2:00PM Water Cooler 10/29/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I’ll have more in a bit; my brunch was a little too long and a little too liquid. But also, my news harvest, once I throw out the hysteria and the non-stories about stuff that might happen, is oddly thin; oddly because California is literally on fire, and much of the world metaphorically so (because of the global protests). It’s quiet. Too quiet. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Politics

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

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

* * *

2020

Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart. Here is (are) the latest Dem Primary Polling as of 10/29/2019, 12:00 PM EDT:

I went to the daily instead of a 7-day average (for now) to see what was happening with Biden. He’s back up, at least according to Morning Consult. And here are the poll results, as of 10/29/2019, 12:00 PM EDT.

Finally a new poll! The Biden juggernaut rolls on, Sanders and Warren are tied.

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.”

* * *

Biden (D)(1): “How Biden Helped Strip Bankruptcy Protection From Millions Just Before a Recession” [GQ]. “[BAPCPA (bankruptcy “reform”)] overwhelmingly passed with Biden’s support—while bankruptcy reform had been dead on arrival just a few years earlier, 18 Senate Democrats chose to side with all 55 Republicans and the lone independent [Jeffords, not Sanders] to vote in favor of the bill. Then president George W. Bush promptly signed it into law, and 14 years later BAPCPA is still making it more costly and cumbersome to declare bankruptcy. With the U.S. likely heading for another recession and credit card debt at a record $870 billion, millions more Americans could end up struggling with mountains of debt than they would otherwise had Biden not fought so hard to strip them of bankruptcy protection.” • Thanks, Joe. Well worth a read!

Buttigieg (D)(1): “Citizens demand police tapes’ release” [WNDU]. “Some people in South Bend continue to demand the release of the police tapes that resulted in the demotion of the city’s first African American police chief…. ‘This is beyond a travesty of justice. This is beyond a simple crisis of credibility of the mayor. This goes to the heart of the fabric of American justice,’ Pastor Mario Sims said. The mayor’s office has refused to release the tapes, alleging they were illegally recorded…. Last week, 16 News Now reported the South Bend Common Council met behind closed doors to discuss whether or not they should go forth with the seven-year lawsuit over the tapes being released publicly…. On Monday, Mark Bode, spokesman for Mayor Buttigieg’s office, said, ‘Right now, the tapes are under court order, and we are awaiting the judge’s decision.'” • Not gonna help in South Carolina. With any age group.

Gabbard (D)(1): “All in the Family: The American Sangh’s affair with Tulsi Gabbard” [Caravan]. “Gabbard’s rise in US politics came out of nowhere, and is inexplicable until one considers how Sangh donations gave her a leg up when she was a virtual unknown. The first Indian-American donors to her first congressional campaign—who were also among the first non-Hawaiians to support her—are top executives in RSS affiliates in the United States. Donor names provided in filings to the Federal Election Commission, which I collated with lists from Sangh websites and promotional materials as well as media reports, reveal that hundreds of leaders and members of such groups gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Gabbard in the formative years of her congressional career.” • RSS = “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh—the parent organisation of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.” • I don’t know if “inexplicable” is fair, because Gabbard is talented. Dunno about the BJP, though.

Sanders (D)(1): “Sanders endorsed by Tlaib at Detroit rally knocking corporate greed” [Michigan Advance]. Tlaib: “We deserve a president who understands that the corporate assault on our lives existed before Trump, and it will exist after Trump. Someone who will never back down from a fight with the wealthy and the powerful, who will call them out and will bring our movement to their front yards. Someone who looks at a problem and finds the most transformative solutions, who isn’t constrained by the corporate conventional wisdom of what’s possible or worth fighting for. … We deserve someone who writes the damn bills. We deserve Bernie Sanders.”

UDPATE Sanders (D)(2): Campaign video:

(I’m very happy with the trend to have closed captioning on videos, because that way I don’t have to turn up the sound). Interesting because Sanders doing two things at once: Working to convert age into an asset, but more importantly, because starting to draw distinctions (albeit implicitly). “The ideas that I am talking to you tonight about, they didn’t come to me yesterday…. These are ideas that I have fought for my entire life.”

Pollsters

Latest NH poll (and it’s just one poll):

“A mess.” Now, why would you say that, Harry? About your own poll?

Our Famously Free Press

UPDATE Expect the unexpected:

RussiaGate

UPDATE “Uncovering Russiagate’s Origins Could Prevent Future Scandals” [Aaron Maté, The Nation]. “There is no doubt that Donald Trump would like to exact political revenge on those behind the Russia probe, and it is fair to be skeptical of his Department of Justice. But it would be a mistake to reflexively dismiss the inquiry, which is led by US Attorney John Durham and overseen by Attorney General William Barr. The public deserves an accounting of what occurred. And given the intrusion of the nation’s intelligence’s services into domestic politics, a failure to learn lessons and enact safeguards could leave future candidates, especially on the left, vulnerable to similar investigations…. And even with this all-consuming investigation now over, we still do not have a firm understanding of how it began.” • A lonely voice of reason.

Impeachment

UPDATE “Nancy Pelosi still doesn’t believe in impeachment” [The Week]. “The problem with [Pelosi’s] strategy of impeachment in name only is that it is formally unstructured. What Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership understand as a cynical political stalling tactic is understood by much of the party’s younger rank-and-file membership — to say nothing of the always credulous base — as a deathly serious mission to extirpate a tyrant from the republic. The vote now scheduled for Thursday does not change the reality on the ground. According to the letter Pelosi addressed to Democrats on Monday, the resolution — the text of which has yet to appear — will be formal rather than substantive. Procedures will be established, a framework agreed upon, documents requested. It will not bring the party closer to impeachment itself. But it will remove a few more crucial pegs from the Jenga tower that will inevitably fall at some point between now and November 2020 — the hypothetical moment when refusing to proceed further could actually threaten her leadership… It turns out that if you want to enjoy all the political benefits of attempting to impeach the president of the United States, sooner or later you actually have to attempt to impeach him. Imagine that.”

UPDATE “Republicans eye a shift in impeachment strategy as Trump demands new attacks” [Politico]. “There is a growing desire among Republicans to start building a more merit-based case to defend Trump in the Ukraine scandal, according to a source familiar with the GOP’s thinking… Republicans, however, still think they are on solid ground when it comes to their process argument and aren’t ready to drop that crusade entirely… Trump’s public defense will be left in the hands of the nine Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee — the fewest number of GOP lawmakers to push back against the impeachment inquiry.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Romney, Manchin want new rescue committees to address trust fund solvency” [Roll Call]. “Sen. Mitt Romney is leading a new bipartisan effort to try to force lawmakers to come together to address looming funding shortfalls in several government trust funds. In a draft bill shared first with CQ Roll Call, a bipartisan contingent led by the Utah Republican wants to establish “Rescue Committees” to write legislation providing 75 years of solvency for trust funds identified in a report to Congress from the Treasury Department. Examples of funds that would likely qualify include Social Security and the Highway Trust Fund. Backing the effort in the Senate are three of the most moderate members of the Democratic caucus: Sens. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama, along with Republican Sen. Todd Young of Indiana.” • Awesome. Sanders, with Kelton as his advisor, had the opportunity to loosen the grip of “pay for” on the throat of the Federal Government, and didn’t. Warren not only hasn’t, she’s strengthening it, by developing a “tax plan” for #MedicareForAll. And here come the “moderates,” putting the Grand Bargain back into play!

UPDATE “The new Democratic senator irritating the left and delighting the GOP” [Politico]. “[]ith her party fixated on beating both McSally and Trump in Arizona, Sinema’s endorsement or even guidance for candidates about how to win there could be key. But that’s not something she’s interested in, either. She even said it’s ‘premature’ to commit to supporting her own party’s nominee at this point and indicated it could be months before she tunes into a debate. ‘Eventually it would be wonderful to have a candidate that shares the values of the majority of Americans,’ Sinema said cryptically. ‘Let’s winnow the field below like, 20 or something, and then maybe it gets easier. Like, when it’s enough for two basketball teams, it’s too much.'” • Vote Blue no matter who!

UPDATE “The Border Between Red and Blue America” [New York Times]. “Suburbia should not be considered a distinct entity, but two separate realms. The difference between inner-ring and outer-ring suburbs goes well beyond geography…. [R]e-examining the 2016 presidential election through that lens, we found that the fault line in party preference was precisely at the boundary between old and new…. We called less-dense suburbs ‘outer ring,’ and denser suburbs ‘inner ring.’ … And the inner ring is more likely to support Democratic candidates; the outer more likely to vote Republican. Our analysis jibes with what some others have pointed out, there is a relationship between density and political preference. ‘Majorities tend to flip from blue to red roughly where commuter suburbs give way to ‘exurban’ sprawl,’ wrote Will Wilkinson, a researcher at the libertarian Niskanen Center, in a recent report. ‘That’s where the political boundary of the density divide is drawn.'” • Hmm. Different granularity from county-level data.

UPDATE “The Market for Voting Machines Is Broken. This Company Has Thrived in It” [Pro Publica]. “ES&S — based in Omaha, Nebraska, and employing roughly 500 people — controls around 50% of the country’s election system market, the company says, meaning that some 70 million Americans vote using the company’s equipment… ES&S’ lawsuits and threats of lawsuits have helped delay or thwart progress toward better voting technology even when the litigation is unsuccessful, more than two dozen election officials and voting technology experts said in interviews…. ES&S’ lawsuits and threats of lawsuits have helped delay or thwart progress toward better voting technology even when the litigation is unsuccessful, more than two dozen election officials and voting technology experts said in interviews.” • Private equity. Of course.

Stats Watch

Consumer Confidence, October 2019: “For a second straight month, limited erosion in the consumer’s assessment of the labor market held down the Conference Board’s index” [Econoday]. “Those saying jobs currently are hard to get rose …. in a closely watched reading, however, that is offset by a …. rise in those saying jobs are plentiful, now at 46.9 percent. Yet the outlook for jobs is clearly down, though only modestly… In yet another mixed signal, expectations for future income, which are largely based on job prospects as well as the outlook for the stock market, held solid… Business conditions are described as favorable to flat, both now and in the future… Today’s report is more mixed than unfavorable.”

S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, August 2019: “Home prices failed to improve in August, showing disappointing results” [Econoday]. “These two reports offer definitive data but they do lag, and other indications on home prices have recently been picking up. Nevertheless, August’s Case-Shiller and FHFA results are a reminder that sales of existing homes, though improving from last year, have been struggling to move higher.”

Pending Home Sales Index, September 2019: “[A] sharp and better-than-expected” rise [Econoday].

Real Estate: “A multibillion-dollar space race is under way in the warehouse market. Real-estate heavyweight Prologis Inc. is raising the stakes with its $12.6 billion acquisition of Liberty Property Trust and its 107 million square feet of logistics space…. capping a series of buys that come as private-equity firm Blackstone Group is pushing into the market” [Wall Street Journal]. “The buy will push Prologis past the 800 million square feet of warehouse space Blackstone holds. The scale suggests the companies may be looking to offer customers bigger agreements that stretch across different regional markets involving multiple warehouses. Reports show the U.S. logistics real-estate market remains tight after several years of high demand driven by e-commerce growth, with a growing premium on more expensive real estate close to population centers. It turns out that the more consumers go online, the more demand there is for physical warehouse space.” • I imagine the next step will be to turn the warehouses back into brick-and-mortar stores.

Manufacturing: “Lawmaker blames investors for Boeing’s race to sell troubled 737 Max: ‘This all starts on Wall Street'” [CNBC]. “Investors pressured Boeing to quickly build its fuel-efficient 737 Max planes to top European rival Airbus, a key lawmaker said before the manufacturer’s CEO appears before Congress on two fatal crashes of the beleaguered planes. ‘This all starts on Wall Street,’ Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat and chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.”

Manufacturing: “‘Why Is This Airplane Still Flying?’ The FAA Missteps That Kept Boeing’s MAX Aloft” [Wall Street Journal]. “Just after a Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet crashed in Indonesia a year ago, FAA officials asked themselves: Should they warn the world the entire fleet could have a design flaw? A Federal Aviation Administration analysis showed a good chance the same malfunction would crop up again, according to agency officials and people briefed on the results. Even under the most optimistic scenario, the agency’s statistical models projected a high likelihood of a similar emergency within roughly a year.” • Very good reporting from the WSJ, well worth a read.

Manufacturing: “FAA admin. on Boeing 737 Max: We’re still deciding ‘when, whether’ plane will fly again” [Steve Dickson, USA Today]. “The FAA is fully committed to address all of the recommendations raised by investigators, including those that pertain to when, whether or how the 737 Max will return to service. As we have said repeatedly, the aircraft will fly only after we determine it is safe.” • Dickson is the administrator of the FAA.

Manufacturing: “Congress is accountable in Boeing MAX crisis, too” [Leeham News & Analysis]. “Year after year after year, Congress does not properly fund the FAA in order for it to do its work. It doesn’t give the FAA the money or the human resources or expertise to do its work.” • Correct!

Manufacturing: “I’m not Boeing anywhere near that: Coder whizz heads off jumbo-sized maintenance snafu” [The Register]. Really a tech doc war story about the 747: “After about 30 pages I reached a page where my Windows app showed more data than the RS6000 app. I had two extra diagrams and an extra paragraph of text. Clicking through the thousands of pages I found more places where my app showed extra diagrams and text.” • Hoo boy. The culprit: “‘After a few days of debugging,’ Pete told us, ‘it turned out [to be] an optimisation bug in the IBM C compiler used on the RS6000. It was overwriting registers that were being used to store local C variables when the call stack got too deep.’ Thus not all the text and diagrams were being displayed.” • BWA-HA-HA-HA! Premature optimization is the root of all evil.

Supply Chain: “There may be a national dish soap shortage, but it’s hard to tell until someone comes clean. Retailer Walmart Inc. recently posted signs in many of its stores warning that it faces a “national supply shortage” of the products even though shelves were fully stocked” [Wall Street Journal]. “The warnings came after Procter & Gamble Co. said it hadn’t made enough Dawn and Gain dish soap. That’s led to confusion in store aisles since rival retailers say they have plenty of soap on hand, highlighting how supply chains hiccups can affect the fiercely competitive consumer goods sector. Walmart is a larger seller of P&G products than any other retailer, so any supply shortages could hit the company harder. Walmart also strains to keep inventories tight to operate more efficiently, which can also leave its stores more exposed to supply chain disruptions.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 72 Greed (previous close: 67, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 59 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 29 at 12:41pm.

The Biosphere

UPDATE I am here for species richness:

UPDATE “New York Doesn’t Need a Smoking Gun to Win the Exxon Climate Trial” [Bloomberg]. “The trial of New York’s $1.6 billion securities-fraud lawsuit against Exxon Mobil begins its second week Monday, after a series of witnesses failed to provide any concrete evidence that the oil giant knowingly misled shareholders about its climate change accounting… [U]nder New York law, how things look to shareholders—rather than what Exxon intended—may be what decides the case…. ‘This is precisely why New York is pursuing Exxon under the Martin Act,’ said James Fanto, a professor at Brooklyn Law School. ‘New York could prevail if it showed that Exxon’s disclosure had a kind of fraudulent effect in misleading shareholders.'”

Class Warfare

“A Union Is an Equalization of Power” [Portside]. “When US workers try to unionize, roughly a third of their employers engage in retaliatory firings. A union organizer today has a one-in-five to one-in-seven chance of losing their job while trying to secure the ability to bargain collectively.”

“Getty fire: Housekeepers and gardeners go to work despite the flames” [Los Angeles Times]. “Carmen Solano didn’t know a brush fire had erupted Monday near the neighborhood where she worked. She simply left at 6 a.m. for her job cleaning a house on a street of multimillion-dollar homes. Carrying a red backpack filled with tortillas, bananas, water and her lunch, Solano arrived at the North Robinwood Drive home in a taxi shared with other housekeepers. ‘There’s a lot of smoke,’ the driver said, as he dropped off the Guatemalan immigrant in the choking ash of the Getty fire. Normally, Solano works at the home on Wednesday, but the owner had asked her to come Monday. Dressed in a pink sweater and pink sweatpants, she rang the doorbell over and over. No response. By her feet, a jack-o’-lantern grinned. As she waited at the front door, she realized she’d either left her phone on her dresser at home or in the taxi. Solano was stranded. Ash rained down, speckling her braided hair white.” • Not that her employers could have called her, before they left their multimillion-dollar home.

“Uber, Lyft, DoorDash launch a $90-million fight against California labor law” [Los Angeles Times]. “[A] trio of Silicon Valley sharing-economy companies on Tuesday unveiled a ballot measure to exclude many of those they pay for work from being considered benefits-earning employees. The proposal, which Uber, Lyft and DoorDash intend to qualify for the statewide ballot next November, states that an ‘app-based driver is an independent contractor’ as long as a series of conditions are met by a company. The initiative says drivers will be guaranteed a minimum amount of pay as well as insurance to cover work-related injuries and auto accidents. And it lays out details for healthcare subsidies, protections against on-the-job harassment or discrimination and a system to enforce some workplace rights.” • Uh huh. No problem at all, having Silicon Valley goons write labor legislation.

News of the Wired

“You can buy a piece of Steve Jobs’ turtleneck — in an iPhone” [New York Post]. • Holy relics, ffs.

“The 2010s Broke Our Sense Of Time” [Buzzfeed]. “In the 20 months between Hillary Clinton’s campaign announcement and Trump’s inauguration, everything from Apple Music to HBO Now to Apple News launched or relaunched; the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Watch hit the full market; publishers established the current form and tone of the news push alerts that you receive; Facebook launched a livestreaming function and then deprioritized the function when people aired violence; Instagram launched the ephemeral, inexhaustive stories, so you can share — as they put it — “everything in between” the moments you care about; Twitter introduced the quote-tweet option, which formalized and democratized a function from the earlier days of Twitter, and transformed every Trump tweet into an opportunity for commentary.” • The method for restoring one’s sense of linear time, therefore, is to avoid Apple Music, Apple News, Apple Watch, HBO, Amazon Echo, Google Home, Facebook, and Instagram. Turn off all push alerts. Which I have done. Oh, and make sure your Twitter feed, if you have one, is set to “Latest Tweets Appear as They Happen,” which turns of the algo. Easy peasy.

“The ethics of algorithms: Mapping the debate” [Big Data and Society]. “Determining the potential and actual ethical impact of an algorithm is difficult for many reasons. Identifying the influence of human subjectivity in algorithm design and configuration often requires investigation of long-term, multi-user development processes. Even with sufficient resources, problems and underlying values will often not be apparent until a problematic use case arises. Learning algorithms, often quoted as the ‘future’ of algorithms and analytics (Tutt, 2016), introduce uncertainty over how and why decisions are made due to their capacity to tweak operational parameters and decision-making rules ‘in the wild’ (Burrell, 2016). Determining whether a particular problematic decision is merely a one-off ‘bug’ or evidence of a systemic failure or bias may be impossible (or at least highly difficult) with poorly interpretable and predictable learning algorithms. Such challenges are set to grow, as algorithms increase in complexity and interact with each other’s outputs to take decisions (Tutt, 2016). The resulting gap between the design and operation of algorithms and our understanding of their ethical implications can have severe consequences affecting individuals, groups and whole segments of a society.” • Butlerian Jihaad getting more attractive all the time…

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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 (TH):

Th writes: “Wish my garden looked like the Fullerton Arboretum. (Except for the bush that looks like it’s wearing sunglasses—what’s going on there? Kind of creepy).”

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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.

118 comments

  1. ChrisAtRU

    “Needless to say it’s a mess with Sanders at 21, Warren at 18, Biden at 15, Buttigieg at 10, and then three more at 5%.”

    Jeeeeeeez Harry, don’t say the quiet part out loud …

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      A classic case for Ranked Choice Voting, which the DNC are grimly determined we won’t have (and kudos to Maine).

      Reply
        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          WTH does “electability” even mean?

          Making decisions based on peer consensus. Not a bad human asset in itself. Easily manipulated if one has a Stockholm Syndrome with Cabal News.

          My parents definitely became more difficult as CNN became something you could leave on all day like they were used to with radio. Growing up they were ‘turn the TV off if you’re not using it’. It put some notions in their heads. TV news grated me with the Hopium and ‘percents not numbers’ thing from my teens. I noticed because I was still spending 4+ hours a day glued to the boob tube.

          Reply
      1. TalkingCargo

        As someone who finds polling to be mostly a waste of time, I found this quote from the article informative:

        “The New Hampshire primary is notoriously volatile and difficult to poll, and Smith, the UNH pollster, highlighted the uncertainty, pointing out that only 23 percent of likely primary voters say they have definitively picked a candidate.”

        So even if that result is off by 25%, it seems that Undecided is in the lead.

        Reply
    2. chuck roast

      I’m a New England guy, but I’m not from NH. My take is that folks from NH view Vermont as “upside down”, but they don’t have any particular antipathy for Vermonters. But they are pretty conservative, so they might cast a jaundiced eye on a professed “revolutionary.”

      OTOH Warren is a Masshole. Massholes are disparaged from Maine to RI. This from a guy who has spent countless hours hitch-hiking up and down Route 1 in Maine every summer for the past ten years. When I see a Mass plate – Mass plates are everywhere – I don’t even bother lifting my sign. To quote a guy from NH who gave me a lift a couple of summers ago, “People from Massachusetts wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire.”

      There you have it…Bernie crushes The Plan Queen in New Hampshire!

      Reply
      1. foghorn longhorn

        So, sloppy joe has been flogged as the front runner (electability) for the last six months, to no avail.
        He’ll be lucky to even be around in 2020.
        The lizard queen is lurking in the background like a friday the 13th nightmare.
        The librarian is flagging a bit, due to too many self-inflicted arrows.
        Looks like it’s gonna be date night to hamilton with mayo and his hubby /s

        Reply
    3. Roger Boyd

      And Tulsi at 5%, hopefully a debate qualifying poll. We need her to take the gloves off with Biden and Warren every debate chance she gets.

      Reply
    4. S Weil

      If you read the CNN article he does say why it is a mess:
      “This is a historically unprecedented New Hampshire mess. When I saw this poll, I was struck by the fact that no one was polling above 21%. Even in the largest fields (see: 2016 Republicans), there was a clear front-runner…. The 21% Sanders scores (the highest in our poll) seemed to be quite low for the candidate who has the highest percentage in our poll”
      So not a conspiracy to bury a good Sanders result.

      Reply
      1. chuckster

        His polling is only down 40% from four years ago. Winning!

        2016 NH primary:
        Bernie Sanders 60.1%
        Hillary Clinton 37.7%

        Reply
        1. scarn

          Meh, polls of NH in late 2015 had them tied, or one or the other ahead by about 10 points, switching back and forth. More options this time, so more of a spread.

          My prediticion: Bernie will barely squeak by or come second in IA, win NH easily, dominate NV, come second in SC, and then absolutely conquer March 3rd. California and Texas are Bernie country, my trolly friend. You know how angry young people are marching around the world? Here in the USA those angry kids will put Bernie in the White House.

          Reply
          1. John k

            Exactly my hope, my gen wants somebody else. Anybody else. He’s too old, too socialist…
            My friends got theirs, more for the young can only take from them. Plus they think they’re doing well bc they’re so smart, or worked so hard, ignore what lick played in their current situation.

            Reply
  2. Michael Hudson

    Watching the Boeing hearings, nobody asked How much Boeing plans to pay the victims.
    What % of earnings on 787 is this sum?
    Why not $10 million each, not just $100,000. Their lowball figure makes compensation seem just a (small) cost of doing business.
    The CEO was stuttering and glum when faced with Blumenthal and the Illinois Democratic Senator — and simply read what his lawyer had written. Blumenthal kept stopping him rom stalling for time by reading an advertising copy for Boeing, and asked him to answer the questions. He didn’t.
    Maybe the House questioning tomorrow will be better.

    Reply
    1. Apelles

      Hopefully they won’t claim bankruptcy, apparently some pharmaceuticals such as Purdue are already attempting this ploy to evade settlements.

      Reply
    1. MillenialSocialist

      It’s beautiful to those of us who aren’t oligarchy or oligarchy-adjacent and know who the real enemy is.

      Reply
    2. T

      Someone suggested to Ryan Grimm that ~if~ CNN was using AP style, blah blah margin-of-error reasons.

      CNN has their own in-house style – with a Twitter account! – and we’re seen headlines from everywhere in the English-speaking world ignoring those margin cautions to say someone is surging.

      Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      Triffids looked more like artichokes. The first time I saw an artichoke field, I thought they were pretty menacing; and I still think they were the inspiration.

      Reply
  3. Amfortas the hippie

    all my fruit trees wear sunglasses.
    scares the fruit eating birds and especially the squirrels.
    i pester my relatives to save their broken sunglasses for just this purpose.

    Reply
    1. Janie

      Seriously? We can use all the help we can get; birds really like our apples. The trees were overgrown when we bought. We are pruning as much as we dare each year, but they are still hard to net. Suggestions appreciated.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        you can even paint old boards(suitable size for hanging in trees so they sway) with horrifying visages of terrible, bird and squirrel eating creatures.
        both are visually oriented animals.
        cue their flight response.
        movement in the eyes/faces helps
        (rubber snakes help, too…but i refuse,lol…since that triggers MY flight response)

        Reply
  4. JohnnyGL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7v7VOGDFiI

    For those who want to know why Politico ran the ‘we can’t do reparations’ article. It’s because of Yvette Carnell and Antonio Moore. They have been organizing and advocating for black American descendants of slavery (ADOS). Carnell pushes back against the article in this segment.

    Not everyone necessarily will like the argument, but it’s interesting to note there’s an organic movement taking place outside of 1) the democratic party control and influence and 2) also outside the control of the non-profit sector.

    Reply
  5. Hepativore

    Just when we think that Biden is down for the count, he still manages to keep lingering. I hope that he will be down and almost out by the time we get the results of the Iowa primary. Perhaps we can call him “Zombie Joe” due to both his dead-end campaign and the fact that he keeps shambling forward somehow, despite taking political blow after political blow.

    Still, if and when he does lose the primary, are his supporters going to start propping up Elizabeth Warren or stay home and not vote? From what I have seen, his voter-base does not seem like they would ever consider Sanders.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      Polling tends to show Biden voters would consider Sanders. So if anyone can find them (old folks home maybe?) it might be worth it to make the appeal.

      But anecdotally, I have not met ANYONE supporting Biden here, and I have conversations with Andrew Yang supporters (yes he has real supporters), Warren supporters etc. So anecdotally as far as I’m concerned, most of them have their fans, but Biden has no real supporters it seems to me.

      Reply
      1. dcblogger

        When I do community canvass I often meet older African American voters who support Biden. Some are torn between Bernie and Biden, not logical, but there you are. No way to know, but I suspect after Bernie beats Biden in Iowa and NH the whole aura of electability will be gone.

        Reply
    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Holy War at the convention between The Clinton Cabal (Her Highness, Liz, Sloppy Joe, Kerry) and The UnNameables (Bernie, maybe some Yangers-On). Klobuchar, ButtGig, Beto wandering around aimlessly, trying to get invited to some closed-door sessions. No horse trading, just raw power plays. The Clinton Cabal with a huuuuge advantage, they bring the NYT, CNN, WaPo, and the billionaires. Maybe a deal with Zuckerberg and Bezos not to pursue if they filter the news feeds in the right direction. Tulsi left out, strategic error not to stay in Congress and in the party.

      MIA in the decision? You and I.

      Reply
      1. Apelles

        Actually Zuckerberg is trying to put a whole spin on this with “Provenance” his newest feature for the news tab and attempt to give it credibility by paying for content from sources such as the NYT and Washington Post et al, in his hopes for the Clinton Cabal and their apparent credibility. It’s also damage control after the various fiascos and scandals of fake news and other unregulated content, actually a hypocritical reversal to his openness and communication ethos . I still doubt whether Zuckerberg’s right hand will know what his left hand is doing and more duplicity will probably follow albeit with Provenance. Whatever FB’s new vision towards journalism ,ethics and politics it certainly won’t include NC or Bernie

        Reply
    3. Jeff W

      As of this week, Morning Consult shows that 28% of Biden supporters would support Elizabeth Warren as a second choice while 26% would support Bernie Sanders.

      Reply
      1. John k

        Joe and Liz both appeal to oldsters, always seemed to me she would best profit from Biden’s fall, but maybe not African Americans, so sc likely different.
        My guess is Liz chases Bernie all the way to the convention, taking a hit in sc, Ca, and maybe mass!

        Reply
  6. Tim

    FYI Yahoo has run an article titled “The-democratic-plan-for-a-42-national-sales-tax” as the main banner article, with a picture from the debate with Sanders and Warren hugging for almost 24 hours:

    https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geKLx2jLhd5eMAjzhXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByMDgyYjJiBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–/RV=2/RE=1572404470/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2ffinance.yahoo.com%2fnews%2fthe-democratic-plan-for-a-42-national-sales-tax-202549219.html/RK=2/RS=apgmgHV6QLG4JQmZidsHmE1TKt0-

    And at the bottom of the article:

    Read more:

    The staggering cost of Elizabeth Warren’s plans: $4.2 trillion per year

    Joe Biden’s health plan looks like the winner

    There aren’t enough doctors for Medicare for all

    Why Democrats bomb with rural voters

    4 problems with Andrew Yang’s free money drop

    Reply
    1. Kurtismayfield

      Two week wait for my primary care.

      Five week wait for my child’s primary care.

      Sorry Yahoo, but we are already having rationed health care.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        These people are unbelievable. We have a 20 trillion economy. Seventy percent is consumer spending, so that’s 14 trillion. 3 out of 14 is 21%, not 42%.

        And that’s not even right. Medicare 2017 cost 705.9* billion. Medicaid cost 581.9 billion. So say 1.3 trillion in 2019. So from that 14 trillion we only need another 1.7, making it 12%.

        But of course that’s only if we don’t touch the million and billionaire’s taxes. Jesus I will give up on the American populace if they fall for this kind of innumerate BS.

        *https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/082015/how-much-medicaid-and-medicare-cost-americans.asp

        Reply
        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          Should we mention that Medicare’s current costs are for the majority of the most expensive patients in our society? That’s why it was set up, because the market solution was unaffordable. I’m all for just legislating the money but ‘expanding the risk pool’ seems like an easy catch phrase if it gets people on board.

          Reply
          1. bob

            “Should we mention that Medicare’s current costs are for the majority of the most expensive patients in our society? ”

            Certainly not! Then some people might wonder why gov is keeping the people who cost the most, and making the people who cost the least pay an insurance company for ‘health care’.

            Reply
            1. NotReallyHere

              “Making the people who cost the least pay an insurance company for “health care””. Great point.

              more succinctly … making the healthy pay twice for no health care. They pay their Medicare taxes to fund the old and an insurance company to cover themselves, but if and when they get sick, they are out.

              Reply
  7. JBird4049

    Isn’t the ruling BJP more like a Hindu Nationalist party much like the White Nationalist Party many are trying to the Republican Party into?

    Patriotism, love of country, and even being a nationalist party is at its best the love of all your fellow citizens, but ethnic, race, or religious politics seems to always bring out the knives, the noose, and the mob.

    I think that I mentioned reading The Bloodlands and Black Earth, which gives the writer his explanation of why the mass killings, the pogroms, the targeted extirpations of the educated, politicians, and the various people who the were considered less than people. Pretty dark stuff trying to explain why most of eleven million people were deliberately exterminated in a relatively confined area.

    However, I have also tried to do some research on the Partition, and as soon as I even start to go below the figures, big details, to even just reach the first “riots” it becomes The Partition: Holocaust 2, with Bonus Heart of Darkness! I can handle, barely, studying what happened to Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic States, and later East Prussia; I am not so sure that I can wiggle through the Partition. Maybe tiny bites?

    The point is that the BJP in using Hindu nationalism and defaming Muslims and others as a way to political victory is likely to recreate some of what happened in the 1948, which is not only evil it’s insanely dangerous; they are using ethnicity, religion, and caste. Both it and next door Muslim majority Pakistan are nuclear powers.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Why dump on the BJP when they are doing what the AIPAC is doing here in America? I’ll worry about the BJP when they force all the Catholics in India to move into a ‘Mega-Ghetto’ in the former Goa, and ‘convince’ America to subsidize it. Then they will be in AIPAC’s league.

      Reply
    2. Oh

      BJP tactics will fade away when the economy start to sputter. They can try to whip up HIndu Nationalism all they want but when jobs are harder to get, the BJP including Modi will be voted out.

      Reply
      1. Massinissa

        Maybe. But the best way to distract people is to start a war… If Modi starts to feel super vulnerable to an election, he may try to start a mess with Pakistan. Or maybe not, but it certainly worries me if nothing else.

        Reply
      2. Jessica

        I wish you were right. The reports I read about the most recent national election in India seemed to agree that Modi campaigned on more id-pol (Hindu supremacy) precisely because he hadn’t come anywhere close to meeting his economic promises and has no way to do so going forward.

        Reply
    3. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

      Sub-Continental Partisan Leadership Choices:

      My current take on the partition is that India was a primarily British entity in 1946. It only really existed in British influenced minds and on colonial maps. Keep in mind the princely states which existed as entities up to the British hand-over of power and which were the remnants of another era and another empire.

      The politicians who influenced the British to draw up new maps prior to their departure were not of the sub-continent’s princes. Neru and Jinna had the opportunity of a new unity for those in the sub-continent. But between them (and their acolytes), they were bent on independence from the British AND the older prior order at the same time. They chose instead of unity, religious separatism with the inevitable death and destruction which revolutions entail.

      Partition and its evils were the result of a power grabs (in a power vaccuum) by populist leaders who were a product of the British colonial system.

      Aside from that: I can only put it down to human nature. I see your words up there Madison.

      Pip-Pip!

      Reply
    4. Jessica

      NC
      Many above have articulated well the dark side of the BJP in terms of contemporary politics.
      Looked at from the longer term, the BJP is part of a process by which many elements within Indian society are attempting to forge India into a coherent nation-state. The conversion from some kind of self-recognizing cultural field into a modern nation-state, complete with adherence to the usual nationalist mythologies, has often been quite complex and often violent. In England, one of the first to undergo the process, there are the War of the Roses, one king executed, the English Civil War, overthrow of another king and his replacement with an invited foreigner (1688), much of this also overlaid with wars in and against Ireland. France had genocide against Huguenots. Germany had the Peasant War and the 30-Years War, not to mention the explosion of nationalist insanity in the 1930s and 1940s. Then there are the various ethnic cleansings and exterminations carried out in the formation of new nations before, during, and after the collapse of the multinational (i.e. non-national) empires that controlled much of eastern and southeastern Europe and western Asia (Austria-Hungary, Ottomans, Tsarist Russia). Those include the better known Holocaust and Armenian Genocide, as well as mutual (not necessarily balanced, but mutual) ethnic cleansing between what is now Greece and what is now Turkey, as well as preceding anti-Muslim ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, mass murder of Muslims by the Tsarist conquerors in the Caucasus, and more.
      The transformation of a pre-modern China ruled by a foreign dynasty and riven by the very splits that made the conquest of China by the Manchu possible into a, so far, quite unified nation state involved more deaths than all the other episodes that I mention combined. The latter half of this was a mostly done in the name of ideology, but done it certainly was.
      For Russia, we have the Russian Civil War, the Stalinist purges, and extremely high death counts from the 1941-1945 Germany vs. Soviet Union battle of the titans.
      That is the context that I put the BJP’s Hindu supremacist internal terror campaign (which also bears similarity to the terror campaign that created the post-slavery white supremacist autocratic South from 1865 until around 1876).
      One other element needs to be included: the Muslim conquests of India a few centuries back were brutal. Tamerlane’s in particular was genocidal. Those wars are barely known by most in the West, but are far better known in India and are much played up by the Hindu supremacists. Many of the Muslims in India are descendants of those genocidal invaders. (For balance, “descendants of genocidal invaders” is a category that covers huge parts of the human race world-wide, including for example most North Americans.) Most others are descendants of people who converted to Islam to escape the millennia-long brutalities inflicted on lower caste and non-caste (tribal) people in India.
      tldr: India is passing through a process that has been brutal for most who have gone through it and easy and kind for none. There is enough history in the Indian sub-continent to give most everyone an excuse to hate many others. BJP is well aware of this history and is using it to the max. I hope that India can find a way through this process that is gentler than the direction the BJP is setting, that is gentler than what many other nations have gone through.

      Reply
  8. Tim

    “How Biden Helped Strip Bankruptcy Protection From Millions Just Before a Recession”

    When I was a naive fool I could figure out the timing of that Bankruptcy law. It seemed so obvious we were heading for a hurting economically. Why make it even harder on the average American citizen?

    I assume most people used to think that way. I’m really curious how many people still do think that way.

    Reply
    1. Summer

      That’s because all of this over-financialization is a grift.
      Loads of con men posing as businessmen.
      Grifters screaming about their “freedom.”

      Free to con whoever is in sight.

      Reply
  9. Krystyn Walentka

    Home prices stagnant and rising home sales? Hmmmm…seems like there might be a bunch of people trying to cash out before it’s too late.

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      Good stuff. I sent to a few friends of mine who sometimes seem not to understand how much they’re getting lied to. They’re not political junkies like those of us who frequent this site.

      Reply
    2. ptb

      by the way, Mate’s editor at the Grayzone, Max Blumenthal, was apparently arrested and held for a couple of days without a lawyer on the 25th, in connection with a 5-month-old warrant for alleged violence in connection with clashing pro/anti-venezuela demonstrators outside the official embassy back when that was all newish.

      https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/28/this-charge-is-one-hundred-percent-false-grayzone-editor-max-blumenthal-arrested-months-after-reporting-on-venezuelan-opposition-violence/

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        There should really be a law that when you are arrested, that you have the right to call your lawyer. It might help in cases like this.

        Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            Note that Max got out of custody relatively undamaged, compared to the likes of Freddie Gray. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sidney were perfectly okay with having his son spanked for bringing shame to the family business.

            Reply
          2. cnchal

            Who, exactly, is ‘they’? What chain of command results in the decision to assange Max?

            Who in the faceless bureaucracy is this evil and venal and can they be named and shamed? If everybody is just following orders, where do the orders come from?

            The most comical thing I have heard lately is Clapper, the liar to congress and the peasants, use the Seargent Schultz ‘just following orders’ line of BS. Pretty soon we will have a circular ‘just following orders’ with everybody claiming it wasn’t them that issued the orders. The buck never stops at any desk.

            It is no wonder why there is no trust remaining between the self serving bureaucrats and the peasants.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              People were hanged at Nuremberg for “just following orders.”
              Is it too much to ask for to want an American Nuremberg Trials?

              Reply
  10. JBird4049

    So Mayor Buttigieg’s staff refuses to release a videotape because was it was illegally recorded; however, it was legal enough to get a town’s first Black police chief demoted; in one of the Confederate states.

    Why that’s not suspicious at all! (Rolls eyes to the back of the head.)

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      TYT can get very frustrating, but they deserve credit for sending a reporter, Jonathan Larsen, down to South Bend, IN to ask around and find out what was going on with that story.

      All it took was one reporter. No other organization could be bothered to send even one.

      Buttigieg now looks unelectable (in spite of the oodles of donor love lavished upon him in the form of cash) because he’s getting precisely ZERO support from the black electorate.

      It’s hard to imagine how Biden voters would disperse in the event of a Biden collapse (Morning Consult gives some indication with its numbers on 2nd choice preference) but it’s clear that Biden’s large block of black support will NOT go to Mayor Pete. That’s enough to seal his fate.

      Reply
          1. JBird4049

            Sorry. That was a brain fart of mine. They were very heavy in Indiana, but KKK was big almost everywhere, or at least very acceptable. Look up pictures of their march in Washington, D.C.

            Reply
  11. boz

    More details on the exploding corruption scandal at the Vatican:

    Vatican cardinals linked to missing millions and financial scandal

    I’m sure many readers already know that Peter’s Pence is a collection taken once a year at parishes across the world to support Vatican disbursements to the poor.

    I’m pretty sure I know how much I am going to give next time around.

    This is the telling bit:

    Officials at the Secretariat of State and APSA, reportedly spurred on by Becciu, asked Cardinal Donald Wuerl to request the grant from the Papal Foundation in 2017.

    Trustees and donors expressed skepticism about the amount, which was far larger than its normal disbursements. Although Wuerl told the Papal Foundation board that the funds were intended to save the IDI from closure, lay board members raised questions about whether the cash was really intended to meet an operating shortfall at the hospital, or to cover the bad debt at APSA.

    Despite those objections, the grant was ultimately approved by the Papal Foundation board in a secret ballot – sources inside the foundation told CNA that board members believe all but one of the bishop members voted for it, while all but one of the lay members voted against approving the grant.

    Dispersal of the money stalled after the board continued to ask questions about the final destination of the funds.

    smh 🤦‍♂️

    Reply
  12. Summer

    RE: “CNN has five articles up about its new NH poll that shows Sanders in front, yet none of the five say that in the headline…”

    With all the stories about billionaires and the like saying the stock market will crash if Sanders or Warren wins, they’re probably scared to spook whoever and whatever (according to some) in the stock market that has knee-jerk reactions to headlines.

    Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        I love the way they say they’ll make us all hurt unless we let them do absolutely anything they want…. there’s a word for that where I come from, and its not a nice word. I would invite them to leave my country and re-incorporate somewhere else.

        Reply
  13. ANTHONY WIKRENT

    Bankruptcy reform also was the primer that set off the GFC. People could no longer stiff the credit card companies, so they began stuffing mortgage lenders instead. Don’t take my word for it – search for the study by the New York Fed.

    Reply
  14. ANTHONY WIKRENT

    Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports, “Seismic Effects of the Bankruptcy Reform” Staff Report No. 358, November 2008, Revised February 2009:

    “We argue that the 2005 bankruptcy abuse reform (BAR) contributed to the surge in subprime foreclosures that followed its passage.”

    Liberty Street Economics, blog by Federal Reserve Bank of New York, “Insolvency after the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform”:

    Conclusion
    Taken together, these findings suggest that the 2005 bankruptcy reform was associated with a large and persistent reduction in bankruptcy filings and a rise in insolvency and foreclosures, concentrated primarily among low-income individuals in court districts with the largest increases in filing costs.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      So given Dick Morris’ track record, I am forced to conclude Hillary will only run if Biden is still in the race in an effort to be Mother of the World and was put on Mars by a moldy Babylonian god.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        I think that Nephthys, the Ancient Egyptian Goddess of Beer would be more appropriate for the description of “mouldy.” This way, our perennial candidatess could also engage in a little self-aggrandizement.

        Reply
    2. Adam Eran

      Dick Morris?! Dick Morris!

      This is the guy who they had in mind when people invented the phrase “Don’t be a Dick!”

      Reply
  15. VietnamVet

    This tweet of the Chilean protest was linked by Washington Post:
    https://twitter.com/ErikaOSanoja/status/1188098725618561024?wpisrc=nl_todayworld&wpmm=1

    The tweet links to #NoMasNeoliberalismo

    This old mono-linguist understands what the Chileans are protesting against.

    The Empire’s homeland since the Occupy Movement has been strangely silent. The Pussyhat Protests came and went and merged with the Media’s TDS coup d’état that completely avoids reality. For example, America’s seizure of Syria’s oil is a war crime. Even if Exxon Mobile gets the contract to extract it, it is pointless. With Russian, Chinese and Iranian assistance, Syria one day will regain its lost territory, stolen by the West. The world is reacting against corporate exploitation. Unless people regain control of the American government and end the wars, the Empire’s end together with wildfires, infrastructure collapse, plagues, floods and drought will rip the United States asunder.

    Reply
  16. chuckster

    UPDATE “The new Democratic senator irritating the left and delighting the GOP” [Politico]. “[]ith her party fixated on beating both McSally and Trump in Arizona, Sinema’s endorsement or even guidance for candidates about how to win there could be key. But that’s not something she’s interested in, either. She even said it’s ‘premature’ to commit to supporting her own party’s nominee at this point and indicated it could be months before she tunes into a debate.

    Sinema was about as awful as McSally when she ran in 2018. I voted for neither, just left the race blank. McSally is running again in 2020 against Gabby Giffords husband. He has already collected nearly $10 million from every heath care executive, defense contractor and corporate C-suite denizen that could be shaken down for a contribution. It won’t matter which one wins. The long line of corrupt and horrible senators from Arizona will continue into the next decade.

    Reply
  17. hunkerdown

    I didn’t make it to the Tlaib/Sanders rally this weekend due to illness. Did anyone who managed to go care to share a brief report?

    Reply
  18. UserFriendly

    Well with the caravan article out I swear I could hear a pin drop in the comment section. I appreciate Tulsi for bringing a much needed antiwar voice to the democratic party, and for speaking the uncomfortable truths about us arming Al Qaeda in Syria. But nobody writes an obsessively well documented article like that from imagination. It surely explains the glowing affection for Modi that was obvious in her video she released when declining to go to ‘Howdy Modi.’ The question then becomes does she feel like she owes these people because of their early financial support? I would love for her to make an on the record statement about the situation in JMK. If she can’t bring herself to denounce that as clearly wrong then that is problematic.

    Adding to the confusion about her, here is a Muslim (Pakistani and Iranian) member of the Council on Foreign Relations talking about hosting a Wall Street ‘meet and greet’ (aka fundraiser) for her. There is no way he does this without her green-lighting it. So color me completely confused.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      It’s something she will have to address if she does go further – not least if she is angling as being Sanders VP pick. She has been very open and honest about her homophobic past and has renounced it – its a little curious that she seems less than open about this.

      It wouldn’t be the first time that a convert to a religion inadvertently gets themselves involved in the most extreme fringe of their new religion. It may simply be that she has been naive about the the relationship between the BJP and mainstream Hinduism. But if that was the case in the past, there are really no excuses now – especially since Kashmir, nobody inside or outside Indian politics can have any illusions about Modi’s policies and intentions, and that those are nakedly sectarian and bigoted.

      It may be that she is gambling that nobody is particularly interested in Indian politics so it won’t become a major issue. It’s also possible of course that she is actually a Hindu sectarian extremist, but that just doesn’t seem very credible given her history (and if she was some sort of BJP sleeper agent, then she certainly wouldn’t be running at the very fringes of the Overton Window on other issues).

      If I was her advisor, I’d be telling her to do an interview with someone semi-friendly, where she can bring this out in the open and then firmly condemn Hindu extremism (and by extension, the BJP) on the record. It’s risky, but everything she has done so far has been high risk. If she doesn’t do this, then its reasonable I think for anyone to have real doubts about what she really stands for.

      Reply
      1. Grebo

        Gabbard has no relationship herself with mainstream Hinduism. She was raised in (not converted to) a cult started by an American surfer-dude “guru”. The cult joined the Hare Krishnas for a while then split again.

        It may be the case that she was naive about the nature of the RSS and BJP, in which case she is in a difficult position. However, her “guru” is described as extremely right-wing…

        Reply
    2. Plenue

      I’ve talked about the article before. It gets dismissed out of hand by true believers (Jimmy Dore for example) as a ‘smear piece’.

      Reply
  19. Oregoncharles

    Maybe not so quiet: “‘Extreme’ warning issued ahead of hurricane-force Santa Ana winds, the strongest since 2007” https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-10-29/getty-fire-punishing-santa-ana-winds-the-strongest-of-the-season-build-as-blaze-grows

    Be careful out there, if you’re in the fire zone.

    And it doesn’t say what’s become of the Getty Museum – the grounds may be a protection, if they’re designed intelligently. The original Permaculture books have whole chapters given over to deflecting fire.

    Reply
    1. Cuibono

      to add to the confusion, Omidyars Hawaii paper really has it out for her. And he is in thight with the Modi admin per reports

      Reply
  20. Danny

    Consensus of the hundreds of people I have talked to over the last days of programmed blackouts:

    PG&E MUST DIE!

    BREAK THEM UP!

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    Governor Newsom and the entire state Democratic Party are in the crosshairs.
    People want revenge. They can’t blame this on Trump.

    Jerry Brown appointed most of the Public Utilities Commissioners that allowed PG&E’s ratepayer raiding. “Protector of the people” Kamala Harris didn’t do squat when she could have.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/23/us/pge-california-politics.html

    State senator Bill Dodd, signing SB 901 back in April that passes PG&E fire liability on to customers, and let PG&E use a type of state-authorized bond to pay off the more than 200 lawsuits filed against the company over the fires. PG&E’s customers would repay those bonds bit by bit on their monthly bills.

    Former Gov. Brown gives Dodd’s daughter-in-law a job (29 years old) working for California Workers’ Comp board with a salary of $150k with no previous experience. That was Brown’s thank you for signing the bill. Just Google “Brown appoints Katherine Dodd of Napa to Workers’ Comp board” Her parents also own the multi million dollar Napa Valley winery Frogs Leap.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      PG&E and the state regulatory agencies supervising have been corrupt perhaps to San Francisco Mayor “Sunny Jim” Rolph administration in the late 1920s-early 1930s. IIRC, he was corrupt even for San Francisco, which had been corrupt since the Gold Rush. Sunny Jim later became the governor of California, which is not that surprising.

      My meandering point is that reformers have tried and failed to destroy that corruption, since the Progressive Era, or for about a century. This despite most of the rest of the state’s government as well as San Francisco’s being cleaned up. Not permanently, but still done. So since it has consistently been a sewer from the beginning even though a large, vocal population of unhappy Californians have tried to clean it up, what should we do?

      It is helpful that PG&E put 10% of the state’s population into darkness as well as consistently paying very large salaries to the senior management while getting the state to give them more money to “fix”’things. This after repeated cuts and (illegally) diverting funds specifically designated by the state government into salaries, bonuses, and dividends. With all this real positive change might be doable, but like the few extremely influential California families that have control of perhaps a majority of the water used for agriculture, just saying that they should be killed with Hellfire will not work.

      Now as someone who has just spent four fabulous days without power, or hot water, and with extremely iffy cellphone service including internet, I would wish that screaming damnation at them would fix it. Since probably, although who knows, nothing will really change maybe a ballot proposition or creating or joining a reform group. If the greedy bastards intend to put millions in the dark every year for a decade, maybe we have a shot.

      Reply
  21. Cuibono

    See that Epstein is back in the news?
    Of interest is just who the Times is trusting as a Pathologist here.

    I had thought that the notion of him being alive was the least likely scenario.

    Reply

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