operation Nasrallah in Najran province, as it’s all about Yemeni mercenaries fighting for the Saudis, specifically in Najran province. (Spoiler alert: they’re less than happy.)
Border battle: Behind the lines of the Houthi war on Saudi-Yemen frontier – Middle East Eye
And some Tesla amusement:
“Making War on the Planet: Geoengineering and Capitalism’s Creative Destruction of the Earth”
Important on the Precautionary Principle?
I find this full of holes.
Scientists generally agree that SAI – sticking sulphate, calcite, diamonds or whatever in the stratosphere – would reduce or reverse global warming. Computer simulations suggest the consequences would be much less severe than leaving global warming to continue. And it’d be cheap, practical and doable.
Let’s not forget we’ve been geoengineering for ages. We’ve been sticking CO2 and wotnot in the air, and it’s changing our climate.
As for the precautionary principles:
(1) The Precautionary Principle Proper, which says that if an action may cause serious harm, there is a case for counteracting measures
GHG emissions cause serious harm
(2) The Principle of Reverse Onus, under which it is the responsibility of those supporting an action to show that it is not seriously harmful
Insofar as not doing SAI is an action, I think this applies. We’re on course for some seriously bad consequences from global warming. Show us why not stopping it is not seriously harmful.
(3) The Principle of Alternative Assessment, stipulating that no potentially harmful action will be undertaken if there are alternative actions available that safely achieve the same goals as the action proposed.
Plenty of alternative actions are available. Among them, stop using fossil fuels, stop GHG emissions, reverse deforestation, …
Trouble is, we’re doing the exact opposite. Fossil fuel use, CO2 levels and deforestation are continuing if not accelerating.
(4) All societal deliberations bearing on the application of features 1 through 3 must be open, informed, and democratic, and must include all affected parties.
Great idea, but wishful thinking?
Don’t get me wrong (though I’m sure I’ll be jumped on as an apologist for big oil etc!), I pretty much agree with this from the same article:
If today’s planetary ecological emergency is a product of centuries of war on the planet as a mechanism of capital accumulation, fossil-capital generated geoengineering schemes can be seen as gargantuan projects for keeping the system going by carrying this war to its ultimate level. Geoengineering under the present regime of accumulation has the sole objective of keeping the status quo intact—neither disturbing the dominant relations of capitalist production nor even seeking so much as to overturn the fossil-fuel industry with which capital is deeply intertwined. Profits, production, and overcoming energy poverty in the poorer parts of the world thus become justifications for keeping the present fossil-capital system going, maintaining at all cost the existing capitalist environmental regime.
I just don’t see us getting our act together soon enough. Stratospheric aerosol injection might give us a few more decades in which to destroy the fossil fuel industry – and capitalism – before it destroys us. Plus I think it’s what’s going to happen, like it or not.