2:00PM Water Cooler 10/3/2019

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Patient readers, more shortly. My ISP staggered and fell over. –lambert UPDATE All done!


“The first shots are being fired in a new trans-Atlantic front of the U.S. global trade fight. The Trump administration plans to roll out tariffs on $7.5 billion of imports from the European Union on Oct. 18… after the World Trade Organization said the U.S. is entitled to impose levies in response to the bloc’s subsidies to Airbus SE” [Wall Street Journal]. “The decision marks the WTO’s biggest arbitration award and raises the potential for retaliatory actions by the trade partners that go beyond rival plane makers Airbus and Boeing Co. The new levies will include commercial aircraft as well as agricultural and industrial goods. That’s likely to lead to bigger volleys between the trading partners.”


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

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

* * *


Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart. Here is (are) the latest Dem Primary Polling as of 10/1/2019, 1:00 PM EDT:

Biden up, Sanders (up) trades votes with Warren (down). All together now: “It’s just one poll!” And here are the poll results:

And a C+ poll with a small sample size, as well.

I think dk has started a really neat project, and in the near future we’ll seek your feedback (within reason) for the tool “live.”

UPDATE 2019-09-24: These screens are from a revised version that now includes Undecided-Refused, which is in grey.

UPDATE 2019-08-30: Now the polls aggregated (all available) are shown at the bottom of the poll. We also give more detail about each poll than RCP, and allow candidates to be selected or deselected. That’s three reasons what dk is doing beats RCP, and if we can make the individual polls selectable/highlightable, that will be four reasons. With more to come, grid willing.

* * *

Biden (D)(1): “Biden Inc.” [Politico]. “Three former Paradigm executives said James and Hunter Biden also sought to capitalize on Joe’s strong ties to labor unions in the hopes of landing investments from them; Charles Provini, who briefly served as Paradigm’s president, said both James and Hunter repeatedly cited Joe’s political ties when they recruited him to work for the fund. “I was told because of his relationships with the unions that they felt as though it would be favorably looked upon to invest in the fund as long as it was a good fund,” Provini recalled. Documents submitted as part of a legal dispute over Paradigm’s acquisition show James Biden planned to solicit investments for it from union pension funds. A spokesman for James and Hunter said they did not end up marketing the fund to unions.” • Everything is like CalPERS?

Biden (D)(2): “‘You’re Not Going to Destroy Me,’ Biden Warns Trump” [Bloomberg]. “Joe Biden on Wednesday gave a preview of a potential general election face-off with Donald Trump by taking a more aggressive tone and assailing the president for his ‘abuse of power’ and for ‘smearing’ him and his family. ‘Let me make something clear to Trump and his hatchet men and the special interests funding his attacks against me — I’m not going anywhere,’ Biden said to applause in a speech in Reno, Nevada. ‘You’re not going to destroy me. And you’re not going to destroy my family.'”

Gabbard (D)(1): “2020 Hopeful Tulsi Gabbard: The U.S. Needs To ‘Stop Acting As The World’s Police'” [WBUR]. Gabbard: “”Yes I support [it]. I prefer to call it ‘Medicare Choice,’ where we are ensuring quality health care for all people regardless of how little they may have in their pocket or their bank account, while maintaining their freedom of choice. If they’ve got an employer-sponsored plan or a union-sponsored plan that they’re happy with, they should have the opportunity to do so.” • Gabbard supports a multipayer system. At least she’s not waffling about it, like Warren. But hijacking the #MedicareForAll brand with the object of keeping the health insurance industry in business is a pretty low blow. Oh well.

Sanders (D)(1):

Sanders (D)(2): “Dr. Gupta explains Bernie Sanders’ heart procedure” (video) [CNN]. “The recovery, 7-10 days… This is not open-heart surgery.” • Worth listening to in its entirety. At CNN, of all places!

Sanders (D)(3): “Factbox: Bernie Sanders heart procedure common, usually with fast recovery” [Reuters]. • A good explainer.

Sanders (D)(4): Home Despot*:

* Hat tip, Elizabeth Bruenig.

Warren (D)(1): “Elizabeth Warren’s book, The Two-Income Trap, explained” [Matt Yglesias, Vox]. “If Two-Income Trap were released today, I’d say it suffers from a striking mismatch between the scale of the problem it identifies and the relatively modest solutions it proposes. Tougher regulation of consumer lending would be welcome but obviously would not fundamentally address the underlying stagnation of income.” • This is good by Yglesias, and not just because it reinforces my priors.

CA: Media: It’s a two-person race:

Two reactions to Sanders v. Warren union plans. (1) Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

(2) Cato of Utica, DSA organizer at The South Lawn:

* * *

“These 526 Voters Represent All of America. And They Spent a Weekend Together.” [New York Times]. An experiment in “deliberate democracy” with a population selected for “diversity.” “NORC surveyed the group before the conference, and again on the same questions at the end; the results were compared with a similar panel of voters who did not get an intense dose of deliberative democracy in the interim. Voters at the event on both the left and the right appeared to edge toward the center. Democratic support receded for a $15 federal minimum wage and for “Medicare for all”; Republican support grew for rejoining the Paris climate agreement and for protecting from deportation immigrants brought to the United States as children.” • Yay, centrism!

“Black men will matter in 2020: They will be vital to winning the Democratic nomination, and they may be a swing vote in November” [New York Daily News]. “But the black vote includes black men as well, and campaign messaging and priorities need to reflect the priorities that matter to black men — or we run the risk of reliving 2016 where many black men stayed home. In 2016, I served as an adviser to the Hillary Clinton campaign in my home state of South Carolina. African Americans, as a group, made up 61% of the oh-so-important Palmetto State primary vote, according to a CNN exit poll. Break the numbers down further: black women: 37%; black men: 24%; white women: 21%; white men: 14% Now add this fact: According to a more recent CNN poll, President Trump has a 15% approval from black men. (The same CNN poll has his support from black women at around 3%.) In 2016, exit polls tell us 13% of black men voted for him in the general election.” • Lots of careful language leading up to these numbers, too.


“Trump says China should investigate Bidens” [Axios]. “President Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday that China should launch an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden, though he noted that hasn’t yet asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to do so.” • Doubling down with a vengeance! More: “Why it matters: It’s another instance of the president publicly calling for a foreign power to investigate one of his top political rivals. Trump is currently in the throes of an impeachment inquiry for doing exactly that with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — something he admitted to but continues to argue is perfectly appropriate.” • Perhaps I’m overly jaded and cynical — although history shows I’m never cynical enough — but surely Hunter’s business dealings open the possibility that Biden can be blackmailed? If it’s colorable for Democrats to hire a foreign intelligence community-adjacent foreign national (Christopher Steele) through a cutout (Fusion GPS) hired by a straw (Perkins Coie) to investigate a Republican candidate for blackmail as a matter of “national security”, then why shouldn’t a Republican President take a simpler and more direct route to answer the same question of a Democrat candidate? Surely not because that smashes the rice bowls of the cut-outs and the straws? Fortunately for us all, we have been spared the mental imagery of Hunter Biden hiring prositutes to piss on a bed. Trump, at least, has standards MR SUBLIMINAL Not that I’m defending Trump; the surreality of the situation needs bringing into focus, if focus is the word I want. And don’t @ me on the rule of law or the Norms Fairy; all that stuff died when Obama didn’t prosecute the bankers; or the torturers, for that matter, one of whom is now running the CIA.

If the ratings aren’t as good this time:


Why I’m grateful to dk for his work:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Voting machines pose a greater threat to our elections than foreign agents” [The Hill]. “‘Right now there are no mandatory federal cybersecurity standards for elections,’ Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) reported in a July speech. ‘It is perfectly legal for the biggest voting machine company in America … to sell a small county equipment that every cyber-security expert in America knows is insecure.’…. One reason? They are among the most expensive systems on the market, allowing a higher profit for vendors. Comparison studies indicate that using a barcode ballot-marking system for all voters can double or triple costs.” • I think election theft is a feature, not a bug. It’s a unique selling proposition for electronic machines, and attractive to both parties.

“The Culmination of Republican Decay” [Sean Wilentz, New York Review of Books]. “Control of the courts for the Christian right and the Federalist Society, tax windfalls and deregulation for the donor class: these were the causes that truly stirred the GOP majorities in Congress. It’s not simply that the recumbent Republicans are intimidated by the party base that Trump has captured; they are motivated chiefly by right-wing dogma and their own baseness, which Trump understands and manipulates.”

Stats Watch

Factory Orders, August 2019: “Factory orders edged percent lower” [Econoday]. “But there is also new information on the durable sides and that’s an unwanted downward revision to core capital goods (nondefense ex-air).” • Ew. You want capital investment in a capitalist economy. Still, capital investment is sporty, IIRC.

Challenger Job-Cut Report, September 2019: “Layoff announcements cooled in September” [Econoday]. “Yet layoffs in retail remain heavy as they have all year though layoffs among industrial goods manufacturers, a sector being hurt by slowing global trade and related declines in business investment, were also heavy in the month. Overall, however, today’s report does point to improved conditions in September’s labor market which is a positive indication for tomorrow’s employment report.” • Mr. Market has a nervous stomach already, if the ADP report makes him feel fluffy.

Jobless Claims, week of September 28, 2019: “Jobless claims are steady and low” [Econoday]. “This report along with employment data from Challenger, ADP, and the Conference Board’s consumer confidence report are all pointing to a solid monthly employment report for tomorrow.”

Purchasing Managers’ Services Index, September 2019: “Still above water but uncomfortably so is the indication from September’s PMI samples [Econoday]. “Total new business for the services sample, in 10 years of available data, is also at a record low. The drop in orders is making for a scaling back in hiring with this reading for the services sample posting a sharp contraction and its first contraction since February 2010. Another record low is input cost pressure with selling prices also moving lower. Confidence in the outlook is the second weakest on record.”

Institute For Supply Management Non-Manufacturing Index, September 2019: [Econoday]. “ISM’s non-manufacturing sample continues to report monthly expansion but at the lowest rate since August three years ago. New orders also slowed abruptly in September… Report after anecdotal report, whether from the ISM or Markit Economics, are increasingly signaling slowing if not contraction underway right now, representing a downward pivot from mid-year. These point to a pending turn lower for definitive data and risk putting a lid on third-quarter GDP, particularly components outside of consumer spending.”

Tech: “Facebook Can Be Ordered to Delete Illegal Content Worldwide, EU’s Top Court Rules” [Facebook]. “Facebook and other social media platforms can be ordered to delete illegal content world-wide, Europe’s top court has ruled. The European Court of Justice said current EU law did not prevent Facebook from being ordered to remove ‘identical’, and in some circumstances ‘equivalent’ versions of a post that has been ruled illegal by an EU country’s court. Platforms may also be required to search for duplicates of illegal content, such as hate speech, and delete them, as opposed to waiting for posts to be reported, according to the ruling.”

Mr. Market: “Stocks rebound from sharp losses suffered after alarming service-sector data” [MarketWatch]. Deck: “Rough start to October for the bears.”

Honey for the Bears: “The Trade War Has Already Caused a Recession for America’s Factories” (podcast) [Bloomberg]. “One silver lining to all this, says [Penny Goldberg, chief economist at the World Bank], is that more attention is finally being paid to trade policy. She also discusses whether this period will mark the high point for globalization – and confirms the suspicions of manufacturers that [senior trade reporter Shawn Donnan] spoke to out in the field, who believe that they are paying the tariffs – not China, as claimed so often by Donald Trump.” • Can Wisconsin readers confirm?

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 28 Fear (previous close: 34, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 3 at 12:00pm.

The Biosphere

“Reverse logistics may be out of style in the garment trade. A growing amount of textiles are being sent to the dump as shoppers buy more clothes and discard them faster than ever… with the buildup of used apparel now overwhelming efforts to recycle or resell the goods” [Wall Street Journal]. “The problem has grown as fast-fashion retailers like Hennes & Mauritz AB and Inditex SA’s Zara that compete to deliver cheaper and quicker styles, have flooded the world with clothing. Separate studies show the number of garments purchased annually by the average consumer jumped 60% from 2000 to 2014, while the number of times an item is worn before it is discarded has dropped drastically. The technology to recycle old textiles into fiber for new garments remains embryonic, however, leaving retailers focus on improving their collection of used clothes for increasingly swamped markets.” • That’s great. If the apparel supply chain ever collapses under the demands and “side effects” of fast fashion, we’ll be left with crappy clothes that don’t last. Assuming we retain the right to repair them.

Doing the same thing while expecting different results?

Disagreeable opinion, but maybe “youth-led” movements don’t work? As for example with “the Parkland kids”? Then again–

“Climate Messaging: A Case for Negativity” [Long Reads]. “The prevailing wisdom has been that environmentalists should avoid getting angry, compromise, don’t make people feel guilty, and whatever you do don’t scare people. But the last year has proven that fear is actually a pretty effective strategy for stirring people to action. Effective when used bluntly, without defeatism or apology. “Adults keep saying: ‘We owe it to the young people to give them hope,’ sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg said at Davos. ‘But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. And then I want you to act.'” • Hmm. Much of this discussion reminds me of quotation dug up by (the brilliant) Mark Fisher: “It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism.” “I want you to act.” Well, there’s a spectrum of possibilities, ranging from eco-fascism to some sort of Archdruid-esque retrotopia. I wouldn’t say that power is lying in the street, exactly, but blood and oil make the hands slippery…

“Adopted, yet ignored: Hybrid structure offers hope for sinking villages” [Jakarta Post]. • Effing paywalled. From the photo caption: “A resident in Timbulsloko village, Demak, Central Java, checks the bamboo fence structure near his village. The fence was built to restore the lost land and mangrove forests.” More capital misallocation, exactly as with underfunded coral gardening!

Health Care

“After Hospitals’ Donation to New York Democrats, a $140 Million Payout” [New York Times]. “With Medicaid costs soaring in New York, the Greater New York Hospital Association was pushing for the seemingly impossible: more state reimbursement money… As Mr. Cuomo was locked in a bitterly fought Democratic primary last year, his campaign asked the association, one of Albany’s most influential and richest power centers, to make a major donation to the State Democratic Party, according to a person familiar with the discussions…. The hospital association wrote two checks for the state party, totaling more than $1 million, campaign finance reports show. Soon after, the state quietly authorized an across-the-board increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for the first time since 2008 — a move officials expect will cost the state roughly $140 million a year in extra payments to hospitals and nursing homes. The increase in Medicaid payments underscored the power of the hospital association, whose deep pockets and long alliance with an influential union, 1199 S.E.I.U., make it a fearsome presence in Albany.” • The SEIU does seem to be cropping up in the news rather often these days. I remember how they fought single payer tooth and nail back in the first Obama administration.

“St. Mary’s hospital employees created a ‘wall of shame’ of patients with disabilities” [Bangor Daily News]. “Employees at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston created a “wall of shame” where they displayed confidential medical records of patients with disabilities detailing issues with their genitalia and bodily functions, according to an investigation by the Maine Human Rights Commission that found the exhibit had contributed to a hostile work environment…. St. Mary’s hospital is part of a network of facilities operated by Covenant Health, a Catholic nonprofit based in Massachusetts. ” • Yikes.

ObamaCare rolls on:

Yay! Complex eligibility requirements!

Groves of Academe

“The Harvard Ruling Misses the Point” [Boston Review]. “Consider a 2014 study that found that an elite college or university education has almost no effect on the later success of the typical well-heeled graduate: the children of privilege do no better after graduating from very prestigious universities than similarly situated peers who graduated from less elite schools. By contrast, a prestigious university degree does give a dramatic boost to black and Latino students and to students from lower-class backgrounds. The discrepancy is somewhat puzzling if the social mobility offered by an elite school education is a consequence of the education itself: one might expect a better education at an elite school to provide a greater boost to all students. But it makes perfect sense if the benefits lie largely in networking, socialization, and elite credentialing. The university has little to offer the upper-class student in terms of networking opportunities, acculturation to upper-class norms, and the imprimatur of the elite; she has these already by virtue of her social class. It is the lower-class student who stands to gain them by attending an elite university or college.” • Dogs in the manger…

Guillotine Watch

“Jeffrey Epstein Raked In $200 Million After Legal and Financial Crises” [New York Times]. “Jeffrey Epstein’s biggest client had deserted him, his money management firm had lost more than $150 million during the financial crisis, and he was a registered sex offender. But after he started a new company with a wildly speculative business plan in 2012, Mr. Epstein had no problem pulling in cash. His start-up, Southern Trust, reported more than $200 million in revenues over the next five years… Southern Trust was trying to gauge customers’ predisposition to cancer by ‘basically organizing mathematical algorithms,’ Mr. Epstein told Virgin Islands officials.” • “Basically.” More: “[T]he documents do not say who was paying vast sums of money to Mr. Epstein’s new venture just a few years after his 2008 guilty plea to soliciting a minor for prostitution. Nor do they offer an explanation for why customers would hand over money to a man who had apparently switched from financial services to DNA research.” • Hard to imagine there’s that much stupid money that stupid. But maybe there is!

Class Warfare

“GM Shutters All but Three NA Plants in Face of Sustained UAW Strike” [Industry Week]. “The longest U.S.-wide strike in almost half a century at the automaker has lasted 16 days and cost GM $1 billion so far, according to JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman. By the second week of the strike, most of GM’s North American plants were shut down. One important factory that remained operational, a truck plant in Silao, Mexico, stopped work Tuesday due to parts shortages, and its 6,000 employees are being temporarily laid off. The facility builds the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, which are all-new and just ramping up to full production.”

“Carpenters say prominent developer turns blind eye to abuse allegations” [Workday Minnesota]. “During a final round of public comment on an arrangement between the city and Reuter Walton Companies, two carpenters stepped forward and detailed abuses they experienced while working on the Minneapolis-based developer’s construction sites. Samuel Saucedo of Minneapolis and Eric Macias of Rochester say they are still owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages for work they did on Reuter Walton projects over the course of more than a year. The two men, who often worked side by side, decided about a year ago to stop accepting jobs arranged by a common “labor broker,” Jose Merino. That included jobs on Reuter Walton sites. They subsequently filed complaints with the state Department of Labor, but dropped them, Saucedo and Macias told council members Sept. 16, after receiving hostile phone calls from Merino. ‘You don’t know me. I’ve got money. I’ve got people. Somebody will find you,” Macias remembered hearing. ‘He said he’s going to kill me and kill my wife and my daughter, just because I want to get paid the money he owes me.'” • “You don’t know me. I’ve got money. I’ve got people.” I mean, there you are. But note also the importance of public comment!

“Lessons from the Long Sixties for Organizing in Tech” [Science for the People]. From Spring 2019: “Europe saw an incredible amount of radical organizing among various kinds of technical workers during the social upheavals of 1968. These movements illustrate the importance and potential of solidarity with workers of all skill sets as well as the necessity of engaging with the education system and its production of new workers. On the other hand, the experiences of technical workers in the US in the 1970s–as documented by Science for the People (SftP)–shows the necessity of not underestimating how disruptive the ideologies of professionalism and individualism can be for our organizing. Before all else, professionalism and the way it muddles the class position of techno-scientific workers must be confronted.” • Apparently SftP was big in the 70s, and has just been revived.

News of the Wired

“Sugar-coated RNAs could ‘alter the face of biochemistry as we know it’—if they’re real” [Science].

Sugar isn’t just for sweets. Inside cells, sugars attached to proteins and fats help molecules recognize one another—and let cells communicate. Now, for the first time, researchers report that sugars also appear to bind to some RNA molecules, the cellular workhorses that do everything from translating DNA into proteins to catalyzing chemical reactions. It’s unclear just what these sugar-coated RNAs do. But if the result holds up, it suggests vast new roles for RNA.

The report, posted to the preprint server bioRxiv on Monday, drew immediate Twitter responses verging on the hyperbolic: “a new era is starting!!” wrote one scientist. “A brilliant example of how collaboration … can alter the face of biochemistry as we know it!” wrote another. “This is a mind-blowing result,” tweeted a third. Asked by Science for comment, scientists were somewhat more measured. “This is a profound observation that nobody anticipated,” says Mark Lehrman, a pharmacologist at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who was not involved in the work. That profound observation still spurs caution: Others aren’t yet convinced about the basic findings.

I love the difference in tone between the Twitter and comments; good job, Science. As I keep saying, “We don’t know anything.” (We do not, for example, know how soil “works,” if that’s even the right word.) Of course, that’s hyperbole; there’s just an extraordinary amount we don’t know. I personally find that hopeful, and we should remember that when we talk about “the science.” That’s not an attack on science, or the scientific method; just a reminder that there is much yet to discover. It would be helpful if so many of our institutions weren’t seemingly designed to make us stupid. “The Snow of Ignorance remains untrodden” –Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness. Caps in the original.

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (TH):

TH writes: “This jolly Aloe Vera, with it’s neighboring lilies, lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.”

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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. petal

        I can’t wait! This will be so exciting! Every week it seems to get worse and worse. Suppose it’s like cheering on a dumpster fire to get bigger and bigger. “Just how bad will it get? Tune in next week to find out!” Hmm maybe more like a tag team WWF match where they are jumping in the ring and from all angles. It’s much more amusing in my head.

        And for the Mayor Pete sign house, they have 2 signs in 2 different front windows, not just one-perhaps to match the LMIaL house a few doors down that has the 2 Amy for America signs in their yard. So funny. 1 is just not enough these days, friends.

        1. Lee

          It does look like the Dem establishment is going to need a replacement for Biden. Trump may go down but he’ll more than likely take Biden with him. Ever the optimist, me.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Think of Biden as a sacrificial pawn. When they are gone, that will leave you with Elizabeth Warren who will be a team player. Just not for your team.

            1. Carey

              -Bailed in ’16

              -Wouldn’t endorse Sanders in ’16

              no guts no glory

              “i have a plan..” puh

        2. pretzelattack

          where can i bet on dumpster fire cdo’s? and how can i guarantee i get paid off? could be a ticklish business.

      2. nippersmom

        I’d rather someone killed Steve Bannon. Or Hillary Clinton (she already looks rather cadaver-like). Or perhaps both, or am I getting too greedy? Actually, I’d be satisfied if both just disappeared from public view, never to be seen or heard from again.

        1. Titus

          while I wish certain people being didn’t exist, advocating murder on a public forum legally doesn’t seem wise, I say as a lawyer. Hillary still has Secret Service protection, those people have no sense of humor. It is a felony in fact to just make the threat. *’in fact’ – means regardless of intent. You obviously are distressed. Any sane non grifter would be.

        2. rowlf

          Smite is the word I believe you are looking for. There would probably be more of it going on but someone is away on other business. The Holy Kärcher is needed.

      3. laughingsong

        It’s like flying . . . .until the ground approaches and the deceleration trauma sets in.

      4. Carey

        I remember going to bed on Election Night 2016 emotionally exhausted, and thinking,
        “at least when I wake up in the morning this madness will all be over”.


      5. Tom Stone

        Lambert, stick around, the show has just Begun.
        If you missed it, Judge Royce Lamberth may very well allow Judicial Watch’s Lawyers to depose HRC under oath about her EMail server, her attorneys have until the last week in October to respond to JW’s request.
        It would be the first time HRC has been questioned under oath about the matter if it happens.
        And considering how fed up the Judge is with the obfuscations of both the State Depatment’s lawyers and those representing HRC it’s very likely to happen.
        What a hoot that will be!

    1. dcrane

      This has been a pretty easy prediction since early 2017, when the Dems chose the path of challenging Trump’s legitimacy as their main line of attack. (That or an alternative version in which her allies and superdelegates leverage her in as a “Unity candidate” during a divided 2020 convention.) Lately I have wondered if the Epstein thing would finish her chances through her connection to Bill, but the story has faded quickly.

      Losing to a person like Trump was the worst imaginable rebuke for a person like Hillary. How could she resist trying again, if there was any chance?

      1. flora

        The 1960 Kennedy/Nixon election was one of the closest contests ever. “in the popular vote, Kennedy won by just 112,000 votes out of 68 million cast, or a margin on 0.2 percent. ….On Wednesday afternoon, November 9, 1960, Nixon officially conceded the election to Kennedy. He told his friend, journalist Earl Mazo, that “our country cannot afford the agony of a constitutional crisis.” “*

        A lot of people then and now thought Nixon won the popular vote but voter fraud rigged the vote count in 2 key states. Nixon didn’t ask for a recount, but the GOP did. The recount gave California to Nixon but by then he’d conceded to Kennedy.

        Nixon didn’t want to look like a sore loser, knowing that image would end his political future. Eight years later he won the presidency.

        Contrast that with Hills from the 2016 election to today; she has been the sorest of sore losers, willing and even trying, imo, to put the country through a constitutional crisis via her supporters.

        Americans love sore losers…. not.


  1. doug

    Somehow I think I am missing links. I have ver 77.0.3865.90 (64-bit) of Chrome.
    I think this has been going on for a while. As I saw someone else mention it, and have wondered a few times earlier. I thought I would mention it today. I hate to miss links…
    Thanks for this place.

    Is there something between the line :
    ObamaCare rolls on:
    and (I assume there is a link here?)
    Yay! Complex eligibility requirements!

    1. Big River Bandido

      I’ve noticed something like this happening both on my laptop and phone. It doesn’t seem to affect my iPad, for some reason. Hence an increase in my typos lately.

    2. xformbykr

      stuff between the lines is embedded tweet material; I can see it with ‘Chromium’ on Linux, but not Firefox on Linux.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I’ve found DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials breaks Twitter embeds. I had to disable it for NK.

  2. Otis B Driftwood

    Regarding Obamacare, you can also count on getting plagued by insurance brokers if you look into coverage online and provide a working phone number.

    These are among the most incredibly rude call outfits I’ve ever encountered. When I politely asked that they stop calling, they just hung up. And then kept calling. And they get around blocks by masking calls from origins all over the country.

    Another time when I asked that they stop calling, the guy on the phone uttered and expletive and hung up.

    This went on for about 4 or 5 months. Knock wood, I haven’t had a call from them for about a month, so maybe they have finally given up. In any case, I’m at the point where I don’t answer calls if I don’t recognize the origin of the call. Thanks, Obamacare!

    1. NigelK

      What good is providing health care “access” if they can’t turn a buck on it while taxing your time as well? The system works for those who own it…

    2. Kevin

      Same here.

      My approach: I immediately crank the volume on my phone and start hitting number keys rapidly and randomly; the annoying crescendo causes them to immediately hang up 95% of the time.

      1. inode_buddha

        Back when I could use the phone, I used to tell them that this call will be monitored for quality assurance purposes, then try to sell them a Ginsu knife set. But wait! There’s more!

        They hung up every single time.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i don’t have those particular cesspoolers calling me, but at least 5 times a week, i get a call from someone warning me about my car’s warranty(never had a vehicle warranty in my life) or to help with my pain management(!?!).
          i merely dip in to one of the various ongoing extemporaneous narratives in my head and bring it out into the audible world…launch into soil microbes, their care and feeding…or grey aliens…or economics(which particularly confuses them, it seems)…or extreme existentialism/academic research(“i can’t prove that you are real, so i’m gonna ask you a bunch of really personal questions about your masturbation habits…it’s for a paper i’m working on…”)
          remarkably, it often takes them a minute or two to get it before they hang up>
          and then i try to call them back…which sometimes even works.
          hilarity ensues.
          “did Suzy get a hold of you?…well, you need to call her RFN!…there’s a problem with your dishwasher…water everywhere!…better get off here and call her right quick!”
          speaking latin at them is fun, too.
          i’ve tried the donotcall lists…and yelling at them to stop frelling calling me and to lose my number…even screening my calls based on area code(but it’s often a local number that Lookup says is in that long-empty cattle truck yard down by the creek in town).
          none of this worked…so my last hope is to waste their time…and convince them that i’m utterly insane…or at least more totally stubborn than they are…so that they’ll take it upon themselves to go on and lose my number.
          I have sometimes slipped into moral career councilor mode, explaining the immorality of what they’re doing, how it hurts their soul…”jesus hates what you do for a living, after all…it is known…”
          i don’t have tv in my bedroom(this always happens when i’m having a painday, for some reason), so this is decent entertainment.
          if i didn’t have a wife and 2 kids that are scattered around the state at any given time for football, i’d just ditch the damned phone.
          i’ve been unconnected(except for payphones and mom’s landline in the barn) for as long as ten years at a time.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              paindays are boring as hell.
              and the cat(and now the puppy) just look at me when i go off on tangents.

          1. inode_buddha

            Back in the day when the phone hung on the wall in the kitchen, my dad used to gently set the receiver down in front of a poorly-tuned Japanese transistor with a ball game on, and then walk away to mow the lawn or whatever. You could tell it was English on the radio, but that was all you could tell.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > i’ve been unconnected(except for payphones and mom’s landline in the barn) for as long as ten years at a time.

            My record is two years. Phone calls to Mom from a hotel phone using a prepaid card. Philly has slack!

    3. Acacia

      What I’ve done is say: “I’d really like to hear your pitch, could you hang on just a sec?” Then put the phone down and make them wait. Five minutes later, just hang up.

      1. Carey

        This works, IME. Learned it from a friend who was absolutely diabolical dealing with spam-callers.

    4. ChristopherJ

      Otis, if I don’t know the number I swipe left, easy. How any marketer or pollster gets people to take calls when they’re not on your contact list; I mean has any unknown number ever given you good news, lotteries aside?

      1. Angie Neer

        Chris, perhaps you are not aware that there is a thing called a land line, and that on such a thing, caller ID requires both a particular kind of phone and an additional monthly fee. I can’t speak for Otis, but on my land line phone, swiping, whether left or right, is not an option.

        1. Titus

          Last time I checked, caller ID is additional charge so there’s that. But by law, land line companies – aka the phone company offers call blocking as well. Depending on the phone it is a swipe, more often, *82 (varies), a menu pop up & select what you want. Most pick straight to voice mail either the phones or the phone companies.

        2. a different chris

          Also if you have medical issues you never know what call is what. My doctor, when she calls me from her own phone, comes up as “Unknown Caller”. Sigh. The line the office calls me on is not the same as the one I call them on. And so on.

          1. Titus

            AD Chris, ah legally dea wise a doctor has to call from a number that is ‘known’, which is to say not coming up as ‘unknown’. As in the number you would call to make an appointment – it ‘must’ be the same – at least caller ID wise. I always enjoy your wit, and I wish I had a better answer to say – make sure all office numbers are in your contacts. But, there it is. Seems like a job for an AI. I’ve spoken to docs about this (hilarity always ensues), the idea of one inbound to many outbound leaves them baffled. ‘Say what?’ ‘Try these samples’. Hmmm, to Yves, how about the Jackpot has arrived but it’s not even distributed?

        3. ChristopherJ

          Haven’t had a land line for 20 years, but the last ones I did have did have caller id.

          You are right that Telstra successfully charged people to reveal numbers for you, it was a check box on their computer set up…and a clever way to gouge their customers.

          Eventually competition took that ability to charge away, but worth paying the fee if you’ve still got that problem in your market.

  3. Wukchumni

    We may not be able to get rid of assault weapons through conventional means, but how many nearly billion $ payouts can corporate America & its insurers conjure up in the meantime, before it becomes too costly?

    SAN DIEGO — Attorneys for thousands of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history said Thursday that they reached a settlement expected to pay between $735 million and $800 million to those who sued over the Las Vegas massacre.

    The amount of the settlement with MGM Resorts International depends on the number of plaintiffs who take part, according to a statement from Las Vegas law firm Eglet Adams, which represents nearly 2,500 victims and made the announcement just days after the second anniversary of the massacre.


    1. Tom Stone

      Those concerned with the proliferation of fully automatic weapons may not be aware that the BATFE is investigating more than 8,000 shipments ( Not units, shipments) of full auto switches that fit all models of Glock Pistols.
      They were (and probably still are) advertised of EBay for as little as $4.95 with free shipping.
      It really is that easy to convert the Toyota Camry of self loading pistols into a machine gun.
      Even worse, someone on the internet posted a picture of a full auto switch made from a metal coathanger using two pair of pliers.
      This came to mind because the local police just seized one of these modified Glocks from a 22 year old criminal during a routine traffic stop,.

      1. Titus

        Ya, and it’s a federal crime with a fed min of 20 years, no exceptions. (Well unless it was modified before 1987, using a specific part, exempt by law, still is, but that part sells for $20k and requires a fed machine gun license) No parole with the feds. Good behavior yes, but it’s small.

        1. JTMcPhee

          And how many gun fanciers who have acquired and installed these little “parts” have been tracked down and successfully prosecuted by “our” Law Enforcement Agencies since such tomfoolery was made “illegal?”

          1. rowlf

            There are enough stories in the area I live in of people modifying firearms to be full auto and being picked up that no one discusses these parts and having a gunsmithing malfunction (full auto episode) will attract attention at a public range. Usually full auto means the range facility is getting torn up as as the shooter loses control of their aiming at a target. The sheriff’s department also likes to visit the various machine shops to the point that no one but a gunsmith will work on firearms. Local ranges tend to have a very good relationship with the police or they don’t stay open long.

            Another plus is usually the nimrods that like to modify their firearms are very successful in making them unreliable.

  4. petal

    Gee, Gabbard’s plan sounds exactly like Biden’s plan. Those were the same points he was using in his Town Hall.

    1. zagonostra

      Yup, only Bernie is left (moral).

      I’m pissed I wasted money on Gabbard, I only donated to her campaign because she gave the impression she was supporting M4A.

      It’s sad because on other issues she seems to be on the right (moral) side.

      1. Carey

        “Choice!” “Like your plan, keep your plan!”

        I’m a bit surprised that the PTB decided that someone so far down (by official™ numbers, at least) in the polling™ needed to be gotten-to.

        “Access!” “Freedumb!”


      2. dcrane

        My main reason for supporting her (in addition to Sanders) is her foreign policy platform, which is what she has emphasized all along. For me, the massive wrongs of American foreign policy make Medicare for All look minor by comparison, and that’s not to understate the severity of the health crisis in the US.

    2. grayslady

      Gabbard is dead to me at this point. I’m not a single issue voter, but Improved Medicare for All comes pretty close for me. (I’d like to see Bernie emphasize that single payer will also provide a huge boost economically, since people won’t have to spend every penny on healthcare. They might actually have money to buy clothes, healthier food, take a vacation–all those things that stimulate the economy.) Besides, does anyone besides Tulsi talk about becoming commander-in-chief rather than becoming President? I just don’t think Tulsi has the big ideas and major changes voters are looking for.

      As for Warren, she is Hillary 2.0. I don’t want a policy wonk for President. I want someone who will be effective in pushing change, and that isn’t Warren. I think the major media has decided Liz is a more likeable Hillary, and that’s why she’s being promoted.

      1. Carey

        Gabbards’s recent actions are not really a surprise to me, except that they came so
        early in the process™™™.

        The organizing’s the thing; the only thing. Offline™.

      2. dcrane

        I guess I need to know more about what exactly Gabbard’s healthcare plan is. New Zealand allows private health insurance and yet the public system seems to both survive and function pretty well anyway (with warts).

    3. Eureka Springs

      Stick a fork in that candidacy, turn it over, it’s done. Not even VP, much les relection for congress. She’s been saying the same thing since post debate 2 interview on CNN, Youtubes of her stump speeches since then and that NPR interview were just ghastly. She’s the anti-M4A. Thank dawG we figured it out now. So disappointing.

    1. NigelK

      You laugh; if I could take 10 years off Sanders’ age and add it to my own, I’d do it, if only to undercut all the concern trolls who are really worried about Bernie’s health you guys, he should drop out

  5. NotTimothyGeithner

    About youth led movements or any movement, I think the problem is embracing people with “progressive” messaging at the first opportunity. After all, we could trust Bill Clinton because Al Gore was an environmentalist. The gridlock and the resulting pollution is due to Al Gore’s incompetence with his over sight of reinventing government in the 90’s. At the same time, Bill aggressively expanded the military footprint through new bases all over the world.

    On occasion, they said global warming is real.

    Ian Welsh’s point about the “left” needing to defeat Obama was important. One can be part of the movement/solution but they can’t randomly be empowered. They need to be defeated.

    1. Plenue

      These youth activists never achieve anything because they’re pure PR. Thunberg isn’t shaping policy. She also isn’t agitating anyone into changing their behavior, either leaders (who don’t care, or at least care about fossil fuel money more) or voters who could bring pressure to bear on leaders (who look at her and see an idiot child being exploited). All she’s doing is making people who already agreed with her fist pump. It feels good for someone to call out leaders to their faces, but it’s still meaningless kabuki.

      We don’t need speeches. We need actual plans and organization. Speeches dont change the world. The Obama years should have made that clear to everyone.

      1. The Beeman

        4 day workweek plus 1 day out of 7 declared a non religious Sabbath – where everyone lays low – cut carbon emissions starting next Tuesday if we can just get everyone to agree….

      2. Deplorado

        Also, I think Thunberg is some kind of a puppet. When not reading, she is practically not able to articulate a single point well and with the passion one would expect.
        I saw a couple of videos of her “speaking” and was appalled. And I don’t think it’s the Asperger’s. She just doesn’t seem to know much and have much in the way of own thoughts.
        In one appearance she did not remember or know the names of other youth activists she had supposedly brought along to the event.

        I really don’t know who is buying that stuff. But in my mind it shows some very deep contempt for the intelligence of the general public. And worse designs probably.

        It looks actually of the same kind of public manipulation I remember from behind the iron curtain 30 years ago.

        It brings to mind “the emperor’s new clothes”.

        1. pretzelattack

          i dont think the iron curtain was the most adept practictioner of mind control 30 years ago. she may be a puppet, and the neoliberals may be using her to scam doing something about global warming, but the people buying the stuff are probably the people that realize it’s legit science and just want to support anybody saying that loudly and publicly. as long as people avoid any associated scams, what’s the problem exactly?

        2. a different chris

          “Idiot child”?? “Puppet”.

          Jesus guys. Really. So what have you done with your life? And BTW, she’s still all over the Internets hammering back at Trump and that other *actual* idiot whose name I don’t even remember.

          Actually “hammer” is the wrong word. She Tyson’ed both of them. Again, what have you done?

          1. Plenue

            Because beating up on Trump is so rare and hard.

            Also I didn’t actually say she was an idiot child, just that is the perception of people who don’t already agree with her. She’s preaching to the converted, nothing more.

            1. scarn

              Another way to frame this is that she is giving voice to the rage of the angry but aimless. I wouldn’t say that accomplishes nothing, because it’s clearly inspiring more people to voice their own opinions and maybe seek out some concrete politics beyond social media posts. There is always value in preaching, as it has the possibility of converting. Do not underestimate the effect Greta has on young people, or her ability to raise the ire of the right.

              You are very correct that the ruling class is adept at turning someone like Thunberg into a kabuki “victory” for the plebs. To ensure that doesn’t happen, it’s probably good strategy to contextualize Greta for people in ways that push back against the ruling class, and not push back against Greta herself, unless or until she becomes a ruling class creature.

              Plus, the memes are gold.

          2. notabanker

            I find myself feeling extremely naive to take her and that “movement” at face value. There is big, big money behind that. There’s no shortage of fascist youth movements in world history. Caveat emptor, I’m not buying.

        3. scarn

          She seems lucid and intelligent in every interview I have seen, scripted or not. The people “buying it” would be pretty much everyone in the western world under 35 years of age.

          My oldest son has Asperger’s. He has real trouble remembering faces and names, but has a weirdly precise memory for data of nearly any sort. It is typical for him to not recognize people he has known for years if they change their hairstyle, or wear a simple costume. He is also dry and emotionless in social situations that he is unprepared for. That may be the sort of behavior you are witnessing and coding as “not much in the way of own thoughts.”

            1. xkeyscored

              Yes. I’ve often wondered if her Asperger’s has something to do with her refusal to get side-tracked from her basic message – the science is clear, we need to change course.

      3. Oregoncharles

        I think I disagree, at least in the bigger picture. That is mainly because I remember the late 60’s and how the last major insurgency got going. It’s also because I was at both Friday marches for the Climate Strike. They were inspiring, precisely because the students, both high school and college, were leading.

        I’ve written before about the high schoolers’ rally (I missed the march – I was late and he kids move fast); the second one involved three separate columns: faith-based, community (the one I was in), and the university. The kids arrived last, and it was like the cavalry had arrived. There were a lot of them, and the temperature rose accordingly.

        Why does this matter? Because the old gray heads are still marching, but they are not the stuff of revolution. I remember who is, always. They’re who Greta is addressing.

        Caveat, because there has to be: my town is not typical. We had a bigger turnout than Eugene, which is bigger. But the organizations and the movement are national and international. It can fail, of course; the obstacles are huge, and familiar. But it’s the best chance we’ve got – and the kids have the biggest stake.

      4. Summer

        Most of one’s adult age life is not spent between the ages of 18-30.

        The establishment can play the long game on youth oriented movements.

      5. Jeremy Grimm

        The first children’s crusade of 1212 didn’t end too well though there were some profits to be made.

        1. John

          The children’s crusade crashed the slave markets in the eastern Mediterranean after 1212. So much new product came online and available.

      6. xkeyscored

        An excellent recent piece by Jonathan Cook debunking the idea that Thunberg is some kind of neoliberal fifth columnist.
        The section titles:
        1. It’s child abuse!
        2. She’s being exploited by the corporate media!
        3. She’s a tool of big business!

        I’d love it if she had concrete plans, too. But she and the school climate strikers are managing to do what scientists have failed to do for decades, wake the world up to the enormity of the problem.

  6. Another Scott

    I read this article today.


    Donald Jr. and his girlfriend getting $50K wrong on so many levels. First is the source of the funds, student activity fees. College is already unaffordable for far too many. Second, who authorized the $50K for the university, it’s far too much and more than many adjuncts are paid for the entire year. This seems like more of the professional, administrator class ruining higher education.

    Now we get to the Trump angle. This is the type of personal enrichment that I despise. Would Jr. be getting this money if his father wasn’t President? No. This far worse than activities surrounding the Trump Hotel, but doesn’t reach the same level of scandal because it has been happening for decades.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Of course it’s wrong. Chelsea Clinton pulling down $600K a year from 2011 to 2014 as a “producer” at NBC is wrong. The oligarchy is wrong. The looting is thoroughly bipartisan.

    1. Carey

      Considering Krieger’s headline a bit more, and given my limited faculties:

      The Tech Giants *are* Fascism IMO of course

  7. Lee Too

    The Wilentz article is pretty good but it also mentions, at least in passing, how Russian interference was “essential” to Trump’s election. I know there are two sides to the question of whether there was interference at all (indulge me here, I’m trying to be diplomatic). But I have seen no attempts to quantify the actual effects on the election of any interference that may have been attempted. Scary numbers — in the hundreds of thousands! — of twitter posts have been mentioned and countered by much larger numbers of posts or ads that twitter users may have been exposed to. Does anyone know of a serious attempt at such quantification? I suppose a simple citation is too much to expect of the New York Review.

    1. lambert strether

      I have never seen a chain of evidence connecting “Russian meddling” to (1) flipped votes in (2) districts that affected the outcome, and I do try to keep track.

      One would have expected the DNC post mortem on 2016 to investigate that issue, but oddly, no post mortem was performed (that we know of).

      I’d love to see such a study, if it exists.

      1. Dan

        Mr. Strether,

        Ask Facebook’s ad marketing department. Maybe they can tell you if Russians privately buying geographically targeted political ads in key districts–can they do that on their site–? caused a breakdown in our democracy.

        See John Red’s
        “Ten Adbuys That Shook The World”

        AFAIK, that’s the extent of what’s been proven.
        The rest of “Russiagate” is all TDS shrieking points.

        1. Carey

          I wonder just how much TDS shrieking [good word!] is organic.
          See the Michael Krieger link above, if you like.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          The assumption is that the act of voting is like the act of buying a product. I would like to see that proved.

          In addition, by your argument, examples should be very easy to find, and there are players who are highly incentivized to find them. The fact that no examples have been found, and after three years, argues strongly for the proposition that they do not exist.

          Finally, with respect to Facebook’s marketing collateral and its trustworthinesss, surely you’rw aware that Facebook has a massive problem with fake accounts?

      2. bartisj

        Best I’ve seen attempting to quantify “Russian interference” v. usual psephological parameters:

        Did Russian Interference Affect the 2016 Election Results?

        — Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent testimony was a reminder that Russia attempted to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and very well may try to do so again in 2020.

        — This begs the question: Is there any evidence that Russian interference may have impacted the results, particularly in key states?

        — The following analysis suggests that the 2016 results can be explained almost entirely based on the political and demographic characteristics of those states. So from that standpoint, the answer seems to be no.


        From Sabato’s website…now to moderation (sigh).

    2. Chris S

      This book is supposed to provide a compelling argument that Russian interference helped tilt the election: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/cyberwar-9780190915810?cc=us&lang=en&

      I haven’t read it, so I can’t give an opinion – although there was a Jane Mayer piece about it in the New Yorker a while back that made it sound plausible: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/01/how-russia-helped-to-swing-the-election-for-trump

      It’s not concrete evidence of flipped votes in specific districts, more of an argument-from-the-best-explanation kind of deal.

      My two cents: the Russians’ malfeasance is a bad thing that needs to be addressed, but clearly we should be wary of the intel agencies/PropOrNot crowd using that as a pretext for silencing dissent. And it clearly doesn’t excuse the failures of the Clinton campaign, even if it did have an effect.

      1. pretzelattack

        i don’t think there’s any solid evidence for russian malfeasance, any more than there was for saddam’s wmd’s in the run up to the iraq war version 2.

      2. hunkerdown

        The best explanation is that a significant number of people don’t like the way the Democrat Party does business, but apparently it’s above the voters’ station to question the professional-management class and the sham primary elections they run.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > It’s not concrete evidence of flipped votes in specific districts

        Then what we have is a bunch of professional service providers assuring us that their services are indeed great.

        This an an enormous story that has driven the biggest gaslighting episode since the Global War on Terror. And at the heart of it is a gaping evidentiary void on which no reporting has been done. How hard could it be to go to the key districts and do some reporting?

  8. FreeMarketApologist

    Re Epstein & DNA: “Hard to imagine there’s that much stupid money that stupid. “

    May I submit exhibit A: Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos.

    To borrow from Mencken: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of those with too much ill gotten money.”

  9. Dan

    “Black men will matter in 2020:”

    Kamala Harris’ Jamaican ancestors owned 88 slaves. Unless you think her own father is delusional.

    She’s mostly East Indian, then Irish descent with one black Jamaican grandmother.

    How can she pretend to “be African American?”?

    Cory Booker is the real deal, even if both his parents are IBM executives.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i like the guy with a boot on his head.(got a framed pic of him on the wall of my library…so boy’s buds will ask questions)
        if all else fails….

    1. Titus

      Given, that her father per a NYT has told her to the point of being disowned to knock it off. I think she’s hopeless. Not new news @NC for sure.

  10. Titus

    Not going to ‘And don’t @ me on the rule of law or the Norms Fairy’, because as I understand it, some see impeachment as a distraction of the real issues™ – living wage, Medicare for all, etc, – issues of the left (of which I am), but here we are. The only real issue ever is about power who has it, how to get it, and use it. And that is what the conversation left-wise is doing, as we speak. One way or another the people, us, we, need to act and continue to act, or to paraphrase Lincoln (though I’m sure others have expressed it), we lose it all, and get what we deserve. Simple as that.

    1. Carey

      Do not understand your first sentence. I get and agree with the rest, though; except for
      “get what we deserve”, since there are unjustifiably-powerful forces allied against the 90%.

  11. pretzelattack

    saving social security uh huh
    “automatically enrolled into a supplemental retirement account”. gee, i wonder who would control and invest that money.

    in other news, the tragic plight of a persecuted minority is finally being recognized

    1. Wukchumni

      Only 1587 days, 9 hours, 14 minutes and 23 seconds until my first SS check shows up, but i’m not anxious or anything.

  12. Yves Smith

    No, it depends if they are CLOs, which are CDOs made of corporate loans and actually reasonably well diversified, unlike the subprime-based CDOs which were concentrated and also extremely highly leveraged by virtue of being resecuritizations, which CLOs are not (this is very wonky terrain and I unpack this in ECONNED, and it took a full chapter). CLOs are merely as bad as risky corporate lending. Banks can blow themselves on bad loans, as they’ve done regularly over history. The CLOs don’t make the blow up risk worse (arguably they reduce it but then the banks and investors overeat, so they wind up in more or less the same place).

    1. Titus

      I would, humbly submit, that it’s time for V2 of that book, or it’s like, given: Trump, negative globalization, the EU, Brexit, banks refusing to lend one more dime on any oil scheme, er business plan, the fall of Mordor (Silicon Valley), the rise of Morlocks (Uber, WeWork), there’s a thread in there somewhere. I do know it’s an effort, but with NC at 13 yrs, things have changed. As Dylan would say.

  13. Wukchumni

    I do my best impersonation of a baseball fan in October, not having watched more than say 4 & 20 innings all season.

    I’m the average age of an MLB follower, and the league drew a million less fans than last year @ ballparks, and set an all-time record for most cumulative home runs of all teams, beating the old record by about 10%.

    Dingers didn’t do it as far as ducat sales go, apparently.

    The playoffs are long enough for me, around 16 games. The same length of an NFL season.

  14. Implementor

    How many of these youth-climate strikers/activists fly or drive to these events?
    How many partake of a coke or pepsi or the like during the year (privatization of fresh water sources and subsequent destruction)
    How many eat decomposing animal corpse products on a daily basis, or anything containing dairy (Deforestation, destruction of wetlands, water and soil pollution/destruction, monoculture,severe cruelty and evil, etc)?
    How many eat sea-life or products using such (notice I didn’t say sea-food)?
    Or check to see if palm-oil is used? (or any number of other destructive agri-industries)
    Or buy clothes or other products with a massive pollution/climate change/environmental destruction imprint)?
    Bet you it’s most of them, just like it’s most adults.

    Reminds me of people calling for the head of someone who had beaten and tortured their dog, all gathered with signs and outrage at the courts…then go home and have a chicken dinner.

    Hypocrisy/Double-Think/Ignorance/Cognitive Dissonance no?

    On the other hand there’s virtually nothing produced/available that ISN’T made with Evil. Chocolate industry and child-slave labour anyone? (it is Halloween soon).

      1. Oregoncharles

        Depends on how it’s grown and processed. Could be much like mainstream ag.

        Incidentally, if you’re still coming to Oregon, it’s legal here. That’s why I’ve seen it grown with low inputs. Heck, there are Extension Service documents on it and news sttories in the local paper when, say, early rain makes the buds mold.

  15. TroyIA

    I have to admit that the Republican National Committee is a smooth operating machine. Just saw an anti Cheri Bustos ad during the evening news that criticized her for siding with radical Democrats in pushing for the impeachment of President Trump. So much for the next election being about health care, the cost of college or rising inequality.

    Unbelievable, as I was typing this the ad ran again.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Besides identifying and promoting their own talent, the GOP is naturally a regional rump party and has been for over two decades (I think Bill could have lost if they were more dynamic in 1992), and it boils down to necessity being the mother of invention.

      The GOP doesn’t invest in voter suppression because they believe in a silent majority. They want a silenced majority. Scandals were involved, but it wasn’t that long ago, Team Blue held Tom Delay and Denny Hastert’s seat. Democratic weakness have let them become less disciplined and the leftward shift of younger people is significant, resulting in a smaller GOP talent pool. As a result we see more buffoonery (whatever that Warren thing I’ve seen pop up today was strange).

  16. Anon in so cal

    UAW strike—-

    Did I read it wrong? The article said this is the longest nation-wide strike in half a century?

    What about the UAW’s 1998 strike against GM?

    1. rowlf

      Having been a union member for a long time union causes are very poorly covered by most news organizations, kind of like anti-war protests. The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press did some somewhat fair coverage as they seemed to understand their local subscribers. The national news coverage was pathetic, probably what Pravda and Izvestia wished they could be.

      NPR has been terrible for labor issue coverage for 20 – 30 years.

  17. John k

    Ca polls…
    I tried to get to a Bernie rally at S.d harbor in 2016, line at least a half mile long, not moving because doors hadn’t opened, I think they were trying to get bigger venue in convention center. I was oldest in the line, they were about 20-40 age. I gave up, couldn’t stand that long.
    Hopefully Bernie’s not polling better bc these people are not easily reached…. but it’s a lot easier to go vote than go to rallies. Lots of polling stations, just one rally place.
    And there’s more young now, and fewer that voted for Clinton.
    If Liz wins nom she moves to center right, loses the young, who maybe stay home. If Bernie wins I assume tds forces clintonites to hold their nose and go vote for Bernie.
    If not tulsi, who for Bernie’s veep? Warren looking a bit centrist, too.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I haven’t seen Tlaib to see if she kind of has “it”. Omar would be great, but I doubt that would be it because Americans…AOC is too young. Turner would be a tough sell without federal or statewide office. The “others” are too buffoonish and had a chance to audition and failed.

      I like Ro Khanna’s Sanders speech. The Senators are jokes by and large. The Governors are nobodies. The Mayor of South Bend is collecting oodles from billionaires, and I’m the only person who laughs at Tim Kaine, he’s that forgettable. Sanders worked closely with Khanna on the Yemen resolution in every aspect of it among other items.

      The do-nothing nature of the Obama Administration created a situation where there were “nice polite” congress critters who are also do nothings who never made noise. They are worthless. I can’t see anyone else unless Tlaib is politically good (again I haven’t watched her). Maybe Tammy Baldwin, despite the handicap of being a U.S. Senator.

      I see Khanna’s used the term “progressive capitalist” but I don’t see it being hard for him to say, “I’m a Sanders Democrat” as a 2016 endorser of Sanders.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          That may be the case though I tend to separate these people on whether they make points or are using word salad like Obama. It’s why I noted Beto’s attack on Mayor Wasilla times 10. It was a clear moral argument, not word salad. O’Rourke may have his problems, but i can’t see Obama and his clones making thone arguments. To me it shows a reasonable amount of thought and empathy.

          It’s where we are. The ages of Sanders and Warren should normally make them non viable and raise questions about their fitness for their current roles. In a way, Warren is a huge indictment on the Massachusetts Democratic party, even when she was 60. There should have been credible electeds ready to go.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Turners got my vote.

        Shes a natural up there on the stage. Way better than Palin or Kaine.

    2. cm

      IMO no one talks about voter turnout, and this is why IMO most of these polls are garbage. Sad fact is that those under 25 may talk a great game, but they WILL NOT turn up to vote!

      Key question is how to get young people to vote?

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > who for Bernie’s veep

      A question more urgent now than it was, sadly.

      Thinking laterally… Klobuchar. Sanders needs a Rahm Emmanuel in his camp. And Klobuchar’s tendency to throw binders and seek vengeance on staffers strikes that note. (I don’t read her as a backstabber, either, though people with more local knowledge than I have may correct me.) Also, she is, well, a woman.

  18. Summer

    It’s probably been said here and maybe more legal minds could have info, but is Trump making the gambit that he can’t be accused of asking foreign powers to “interfere” in the 2020 election because an investigation into Biden doesn’t stop the 2020 election?
    The 2020 election would happen with or without Biden.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If Trump has an rationale behavior, he’s banking on Pelosi and Schumer (Schiff too).

      The issue would be the claimed threat to shut down the promised payments to the Ukraine over BIden. Realpolitik matters. If the Kiev rump state had a credible justice system, its still such a small country they could be hesitant to investigate the actions of the immediate family of a Constitutional executive officer of the United States even if they had suspicions. Look at the uproar over Huawei and Canada. Its the most press Canada gets this side of the border. The Kiev based state needs the U.S. If Kiev’s security out fit wanted to investigate, I think the most likely way would be to interact with U.S. counter parts and kick it up the food chain with or without the knowledge of the Kiev executive branch (I’m not sure this is necessary). We don’t call it a colony, but its a colony. The Blue Raj isn’t going to arrest Baron of Worcestershire for murdering dozens of locals without careful negotiations.

      Trump is basically just a small time mafia boss and largely see his job as that, so this is unlikely. He probably just asks about everyone because they are all friends now.

  19. jessica

    Lambert: “I wouldn’t say that power is lying in the street,”
    No, but legitimacy is lying in the street. Though the current system does have snipers on the rooftop in case anyone tries to pick it up.

  20. fdr-fan

    You mention that the Ukraine stuff could be blackmail material for Biden. There’s no reason to postulate future blackmail.

    EVERYONE in a position of power is already blackmailed to the hilt from several different angles, and is blackmailing the other players from several different angles. That’s why they NEVER do anything meaningful. Any meaningful action would pull out a dossier. They just make noise to stir up campaign funds.

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