2:00PM Water Cooler 10/21/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I’ll be back in a few moments with the latest on Mitt Romney! –lambert UPDATE All done!



“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

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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 10/21/2019, 12:00 PM EDT:

Weird to see “Undecided-Refused” running a strong third….

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.”

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Biden (D)(1): “Clinton Aides Share Hard-Earned Lessons With Biden on Ukraine” [Bloomberg]. “”We did what you learn in crisis comms, which is to litigate every point and get the facts out there,” said Adrienne Elrod, a spokeswoman for Clinton’s 2016 campaign. But ‘we were running against a totally different beast of a candidate*, we were running in completely different circumstances and we were going by the traditional rules you follow in crisis situations. What we should have done was stick to a very simple statement.'” • NOTE * That consort Bill Clinton encouraged to run, and that candidate Hillary Clinton “elevated” through the “Pied Piper” strategy. How could they not have known Trump would be a “totally different beast”?

Buttigieg (D)(1): Mark Zuckerberg Has Quietly Recommended Campaign Hires to Pete Buttigieg” [Bloomberg]. “Earlier this year, Zuckerberg sent multiple emails to Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg’s campaign manager, with names of individuals that he might consider hiring, campaign spokesman Chris Meagher confirmed. Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg’s wife, also sent multiple emails to Schmuhl with staff recommendations. Ultimately, two of the people recommended were hired…. In the emails, Zuckerberg and Chan recommended potential campaign hires, and two of them are now on staff: Eric Mayefsky, senior digital analytics adviser, and Nina Wornhoff, organizing data manager…. The communication was initiated by Zuckerberg and Chan, Meagher said. It was sent shortly after Buttigieg officially launched his campaign in mid-April.”

(?) Romney (R)(1): “The Liberation of Mitt Romney” [The Atlantic]. “These confrontations [with Trump] have turned Romney into one of the most closely watched figures in the impeachment battle now consuming Washington. While his fellow Republicans rail against “partisan witch hunts” and “fake whistle-blowers,” Romney is taking the prospect of a Senate trial seriously—he’s reviewing The Federalist Papers, brushing up on parliamentary procedure, and staying open to the idea that the president may need to be evicted from the Oval Office.” • Yes, I’m sure Romney would gladly answer the call of a grateful nation. Don’t read this one if your diabetes is acting up.

(?) Romney (R)(1): “This Sure Looks Like Mitt Romney’s Secret Twitter Account (Update: It Is)” [Slate]. • Fallout from the article above. The account name: Pierre Delecto.

That horse should be white, though.

Sanders (D)(1): “The Debate” [Bob Lefsetz, The Big Picture]. “The only person speaking to the voters tonight was Bernie. Will it bring him back into the race?” • Worth reading in full. This isn’t exactly an endorsement, but Big Picture is a smart operation. So it’s interesting to see them come to this conclusion.

Sanders (D)(2): “Bartenders for Bernie?” [David Waldron]. Important! “Last month, ActBlue, an online fundraising platform for the Democratic party gave the FEC an unprecedented amount of data on small donors during the 2019-2020 election cycle. This includes millions of donations to candidates in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Bernie Sanders, who relies heavily on small donors and who recently reported surpassing 1 million individual donors, dominates the donor count in the data with 27% of the overall total.” There are many charts. Here is one:

(The charts were slow to load for me in Opera, but fine in Brave.) And then there’s this. One of these candidates is not like the others:

The candidates with upward sloping support are more likely to “call the manager” (or be the manager). Those with the downward sloping support are more likely to have the manager called on them (and to be fair, this to some extent includes Yang).

Sanders (D)(3): “Bernie Sanders: I Won’t Cease Grassroots Pressure on Washington Like Obama” [The Intercept]. “After winning the election in 2008, Barack Obama, before being sworn in as president, effectively shuttered the unprecedented grassroots army his campaign had mobilized. The decision, which took his 10 million-plus donors and volunteers off the political battlefield, is regularly cited today as having hampered his first-term agenda. Bernie Sanders, when asked on Saturday afternoon whether he would make a different decision if he were to win the presidency in 2020, said, “Yes, I absolutely would.’… ‘I’m a great fan of Barack Obama, who’s a friend of mine. He and I have actually discussed this very issue. His view is, it’s hard to do it,’ said Sanders. ‘I understand that. But the essence of my politics, and I think Alexandria’s as well, is that we need an ongoing grassroots movement of millions of people to pressure Congress, to pressure the corporate establishment, so that we can bring about the changes that this country desperately needs. So that’s why I have said that I will not only be commander-in-chief, I’m going to be organizer-in-chief.’ (An aide to Sanders said the meeting with Obama took place in the spring of 2018.)” • That is Sander’s theory of change. And he is far to kind to Obama.

Sanders (D)(4): “The Best Thing to Happen to Bernie Sanders’s Campaign” [Edward-Isaac Dovere, The Atlantic]. “‘Imagine,’ the top adviser Jeff Weaver joked to me ahead of the senator’s rally in Queens yesterday, ‘Bernie with full blood flow.'” • Let’s be serious. This can’t happen again — and the primaries haven’t even started! Sanders shouldn’t even get hoarse again, ever. Does Sanders even have a body man? To monitor this stuff?

Sanders (D)(5):

Diverse in some ways, not in others. If Biden starts shedding older voters, can this team pick them up?

Trump (R)(1): “Moody’s 2020 report picks Trump to win election” [New York Post]. “[T]he historically accurate Moody’s report has President Trump winning in almost all scenarios. The first of Moody’s three models, the Pocketbook model, has Trump winning by a landslide 351 electoral votes to 187 (presuming a traditional Democratic candidate). The Pocketbook model focuses on three major variables: gas prices, home prices and real personal income. Unfortunately for the Democrats, this is the most important model, primarily due to the long-term nature of its economic variables. Kitchen-table economics are the key to most elections…. Moody’s final economic scenario surmises, ‘Democrats can still win if they are able to turn out the vote at record levels, but under normal turnout conditions, the president is projected to win.'” • I think the Democrat establishment thinks that Trump Derangement Syndrome is their turnout strategy, and I also think the believe that won them the 2018 mid-terms. I’m not so sure, because the numbers looked a lot more like a normal mid-term swing (working on memory here; could be faulty).

Trump (R)(2): “Steve Bannon says Trump will be impeached in six weeks because Nancy Pelosi is ‘very focused’ and warns Hillary Clinton and Mike Bloomberg will replace other weak Democratic challengers” [Daily Mail]. “[Bannon] see former Democratic front-runner Joe Biden imploding and Elizabeth Warren, who currently leads, to suffer a backlash from centrists, that will end up killing both their campaigns by the end of the year…. That, Bannon, says, opens the door for Bloomberg, and Clinton. ‘Bloomberg and Clinton, both will … get into the race,’ he tells the Post.” • No. Please no. And this: “Bannon urged Trump to ‘augment the legal team’ and cited that what helped the administration during Robert Mueller probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election ‘was bifurcation of the White House Counsel’s office. You need … a team put together than can focus on [impeachment] 24/7′” • There, Bannon is quite correct.

Trump (R)(3): “What If Trump Wins?” [Politico]. “Sure, there’s all manner of agitation to try again—namely from the crop of freshman and sophomore Democrats who now hold the largest bloc of votes in the House conference. But [Pelosi-replacement Hakeem] Jeffries cuts that talk off by the summer of 2021, saying the party won’t consider another impeachment until after the 2022 midterms—and only if there’s a blue wave that causes dramatic shifts in the Senate. He argues there’s no point going to war again with a president who won’t stop talking about his new mandate or with Republicans who wouldn’t convict the president in the first term even after being presented with a ‘smoking gun’ audio tape that was secretly stashed on an internal White House server of Trump offering to sell Alaska to Vladimir Putin in exchange for Russian hackers’ help to win a second term.” • I don’t think one should take any of this seriously or literally.

Warren (D)(1): “Elizabeth Warren to put out plan on how to pay for ‘Medicare for All'” [CNN]. • “Pay for” being both delusional and a queston nobody, including Warren, ever asks about war, and “taxes on the middle class” being, shall we say, a well-worn, content-free trope.

Warren (D)(2): “Why Criticize Warren?” [Nathan Robinson, Current Affairs]. “What will the right’s main line of attack against Warren be? I think you can see it already, actually: They will attempt to portray her as inauthentic and untrustworthy. She will be painted as a Harvard egghead who has suddenly discovered populism for self-serving reasons, a slippery elite who isn’t telling you the truth about her agenda…. What worries me about Elizabeth Warren is that the criticisms of her as untrustworthy are not easy to wave away. Warren began her 2020 campaign with a video claiming to be a Native American, even though she isn’t one. She has now tried to bury the evidence that she did this, by deleting the video and all accompanying social media posts…. I have tried, so far, to avoid lapsing into the usual discussions of “Bernie Sanders versus Elizabeth Warren,” but here I should note that one reason I think Bernie Sanders is such a powerful potential candidate against Trump is that he doesn’t have these kind of messy problems of authenticity and honesty. The thing almost nobody denies about Bernie is that you know where he stands.” • As The Big Picture says above. This is a massive takedown, and I’ve focused on a single, tactical issue, but this post is a must-read in full. If it’s correct, the Warren campaign is a train-wreck waiting to happen. (Adding, the Cherokee issue really matters to me, because the Penobscots were enormously powerful allies in the fight against the landfill (and cf. Standing Rock). It just drives me bananas that Warren didn’t check in with the Cherokees before declaring herself one of them. I think it’s an outrage, and I don’t care if I get eye-rolls for it.)

* * *

“Morning Consult’s Senator Approval Rankings” [Morning Consult]. #1 most popular (approve/disapprove): Sanders (65%/30%); #6 most unpopular (49%/41%). Big red flag there; what does Warren’s home state know? The 2020 Republican nominee will be sure to explain…

2016 Post Mortem

“Ronan Farrow says Harvey Weinstein used his relationship with Hillary Clinton to try to kill his exposé about the now-disgraced movie producer” [Business Insider]. • Perhaps the reason for changing the subject to RussiaRussiaRussia and Tulsi Gabbard.

Our Famously Free Press

“Who split America? A journalist looks to his own for answers.” (review of Taibbi’s Hate, Inc.) [WaPo]. “Hate, the author argues, has been promoted by news outlets that cater to ‘distinct audiences of party zealots’ fed a diet of information intended to demonize political opponents — and increase viewership. It’s a model with benign consequences when applied to coverage of rival sports teams, but otherwise corrosive. ‘In 2016 especially, news reporters began to consciously divide and radicalize audiences,’ he writes. ‘. . . As Trump rode to the White House, we rode to massive profits. The only losers were the American people, who were now more steeped in hate than ever.'”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Think young people are hostile to capitalism now? Just wait for the next recession.” [The Week]. “Coming of age in the midst of the financial crisis and entering the workforce during the rise of the gig economy has given millennials an intuitive understanding of the deep instability and unfairness of our economic (and political) system. A recent survey from Quinnipiac revealed just how divided older and younger Democrats are on capitalism. Forty-four percent of those aged 18-34 supported the “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders, compared to 22 percent for Elizabeth Warren (who is progressive but “capitalist to her bones”) and 9 percent for Joe Biden. On the other hand, 41 percent of those over 65 supported Biden, compared to 26 percent for Warren and an incredible 2 percent for Sanders. The socialist platform of Sanders repels older voters who grew up in the so-called “golden age” of capitalism, while it naturally appeals to younger voters who grew up in the age of neoliberalism and economic crisis.” • Not sure I’d rely on Quinippiac for anything more than a subjective impression. That said, if at some point a fork is actually stuck in Joe Biden, his older voters are going to have to go somewhere, and no doubt the Sanders and Warren campaigns are giving a lot of thought to that. And it looks like Warren had a role in stopping Obama’s Grand Bargain. She also says she wants to “boost” Social Security by taxing the rich.

“Yes on Issue 26, the mayoral charter change in Cleveland Heights” [Cleveland Plain-Dealer (CR)]. “When the most recent Cleveland Heights Charter Review Commission convened In May 2017, one of the primary issues it considered was whether to recommend a change in the government’s chief executive – from a city manager, appointed by and answerable to City Council, to a ‘strong mayor,’ independent of council, answerable to and elected by the people. In its report last February, the commission rejected the idea of a strong mayor. Not so fast, said a group of 10 residents who had attended the commission’s public meetings, listened to the discussions and become advocates of a switch to a mayoral system. They formed a PAC called ‘Citizens for an Elected Mayor,’ attracted other like-minded citizens, quickly put together a proposed charter amendment, and gathered up nearly 4,000 signatures in just over three weeks to get it on the ballot and let the people decide.” • Impressive!

“Politics Are a Mess. Astrologers Say Look to the Planets.” [Medium]. “I spoke to [three] licensed astrologers about what the next year will bring, and they all agreed on one thing: We’re living in precarious times, and things aren’t calming down any time soon. They zeroed in on four major astrological transits to make sense of the state of the world and offer some advice.” • Pluto in Capricorn, Neptune in Pisces.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of note today.

Housing: “Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same” [Bloomberg]. “In the U.S., stick framing appears to have become the default construction method for apartment complexes as well. The big reason is that it costs much less—I heard estimates from 20 percent to 40 percent less—than building with concrete, steel, or masonry.” • If you care about land use, this is a fascinating must-read.

Retail: “Peak retail season looks awfully ‘flat'” [Freight Waves]. “Retail goods, which includes anything from clothing to furniture and appliances, is expected to keep the economy out of recessionary territory over the next several months. The 4th quarter is traditionally driven by increased consumer spending due to the holiday sales. Many of the shippers will import goods from overseas in the 3rd quarter — mainly from China. From there, the goods move into warehouses and distribution centers before hitting the storefronts. Recent trade disputes have incited shippers to import numerous goods in front of demand. This led to full warehouses and a lot of regional shipping around the port markets earlier this year, which has translated into a much softer peak import season. It remains to be seen if the volumes that hit the ports last year simply oversupplied the warehouses or there is much less demand anticipated by shippers this year…. The slower retail imports are not a sign of decreasing demand but a correction from 2018 overheating — a common theme in 2019. Once this holiday season ends, however, it is unclear what will be left to move, considering early 2019 activity was driven by last year’s tariff turmoil.”

Retail: “Amazon is shipping expired food, from baby formula to old beef jerky, scaring consumers and putting big brands at risk” [CNBC]. “[A}n increasing number of consumers are finding that, just as the broader Amazon Marketplace has a major issue with counterfeits and unsafe products, the grocery section is littered with similarly problematic items in the form of expired foods. From baby formula and coffee creamer to beef jerky and granola bars, items are arriving spoiled and well past their sell-by date, Amazon customers say. Interviews with brands, consumers, third-party sellers and consultants all point to loopholes in Amazon’s technology and logistics system that allow for expired items to proliferate with little to no accountability. Consumer safety advocates worry that as the marketplace grows, the problem will only get worse.” • Lots of detail. Any fines are, of course, just a cost of doing business.

The Bezzle: “The Billion-Dollar High-Speed Internet Scam” [Bloomberg]. “[Quintillion Subsea Holdings LLC, Co-founder Elizabeth] Pierce had raised more than $270 million from investors, who had been impressed by her ability to rack up major telecom-services contracts. The problem was that the other people whose names were on those deals didn’t remember agreeing to pay so much—or, in some cases, agreeing to anything at all. An internal investigation and subsequent federal court case would eventually reveal forged signatures on contracts worth more than $1 billion.” • No due diligence issues there!

The Bezzle: “Bitcoin’s Latest Swoon Raises the Risk of Key Technical Breach” [Bloomberg]. “The cryptocurrency slumped Wednesday to below $8,000 — back to its lowest level since June — amid an influx of bad news that’s also weighing on the rest of the digital-asset sector. Technical indicators suggest the milestone is significant, and could lead to further pain…. ‘With volumes still quite low relative to this summer, shorts are incentivized to keep pushing prices lower until they hit resistance,’ said [said Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at Arca, a Los Angeles-based asset manager that invests in cryptocurrencies]. ‘This is very typical behavior in other illiquid asset classes.'”

Tech: “Creepy human-like skin makes your phone ticklish and pinchable” [New Scientist]. “The artificial skin is programmed to associate different gestures with certain emotions. Sudden hard pressure on the skin is associated with anger and tapping is a means of seeking attention, while sustained contact and stroking are associated with providing comfort.” • Imipolex-G?


Dom’t worry about your biometric data. I’m sure that will be handled much more carefully.

Tech: “Nest is getting ready for the smart home’s Cambridge Analytica moment” [The Verge]. “Nest is moving to a more tightly controlled system, restricting access to audited partners and tightly limited “routines.” It’s part of a broader push to rein in the risks of home automation and prevent the kind of third-party-driven data breach that has hit so many competitors. But along the way, it means tightening Google’s control over the world of home automation in a way that competitors may not like…. There are reasons to be nervous about this tightening of permissions. The companies making these devices aren’t scrappy startups anymore. They’re some of the largest companies in the world, and the competition over who controls what data will be a major struggle in the years to come. Ideally, Google wouldn’t be setting the terms for how you can link your own devices. Even [Nest GM Rishi Chandra] concedes that some kind of independent standard akin to ISO certifications would be preferable. But we don’t have that standard yet, and without it, cleaning up the mess of home automation means making it harder to play the game.” • Google’s got enough money. Force them to wait ’til the standard is done, on the precautionary principle.

Tech: For anyone who books online, thread:

Funny how often the best UI/UX is the raw HTML code…

Manufacturing: “Pontifications: To no surprise, MAX was major topic at 3 NYC events” [Leeham News]. “Before the above news blew up, my key takeaway from talking with people at these events is that it looks like the earliest MAX will be recertified by the FAA in December or possibly January. There is a general consensus Europe’s EASA won’t be concurrent and neither will China’s CAAC. It’s still unclear just how much and what kind of pilot training will be required by the various regulators. There is a growing consensus that MAX may not truly reenter revenue service until March—one year after the grounding.” • Lots and lots of good detail here, if you follow Boeing.

Manufacturing: “Auto makers globally produced some 95 million cars and commercial vehicles last year, and many moved into international trade streams. But production is declining, auto sales are slipping in key markets and cars are being drawn into trade tensions in Pacific and Atlantic market” [Wall Street Journal]. • Good for the biosphere, though.

Manufacturing: “Tesla gets approval to start manufacturing in China” [Reuters]. “Tesla Inc was added to a government list of approved automotive manufacturers, China’s industry ministry said on Thursday, as it granted the electric-vehicle maker a certificate it needs to start production in the country…. Tesla intends to produce at least 1,000 Model 3s a week from the Shanghai factory by the end of this year, as it tries to boost sales in the world’s biggest auto market and avoid higher import tariffs imposed on U.S. cars.”

Fodder for the Bulls: “How to spot a recession” [The Economist] (original*). “Claudia Sahm, an economist at the Federal Reserve has developed a new method for predicting economic downturns. In the report, Ms Sahm argues that when the three-month average unemployment rate is at least 0.5 percentage points above its minimum from the previous 12 months, the economy is in a recession. This simple measure, it turns out, has correctly called every recession in America since 1970. In January 2008, for example, Ms Sahm’s index warned of the coming Great Recession. The index had also flashed red in early 2001, amid the bursting of the dotcom bubble. Today, conditions are considerably less dire. With unemployment 0.07 percentage points below its minimum of the past year, the “Sahm recession indicator” suggests that the chance of a downturn occurring in the next year is just 10%.” NOTE * The Hamilton Project? Huh?

Fodder for the Bulls: “U.S. Recession Chances Hit 27% Within Next 12 Months: Tracker” [Bloomberg]. “Bloomberg Economics created a model to determine America’s recession odds. Right now, the indicator estimates the chance of a U.S. recession at some point in the next year is 27%. That’s higher than it was a year ago but lower than before the last recession. There are reasons to keep a close eye on the economy but no need to panic yet.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 55 Neutral (previous close: 50, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 42 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 21 at 11:47am.

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged. [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 183. Seems indeed that 180 is a floor.

The Biosphere

“The world’s on fire from climate change. Pa. lawmakers want to make it a lot harder to protest” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer]. “The law had been enacted in the wake of those high-profile 2016 protests in North Dakota — and was part of a nationwide push for a host of states to adopt similar laws, all backed by pro-business lobbying groups that are heavily funded by Big Oil. Now that crusade — to make it even more of a crime to protest at pipelines, fracking rigs, or more than a dozen other places that lawmakers cite as “critical infrastructure” — is coming to Pennsylvania. Again.”

Class Warfare

News of the Wired

“The Case for Checking a Bag” [Medium]. “Travel is a chaotic, exhausting experience exacerbated by people who forget the social contract the moment they step foot in an airport.” • Before we get to the bag-checking advocacy (“I nearly always allow myself the small luxury of checking a bag. I love myself enough to pack whatever the hell I want”) the author gives a fine description of contemporary air travel.

Why Roman type is called “Roman.” Thread:

Here is Pulp playing “Common People” at Glastonbury. Quite the performance:

(I was happy to see the discussion of “Common People” the other day. NC’s readership is not composed entirely of old codgers like me. More like this, please (The same principle goes for games.).)

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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 (KL):

KL: “Fall Hydrangea, Knappton, WA.” Very pretty!

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Carey

    New from CJ Hopkins- ‘The Putin-Nazis Are Coming (Again)!’:

    “..Ask yourself, what do Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, and Gabbard have in common? No, it’s not their Putin-Nazism … it’s the challenge they represent to global capitalism. Each, in his or her own way, is a symbol of the growing populist resistance to the privatization and globalization of everything. And thus, they must be delegitimized, stigmatized, and relentlessly smeared as “Russian assets,” “anti-Semites,” “traitors,” “white supremacists,” “fascists,” “communists,” or some other type of “extremists.”..”


    1. Tom Denman

      About the smear campaign against Tulsi Gabbard: Bernie Sanders needs to get out in front of the issue before the Clinton/Neocon machine inevitably turns its attention to him.

      Advantages to Sanders in making a big speech in which he denounces groundless accusations of disloyalty against Gabbard and others as un-American, anti-democratic and divisive. He could conclude by saying that we need to be talking about the things that affect Americans’ lives:

      1) Improves Sanders’ chances of framing the neo-McCarthyism debate on favorable terms and at least partly inoculates him from such accusations.

      2) Reduces the prospect that he loses support to Gabbard (being the recipient of an attack by Hillary Clinton can only be regarded as a badge of honor by people on the real left).

      3) Places Sanders in the role of a statesman and a leader, above the fray and standing by a rival who is being bullied.

      1. Pavel

        I confess that I am incensed by Sanders’s refusal thus far to come out and support Tulsi. As far as I know only Yang and Booker have done so. Clinton’s smear was a disgrace.

        Krystal Ball [swoon!] and Saagar Enjeti had a piece on Youtube ripping into HRC & Co for the “Russian Asset” smear and amusingly showed some Dem pundit on MSNBC (where else!) stating, “Well Tulsi hasn’t denied she’s a Russian asset!” to approving laughter from the other DNC shills.

        Happily it’s all backfired on the Queen of the Warmongers and Tulsi is now polling even with Harris in some polls. Let’s see if she gets the same media attention and debate time. I’m not holding my breath.

        1. Lemmy Caution

          Wonder when the MSNBC hacks will question why Hillary hasn’t denied she’s a Queen Warmonger?

          1. Big Tap

            Hillary Clinton has done some good be it unintentional. Her criticism certainly raised Gabbard’s profile. Wouldn’t surprise me if Tulsi Gabbard get the 3% needed to make the next debate and she can thank Hillary Clinton for the extra attention. Streisand Effect in action.

        2. Pavel

          Well, thankfully albeit a bit belatedly, Bernie stepped up to the plate:

          Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line to defend this country. People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset.

          Twitter link

        3. Carey

          I’m not incensed by Sanders’s silence, but the implication that he can carefully maneuver around Team D and somehow get the nomination
          seems… unlikely. I think the approach in TD’s comment above makes
          more sense- assuming Sanders hasn’t gotten a certain Talk.

    2. dearieme

      It seems very hard on Sanders, Gabbard, and Trump to imply that they have much in common with the odious Corbyn.

      1. Carey

        I’m in the USA and not so up on things in the UK- can you say what it is that’s
        “odious” about Jeremy Corbyn?

              1. Redlife2017

                He also likes lemon polenta cake (true fact) and buys his suits from Marks & Spencer (he doesn’t want to spend public money on luxury items – seriously). That obviously makes him a Stalinist getting the gulags ready.

                1. ambrit

                  Good heavens, the man sounds like someone with working principles. In politics? That’s a dangerous thing, really. For the complacent status quo, he threatens the smooth running of the gravy train. Taking a cue from this mornings post concerning Roman history, an analogue to Corbyn would be the Gracchi brothers?
                  If he was a real Stalinist, he would expropriate Boris Johnson’s suit closet and distribute the spoils among the poor, which group can be defined in various ways as the political winds blow.

        1. Procopius

          Aside from the fact that he took power away from the austerity-mongers in the Labour Party, I don’t know. A friend of mine, who served in the British Army (REME) during the Troubles, and was at the scene of an IRA bombing, hates him because apparently he has, at some time, defended the IRA.

      2. Monty

        “To do that, the neoliberal establishment has to delegitimize, and lethally stigmatize, not just Trump, but also people like Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn.”

        Are you a member of the neoliberal establishment he mentions?

    3. notabanker

      Walking through a food court today, tv’s everywhere tuned into the talking heads, was probably CNN, but coulda been another….. headline below the talking head “Biden likely top target as Russia beings 2020 election interference”…. sigh.

      1. Carey

        All propaganda from the Few, all the time now.

        Maybe 10% of the citizenry would benefit™ from a Biden presidency.

      2. anon in so cal

        That started as far back as April.

        “Moscow’s disinformation and influence operations will have two primary aims: to help foster confusion and conflict during the U.S. election campaign and to prevent the election of former Vice President Joe Biden….

        ….Putin’s preferred choice in the November 2020 elections is likely to be a progressive or populist Democrat. The Kremlin will assess which candidate:

        has a weak record on the NATO alliance and international military involvement;
        has previously voiced sympathies for leftist dictatorships; and
        is more likely to reach out for a new “grand bargain” with Moscow that will allow it to extend its “sphere of influence.”


        1. Alex morfesis

          Putin is probably quite amused his capacity to manipulate in English is considered so effective…he simply wonders how to do so in Russian to insure his subjects are not running out of the country and tovarishas actually want to start having babies with actual russian men before the demographic decline passes Japan’s downfall….

          Details details….

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      seems astrologers were somehow overlooked in the otherwise totally cool actblue dataset.

      1. Stephen V.

        When I was young and thought I knew something, I would be paid as an unlicensed astrologer.
        Now I am licensed and paid to put numbers in tax return boxes. Not as different as you might think.

    2. HotFlash

      I was soo rekueved ‘way back when to read that Ronnie Raygun was actually being, er, advised by an astrologer. I had feared he was making it up on his own!

      1. polecat

        If my memory serves correct, it was the first lady, Nancy, that was provided those horoscope forcasts with respect to her husband .. and were not received by Ronnie directly.

      2. ambrit

        Silly! It was Nancy who kept an ‘official’ Court Astrologer. Ronnie was going off into that mysterious bourne called Dementia by then. Nancy, as Helper and Caregiver in Chief ‘channeled’ the spirit of Edith Wilson, second wife of Woodrow Wilson. The resulting abomination would have made Aleister Crowley proud.

        1. Carey

          >Silly! It was Nancy who kept an ‘official’ Court Astrologer.

          Was he also the dude who called his wife Mrs. Reagan “Mommy”? And told tough-guy stories about WWII service while safely ensconced making movies in Hollywood?

          1. ambrit

            Yeah, that professional chameleon played President while his “Kitchen Cabinet” guided America deeper into the ditch.
            I think he called his first wife, Jane Wyman, “Mommy.”
            The Hollywoodland crowd was always extreme.

  2. erichwwk

    I spoke to three [licensed] astrologers…..

    hmm…. wondering if con folks can be “licensed”?

    1. ambrit

      There are a lot of “cons” going on out ‘in the wild.’ The preferred costume is a three piece suit and or ‘power’ dress ensemble.
      There is an obvious and enjoyable wordplay with the meanings of ‘license’ and ‘licentious.’

    2. Dan

      But, the bigger question is, do economists have to be licensed?

      Do they need liability insurance for their predictions, performance bonds? have to do Pro-bono work?

      I know of a guy who gets suckers to pay $100 a month to alter their cell phones to emit positive vibrations so that the EMFs will help them, not hurt them. And, if they wave the phone over their food, it aligns the molecules to make them more beneficial.

      So, how many wars, coups, bankruptcies, factory closings and other nasties has the cell phone man caused?

  3. Jason Boxman

    The Big Picture opinion piece claims Sanders doesn’t work well with anyone, but I think his legislative record speaks to the contrary throughout his career. He does work with people when there’s an issue in common. But he doesn’t go along to get along, which may have been the kind of playing with others the commentator prefers. The larger issue is the Democrat Party will sabotage a Sanders’ presidency; as a linked piece said recently, the Democrats loathe their base, while the Republicans fear their base.

    1. John k

      Yeah, but a candidate sanders can change the dnc.
      And Bernie has worked with dems and reps for decades to modify bills more to his liking. Not amendment king for nothing.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think the key point is that a hard-case investment manager from a successful firm thinks that Sanders is the only authentic candidate, based on viewing the debates. That is a very interesting takeaway. I wouldn’t expect him to have mastered the talking points, or to have a theory of parties.

      1. Patrick Morrison

        The debate post was written by frequent guest, Bob Lefsetz, rather than by Ritholtz, fairly sure Lefsetz is not an investment manager. Of course, Ritholtz must approve in some indirect sense. BTW, a long, long time ago, a mention at The Big Picture was how I learned of NC, much to my gratitude.

        1. Craig H.

          About 10 years ago Ritholz had a great blog and I read it almost daily. The last time I looked at it (I was down to about one day in sixty at that point) his post was on how great Amazon is and how his Alexa is indispensable.

          Aye aye aye aye aye aye aye.

          1. Pat Morrison

            I dropped reading TBP five or six years ago, a mix of my interests and needs changing, and the lowered quality. I started following it sometime in 2006 or 7, and found it really valuable at the time. I remember him live-blogging the Lehman failure.

  4. ACF

    Re: Bartenders for Bernie
    Bernie’s path to victory is much easier if he succeeds in changing the electorate. I think people who donate generally, and who donate this early in the process, are likely voters. I wonder if the demographic data revealed by the small donor data (not necessarily in the form in the article) could be in any way paired with historical turn out data to see if there are any hints of Sanders changing the likely voter electorate

    1. Bugs Bunny

      [Vice Presidential Debate, 2052]

      GOP VP candidate “AOC was a bartender. I was a bartender.”

      Dem VP candidate “I knew AOC. You’re no AOC.”

      Dems still lose.

    2. BobW

      Bartenders for Bernie chart ranked from least to most educated has economists more educated than physicians and surgeons.

    3. Steve H.

      Some little things: How close CEO’s & Clergy track. How physicians flip to Sanders from their class neighbors, not a lot, but M4A might be sticking. How utterly irrelevant Biden is.

      The ‘Top occupations by candidate’ chart, with the thought of who you’d want to party with.

      And Economists are more educated the Physicians and Lawyers! The mostest educatedest of fobbits! Wants all the rings precious! Wants Nobel even if we has to make our own! Yesss,,,

  5. ACF

    Re: Bartenders for Bernie
    Bernie’s path to victory is much easier if he succeeds in changing the electorate. I think people who donate generally, and who donate this early in the process, are likely voters. I wonder if the demographic data revealed by the small donor data (not necessarily in the form in the article) could be in any way paired with historical turn out data to see if there are any hints of Sanders changing the likely voter electorate

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        As one of the Bartenders cited by ActBlue, I know I go out of my way to radicalize any and all patrons that I can. Not so easy at a joint like the Saenger or Mahalia Jackson, but I try.

        Bartenders contribute mightily to the flow of information down here in the French Quarter. Bartenders for Bernie would be a powerful voice for the working class, including those I work with like Ushers, Cleaners, Security, etc.

  6. Jason Boxman

    It’s too bad the apartment building story doesn’t cover the fact that wood frame construction leads to apartments where you can hear you neighbor use the bathroom. The stuff is garbage. I saw tons of these going up in Orlando, before I escaped Florida for good. Up in Somerville, I live in a 100 year old building with a bust of Charles Lindberg on the front. It’s all horsehair plaster; certainly not any better than the new construction, but at least it’s different.

    A former friend lived in a 20+ story building in downtown Orlando, and it was all concrete. You couldn’t hear anything except from the hallway. Now that was construction.

    I’m always loathe to move because you never know how bad your neighbors are going to be, particularly with so much garbage construction. We have a crisis of quality, affordable housing, not just affordable housing. Although not getting rained on is nice, at least.

    (… classified wood treated with fire retardant as noncombustible: Oh yay, and more poison!)

    1. Phacops

      Interesting that such builders were either so ignorant or so greedy that they did not build staggered or offset stud walls. Florida man . . .

        1. rd

          Most noise is vibrations transmitted through the solid components of walls and floors. Offset studs means that one wall face has a set of studs that are on different centers than the studs for the other wall face – there is an air gap between the wall face and the studs for the other wall face. Offset studs mean that the two sides of the wall have minimal solid component connection, so the vibration can’t carry from one wall face to the other. It does increase construction cost and generally makes the walls a bit thicker because you have two studs in the place of one, but it reduces noise. If you fill the space with insulation, you further dampen the noise..

    2. anon y'mouse

      it also leads to extremely poor layouts. the two rooms in which one should absolutely require operable windows due to needing light for tasks, and removing smoke/steam are generally placed inside. there’s usually only one exterior wall, so whichever direction that faces determines your environment and thus heating/cooling costs to a large degree. because generally those windows are not very good, and usually quite large and/or include a deck slider.

      and yes, after living in apartments all of my life, i am ready to not be affected by my neighbors’ drug dealing, rowdy drunken deck parties, garbage slop in the halls/landings, waste backing up into my sink and so on. it goes almost unrecognized that these are quality of life issues for apartment dwellers which cause them to want a detached building. not to mention–actual garden space.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Oh, I think layouts is one thing they must have gotten right in my ancient building. My bedroom seems to abut someone’s (rarely?) used kitchen, but not their bedroom or living room. The same is true of the place next door. Our living rooms abut, but not the bedroom. Huge windows, too, let in plenty of light.

        The roof of the building is painted black, though, so it’s oppressively hot during the summer; A rooftop garden would be doable, if it were permitted.

        1. Anarcissie

          You might get the landlord to change the paint on the roof to white or aluminum; saves money. A ‘green’ roof, one with soil and plants, is pretty heavy and therefore expensive. An existing building might have to be partially reconstructed to carry it. It’s a nice idea, though.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        thankfully, it’s been 25 years since i lived in an apartment.
        i’d rather live in my truck, thank you.
        bloomberg wouldn’t let me read the art. if i unblocked the thing that allows pictures, so i googled them….and now i know what theyre talking about(i suspected). first of those i saw went up all over austin in the last 10-15 years.first one i noticed was on north lamar, around the lamar/guadalupe split.
        the pastel paint, and white lathed bannisters feel forced, to me,lol…since i also saw them going up.
        of course, in my (on foot)wandering adjacent to the medical center in san antone last fall, i noticed older apartment complexes(maybe mid-80’s) in such disrepair that a passerby can see the lathe peeking out of the stucco…those were stick built, too;they are for upper-poors,now, by the indicators…which is where i expect the new five over one’s to be in a decade or so, barring a depression/jackpot.
        “let them live in our hand-me-downs and waste places.”

      3. neo-realist

        Not just the bad plumbing, broken washing machines, and noisy neighbors, but the freedom from being at the mercy of a ruthless rental market that will always raise the rent sky high for crap apartments cause they know there are more people chasing apartments than there are apartments.

        If you can get your own dwelling, it’s worth the autonomy from demanding landlords/developer companies even if you have a little less to budget for disposable pleasures.

    3. jrs

      Quality affordable housing, I like it, bread and roses.

      Of course in a country where homeowners are considered the only citizens worth paying attention to, I don’t much expect it, but quality affordable rentals: one can dream.

    4. MJ

      Quality or affordability — your choice.

      It seems we can’t afford nice things anymore. Why is that?

    5. Otis B Driftwood

      Framing is irrelevant if properly insulated. Most builders do not do this in interior walls.

  7. petal

    Thank you for the Common People vid. Was bopping and happily singing along(very quietly). That song always changes my mood.
    Nothing yet in the local press about Booker’s appearance on campus last night. However, here is an article about Biden and his healthcare plan(expanding RomneyObamaCare).

    1. petal

      It’s a very garbage, biased, pro-Biden article, but I posted it for people to look out for what is being released.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      I hate to burst Lambert’s bubble about “old pcodgees”, but that Pulp song is 24 years old..not exactly in touch with the Millennials there. The Gen Xers like me were listening to Pulp in college.

  8. ambrit

    About the twenty year old video of Pulp; what can I say? England is now a globalized country. But the crowd at Glastonbury was all white. So, doing a bit of digging, I find out that England is 85% white.
    All this leads me to an ultra-cynical thought. Are the ‘Entertainment Media’ actively trying to portray England as multi-cultural when the opposite is true? This leads me to consider the observation that the biggest snobs are usually the servants of the elites. Further on in the cycle, this makes the “captured” nature of the modern MSMs understandable.
    Good performance from a group I hadn’t heard of before. Sounded a bit like early Bowie.

    1. foghorn longhorn

      ,”I find out that England is 85% white….”

      So that stoked my curiosity about France, since I’ve gotten sucked into watching Le Tour de France the last few years, and have noticed the fans along the roadway were lacking pigmentation.
      85% anglo also.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        Anglo? That would be odd. Maybe some mixed folk in Normandy but the rest is Gallic jusqu’au bout des ongles.

          1. Massinissa

            That is absolutely not what Anglo means, though. It means “English or person of English ancestry”.

            1. foghorn longhorn

              A little research after the fact showed the error of my ways.
              Are you gonna squirt me with your pimple juice also.

              Actually my father smelt of juniper berries.

        1. jsn

          I press my pimples in your direction and call “85% Anglo” a silly thing! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > the biggest snobs are usually the servants of the elites.

      On a long-haul a couple of years ago, I watched a complete season of Game of Thrones, followed by a complete season of Upstairs, Downstairs. The similarities were amazing.

      1. ambrit

        I get your point. I wonder if the fascination with aristocratic privilege and excess arises internally from those who craft the stories, (a form of ‘servants of the elites,’) or from public demand for escapist drama?
        I consider it a crowning achievement of any author’s career to evoke empathy and pity for the wealthy from the downtrodden masses.

      2. Titus

        Just finished a really good book on how people actually lived from 600 c.e. to 1890 c.e. The problem with GoT is the ‘servants’ as such really didn’t live the way it is implied they did. In the 1300’s your average ‘serf’ might have worked six hours a day or so. There was a lot of goofing off. All the better I say. Oddly by 1880 the average servant in the big house worked 16 hours a day. So the up stairs / down stairs part is right. The rest not so much.

        1. Drake

          I’ve read that the Black Death (1340ish) was a principle contributor to the betterment of workers’ conditions in Western Europe, which didn’t happen on the same scale in Eastern Europe (in terms of death rate and betterment of conditions). Apparently it made workers pretty scarce for a while, which improved their negotiating ability substantially, and centuries of pretty brutal war and disease lay ahead. By 1880 the population was on a substantial upwards trajectory, there hadn’t been a good European war for a while (since Napoleon), and North America and Australia were starting to fill up. Maybe a simplistic explanation, but scarcity helped wages/conditions back then much as it does now.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Lots of things changed over the years. Bill Bryson’s book “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” talks about the changes. A thousand years ago the servants sat at the same table as the “lord” as everyone lived in a long building called a “hall” which you see in the names of modern manors.
          By Victorian times servants were supposed to be invisible and hid from their “betters” so that they would not be seen by them. The manors had all sorts of hidden rooms and corridors for this purpose. An American visitor was surprised when a servant, who found himself in a hall with him, immediately walked to a wall and faced it – as he was supposed to do.

  9. Bugs Bunny

    Again made the mistake of listening to NPR. Heard a couple interviews on “Here and Now”

    Retired Gen. Paul Eaton – cites a book by Robert Kaplan to support his argument to stay in Syria.


    Ex-Sen. Heidi Heitkamp on how Amy and Mayo Pete are our only hope.


    No wonder people are more interested in the latest movie trailer. Who the heck donates to get one of those tote bags? I dare you to listen.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Honestly, I only ever listed for Car Talk. And it gave me something to do when driving long distances.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        when on long road trips it beats the alternative(rush clones. this is texas)…and they sometimes have a bit of profundity slip in and wow my boys. this last seems rarer, now, but i rarely listen to radio except on long trips. and i generally don’t go anywhere.(only get 2 local country stations and a bunch of conjunto and fire breathing preachers)

        as far as npr being representative of the teamblue/vichydem zeitgeist, yes…week or two ago my mom mentioned Kaplan to back up her weird new prowar stance.
        i tried to go on about him and his wife being neocons…quite literally…to no avail
        which leads me to the daily mail: i hate it when steve bannon makes noises in public that are identical to things i’ve been saying(hillary will parachute into the convention)…more fuel for my mom’s suspicions that i’m, somehow, a trumper.

        1. Titus

          Amfortas – I don’t know about the hippie part, if so all the better, the poet for sure, and as you point out the prophet, hmmm, the prairie poet, even your humble nature. Todays poem – vichydem. Thank you.

    2. Phacops

      Who listens to NPR for news anymore? Their bias and dissembling have been clearly evident for decades. Cokie Roberts, especially, was all in for wealthy elite democrat virtue signaling. It disgusted me enough to quit listening to that network at all.

      1. Off The Street

        I quit listening to NPR News after too many of their lies. They misportrayed an issue that I knew intimately, omitting key material that would’ve contradicted the points that they were trying to sell. The agenda became more apparent that day, and it wasn’t objective journalism.

        1. JBird4049

          Force of habit combined with a very gradual change. NPR used to be a good alternative. even if it was aimed at the upper middle college educated WASPs, to the “regular” radio media. I vaguely remember as a child that the public media had some slant towards the working class, or at the least the very low middle class. It all got captured by the neoliberal monied interests over decades and shifted to being a propaganda arm of Neoliberal Ruling Elites to be used on the Credentialed Class.

          Most boomers and their children grew up with NPR and public television during the “good” times. It was not an overnight takeover and if one can remember listening to it fifty years ago when it was honest to God public radio, noticing that now it is not is very hard.

          1. Bugs Bunny

            Exactly why I listen to it occasionally and it always breaks my heart, once again, like a cheatin’ man.

            The non political programs are still listenable. There are shows on Wisconsin public radio during the daytime hours that are quiet and calm, like public radio used to be.

            That said, even Pacifica is all in on IDPOL and Russia Russia now :(

          2. ambrit

            I remember reading in several publications the opinion that NPR was as good as captured when they accepted the bequest from the widow of the founder of McDonald’s, Mrs. Kroc.

        1. Carey

          That NPR hushed-but-rapid-fire delivery, with short but so-pregnant pauses between, makes me wanna puke. Too, the men sound like women, and
          the women sound like men.. this *will not* endure.

      2. WJ

        Cabbie had NPR on the other day and news show was all about research showing how women and women of color are not being promoted to top corporate boardrooms as often as they should be, statistically speaking. This is an injustice, to be sure. However, at no point in the entire program was it ever so much as suggested that corporate capitalism is not perhaps a structure in which we should expect to encounter injustice; rather, it was basically rah rah corporate capitalism but let’s get more women of color bringing home the socially devastating grotesquely inflated executive paychecks. Talk about naturalizing the status quo.

    3. Tom Doak

      At the mention of Sen. Heitkamp, I looked to see who she is currently lobbying for. The truth, according to Wikipedia, is even funnier:

      In April 2019, with Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana (who also lost reelection in 2018), she launched One Country Project, an organization aimed at helping Democrats reconnect with rural voters.

      Who better to put in charge of reconnecting with voters, than two candidates who couldn’t ? Maybe Beto can join the cause after he quits the Presidential race.

      1. neo-realist

        I do agree with such a project to the extent that the Democratic Party needs to learn how to communicate with people outside of the beltway and blue city enclaves and frame populist policies in language they understand rather than becoming de facto republicans, which I suspect is what Heitkamp wants.

        The end result of not doing so is losing the electoral college in the presidential elections by 51 to 49 margins and losing senate majorities.

        1. Carey

          That the Democrat Party should need to “learn how to communicate” with
          its very own base is quite an indictment, and maybe not a bug, but a feature.
          I think that the upshot, either way, will be evident by this time next year.

    4. LifelongLib

      Gotta repeat my plea to not write off public radio just because of NPR. The local public radio stations here in Hawaii produce a lot of music shows (and even a few political ones) that are better than the national fare. Try listening during the off hours and see what your stations have.

      1. inode _buddha

        The NPR station here in WNY/southern Ontario is nothing but classical music with the occasional bio about the musicians, and a short morning weather report, delivered by some amazingly soothing voices.

        The only time they break this format is for the annual begging, or in extreme weather emergencies.

  10. ObjectiveFunction

    > I was happy to see the discussion of “Common People” the other day. NC’s readership is not composed entirely of old codgers like me. More like this, please.

    Codgerdom creeps up on you though, especially when discussing a 20 year old song. Or 35 year old songs….

    I was 20 years old when I wrote this song / I’m 22 now but I won’t be for long / people always ask when I’ll grow up to be a man / when so many girls my age are already pushing prams

    1. JBird4049

      How about fifty years plus songs? Seeing those lyrics made me flash back to my parents’ Simon & Garfunkel albums and the song Leaves that are Green.

      I was twenty-one years when I wrote this song/I’m twenty-two now, but I won’t be for long/Time hurries on/And the leaves that are green turn to brown/And they whither with the wind/And they crumble in your hand

  11. John k

    Table of professions favoring Bernie very encouraging, seems at odds with polls… unless they just poll librarians, lawyers and physicians. How many librarians out there, anyway? Just guessing, but those favoring Bernie might be those most worried about healthcare.
    Who gets Biden votes if he implodes? Presumably warren gets most bc she appeals to seniors, who already have Medicare, maybe scared if everybody gets it gov runs out of money. Somebody should explain why we don’t have bank runs any more.
    What if Hillary and or Bloomberg jump in? Well, if she does he won’t. But Hillary will split Liz vote, so that’s a good thing. Hillary is now an embarrassment, cant believe a threat to Bernie… granted, trump is also an embarrassment…

    1. chuckster

      The problem with the Act Blue data is that it is measuring “unique donations” not unique donors. If one bartender gives Bernie a dozen donations of $18 it counts as 12 donations. If one bartender gives Joe Biden $2400, it is one donation. Bernie therefore has 12 times as many bartenders supporting him than Joe Biden.

      Bernie spends a lot of time trying to get people to give a monthly donation so the numbers don’t surprise me much. Also remember this is just Act Blue data, not contributions made directly to the campaign. (Otherwise I would think Biden’s CEO numbers would be much higher.)

    1. barrisj

      Further signals that the BoD must dump Muilenburg to rescue Boeing’s fast-eroding status on Wall Street…you read it here first.

  12. anon y'mouse

    on the stick built apartment buildings—

    oftentimes, when discussions arise here on this site about the “efficiency” or “quality” or environmental footprint or whatever about apartment living, people are referencing apartments in places like NY, where this kind of construction is not permitted and therefore things are built out of much more durable materials. as the article notes, one of the main factors for stick built is cost.

    so, the comparisons of stick built single family suburbs with their “inefficiency” or footprint or whatever it is, is not a fair comparison. if single family homes were built to the standard of a NY apartment building, things would likely be much different. due to our history and clear preferences for cheap, that is not the way most things get built here. because things are built cheaply and mass-produced for most people, we are not able to reap any kind of efficiencies in energy use, site planning, solar orientation, floorplan/window siting, nor a multitude of measures that save in energy usage but cost more and use more energy upfront. only those who are having something built expressly for them are able to take any advantage of these.

    my totally inexpert conclusion: most of the efficiencies of apartment dwelling (at least, in the non-stick built) comes from centralization of location and nearness to transit (which is also usually just left out or an afterthought in the suburban developments, even though it could be easily integrated if done at planning), but also because many of those were built to last immensely longer to begin with. thus they have an inherent thermal mass effect which makes them less of a problem to heat and cool, don’t need refinishing and remodelling as much, etc. the elements are sturdier and don’t need replacing, and the interiors are not remodelled at the residents’ whim because apartment living requires a different mentality generally (“none of this stuff is mine, and i am not here permanently, so where the toilet is placed in the room is something one simply must live with in the short term”).

    just some more mental rambles from an idiot.

    1. JBird4049

      You are not an idiot for noting that quality and design is also important. Building long lasting, functional, comfortable, and hopefully attractive housing takes thought and good planning; it seems to not exist today, or at least being the cheapest, or most ginormous is often more important.

  13. prx

    The controversial commenter Jim H was a fan of a Sahm-like indicator here in the comments, and a CIO at a shop where I used work swore by it.

  14. Barbara

    On the other hand, 41 percent of those over 65 supported Biden, compared to 26 percent for Warren and an incredible 2 percent for Sanders.

    As a person born between the Great Depression and the Second World War, who had a father who talked nightly at the dinner table about how much people suffered during the Depression, and constantly praised the New Deal for bringing the people out of the darkness of the depression into a fairer, livable world, and being of the generation that helped their families transition from the working class to the middle class by being the first in their families to graduate from college, I truly despair of my generation as they are currently composed. Are they all suffering from dementia? Or did they never know.

    Maybe they didn’t have fathers like mine. But I remember the families of the students I went to school with. They were counting on their sons and daughters to get that education, to move ahead.

    When I heard Bernie speak at that portable podium back in 2015 that he was running for President, I knew immediately where my interests lie. I’m for Bernie for the same reason my father supported FDR. For the kids and the world they inherit.

      1. jrs

        really though most of them won’t vote as it really is beyond the capacity of people with dementia (to vote at all I mean, regardless of whom it is for).

      2. Barbara

        That’s very depressing. I’m happy to be directly aware of it only in a very small sample. Most of the people my age and maybe a few years younger that I know are still alive, awake, and reasonably knowing. That doesn’t mean that they’re all in for Bernie and I marvel at some of my conversations. Many of them are apolitical and just repeat what they’ve been told as kids. Reading my story, you might say that about me, except that my major in college was political science and my minor, economics, choices which came out of my upbringing.

      3. Jack Parsons

        Now, look at the timeline for the CIA and other intelligence agencies, and imagine the demographic pipeline that delivers ever-increasing numbers of very old retired spies who don’t keep their secrets.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      my grandparents were just like that…so i don’t really know what happened to my parents,lol.
      the former: the whole family/neighborhood comes together to fix the roof, watch the kids in a crisis, etc.
      the latter:bootstraps, education as panacea, “tough love”, and an unawareness of conditions outside their bubbles.
      really manifested after my grands died…and seems to be getting worse with age.
      cousins(1st,2nd,3rd) report much the same, as do the few high school friends i keep in contact with.
      (interestingly, it doesn’t apply to my wife’s extended mexican family, who resemble my depression era grands in such attitudes and praxis)
      of course, this gels with the numbers in the actblue bartenders article, and in the linked within pew, etc.
      there is a generational divide.
      since it doesn’t look like GenX will take a turn at the reins(not that i’d necessarily want my damaged generation to,lol), i guess i look forward to “millenials” ousting the gerontocracy.

    2. Shonde

      Consider that your K-12 education was before McCarthyism. My education during McCarthyism consisted of commie bad, USA good and lots of fear. My age group currently supporting Biden perhaps never got beyond that early indoctrination and still believes the USA can do no wrong, that socialism and communism are the same and social security resulted from capitalism. Any mention of socialism probably triggers all those old McCarthyist K-12 indoctrination tapes since to them socialism is communism and Russia is the USSR.

      1. notabanker

        And the great irony is the USA today is on par or worse than communist USSR in terms of corruption, authoritarianism, surveillance, media control and overall quality of life for the mass population. And it is impossible for that generation to fathom the notion that it is even remotely comparable.

        1. Shonde

          Knowing the indoctrination my generation went through, that would be too much cognitive dissonance.

        2. JBird4049

          All the bad things of the Soviet Union with none of the good things. Did we really “win” the Cold War, or did the Soviets just fall apart from its own problems, aside from any flaws of what their political economy was supposed to be?

          Most of the problems that the United States has seems to be happening somewhat separately from whatever flaws that our political economy is supposed to have. The country has been capitalist for centuries with varying levels of corruption. Sometimes deep and sometimes not that noticeable.

          Today, it seems like the whole system is about to fall apart like a house that has its roof and then all the walls just collapsed. Something more than whatever the strengths and weaknesses of free market capitalism or soviet style communism had and is causing the collapse.

        3. The Rev Kev

          There was a movie I saw a very long time ago where at the end a KGB spook was talking to a CIA spook. The KGB spook said that Russia was getting more and more like the west with freedoms, etc. while America was getting more like the USSR with increased authoritarianism so perhaps one day they could meet in the middle. What seem to have happened is that the west now has the USSR life while the Russians have more what the west had like two ships passing in the night.

      2. Barbara

        Interesting that while indoctrination may not have started in my time, I did go to school while McCarthy was still powerful. In the eighth grade, I used to come home after school and watch the Army/McCarthy hearings live on TV. I was watching it at the iconic time when Welch said: “Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you no decency?” McCarthy with his evil genie, Roy Cohn, who was always planting some devilment in his ear.

        I was a latchkey child, I knew a bully when I saw one.

    3. WJ

      Most of my liberal academic colleagues over 65 regard The Atlantic as an intellectual magazine and seem to believe that The Washington Post is still staffed by a bunch of pre-sellout Woodwards and Bernsteins.

      Of course they are not going to support Sanders.

    4. inode_buddha

      “Are they all suffering from dementia? Or did they never know.”

      No, its just that they watch TV — and believe it. Doing zero fact-checking on their own.

      My experience with this generation is they simply have no idea how deep and far the rot goes, still thinking that the media is objective somehow.

      1. Daryl

        > No, its just that they watch TV — and believe it.

        Bingo…pick one of your two options, MSNBC or Fox. I suppose I shouldn’t complain that my family has somehow ended up on the former.

      2. JBird4049

        Most people never quite believed that the media was not slanted. They just don’t know how dishonest they have become. It went from slanted to fantasy.

        Used to be fairly easy to filter the obvious biases and after reading some of the local newspapers, the local and national news shows, then whatever leftist to rightwing media you liked; you would have a fairly good idea of what was happening locally, nationally, and internationally. An hour a day. Maybe some more on Sunday.

        Today, not so much.

    5. Carey

      >When I heard Bernie speak at that portable podium back in 2015 that he was running for President, I knew immediately where my interests lie. I’m for Bernie for the same reason my father supported FDR.

      This is what’s frightening the Few, IMO: Sanders (and *maybe* Gabbard, who I’m much less sure of) is not a bullshitter; and even though they’re well-steeped in BS, they recognize than someone who’s not is a real threat. Curious if if just plays out
      like 2016 again, or as, finally, something better for the Many.


      1. JBird4049

        I agree with you. Gabbard is almost certainly anti-Forever War, so she is already better to me than anyone else but Sanders. If nothing else, Hillary Clinton’s faux outrage over Gabbard supposedly being a “Moscow Agent” makes her more appealing.

        I swear this Russia that and Kremlin this, is making me nostalgic for the Cold War. Will they bring back the Russian Bear and the American Eagle battling out in the comics? Perhaps once again I’ll hear the phrase “Better dead than Red.” Any day now some embalmed “analyst,” columnist, or politico will have a flashback and start saying that Putin is the Secretary General of the Politburo in the Kremlin. I am so excited!

        I am only slightly joking. The political scene is just surreally bonkers.

  15. Tim

    Regarding “Bartenders for Bernie?”, “Engineers” as an occupation were not selected. I’d be offended, but its pretty much widely acknowledged in marketing circles that engineers produce inaccurate survey results in focus groups. You sure as heck don’t want one on a jury either.

    I’d still be interested where they are at, since I’m one myself.

    1. prx

      You can search at the bottom of the article.. There are several sub-categories; this is Engineers:

      Sanders 31.2%
      Warren 12.6%
      Buttigieg 11.5%
      Yang 10.2%
      Harris 6.0%
      O’Rourke 5.6%
      Biden 4.3%

      1. WJ

        Confirming this humanities professor’s suspicion that one of the great things about engineers is that they are excellent detectors of bullsh*t.

        1. John k

          Engineers worry about consequences, and therefore make faithful mates.
          Disclosure… I was one in former life.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        that’s easy.
        just say “jury nullification” loud enough for court personnel to hear.

        (or “fourth amendment”, “constitution”, “liberty”, etc—but “nullification” works best)

        1. MK

          During voir dire, ask, What is jury nullification? They might even take your name off the jury list altogether!

        2. paintedjaguar

          I can verify. The “jury nullification” maneuver worked for me. I also managed to mention having a low opinion of lawyers.

      2. HotFlash

        Dunno about engineers, but here in Canada, prosecutors (we call them ‘crown attorneys” here) *hate* teachers. In general, if your occupation requires your bullshit detector to be well-developed, neither side wants you on a jury. And as I always say about engineers, as well as mechanics*, accountants, welders, and others of us who work with Real Stuff ™, “You can’t bullshit Stuff.” Who do they like? No research or personal exp with that, but my guess would be salesmen* — who, proverbially, are the easiest marks. Who told me that? Salesmen!*

        * from my years of observation in a car dealership.

        1. inode_buddha

          My observation drawn from years in engineering departments is that the people who are most easily BS’d are the BS’ers, conventional wisdom notwithstanding. I mean, you should *see* the crap that senior management falls for. And we all know how they BS’d the local pols when they opened their shop.

        2. eg

          I am reliably informed that defense lawyers will also try to exclude teachers from a jury in Canada, though likely for different reasons.

      3. carycat

        The plural of anecdote is not data, but for what its worth … way back when I was living in NJ, where your driver’s license enters you into the jury pool lottery, I was curious why I always got preemptively challenged. So the next year, instead of answering “engineer”, I said “writer”. Presto, I’m in. I wasn’t lying to the court. That year, I had a lead architect role and did nothing but working on requirements, overall system design, and RFPs; not a single line of code written but plenty of pages of English text. i think scientist works also, according to a good friend who is a physics PhD. The theory is that at least one (usually both) attorneys are not fond of people who may apply their critical thinking skills to their arguments.

    2. Carl

      I’d take an engineer on my jury, any day. They’ll insist on exactitude in an area where it’s not possible and find my client not guilty since the state has not produced enough proof. It’s a theory anyway, but then again, jury selection is made up of such biases on the part of the lawyers selecting and a bunch of wild ass guesses.

  16. dcblogger

    Between food contamination and the death of that warehouse worker it seems to me that Attorney General Warren could bring criminal RICO charges against Bezos for public endangerment.

    1. cnchal

      Governments are complicit by shovelling billions at Bezos, whether direct subsidies or grossly overpaying for AWS, so I expect no RICO charges, ever.

      I find it horrifying that while the poor soul was dying in the warehouse of a heart attack, Alexa must have noticed he stopped moving and began admonishing him for not moving fast enough to the next pick point, already writing him up as a slacker to be fired. That the jawb entails picking fake goods or expired food twists the irony knife a few revolutions.

      And Mr Market thinks, there, is a trillion dollar company.

    1. petal

      I saw that this morning and thought “Wow, it’s kinda got that Carlos Danger thing going on”. Who knew Mitt Romney had this whole other side of him! ha! I hope someone runs with it. Has so much potential for funny.

      1. Kevin

        him in jeans is the funniest thing I have ever seen. Like putting shoes on a dog for the first time.

    2. flora

      Looking at that pic I thought something looked kinda odd…
      Looking closer, it looks to me like he’s got a blue sweater (?) or something (a rider’s back brace?) tied around his waste and the saddle’s pommel. He may know how to ride, but as a ‘heroic man on horse’ image, this fails, imo.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘That horse should be white, though.’

        I always thought of him as a dark horse candidate myself.

  17. In the Year 2525

    As a Pulp fan, I think Jarvis Cocker associates the Labour Party with the DJ father who abandoned him, his sister and mother. The mum who would become a Conservative councillor. It would seem Blair’s Labour Party were fans of the “Different Class” album but were too dense to pick up on the contempt. With a track list based around a liberal intake of MDMA, the album might have aided all the oblivious, unrequited love going ‘round. Anyway, Cocker came down a little on the next album, the song “Cocaine Socialism”, blunt first verse:

    “I’d just like to tell you that I love all of your albums/Could you sign this for my daughter/She’s in hospital/Her name is Miriam/Now I’ll get down to the gist/Do you want a line of this/Are you a socialist? Well you sing about common people/So can you bring them to my party and get them all to sniff this. And all I’m really saying is ‘Come on and rock the vote for me’/All I’m really saying is come on/Roll up that note for me/Your choice in all of this is: do you want hits or do you want misses?/Are you a socialist? And we’ve waited such a long time for the chance to help our own kind/So now please come on and toe the party line”.

    Blistering. Granted, I’m a Yank, none of the above is personal for me. So, I get why the harshest criticism against Democrats is Anglo in origin. However, Stateside, it always looks like the corporate hive-machinery could not discipline lowercase labor and skate away from the latest body-check, but for an ineffectual union tactics dating back to the age of steam and madcap leadership.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      I love how he absolutely buries Noah Gallagher with “Cocaine Socialist”. I think Pulp’s subject matter is the reason why they weren’t hyped up in the US.. people might have actually listened to the lyrics.

  18. Drake

    The Imipolex-G link is quite impressive. It’s every bit as unreadable and unintelligible as Gravity’s Rainbow. That’s a Olympian feat.

    1. Watt4Bob

      Funny you should mention Gravity’s Rainbow, I tried reading it 3 or 4 times over the years, and always gave up, thinking it was as bad an experience as that Irishman’s book.

      Then I picked it up last winter and found myself building momentum, and actually enjoying it.

      I don’t know if it’s life experience or what, but I found the book had a point, a sort of nasty, cynical point, but it did have a point, and I was amazed that it made a sort of sense.

      Maybe it’s the fact that Trump got elected?

      1. ambrit

        I loved ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ when I first read it, a few decades ago. ‘Against The Day’ is of a similar structure and sensibility, but set (mostly) in a crypto steam punk America of a hundred plus years ago. (Heavy on the crypto.) It could be internal rot setting in, but I’m feeling that the past is set, but the future is curiously mutable. So many differing ‘forces’ want us all to go “this way,” “no, that way,” that I wonder if anyone truly has a grasp on the flow of history.

      2. Drake

        That’s funny, I actually always loved Ulysses (assume that’s the one you’re referring to, if it was Finnegan’s Wake on your mind then I empathize). I actually just finished Gravity’s Rainbow a few days ago and felt like I understood it reasonably well enough, or at least to know when to not bother really trying to understand some things, let it go, keep reading. But there was no joy in it. I think I’m done with Pynchon forever now.

        1. Carey

          I didn’t get far w/ Ulysses, but my late writer-friend was an advocate, and used to say “read it like a goddam comic book, it’s great.”

          Got a little further with Pynchon’s ‘V’, but didn’t finish it either, FWIW.

      3. Titus

        Back when I owned a bookstore, ‘Gravity’ came in, I took it home and disappeared for a week. It is a book I couldn’t say that one could love and I would fine it odd if someone did love it, given certain predilections in the book. But, read it, cover to cover, nonstop I did. Quite an adventure. Another adventure and harder yet was Mason & Dixon – that took 2 years. 1 year to learn 18th century speak, the second to finish up. Best depiction of Washington I ever read.

  19. Kurt Sperry

    “Funny how often the best UI/UX is the raw HTML code…”

    The relatively open source of HTML is compelling. I remember some sites tried to disable right click to hide the code, but it was so easily circumvented one wondered why they bothered. And Flash sites. Remember those? Code completely hidden. I hated that.

  20. ddt

    Speaking of old songs that stand the test of time (as far as this neoliberal reality we’re living), just heard Pink Floyd’s “Dogs” and it still rings true and relevant.


    Long song but worth hearing til the end.

      1. Carey

        ‘Wish You Were Here’ is my fave, and I agree that ‘Animals’ has held up well, too.
        So much has to do with one’s time and imprinting, I think.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Love that song.

      I will sometimes sit in the dark and listen to the album all the way through. Good stuff.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      The Final Cut album had a song with the lyrics, ‘F all that.’

      I love that one.

  21. Kevin

    “Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same”

    Apartments are the new trailer parks.

    1. dearieme

      “Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same”

      Because all apartment blocks were created equal.

  22. Tomonthebeach

    737 Max. Could it be the first trust-bust among the MIC’s Clinton-era monopolies?

    If all owners sued for lost revenue,
    if passengers refuse to fly in them,
    if most owners demand a refund to take the planes permanently out of service,
    if the USA or other countries fail to recertify,
    if all the dead passenger’s families collect,

    it is hard to see how Boeing survives as part of the MIC. That is probably a good thing as Boeing would surely come back in one guise or another – but free of the Big Mac.

  23. Cat Afficionado

    I am about a third of the way through Taibbi’s Hate Inc.. It is a fantastic read, in many of the same ways that Griftopia was. Also, 100% unsurprisingly, the comments in the WaPo review are exactly as I would expect. As Taibbi notes in his intro, the “left” side of the readership has reacted badly and is so far into their hate-silo that they will vigorously attack anyone who breaks ranks or suggests introspection, just as Fox’s core viewers do. Lots of, “I have not read it, and now I will not read it, and it is so ridiculous to have a book cover that shows Maddow next to Hannity! Fox is propaganda and Maddow is factual but just a little too passionate at times!” These are precisely the people that I think Taibbi is trying to reach, and they are reacting exactly as he has hinted that they may (at the point in the book that I am).

    I need to buy a dozen copies and give them out as gifts.

    1. Drake

      Yes, I’ve followed Taibbi, Greenwald, and Mate on Twitter for a long time and am still amazed at how viciously liberals have turned on them for even obvious factual statements that aren’t sufficiently steeped in Trump hatred. Greenwald is a provocateur even when he’s right, which in my opinion is nearly always, so it’s not too surprising there, but just the fact that he appears on Fox occasionally (now that he’s apparently banned by MSNBC) makes the spittle fly out of their mouths in denunciation. But I was surprised to see the level of animosity recent Taibbi articles have generated. They would be burned at the stake if that were still a thing, and it may make a comeback yet.

    2. Oh

      I just started to read it. From the picture he paints the media look to polarize viewers/readers so that they can keep stirring the pot.

      1. Drake

        This is what leads me to think the liberal outrage outlets are going to find some way of throwing the election to Trump, no matter what they pretend to believe. They would much rather milk/gin up Trump outrage for another four years than suffer a Sleepy Joe presidency. I can’t see any Democrat providing a similar level of non-stop provocation. Trump and liberal news outlets are in a symbiotic relationship.

        1. Carey

          >liberal outrage outlets

          Yes, they’re loving this stuff: making tons of money, while splintering the citizenry to the nth degree, hoping to make Solidarity impossible.

          We’ll see

  24. chuckster

    “Bernie Sanders: “I’m a great fan of Barack Obama, who’s a friend of mine.”

    I recall at the recent debate that Bernie also referred to Joe Biden as “a friend.”

    Ugh, Bernie needs better friends.

    1. ambrit

      D–n! And I thought that the quote was; “I’m a great fan of Barack Obama, who’s a fiend of mine.”
      Well, Sanders does make a career in the Senate by accommodating all types and tastes. It has worked for him so far…until he tangles with the DNC and the Griftocrats. (Oh, wait, didn’t that happen already in 2016?)
      Adding my two cents worth to the “Why Is Bernie Too Nice?” debate, I’ll suggest that Sanders is pragmatic enough to be focusing on setting up a movement to outlive him as the primary task, and winning the Presidency as the secondary task.

      1. Rod

        I’ll suggest that Sanders is pragmatic enough to be focusing on setting up a movement to outlive him as the primary task, and winning the Presidency as the secondary task.

        I think this is his long play also–

        saw him speak a month ago and he was emphatic on ” It’s not me-it’s us”–returning to that point several different times in his delivery.

        And isn’t he right about that?

    2. urblintz

      “Bernie Sanders: “Ya know, I’m not a fan of Barack Obama, who’s someone I don’t really wanna have a beer with.”

      Yeah, that would work well…

    3. ChrisPacific

      It’s how the game is played. Sanders is surely well aware that Obama was the brand preferred by 4 out of 5 billionaires, but he’s still a figure of veneration for Democrats, and the idea that he might have played some role in the rise of Trump is a political third rail for them. It’s not a fight that Sanders can afford to pick right now.

      If you look at the rest of the quote, though, he does make the point in coded form. Obama chose to give up the grassroots, and that formed the basis for his politics. Sanders intends to make a different choice.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        two words in that article caused me to open a whole new window to placehold a search for when i have time:

        ” monopoly politics”.

        I’m sort of sheepishly surprised that i’ve never heard this formulation before(that i can remember).

        and while i’m on it…is there a word for a combination of monopoly and monopsony?
        jess thangs that bug me and harsh my mellow…

          1. metannoya

            monopoly and monopsony or the self-licking ice-cream cone.

            I use monopsony all the time as a quick way to explain how M4A (single payer) is less expensive and more efficient than private insurance. People get the simple fairness of it right away without ever mentioning socialism. (Throw in a little about Joan Robinson for context, so they don’t think I’m making it up.) It works. Wouldn’t want monopsony to become pejorative like monopoly.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          . . . word for combination of monopoly and monopsony . . .

          How about “monopolopsony”?

    4. The Rev Kev

      “Bernie Sanders: “I’m a great fan of Barack Obama, who’s a friend of mine.”

      “Ellen DeGeneres: “I’m a great fan of George Bush, who’s a friend of mine.”

      “Donald Trump: “I’m a great fan of Donald Trump, who’s a friend of mine.”

      1. Carey


        Wouldn’t that last one apply to Mr. Obama, as well? “That was *me*, people…”

        I me me mine, selfie time

    5. Kurt Sperry

      Smart politics. He *is* running for the Dem nomination, and Obama is probably the most popular living D. Plus, it doesn’t conflict with any of his policy aims. He can profess admiration for Obama and it doesn’t constrict his policy horizon at all, it’s just an expression of friendliness. Play the ball, not the man. Needlessly pissing off the people who still admire Obama would be hugely counterproductive to his candidacy, it’d be pure idiocy.

  25. barrisj

    Re: recession “predictions”…Robert Shiller, who several times earlier this year was looking ahead to a recession within 12-18mos. ahead, now is taking a more bullish view, and it’s down to “Trump optimism” and a “bullish Trump effect” on the equity markets:

    Trump’s Policies Will Likely Hold Off Recession For Years, Says Nobel-Winning Economist
    The political world is always in an uproar. You cannot turn on the news today without hearing somebody crying wolf about an approaching recession. This rocky political climate, though, is masking an unusually strong economy. And here is another economist, whose job it is to track the economy, who is striking a note starkly different from the dire warnings of political commentators and media reports.

    According to Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Shiller, we may be several years away from a recession. The simple fact of the matter is that President Donald Trump is creating an environment that’s conducive to a strong consumer spending base. Schiller terms this to be “a bullish Trump effect” on the market.
    Shiller tracks a price-to-earnings ratio based on average inflation-adjusted earnings over the last 10 years, which is known as CAPE. He cautions it’s still at a concerning level. The fact that it’s held on this long gives rise to the notion that it is not “right around the corner.” Last March on “Trading Nation,” Shiller himself predicted that there was a 50 percent possibility that the United States would end up in a recession within 18 months.

    (And, the money quote)
    And for the politics, Shiller echoed what Moody’s Analytics said recently about Trump’s re-election chances. “If the economy is strong, which is what he built his case on, ‘make America great again,’ he has a good chance of getting re-elected.”


    That there is a “Trump effect” in this market is difficult to deny, especially his tweets on “tariffs” and trade discussions with China. In fact, to experienced financial advisors, it’s difficult to “short” the Trump market, because current sentiment is so tied up to the trade talks with China, that perhaps even weak 3rd Q corporate numbers will be shrugged off as long as Trump keeps cranking out “We looking good…” on discussions with China.
    Shiller’s updated “prediction”? Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day.

  26. John Zelnicker

    Just wondering about that picture of Mitt Romney on the horse.

    I realize that my 69 year-old eyes are not as sharp as they once were, but it sure looks to me like he has some kind of black cloth sash (same color as his pants) around his waist and the pommel of the saddle.

    I haven’t looked at the comments above yet, but does anyone else see the same thing or is just my lyin’ eyes? :)

    1. urblintz

      My eyes see the same, some sort of lumbar truss propping him up…

      At 63 I’m sure I’d require the same…. but I wouldn’t let anyone take a picture of it.

      Ouch! How do you spell p-h-o-t-o-s-h-o-p Mitt?

    2. flora

      I see that, too. A rider’s back brace or lumbar support? (Is someone holding a carrot out to the horse just out of the picture frame? heh.)

    1. ambrit

      Is ‘SoftBank afraid to cut their losses, or are they that far into WeWork that it’s unraveling would pull them down with it?
      This last year has educated me to the absolute insanity that can grip a financial sector. I’m thinking a South Sea Bubble or Tulip Mania level of cognitive dissonance here. The numbers do not lie, but those interpreting those numbers are become prey to flights of financial fancy.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        If you owe the bank 100,000 you have a problem, if you owe the bank 7.5 billion, the bank has a problem.
        At least there is some real estate involved, maybe it won’t turn out like the telcom meltdown.

      2. metannoya

        “They don’t know quite what to do.
        Play the radio,
        Make sure the television,
        Excuse me,
        Make sure you have the record player on at night.”

  27. Synoia

    Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same….

    Future slums, because deferred maintenance produces the greatest profit.

  28. Fern

    Here’s a new Warren video that I think is the most problematic of all. It’s a video of Warren addressing the Federalist Society in 1991, explaining that bankruptcy is good because it keeps losses from being “socialized”. Bankruptcy privatizes the losses, she says. Without bankruptcy, there would be pressure for the government to step in and help save the workers’ pensions.

    Yes, her key example is the workers’ “pensions you wouldn’t believe”. She says: “We bought labor peace in the ’70’s and 80’s by promising retirements you wouldn’t believe. Well, ya know what, they shouldna believed…”. She says this with the passionate sneer of true believer, and the right-wing audience chuckles appreciatively. The lesson is that we should wake up every morning and say a little prayer for bankruptcy, she says.

    The key thing here is that she gave this speech in 1991, well after she said that studying bankruptcy in the mid-80’s made her feel the pain of ordinary people. This is 2 years after her book was published — a book she co-authored with two more liberal (and I believe higher status) academics. So it looks to me as if the liberal views of her co-authors did not reflect her own views.

    The dishonesty here is staggering. I fear that more is bound to come out in the course of a general election. My worst nightmare is that an old acquaintance comes forward and relates a story about Warren saying derogatory things about affirmative action which cast her native American self-designation on various forms in a new light, i.e., she was saying defiantly, “you want affirmative action, I’ll give you affirmative action”. In other words, she was giving affirmative action the proverbial middle finger. After watching this video, I can hear her saying that.

    I start this video clip at the point that she starts to lay forth her right-wing rationale for bankruptcy.


    1. Monty


      Picture this…. Two days after election results are in. Incumbent Warren on the phone to HRC, “We promised them policies you wouldn’t believe! (Medicare for All, Free College and World Peace) Well, ya know what, they shouldna believed…” *Maniacal Laugh*

    2. Carey

      Thanks for that video, Fern. Happened across it a few days ago (maybe you linked it at that time?). Not to be missed, IMO; not just for what Warren says, but how she says it.

      stealth horse

    3. metannoya

      “Johns-Manville went to Congress and said, ‘Help us out.'”

      Socializing enormous asbestos liability. Lewis H. Brown, the chairman of Johns-Manville
      founder of the American Enterprise Association, later became The American Enterprise Institute after its move to Washington D.C.

      1. Fern

        She focused on the danger of “socializing the losses” of pensions. That’s what she sneered and rolled her eyes about.

  29. Tom Stone

    Thank you for a very entertaining and educational links.
    I’m not surprised that Warren’s behavior over the years has bitten her where it hurts.
    I am saddened because several people I know are heavily invested in her emotionally and don.’t like seeing them hurt.
    They can’t admit to themselves that the Political process in the USA is broken, at least at the Federal and State levels and frequently at the County level.
    Good grief, I lived through Daley delivering Chicago to Kennedy and The 5-4 decision by the Supremes that saved us from Fat al Gore and gave us the Shrub.
    Bless their hearts.
    And the 3 Million uncounted ballots from the 2016 primary in California were a nice touch.
    The Clintons were good on the coasts, was it 200K voters that were illegally removed from the rolls in one of NYC’s boroughs?
    Hillary was not going to let some slick newcomer steal the Nomination like Obama did in 2008, she locked it down.
    And since Warren is being portrayed as a wild eyed liberal, with big donors threatening to give their money to Trump ( You can’t make this stuff up) if Bernie the Socialist or Warren is the Nominee we’re getting some great theater.
    With a brokered convention, Bernie is out.
    Biden may not be able to remember his own name by the time the Convention comes around, and it may not matter.
    We get Trump again.
    Next in line is Warren, better than Trump ( A very low bar) but extremely vulnerable to attacks on her character, which is deeply flawed.
    Who else…
    Why, Hillary!
    She wants it REALLY BAD, with every ounce of her being, and she has access to a LOT of money and clout.
    It would be great news for Consultants!
    My late friend Jim Treadwell ( Of Piedmont, Ca) was fond of saying that “If you want something really bad, you will get something really bad.”
    Considering the alternatives watching Hillary going apeshit for months and then being humiliated again.
    by Trump would be a wild and wonderful show!

    1. notabanker

      Warren better than Trump eh? Why? How is Warren going to act when the blob triggers a war with Iran? Sets up a skirmish with China? Declares a no fly zone over the previously exited Syria?

      1. Fern

        It’s pretty clear that Warren is going to turn her foreign policy over to the Clinton/neocon war hawks. She sent around a Facebook ad (not simply a post) about “gender equality in “our national security institutions” with a big picture of Michelle Flournoy that linked to an article saying that Flournoy would be the Secretary of Defense in the next Democratic administration. Make no mistake — this was a strong if sly signal. This is about the time that a number of neocons, including Jennifer Rubin and David Brooks, started writing columns effusively praising her.

        Michelle Flournoy us an extreme hawk who strongly pushed for War in Iraq and military intervention in Syria.


        1. Amfortas the hippie

          well that’s pretty upsetting
          “She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the Atlantic Council,[12] and Women in International Security. She is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the CIA’s External Advisory Board.”

          rummage around CNAS, and one finds robert kaplan and victoria nuland and a bunch of other worthies i wouldn’t let speak to my geese, let alone hand a firearm to.

          not unexpected, but disappointing still.
          is this how the Machine attempts to do it this time?
          a Pied Piper candidate for the dems?
          (of course, my money is still on Hillary invading the convention to thunderous acclaim—either way, 4 more years(sigh))

      2. ambrit

        Declare a no fly zone over Spain to keep the jihadists from recreating the Caliphate of Cordoba.
        Ignacio should know all about the Muslim threat to Catholic Spain. About a hundred years ago, Spanish Morocco supplied troops, under Franco, that “saved” Spain from “Godless Republicans.” Now modern Morocco can do the same, to save Spain from the ravages of “Allahless Republicans.”
        The Great Wheel turns inexorably, like a Cosmic Sufi dancing ecstatically.

  30. The Rev Kev

    “The Case for Checking a Bag”

    I know that it is supposed to be humerous but it still comes off as first world problem whinging.

  31. Jeffrey Radice

    I have been researching the observable activity on Twitter being coordinated against Tulsi Gabbard.

    It would appear that ShareBlue is the propaganda arm of the Tulsi smear campaign. The American Bridge PAC seems to be behind the coordinated misinformation, the bots and other online forum activity.

    That way they can maintain an arm’s length and make statements like …

    “A spokeswoman for Shareblue told HuffPost that the company does not create sock-puppet accounts and has never worked with Albright.”

    Further example of one method they use.

    “I don’t really see it as the same thing as the Russian accounts, but I guess since you’re calling me about it, I guess that means that it’s something that I didn’t think that it was ― if that makes sense,” (Sally) Albright said.

    These could not be more relevant today.

    The Poisonous Politics of David Brock

    David Brock’s Media Empire Ramps up for 2020

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      Hilltrolls yelling about russian trolls was my absolute least favorite web experience.
      totally poisoned the well.
      in your last link, i learned that “think progress” shut down a month ago…i hadn’t noticed…and that i still am loathe to use the word “progressive” to define myself, because of those people.
      between the reanimation of the Brockian Horde and Herself’s Log Lady performance, i look forward to writing arid criticism in the margins of the post paid fundraising cards they’ll surely start flooding my box with(turns out that sending withering critique of vichy dems is enough to get you on the mailing list…proof enough that they don’t read emails from the little people.)
      I’m torn between the fall of the western roman empire and the late ottoman malaise as the preferred analog

      1. Jeffrey Radice

        What if David Brock is playing Neera Tanden, the Clintons, and all these other Democratic establishmentarians for the suckers they are?

        From the article in The Nation …

        In the John Podesta e-mails released by WikiLeaks, Neera Tanden, head of the Center for American Progress, called him a “menace,” and “shady,” while musing whether he was a “Manchurian candidate of the GOP secretly out to tank [Clinton].”

        He started out as a GOP operative. The DNC establishment think he’s working for them. Maybe his goal all along has been to divide the Democratic Party, and it’s just that Neera and Co. are too stupid to realize that’s exactly what he’s done?

        1. Pat

          I think that might be giving Brock too much credit, as in having a real ideological stance.

          Oh I do think he is playing Team DLC, but just as our MIC needs endless conflict, Brock’s business model needs the same. I don’t know if he picked the wrong faction in the GOP where deep pockets turned out to be behind those challenging the main stream party, or calculated that the big money support both parties backers would see the Democrats as the easier front to control populist type uprisings, but his switch coincided with the rise of both Koch and friends funded fronts reshaping the GOP and the beginning of the fade of the Bush family/Rove influence. No one is funding the rise of the deplorables in the Democratic Party, but lots and lots of funding for the consultancy class still in the DNC. Many are taking them by selling the myth of the moderate Republican, Brock sells them “information correction” and outing the supposed Koch now Russian assets. And he has done very well doing that, but if that isn’t necessary…well.

  32. John

    Remember the huge tax deduction Romney took for his wife’s dancing horse?

    Wonder how big Mitt’s tax deduction was for his fancy horse?

  33. cnchal

    > Tech: For anyone who books online, thread:

    Tech is a wasteland, but this one is funny, to me.

    They do up prices based on searches in progress. I accidentally upped the cost of my own ticket when I started using multiple travel search engines. They all reported the same price, just before they all increased the same.
    1 reply 1 retweet 3 likes

    So this is what engineering or “development” has devolved to. One scam after another.

  34. Oregoncharles

    dk’s chart is getting hard to read. The most striking thing is how little change there has been. Biden and Bernie have hardly moved; Warren has risen and Harris has fallen, without benefiting Gabbard. “Undecided” seems to have fallen again after rising. All told, not much.

  35. Oregoncharles

    “Diverse in some ways, not in others. If Biden starts shedding older voters, can this team pick them up?”

    Well, they have a handy consultant on the demographic.

    More striking: all women but one.

  36. Pat

    I see that “Tulsi Gabbard is a useful idiot for Russia” is the current talking point, see Joy Behar (real useful idiot). Richard Stengel also implied it but didn’t say it directly during a book tour event (comment lost in moderation suggests avoiding any attempt to sell book if you are worried about your blood pressure.)

    So no addressing the accurate description of Clinton as the war monger she is…

  37. Dick Swenson

    I was clued in to naked capitalism by an MMT fellowtraveler. I have enjoyed following it for some time now and have come to wonder about only one observation, and that is that some items seem to appear once and not thereafter. I refer in particular to the Harlan County Coal story where a train was stopped by miners and other groups.

    I wondered just how this event resolved itself. But can’t easily find a follow on story. So, Yves, what happened.?Having the miners stop the train seemed an inspired idea.

  38. Dick Swenson

    I have seen some articles written in the local Kentucky newspapers (delightful reading, I confess) but not anything that indicates that the problem of wages has been resolved. How does a company company ethically make employees work when the company knows that it is going bankrupt and won’t (be able to) pay them?

    This doesn’t seem to support any economic ideas that I know about, and certainly no religous principles that supposedly guides them.

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