2:00PM Water Cooler 11/19/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Trade

“Global Shipment Giant Reckons Worst Is Over for Trade, Brexit” [Bloomberg]. “The worst may now be over for global trade as tensions over Brexit and the U.S.-China relationship show signs of easing, according to a key freight industry executive. ‘Brexit naturally slows everyone down in making decisions, but it will get resolved in the space of three to four months,’ John Pearson, who runs the worldwide DHL Express operations of Deutsche Post AG, said in an interview. ‘There is a positive mood within the China-U.S. trade relationship, that’s a fact. I’m not anticipating it to get any worse.'” • We’ll see!

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

Here is a second counter for the Iowa Caucus, which is obviously just around the corner:

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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 11/19/2019, 12:00 PM EST. HarrisX and Morning Consult have the Biden juggernaut back on the road, with Sanders a strong second, Warren a clear third, and Buttigied still second-tier. It looks like Warren’s #MedicareForAll rollout didn’t help her at all (at least nationally).

Here, the latest national results:

In South Carolina, Quinippiac has Biden taking a nine point dive, picked up by Undecided, as of 11/18/2019, 12:00 PM EST.

Here are the Iowa results:

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

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Booker (D)(1): “Why Hasn’t Cory Booker’s Campaign Caught Fire?” [Edward-Isaac Dovere, The Atlantic]. “Pete Buttigieg gets admiring attention for being a Rhodes Scholar. Kamala Harris gets attention for being a black candidate who has won statewide election. Beto O’Rourke got attention for speaking Spanish and being a social-media savant. But Booker is a Rhodes scholar, he was the first black candidate to win statewide in New Jersey, he speaks Spanish, and he has been a social-media phenomenon since back when he was famous for rescuing a freezing dog and a woman from a fire—yet he’s never captured the breathless (if sometimes fleeting) attention the others have in this race…. Booker and Deval Patrick are friendly—they met over the summer to talk about the race—but Patrick’s entrance into the race has got to feel galling, and perhaps like an existential threat. This is partly because both Patrick and Booker are now pinning their hopes on strong showings in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries (though Booker’s strategy also calls for him to surprise in the Iowa and Nevada caucuses). But it’s partly because even Patrick admits that he’s launching himself into the same political space Booker occupies, or at least has tried to occupy: center-left, business-friendly, aspirationally unifying.” • Maybe “center-left, business-friendly, aspirationally unifying” is a concept that has passed its sell-by date? Especiallyl the “aspirationally unifying” part?

Buttigieg (D)(1): “How Pete Buttigieg’s time at Columbia’s Fort Jackson has helped shape his candidacy” [The State]. “Buttigieg spent several weeks training at Columbia’s U.S. Army training base, Fort Jackson, long before the 2020 presidential hopeful began traveling to the Palmetto State to campaign.” • Several weeks! Come on, man. Surely Buttigieg can punch a ticket faster than that?

Buttigieg (D)(2): “Pete Buttigieg says he’s open to sending U.S. troops to Mexico” [McClatchy]. “South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said at a Latino forum in Los Angeles on Sunday that he’d be willing to send U.S. troops into Mexico to combat gang and drug violence. ‘There is a scenario where we could have security cooperation,’ Buttigieg said. Even so, he added a caveat: ‘I’d only order American troops into conflict if American lives were on the line and if it was necessary to meet treaty obligations.'” • Yeah, but we always say that.

UPDATE Buttigieg (D)(3): “Buttigieg Campaign Appeals To Moderate Republicans By Touting Low Approval Among Black Voters” [The Onion].

Sanders (D)(1): Maybe the troops from flyover are tired of dying for The Blob?

I still think Sanders could bring a flyover stadium to its feet with an anti-imperial message. Which would change everything.

Patrick (D)(1): Ouch:

Because witih private equity — and I’m sure Cory Booker would agree with this — everybody has a share.

UPDATE Patrick (D)(2): “Patrick defends corporations and capitalism in primary bid” [Associated Press]. “‘There is a role in the economy for private equity. You bet your life,’ Patrick said Monday night in an interview with The Associated Press during his first visit to Iowa since officially launching his campaign. There’s a lot of good that gets done by private interests investing in the country.'” • Read the room. Looks like Patrick’s got even worse political judgment than Warren.

Sanders (D)(2): “Why Los Angeles Teachers Endorsed Bernie” (interview) [Arlene Inouye, Jacobin]. “We wanted to shape history this time, rather than have it shape us. We learned from the process in 2016 about what happens when our national affiliates — NEA [National Education Association] and AFT [American Federation of Teachers] — do an early endorsement of a candidate — Hillary Clinton — without having a sense of the pulse of the membership. Fortunately, this year the affiliates have learned from that experience, and they are surveying members and providing candidate forums for input.” • Listening, WFP?

UPDATE Sanders (D)(3): “Bernie Sanders campaign says it has gotten 4M contributions” [San Francisco Chronicle]. “Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign says that it has received more than 4 million donations from people nationwide. During Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, he didn’t reach that number of contributions until after winning the New Hampshire primary. That’s when the Vermont senator was rising from virtual unknown nationally to credible challenger of Hillary Clinton, the eventual Democratic nominee.” • I would still like to know a multiplier for donations. This number is large enough to be a measurable percentage of the population. It’s not 637 people selected from the phone book and some secret sauce to compensate for those gosh-darned kids using mobile and not picking up.

Yang (D)(1): “Yang Doesn’t Add Up” [John Nichols, Op-Ed News]. [Yang’s] plan sounds a little libertarian when his campaign website explains his UBI proposal this way: “‘Current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally — most would prefer cash with no restriction.’ I asked Yang about the progressive-versus-libertarian debate. ‘We can do a best-of-both-worlds approach,’ he replied. ‘I’m certainly not one of these ultraconservative types who wants to dismantle every social program on the books. I think that we need to lay a foundation in the form of those dividends and then see what the additional problems are and try to solve those as well.’ That’s too vague and unsettling for those of us who believe that if UBI is tried in a big way, it must be associated with a muscular social welfare state.”

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UPDATE “Here Are The Billionaires Funding The Democratic Presidential Candidates” [Forbes]. With handy chart:

I crossed out Sanders, because “Bernie Sanders returned $470 from the only billionaire who donated to his campaign.”

“The left smells a rat in Bloomberg, Patrick bids” [Politico]. “‘There’s clearly anxiety from parts of the Democratic Party establishment and donor class about becoming a party that is unapologetic about taking on oligarchs, whether they’re Donald Trump or Jeff Bezos,’ said Waleed Shahid, a former Sanders aide who now works for the progressive group Justice Democrats. ‘While he’ll basically try to buy votes through tons of ads, billionaire candidates like Bloomberg remain deeply unpopular. Deval’s supporters compare him to Obama, but forget that Obama also ran as an outsider populist in the 2008 primaries.’… Party donors and moderates dismiss those characterizations, arguing that they are simply keeping the long game in mind — winning, followed by governance.” • Since when have liberal Democrats ever governed?

Impeachment

“Vindman corrects Nunes, ‘Ranking member, it’s Lt. Col. Vindman, please'” [NBC]. “Nunes then turned back to the NSC adviser, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, ‘Mr. Vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower.’ Vindman pointedly responded, ‘Ranking member, it’s Lt. Col. Vindman, please.'” • Vindman’s correction triggered a liberalgasm on the Twitter, but I see very little wrong with tweaking spook brass, especially the politicized kind. Lighten up. Where’s your sense of humor?

And speaking of Vindman, I hate to cite to the Federalist, but:

Come on, man. Children of six know this.

So Fiona Hill (crisply authoritative Brit accent, spook, scheduled for later this week) is a loon, too:

UPDATE “Poll: Support for impeachment inquiry ticks down” [Politico]. “[A]s investigators look to continue making their case for impeachment to the public, support for the inquiry has ticked down over the past week, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. The survey, which has tracked support and opposition for the inquiry each week, found that support for the investigation inched down 2 points — to 48 percent from 50 percent — while opposition to the inquiry ticked up 3 points — to 45 percent from 42 percent.” • Could it be that The Blob just isn’t that popular?

“Impeachment: Frequently Asked Questions” [POGO]. “There is no shortage of questions about impeachment and confusion about the process seems to have also enveloped Congress itself. But there’s an abundance of experts and historians on hand to help, including a few here at POGO. We’re using this FAQ to capture the many questions around impeachment, and provide the best answers we can find. We will continually update this FAQ, and hope that you will submit your questions to us (you can do so here).” • Impeachment followers might wish to bookmar this or even ask a question: POGO is sane; they do great work on military horror-shows like the F-35.

Obama Legacy

Good times:

Feel free to circulate widely, Twitterati. And ditto–

UPDATE Obama on single payer in 2003:

Single payer advocates are not being cynical or paranoid when they share concerns about beingm betrayed by liberal Democrats. They’ve learned from bitter experience.

Our Famously Free Press

“Fox has filed a trademark application for a TV show called ‘OK boomer'” [CNN]. • “ok boomer” migrated from the liberal New York Times to conservative FOX with surprising speed.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Yglesias comes up with a nut:

It’s heartwarming to see Sanders hijacking Ruy Teixeira’s “coalition of the ascendant” from liberal Democrats, who thought they could sit back and let demographics do their work for them, as a party.

Stats Watch

Housing Starts, October 2019: “Upward acceleration for residential investment is the indication from housing starts and permits” [Econoday].

Quarterly Services Report [Advance], Q3 2019: “Information sector revenue for the third quarter of 2019 increased” [Econoday].

E-Commerce Retail Sales, Q3 2019: “E-commerce sales rose” [Econoday]. “As a percentage of total retail sales, third-quarter e-commerce rose.”

Retail: “Inside Walmart’s Corporate Culture Clash Over E-Commerce” [Bloomberg]. “Store-based merchants focus on profit per item and steady supply, to avoid empty shelves. Online merchants, though, obsess over the accuracy of product listing details, so that web searches turn up the right stuff. To match Amazon’s powerful pricing algorithms, some products would show a different price online than in the store.” • Obvious when it’s stated…

Commodities: “The slowdown in U.S. shale-drilling activity is sending pain through supply chains serving the energy industry. The number of new wells in the U.S. fell 20% to a two-year low in October as low energy prices put a damper on investment” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “Sector leader Lineage Logistics LLC just pulled off a $900 million acquisition of two-year-old startup Emergent Cold that brings the company’s total refrigerated capacity to more than 1.7 billion cubic feet… The buy looks like a competitive response to the rapid growth of Americold Realty Trust, which is the No. 2 provider of refrigerated warehouses” [Wall Street Journal]. “The companies are scaling up as shifting consumer tastes toward fresh foods and the rapid growth in online grocery sales have fueled more demand for refrigerated storage. Transportation companies are paying more attention, with several shipping companies adding thousands of temperature-controlled containers to their fleets over the past two years.” • Totally sustainable!

Tech: “Phineas Fisher Offers $100,000 Bounty to Hack Banks and Oil Companies” [Vice]. “An infamous vigilante hacker known for their hits on surveillance companies is launching a new kind of bug bounty to reward hacktivists who do public interest hacks and leaks. The hacker, known as Phineas Fisher, published a new manifesto on Friday, offering to pay hackers up to $100,000 in what they called the ‘Hacktivist Bug Hunting Program.” The idea is to pay other hackers who carry out politically motivated hacks against companies that could lead to the disclosure of documents in the public interest. The hacker said he will pay in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Monero. As an example of targets, the hacker mentioned mining and livestock companies in South America, Israeli spyware vendor NSO Group, and oil company Halliburton.”

Manufacturing: “NTSB calls on Boeing to redesign 737s after deadly 2018 Southwest accident” [CNBC]. “Federal safety officials on Tuesday recommended Boeing redesign the engine covers on thousands of its popular 737 planes to better withstand the impact of engine failures. The National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendations come after its examination of Southwest Flight 1380. During the April 2018 flight, a fan blade broke off one of the engines, punctured a three-panel window and sucked a passenger partly out of the plane briefly. The passenger died. It was the first accident-related fatality on a U.S. airline in almost a decade.” • Hoo boy.

Concentration: “How Yahoo Japan and Line dominate online life in Japan” [Nikkei Asian Review]. “For a large swathe of the Japanese population, Yahoo Japan and Line meet most their internet and social media needs. Messaging app Line is used by 81% of internet users in Japan, according to ICT Research and Consulting. The Yahoo! News portal is read by more than 50% of internet users on a weekly basis, according to Digital News Report released by Reuters Institute.” • Yahoo is big in Japan. Who knew?

Concentration:

So just roll the tape backwards…

Honey for the Bears: “Zero Real Yields Are Tripping Up Investors” [Bloomberg]. “Interest rates are not only low but, adjusted for inflation, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note is zero. This has been the case for some years now, and will likely continue in a world of chronic excess capacity and surplus savings that has been generated by globalization. Yet individual investors and financial institutions are far from recognizing and adapting to this reality. Instead, they’re taking bigger risks in their search for yield. The result may be severe financial problems, especially if the recession I believe the economy is nearing unfolds. Examples of extreme risk taking and high financial leverage are legion. The Federal Reserve agrees; in a twice-yearly report meant to flag stability threats on the central bank’s radar, it said that continuing low interest rates could dent U.S. bank profits and push bankers into riskier behavior that might threaten the nation’s financial stability.”

Honey for the Bears: “Recession Warning: Freight Volumes Negative YoY for 11th Straight Month” [MishTalk]. “Donald Broughton, founder of Broughton Capital and author the Cass Freight Index says the index signals contraction, possibly by the end of the year. That’s just one one month away.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 80 Extreme Greed (previous close: 83, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 89 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 19 at 12:52pm. Seems to be drifting toward neutral. We didn’t even break 90!

The Biosphere

“Trudeau’s Climate Change Math Is Incomplete” [The Tyee]. “[I]s Canada playing a high stakes political game that exploits a weakness in international carbon accounting to shift blame on to other countries[?]…. Under the UN Convention, developed countries are required to report their greenhouse gas emissions every year. They only account, however, for emissions physically occurring within their national boundaries. This means that Canada does not count more than 900 million tonnes of carbon dioxide that comes from others burning our fossil fuel exports each year. This amount far exceeds our own territorial emissions that are just over 700 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents. Canada completely washes its hands of any responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions that result from our massive fossil fuel exports. Yet, we know full well that the impacts of carbon emissions are shared globally. To put it crudely: not only are we screwing future generations ourselves, we are aiding and abetting other countries in doing so too.”

“What Butterflies’ Colorful Wing Patterns Can Teach Us About Evolution” [Smithsonian]. “When different species independently develop traits that closely resemble each other, that’s convergent evolution—it means that the same evolutionary solution boosted their chances of survival. Butterflies provide good case studies of this phenomenon because they’re impressive mimics. Some types of butterflies can produce cyanide-like toxins, making them very unpleasant prey. “A bird will eat a butterfly and learn, after one, or two, or three experiences, not to eat it anymore,” explains Concha. The bird remembers that butterfly from its wing patterns and avoids it. Other species, poisonous and harmless alike, that live in the same area have evolved lookalike wings for protection.”

“Gone with the Wind: How to Lose a Lifetime of Soil Health” [AgWeb]. “Agriculture’s past sometimes is separated from its present by the barest degree, and the glaring story of soil loss in North Dakota, highlighted by the efforts of researcher Dave Franzen, is a signpost account of cost and consequence, with relevance for the entire farming industry. Even today, after a grower works a Dakota field and looks in the back window—the soil appears as black as it did in years past. It is not. As Franzen bluntly summarizes: ‘People can’t believe how much soil we once had in this state. The really rich stuff is long gone and some farmers never realize that.'” • More hysteresis.

“The Woman Who Can Smell Parkinson’s” [Der Spiegel]. “The scientific term for [Joy Milne’s] extremely acute sense of smell is, from the Greek word ‘osme,’ meaning ‘odor.’ It is a condition associated with epilepsy, psychosis and pregnancy, but Milne has had an elevated sense of smell since childhood. Of herself, she says: ‘When it comes to my sense of smell, I’m somewhere between a person and a dog.’… For the last several years, scientists have taken an acute interest in her nose. Milne, after all, is also able to smell diseases. People with Alzheimer’s smell to her like rye bread, diabetes like nail polish, cancer like mushrooms and tuberculosis like damp cardboard. Having provided care to thousands of sick people in her life, she has had plenty of contact with various illnesses. Milne, though, is most familiar with the smell of Parkinson’s. It’s the disease that killed her husband Leslie and his mother, who she also cared for during her illness.” • I wonder how many other undiscovered talents like Milne’s there are? I bet lots.

Breathing As A Service™:

Health Care

“New perk for Warren elected officials: free health insurance for life” [Macomb Daily]. “Before lame duck Warren City Council members left office following the Nov. 5 election, they quietly gave themselves a nice parting gift. With no fanfare or explanation, the seven officials voted unanimously in September to change the rules by providing free health insurance and dental coverage for themselves and eligible dependents. For life.” • That’s Medicare for Some, though. Nothing wrong with that!

Groves of Academe

“The 2017 College Grad Who Got Attacked by a Horde of YA Authors Had No Idea What She Was Getting Into” [Slate]. “For [Sarah] Dessen’s defenders, any criticism of her books amounted to ‘a swipe at a huge swathe of YA and, frankly, at teen girls,’ as author Justine Larbalestier tweeted. Jodi Picoult, whose novels have sold 40 million copies, saw it as evidence of a ‘sinister‘ belief that ‘stories about young women matter less.’ She framed her extended defense of Dessen (to her 172,000 Twitter followers) as an opportunity to ‘fight the patriarchy.’ ‘The patriarchy’ in this case is a recent college graduate from Volga, South Dakota, who had no idea what she was getting into when she spoke with a local news reporter about her literary taste.” • The University, naturally, apologized to Dessen.

Class Warfare

“Many Americans Over 65 Face Economic Insecurity, Even If They’re Healthy” [Bloomberg]. “The majority of Americans living alone are at risk of not being able to pay for basic needs. That’s according to new estimates of financial insecurity among Americans 65 and older from the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The Elder Index calculated by the university and other researchers tracks the income needed for older adults in good health. It shows that on average a single person without a mortgage requires $21,012 per year to pay for basic needs, or $31,800 per couple. Regional price variations change the estimates significantly.” • I can’t wait until the political class can finally gin up enough intergenerational hatred to get a Grand Bargain passed and shove some more elders off onto the ice floes. It’s about time!

“FedEx Corp. is overhauling its retirement program as it adjusts to broader changes in the workplace. The company is closing its pension plan to new U.S. hires starting next year… joining the ranks of large U.S. companies phasing out guaranteed retirement benefits” [Wall Street Journal]. “[T]he company is also following a larger shift in retirement planning in the corporate arena. FedEx is part of a shrinking group of U.S. companies with traditional pension plans, and the company told its workers that just 22% of Fortune 50 companies and 11% of transportation companies offer pensions to new hires. Rival United Parcel Service Inc. closed its pension plan to new workers in 2016.” • Anti-solidarity two-tier, ugh.

“How FedEx Cut Its Tax Bill to $0” [New York Times (SF). SF read the comments section, and:

My friend is a FedEx driver, or so I thought. He wears a FedEx uniform and drives a FedEx truck, but he works for a third party delivery service. He said he’s the lucky one. FedEx classified his colleagues delivering FedEx packages as independent contractors, gig workers with no worker’s compensation if they get hurt or need major rehabilitation. They can be fired at will without the right to unemployment insurance as a buffer to homelessness while they look for a new position. The gig drivers don’t have paid family leave or sick days, so they better bank a nest egg small business owners who to amass. But alas, they aren’t small business owners, they’re gig workers making Smith and other oligarchs rich. Attire is the only thing robber barons change from one generation to the next.

News of the Wired

“Deeper Insights Emerge into How Memories Form” [Scientific American]. “A new study from the University of Toronto, published on-line this week in the journal Neuron furnishes support for this theory. It provides evidence that the basic act of learning whether one’s environs are safe or not, a behavior common to all animals, depends on glial cells that form the fatty sheath called myelin—electrical insulation that covers nerve fibers. The new theory postulates that establishing indelible memories that can be recalled long after sensory input or training on a task involves an interaction between glia and peculiar brain waves produced during sleep.”

“Handwriting: An Elegy” [The Economist (DJG)]. “We have come to think of typing as faster than writing. That may or may not be so. Some research suggests that the conjunction of brain and writing hand is possibly more efficient. A study by the University of Washington in 2009 found that schoolchildren wrote faster, and wrote more, when they had to compose essays for ten minutes with pen on paper rather than on computers. The word “cursive” means running; it was invented to avoid time-wasting lifting of the stylus or the pen, with a series of fluid joins and, in the most hectic styles, looping ascenders and descenders. In the early 19th century, when people corresponded several times a day by letter, quasi-tweeting the state of nerves, weather and tea-invitations from hour to hour, quill and pen must have raced across the paper at prodigious speeds.” • A lovely piece, well worth reading. I had to redesign my handwriting to annotate photoes on my iPad. It improved, but not much.

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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 (CM):

CM writes: “Big fan from Toronto, Canada. I work at a garden centre during the summer and also recently took a trip out to the Rockies.” (This photo is from the Rockies, not the garden center.)

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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.

228 comments

  1. JohnnyGL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGujcxfnY2w – Adoph Reed actually suggests if Bernie comes close to winning, he might be killed.

    That gave me a really awful feeling. I hope he’s wrong.

    Especially when you look at Warren’s godawful statements on foreign policy, lately. S. America clearly needs a Bernie presidency, as well as a lot of other countries, if they’re going to catch a break from US imperialism.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      You aren’t the only one.

      When I was volunteering for Bernie’s 2015-16 run, I was part of the media escort team at his October 2015 Reid Park rally. This park is one of Tucson’s biggest, and I was shocked at how little security there was.

      Well, a few months later, I was chatting with a friend whose son had interned at the Tucson Police Department. He was doing a crime statistics analytics internship as part of his undergraduate major in public administration at the University of Arizona. (He’s now a PhD student at another university.)

      After my friend and her son arrived at the Reid Park rally, he got real serious. Why? Because he felt the need to tell his mom that the police were very worried about the light security that was on the road with Sanders. The son gave his mother a briefing on what to do if there was an active shooter.

      Fortunately, the rally went off without a hitch.

      In March 2016, Sanders returned to Tucson for a rally at the convention center. And, boy-howdy, were the Secret Service out in force.

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Krystal Ball is on fire lately, isn’t she? I’ve only read Reed, and heard him on podcasts, but it’s good to see him. As for Sanders not going up in small planes, like Wellstone, well, yes…

      Reply
      1. June Goodwin

        Yes. She and Saagar on Rising/TheHill are covering the political scebe that the mainstream media is assiduously avoiding. If one follows (no need to use twitter oneself) the twitter feeds of Ryan Grim, Matt Taibbi, and Bernie’s campaign people — David Sirota, Faiz Shakir, Brianna Joy Gray and Nina Turner — one can actually get some idea of what most citizens don’t see. So much is below the mainstream radar.

        Reply
          1. notabanker

            I listened to this today, very impressive in a very non-threatening way. Just matter of fact about the problems and, imo, very real about the mood of the citizenry. Highly recommended.

            Reply
      2. ChrisAtRU

        I first learned about Adolph Reed on this website – his prescient 1996 quote about Obama. Good to see him deliver the goods in the flesh as well. As foul play goes, it doesn’t have to reach Patrice Lumumba scale. Remember, team #paidToLose did quite nicely by closing polling stations, purging voter rolls and using their “media wing” to kneecap Bernie last time around. This time, they may not have #SuperDelegates on the 1st ballot, but they have a field of five to ten that they’re gonna keep around till the first few primaries. The goal is to prevent Bernie from getting to 51%, and with “polls as players” in their back pocket, any underhanded machinations will have a handy poll to justify the dirty deed. In addition, let’s see if they wait till nearer the primary cycle’s end to kill exit polling as they did in 2016 or if it becomes another weapon to deploy earlier.

        #ConstantVigilance

        Reply
        1. RubyDog

          Ok, my curiosity piqued, I found this interesting Adolph Reed interview

          https://www.publicbooks.org/public-thinker-adolph-reed-jr-on-organizing-race-and-bernie-sanders/

          I particularly like this quote – “But one of the problems with the sort of Protestant leftism that we have now is that people don’t seem capable of thinking clearly about the turds that they polish for public consumption.” That perfectly describes the so called “Centrist” Democrats and why they are having a hard time catching fire.

          Reply
          1. ChrisAtRU

            Nice find! #TYVM

            Centrist Dems are vapid gatekeepers of the fetid status quo … the only “catching fire” they really know how to do is that exemplified by the setting ablaze of ridiculous amounts of money on campaign consultants.

            Reply
      3. Stephen V.

        I’ve a standard legal reference book on bankruptcy. The intro states flat out–without the death of Paul Wellstone, no bankruptcy reform legislation. Just sayin’

        Reply
        1. Carey

          From 2002-
          ‘Bob Dylan, Dick Cheney and Paul Wellstone’:

          “..Most Americans had no idea where Eveleth, Minnesota, was until they saw the maps showing where Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife and daughter, three staffers and two pilots perished in a plane crash Friday.

          Not so Bob Dylan.

          A native of Hibbing, a city just 30 miles from Eveleth, the songwriter grew up as Robert Zimmerman on the northern Minnesota Iron Range where Wellstone was a populist hero to the Steelworkers and other trade unionists who continue to dominate the region’s politics..”

          https://www.thenation.com/article/bob-dylan-dick-cheney-and-paul-wellstone/

          What a country.

          Reply
        1. Carey

          I *had* forgotten; thank you. So many mysterious deaths (Michael Hastings, or Gary Webb, or Michael Ruppert, anyone?), so little time..

          but Pootin

          Reply
    3. Danny

      That’s exactly why Tulsi Gabbard should be his vice president.
      They’rd rather have him than her.

      Good training for her in 2024 or 2028.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        As if any one person or even a pair have a chance of derailing all the congealing and concentrating and accelerating skeins of Empire and “capitalism” and technology and stuff. “Us, not me!”? may not be enough…

        Reply
  2. Wukchumni

    “Fox has filed a trademark application for a TV show called ‘OK boomer’”

    Pilot episode:

    Set in the outskirts of Oklahoma City, follow the travails of a sixty something Sooner Boomer with minimal savings & maximum owing. He’s still a few years away from claiming Social Security, and counting the days.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Episode I: The head gasket of Sooner Boomer’s RV blows, 100 miles from the nearest Walmart. Hilarity ensues!

      I think this is the episode where Sooner acquires a loveable sidekick. A dog? It’s been so long since I’ve watched TV I’m not sure I can come up with the right tropes.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        I say we make it a dragon instead of a dog….the old ‘chasing the dragon’ reference to heroin use.

        Perhaps the dragon seems friendly at first, leading him down the path towards Medicare for All….but later, the dragon is revealed to be a poisonous, treacherous enemy!

        Reply
            1. rowlf

              Wallstreet should move there. Cut their salaries but explain that with the low cost of living it would be like a raise. Plus they could use their abilities to create the perfect community around themselves without the detrimental influence of government services and regulation. A financial services utopia designed by super-people!

              Reply
      2. ambrit

        Well, an example of geezer with canine sidekick I can think of is “Travels With Charley,” by Steinbeck and, for the feline aficionados, “Harry and Tonto,” as a peripatetic filmic picaro, starring Art Carney.

        Reply
      3. ewmayer

        Ooh, at this point we can work in a little riff on a football-themed convo Wuk and I had in yesterday’s Links:

        Episode 2: Having been wonderfully surprised at the success of his GoFundMe campaign to raise RV-fixing money, Sooner Boomer now has enough money to spare to get his new lovable canine sidekick dewormed at a local 24/7 veterinary clinic – where the midnight-shift vet is an attractive Bohemian-lifestyle boomerette who also lives in an RV! – and gas up the RV. With this promising new-love-interest subplot percolating, Sooner Boomer hits the road and drives to Cleveland, Ohio, where he has scored an in-person meeting with fellow Sooner Baker Mayfield, 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and now the endearingly eccentric quarterback of the long-struggling Cleveland Browns of the NFL. Sooner Boomer thanks Mayfield for his generous contribution to the Fix-the-RV GoFundMe campaign, then, with a view toward improving his own digs, asks about Baker’s alternative lifestyle living inside the bowels of the Progressive Field, the Browns’ stadium. Mayfield replies “dude, you know that’s just a made-up thing for the Progressive Insurance ads, right?” Sooner Boomer is crushed, but soon lights upon a promising new plan…

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Episode 1.6

          Sooner Boomer is a bit desperate, and types in GoFunMe on his smartphone, and receives party hats, noise makers and those things that look like a giant tongue curling out when you blow into them. Undaunted @ missing out on a letter in the web search, said Boomer sticks it all on CraigsList and gets $14 from somebody ostensibly desirous of fun, and blows the proceeds on a 30 pack of Keystone Light.

          Reply
          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I don’t think Sooner Boomer has a cell-phone. He has a flip-phone. The millennial backpacker Sooner rescues from trying to hitchhike their way out of Fort Peck Montana in Episode 4 has a cellphone, which becomes a running gag and source of endless hijinks, and then a McGuffin in Episode 7, when the backpaper loses it down a storm drain.

            Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          We’re gonna sell the capitalists the tropes with which they hang themselves.

          Thanks, I’ll be here all evening, and TV Tropes is a great site, conceptually and for the content.

          Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      Oh, they’re bringing back that loveable 1970s TV show formula about shaggy dogs roaming the country and helping people in trouble? Sweet!

      Reply
  3. Wukchumni

    I’m proud of the stance that California took, so as to make seeing cursive an everyday common thing experienced by all in their coming & goings.

    Reply
    1. eg

      My grade 8 teacher forbade me to submit any work in cursive, so atrocious was my handwriting. So I had to print, but was allowed to connect the printed letters with “tails” — so to this day I have a weird print/cursive hybrid

      But I mostly type, despite only getting 50% in grade 9 typing class (and that was a push) …

      Reply
  4. Sol

    Upward acceleration for residential investment…”

    Remember when homes were things humans lived in? That was neat too.

    Reply
  5. Amfortas the hippie

    Re:“Why Hasn’t Cory Booker’s Campaign Caught Fire?”

    reads like a pokemon script, or I-Carly.
    or WWE?

    a quest to obtain shiny objects…a glowing gold ring!…in order to advance to the next level.
    Comparing bluechecks, sans consideration for political economy, or the lived reality of the unwashed, sitting enthralled by the puppet show.
    and this is what can be expected to “beat” Bernie.
    watered down bullshit, emitted as a confusing fog.
    more and more, i think we deserve trump, and am resigned to four more years, so that maybe the lesson sinks in.

    (and in case I’m wrong(hopefully!): i nominate willie nelson for policy czar of legal weed, dammit)

    Reply
      1. Carey

        I didn’t hear the positive part- I’ll watch it again. What I recall, after his initial dismissal, was talk of “niches” and “positioning”. Couldn’t have anything to do with Gabbard’s principles, I guess (not that I know for certain what they are).

        Reply
        1. ptb

          yeah. he had a hard time with identifying “who exactly are Tulsi’s people? I can’t think of any one group”….

          should’ve been easy to answer: It is Democrats whose #1 issue is anti-war. Seems that wavelength of light is blocked by the former-Kerry-adviser filter.

          Reply
  6. DJG

    Further on SF’s retrieval of the comment about how FedEx treats (or doesn’t treat) its precarious drivers, I will recommend Ken Loach’s new movie, which just was shown at the Chicago Film Festival. It is entitled Sorry We Missed You.

    Loach sets the movie in the north of England–the Newcastle metro area, which has plenty of economic problems. The lead characters are a man who takes on a package-delivery truck as a “franchise” and his wife, a home-care nurse. So he’s a gig worker, constantly being yelled at, and she’s trying to keep the elderly at home and functioning in a society that doesn’t care much about the elderly.

    The young woman to my left and the young man to my right were visibly and audibly troubled by this domestic-economic story. But that is what good art is all about–sometimes, you get out the handkerchief because you are crying about how bad it is for everyone.

    Reply
    1. turtle

      Good to hear about the new movie. Loach is a solid filmmaker who frequently focuses on the poor and precarious in his movies. It would be interesting to compile a list of (good) filmmakers who consistently focus on the same segments of society, which unfortunately appears to be rare. So far I can only think of:

      Ken Loach
      Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (aka the Dardenne brothers – incidentally some of my favorite filmmakers)

      Any others?

      Reply
        1. turtle

          Good call – Winter’s Bone was really good. Thanks for the Leave No Trace suggestion! I hope to watch it this weekend.

          Reply
        1. turtle

          It seems to be Taylor Sheridan. He hasn’t directed much yet, but seems to be a great screenwriter, with his script for “Hell or High Water” (2016) apparently being in a similar focus to what I was looking for (property loss to banks). Thanks for the suggestion!

          Reply
  7. XXYY

    Pete Buttigieg says he’s open to sending U.S. troops to Mexico

    I’m sure the Mexican people will be extremely thrilled to have US troops turned loose in their country.

    Pretty much every other nation has turned out better for it.

    Reply
    1. DonCoyote

      Putin says he is open to sending Russian troops to U.S. (not an Onion headline but should be)

      “More than 2,000 citizens dead or wounded in massing shootings this year, the level of gun violence in the U.S. is out of control. Russia must make things safe again for Russian students and tourists abroad.”

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        There was a federal agency gun-running (by intent or inadvertence, reader’s choice), remember “FAST AND FUROUS”? This piece gave me a number of sardonic belly laughs: https://www.abqjournal.com/12348/950am-batf-official-gun-running-to-mexico-getting-sophisticated.html

        And of course it’s just Conspiracy Theory, all the stuff that has occasionally surfaced about the CIA helping Americans get sufficient quantities of heroin and cocaine and its “crack” variant in a kind of “GoFundMe” activity that had a lot of unacknowledgeable contacts in Mexico and Points South: https://oig.justice.gov/special/9712/ch01p1.htm Is the San Jose Mercury News still doing investigative reporting, or has that outlet been swallowed by the Blob’s Mockingbird?

        What is it we informed mopes or deplorables used to say, shaking our heads at the stupidities of the Government We Are Supposed To See As The Problem, Not The Solution? “Your tax dollars at work”? I guess we are only to think such thoughts of the parts of “government” that provide concrete material benefits to the mopes, not those other parts that are supposed to not be seen…

        Reply
  8. dcblogger

    at some point the kleptocracy will work out that there is no magic centrist with the power to stop Bernie. At that point they will throw their weight behind Warren, and when it becomes clear she does not have the power to stop him things will get SERIOUSLY ugly.

    Reply
    1. Big River Bandido

      The beauty of the whole thing is that the establishment which is desperate to do so can’t seem to settle on a candidate to unite around. Or when they do (Harris, Biden, Warren), they all eventually tank when the voters turn away in disgust.

      Shades of the 2016 Republican primary.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        If the Establishment gets to the point of not having anything to counter the Bernie Bus electorally, there certainly is more than enough collective experience among those folks to arrange to blithely discard all pretense and just jump directly to rule by fiat…

        Reply
  9. DJG

    This melodramatic “altercation” and the report on it (though brief) exist! Such things exist:

    “Nunes then turned back to the NSC adviser, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, ‘Mr. Vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower.’ Vindman pointedly responded, ‘Ranking member, it’s Lt. Col. Vindman, please.’”

    It is like something out of a Viennese light comedy (with invasions and repression of minorities, of course, but with Kaffee mit Schlag afterwards):

    You must addrress me as Mein Schutzgruberoberkommandantengeschlestchigkeit!

    Sorry, Vindman. I didn’t believe Oliver North. And I don’t believe you.

    Reply
          1. joey

            ‘please don’t refer to me as ranking member’ would have been my automatic ‘I’m in charge here’ retort. I guess that makes me unelectable.

            Reply
    1. voteforno6

      When I was in grad school, I had an independent reading course with a kindly old professor who had graduated from the University of Virginia. He told me that there they all referred to Thomas Jefferson as “Mr. Jefferson,” since, per Jefferson’s example, that the highest title that any person could hope to achieve in a democracy is “Mister” (or the female equivalent). That stuck with me, and it comes to mind every time I hear someone insist on being addressed with some other title.

      Reply
      1. Sol

        Now we openly have “elites” – who apparently can’t find their bottoms with both hands and a map. Sad turn of events.

        I say we challenge anyone who claims to be “elite” to a spelling contest until they knock that off.

        Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Vindman: “Ranking member, it’s Lt. Col. Vindman, please’”

      Nunes: “And that is Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, son.”

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I heard a clip of Nancy P being asked what she thought about the possibility of Trump “testifying” in their Star Chamber.

        She said “If he wants to come in and take the oath of office then he is free to”

        Freudian.

        Reply
    3. Chris Hargens

      Let’s keep in mind Nunes’ motivation in addressing Vindman in this way — a small but effective attack on his loyalty by downgrading his status. I doubt that Nunes would have addressed one of the Republican witnesses in this way. Instead, just like the Democrats with Vindman, he would have treated him with great respect, playing up his patriotism and military accomplishments. I think Vindman saw this and understandably moved to correct.

      Reply
      1. joey

        If Nunes were clever, he would have apologized and asked what gender terms Vindman preferred. “I’m sorry to be presumptuous, are you a he,she or they?”

        Reply
  10. Synoia

    Pete Buttigieg says he’s open to sending U.S. troops to Mexico…

    Why not just end the Prohibition on “Illegal Drugs” Drugs? I’m sure the Mexical will welcome US troops invading their Country.

    I’m continual amazed by how our leaders deliberately ignore Root Cause.

    Reply
    1. russell1200

      It is amazing. I presume even Trump was more interested in lobbing some missiles over his wall, than putting boots on the ground.

      Reply
    2. Eduardo

      Why not just end the Prohibition on “Illegal Drugs” Drugs?

      Ending prohibition is (part of) an obvious answer to a very serious problem. I can only assume that there are powerful vested interests that want to keep things as they are.

      Billion-Dollar Philadelphia Cocaine Bust Largest in US Customs History

      Who can finance a billion dollar drug shipment?

      This is an unfortunate coincidence: Ship seized in $1.3 billion cocaine bust is owned by JP Morgan Chase. Not sayin’ they’re playin’.

      Plus all the seized money and property guilty of drug crimes would no longer be available for confiscation. And who would fill the private prisons?

      It would be bad for the powerful interests or it would have already happened.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        A ruling class has to have discretionary power, otherwise they don’t actually rule anything. One of the many avenues of discretionary power used through history is the otherwise senseless micromanagement of the lives of their subordinates.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Franklin said we have a Republic “if we can keep it”.

          More apt: we have a Republic if we deserve it. We don’t, as most people just do what they are told to do by the MSM.

          Reply
          1. Carey

            >if we deserve it. We don’t, as most people just do what they are told to do by the MSM.

            Not sure I agree with that statement: the amount of digitally-enabled disinfo / corporatist propaganda that We The People are daily subjected to could in time mentally crumple most anyone, in my opinion.
            One could almost think that these omnipresent digital™ devices were made with that purpose primarily in mind..

            “conspiracy theoriss!!!”

            Reply
            1. Carey

              Adding: “woke” corporatism, as with the recent Gillette™ anti-man campaign, deserves special mention. I expect to see much more of that kind of private-public™partnership, soon.

              Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Methinks that b-boy bouiebaisse was thinking of this famous quote of Anatole France:

      The poor must work for this, in presence of the majestic quality of the law which prohibits the wealthy as well as the poor from sleeping under the bridges, from begging in the streets, and from stealing bread.

      Reply
  11. flora

    re:“Fox has filed a trademark application for a TV show called ‘OK boomer’” [CNN].

    Why, it’s almost like recent the msm ‘ok boomer’ shout outs were product placements, paid or arranged, almost. heh.

    Reply
    1. danpaco

      “OK Boomer” has been a fairly common meme with my 16 year old and the Gen Z crowd for a while. There is no Zeitgiest or marketing plan, it’s simply become mainstream.

      Reply
      1. The Historian

        One of my good friends is a retired school teacher in her late 70’s and she looks just like what a nice dignified retired school teacher should look like. She went to a City Council meeting in her city and was making a statement on some issue when she heard someone behind her go “OK Boomer”. She told me she just turned and wagged her middle finger at them and then went on with her statement. She said it was worth it just to see the apoplectic looks she got.

        Anyone who sneers “OK Boomer” at me is going to get the same treatment.

        Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Of course those killed off by this kind of malignant neglect are no longer contributing to the inputs to global climate collapse and extermination of other species, so there’s that…

      “… so always look for the silver lining,
      And try find the Sunny Side of Life…”

      Judy Garland, 1946 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFITLxanHoU (When I found this link, YouTube kindly supplied an ad for a book from some Aussie lady on how to sell “154,521 units of my product on Amazon” — now there’s a yellow brick road to a Silver Lining…

      Reply
  12. Plenue

    A glimpse of how the average person is reacting to the Jeffery Epstein scandal in general, and the Prince (why do these still exist? Do we still have wizards to?) Andrew interview in particular (warning: potty mouth, if that sort of thing upsets you):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZlDfhdrzxw

    Paraphrasing; “Humanity has never agreed on anything, until the belief that Jeffrey Epstein’s death was at least fishy.”

    I didn’t watch the Andrew interview, because I’m not interested in wasting an hour of my life on a stuttering fat parasite. But before I thought the worst part was when he was ‘just being polite’ about a sex offender. I didn’t realize he literally claimed he couldn’t have been sweating profusely because he had a medical condition that prevented him from sweating (that he got in the Falklands no less! “D-did I mention that I’m a war hero?!”). That’s the lie he came up with? They negotiated the interview for months and didn’t think to wargame it out and come up with preplanned responses?

    Reply
      1. Stephen V.

        I think this is as close as you’re going to get Carey:
        ( you didn’t hear this from me)

        Thread by @tracybeanz: “THREAD: Here is the Eric Garner/FBI/NYPD/Epstein story in a quick summary 1. Before the election, the NYPD was investy Weiner for his sexting with an underage girl. They got a search warrant for his computer. 2. While they wer […]”

        https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1163574214030438402.html

        Reply
  13. a different chris

    US Healthcare: you think you got it? You think it’s good? You think it makes any sense *at all*?

    Because my 23 year old daughter had a job with great healthcare. And they just laid her off. And my enrollment period for next year closed 2 weeks ago, so I can’t add her. Which I guess sticks her with the mercies of Obamacare.

    Jesus Christ. I hate this country more and more every day. It takes any bad situation and turns it into a complete horror show. Especially for our kids.

    Reply
        1. katiebird

          Then what is the point? Those people are insane. Qualifying event here, is outside enrollment window. I wouldn’t think you’d need it in the window?

          I am starting to really worry that I’m not going to live long enough to see Expanded and improved Medicare for Everyone passed.

          Reply
          1. Self-Employed in NY

            In NY a job loss like may qualify her for the essential care plan, which is not as known as it should be — because it’s actually quite good. Much better than the marketplace plans I was paying out the ass for, before I realized the incentive to keep my income levels low. ($20/mo for a plan doctors actually accept vs. $500/mo for an obscure plan nobody took).

            There are a few ways to qualify. Since she is recently unemployed, she should not use her 2018 tax return to prove income. She should instead estimate her monthly income to be within the eligibility window.

            (I would recommend guessing within the essential plan window – and above the Medicaid threshold – because it is more flexible. She won’t *necessarily* have to leave plans if she finds a new job (sans benefits) or picks up freelance work. It’s especially good for freelancers because at the end of year, if your profit is just beyond the threshold, you can make some businesses purchases/investments and stay on the plan.

            Also I believe the enrollment period has just begun in New York? It ends Dec. 15. At least for the marketplace plans –– maybe employee plans are different.

            https://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/essentialplan
            https://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/sites/default/files/Essential%20Plan%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%20English.pdf

            Reply
            1. a different chris

              Thanks so much everybody.

              I’m not in NY. “Fortunately” a frantic call revealed that my particular plan – and I love (sarc) the inconsistencies detailed by all of you – allows me 45 days from a “qualifying event” to add her back on. And being laid off is a qualifying event.

              Hardly makes me happy:
              1) My plan costs a mint
              2) What do we do if this happens when she’s 27?

              But I can breath a bit again.

              Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Because my 23 year old daughter had a job with great healthcare. And they just laid her off. And my enrollment period for next year closed 2 weeks ago, so I can’t add her. Which I guess sticks her with the mercies of Obamacare.

      Ugh. As I wrote:

      ObamaCare has any number of misfeatures, most of which are functions of its basic system design: The requirement for “eligibility” (as opposed to single payer’s philosophy of “everybody in, nobody out”). ObamaCare’s complex eligibility requirements mean that coverage (and hence the actual care that you, as a consumer citizen will receive) is random with respect to jurisdiction, class, and age. In no particular order: If you are a citizen of Libby, Montana (in ObamaCare architect Max Baucus’s district) you instantly got single payer. If you are unbanked, you could be out of luck. If you’re a Congressional lawmaker or aide, you get better treatment than the rest of us. If Enroll America decided to market to you, you are more likely to have coverage than those who were left out of that effort (and who do you think Enroll America marketed to? The sick? Kidding, right?) If your identity data at credit reporting bureaus is messed up, you could have trouble registering. If you’re in a state that didn’t expand Medicaid, you might not get coverage at all. Prices and policies vary by geography. Prices and policies vary by jurisdiction, down to the county level. If you’re a seasonal or contract worker, you can gain or lose your coverage based on “major life events.” If you work in the informal economy, you might not be able to prove your income at all. …

      All very much in contrast to simple, rugged, and proven single payer.

      The health care system is like a minefield, and we send desperate people out to cross it[1], with no help. And we have a few rich people and some of their servants up in the bleachers watching the show, laughing and cheering when some random moke gets a limb blown off and goes down. Oh, and they’re making side bets on who makes it across safely[2].

      Not I’m preaching to the choir or anything.

      NOTES
      [1] We call them a “risk pool.”

      [2] We call that “actuarial quality.”

      Reply
  14. NotTimothyGeithner

    “Why Hasn’t Cory Booker’s Campaign Caught Fire?

    Oh man, does the author need an explanation for Hillary’s 2 AM phone call ad about Obama and white liberals?

    Reply
    1. Big Tap

      I thought Booker’s campaign did catch fire. A dumpster fire filed with neoliberal dollars burning. Spartacus he ain’t.

      Reply
  15. Another Scott

    The bank concentration was even worse than shown in Fraser’s tweet. Fleet acquired both Shawmut Bank and Bank of New England (both among the 50 largest banks in the country) between 1990 and 1995. The other surviving banks might also have been involved in similar mergers.

    Reply
    1. jTMcPhee

      I have a relative whose job it was, as a surviving HR professional who began his career with one of the Swallowed New England Little Banks and retired out of Shawmut, to manage (maybe stage-manage would be more accurate) the “outplacement” of a whole lot of mopes who were unfortunate enough to be unbeneficed employees of one of the other Swallowed Banks. (Unbeneficed — https://www.thefreedictionary.com/unbeneficed — check the examples in context, e.g. “ More plausibly, he may have been (like Thomas Hoccleve) an unbeneficed member of the clergy working in the public service: a member of the “clerical proletariat.” ”

      I laugh that the Really Big Law Firm I slaved for over several years, itself the ‘merger’ of two only Big Firms, has itself been swallowed by a Still Bigger International Practice Firm which was then “merged” into yet a Bigger Firm… Maybe bad luck went along with the logo the Managing Partners idiotically chose, “PG&E.” “G” being Bill Gates’s father. This in a firm that claimed great expertise in intellectual property. Some partners had to do a fast shuffle to keep the vultures representing “Pacific Gas and Electric” from making them destroy a million bucks worth of stationery with the new logo, and all those business cards, and signage on the Really Big Building they offices in…

      Reply
  16. Lost in OR

    “Many Americans Over 65 Face Economic Insecurity, Even If They’re Healthy” [Bloomberg].

    “It shows that on average a single person without a mortgage requires $21,012 per year to pay for basic needs…”

    Rock-bottom rent for a one bedroom apartment around here is about $800/month. Add electricity and there goes half your income. Except that rentiers require income be at least three times rent. I’m guessing that Bloomberg’s writers have never been subjected to their own logic.

    Reply
    1. inode_buddha

      I would have a hard time making it on 21k being single, working, and living in a trailer. The guys that come up with these numbers are smoking some real good stuff, as if inflation in basic necessities doesn’t exist

      Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          Depends on what town you’re in tho. In my area, the bottom end is somewhere between 600 to 800/mo. My place is grandfathered in — I own the trailer free and clear. So my rent is half of the local rates. OTOH I get killed on the utilities and maintenance.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            We lived in a single wide trailer for a year. Jimmy Buffet was right in saying that they, (the trailers,) looked better as beer cans. Later, we lived in a 1963 26′ Airstream and roamed the South in it for several years. (Pulled it with an old Scout II.)
            Utilities for trailers are seriously expensive. Here’s hoping you eventually get your own piece of land. (Oh, and the “free” land in Buffalo program sounds like a stealth gentrification scheme. So many caveats.)
            Stay warm with your kerosene heater!

            Reply
            1. inode_buddha

              Thanks for the tip about the urban homestead program. It’s actually an attempt to reclaim vast tracts of urban blight caused by de-industrialization and the 2008 crisis… basically how to deal with zombie property.

              Unfortunately I cannot move my place double wide) onto my own land and set it on a permanent foundation.. NYS real estate law and building code forbids it. I would have to sell and build anew, but unfortunately it can’t be mortgaged either: too old.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Good heavens! That’s some serious micro-managing.
                As you can probably guess, just about the only reason one cannot move a trailer onto their land here are the septic tank or “subdivision” sewer rules. Then there are the ghosts of Choctaws and related tribal ancestors who haunt old “native” burial sites. We can, sometimes, honestly not know such a site is close. Few visible landmarks. (This subject is not all snark.)
                I have personally, when I worked for the surveyor in Louisiana, visited very obscure and hidden small cemeteries. One had several gravestones marking men who had died during the War Between the States. One described the ‘occupant’ of the grave as having served in the First Mississippi Cavalry. That unit was assembled in Jackson, Mississippi, so, the man started out in Jackson and ended up in Louisiana.
                Stay warm!

                Reply
  17. Mike

    On – Fiona Hill’s LaRouche connection. A weird & degrading time this is, all around https://t.co/5jKr0xuOP6

    — Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) November 19, 2019

    I do remember arguments with Mssr. LaRouche when he called himself Lyn Marcus and was a supposedly Trotskyist “theoretician”. Basically an ego waiting for a large enough forum to assuage his goal of publicity, he jumped from group to group until his Marxist bona fides were established, then, with daddy’s money, formed his NCLC, moving further to the Right to match his wealth.

    In familiar ways, his evolution was standard for fake Trotskyists and Marxists of the 60s – many became intelligence sources and rats even while staying with the “Left”. Often led groups while “sourcing” for local police and military spy outfits. It is part of the reason we hav no organized Left to speak of.

    Reply
    1. KLG

      In December 2016 I stumbled upon a young Lyndon LaRouche acolyte doing her LaRouche Thing in Union Square in San Francisco. I not so innocently exclaimed my surprise that he is still alive. She fairly screamed back at me: More alive than you will ever be!!!! Nope, nothing had changed there. I do wonder what she is doing now that the Great Man has gone onto his reward…RIP Mr. LaRouche.

      Reply
  18. Typing Chimp

    That DHL quote is hilarious–apparently “key freight executives” don’t know basic historic and can’t figure out basic macroeconomics. Or, for that matter, basic logic–the world is incredibly imbalanced and mathematically **must** rebalance somehow or another. And yes, that means that international trade will decline, no matter what the politics.

    I can’t understand how this is not absolutely brain-dead obvious to everybody.

    Reply
  19. Tim

    Warren looks to be rolling over in the polls, Bernie is stagnant to up. I wonder if all the recent Medicare for All talk on Warren’s plans in context of the existing bill has shown people Sanders has better solutions?

    Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          Yes, Hillary’s handlers kept her in mothballs.

          Warren being of a similar bent but way more presentable (energy level, far less grating ego, looks, command of material, willingness to do retail politics) has been if anything overexposed. That will expose any weak points and she has way more than her backers believed. Here she recites a lot of tired tropes regarding the US fantasy that we can apply carrots and sticks and remake the world the way we like, when that approach has led either to failed states or further hardened already tactically very savvy and tenacious opponents (think Russia and Iran, who didn’t have to be enemies).

          Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      Yeah, I noted Bernie’s strengthening a bit in comments yesterday regarding the weekly Morning Consult poll. Bernie looks stronger once you look a little deeper.

      He’s still tops in favorability (edging out Biden), and more interestingly, he’s improving substantially in the 2nd choice category across all candidates. He’s the #1 2nd choice for Biden and Warren voters. Now he’s even the #3 in 2nd choice among Harris and Buttigieg voters, whereas before he never even appeared in the top 3 that they list for each candidate’s supporters’ 2nd choice.

      Reply
      1. ptb

        Bernie had also been consistently ahead, way ahead, in the “enthusiasm” of those for whom he was their 1st choice- especially compared to Biden.

        I actually think it is this measure that really got the D party scared startong around Sept-Oct.

        Bernie can generate enthusiasm (i.e. lots of new voters) better than any nationally known politician. Trump can too actually, that’s how he surprised everyone in 2016. Warren and Biden a lot less so.

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > he’s improving substantially in the 2nd choice category across all candidates.

        Thanks for this. Bodes well for a brokered convention, assuming that delegates represent the voters (I know, I know).

        Reply
    1. Carey

      Adding: meaning, partly, not letting the Randi Weingarten types pre-emptively steal the thunder, as in 2016. Quite a few dedicated teachers in LA, and elsewhere..

      Reply
        1. Carey

          Agreed, though I think the WFP *might have* short-circuited themselves with that contra-member endorsement. If Warren pulls through™, I’ll be wrong.

          Reply
  20. Krystyn Walentka

    Re: “Deeper Insights Emerge into How Memories Form”

    I have no reservations in saying the role of Long Chain Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for memory and cognitive function and this further proves it. A single polymorphism in the Myelin regulatory factor gene, MYRF, (which they speak of in that study) is in linkage disequilibrium with the Fatty Acid Destaurase 1 (FADS1) gene that control the amount of long chain PUFAs we make from plant oils.

    My mother suffered from an unspecified demyelination disease. It was not till after her death that I saw the genetics of our condition. Both Omega 3 and lithium have been shown to protect oligodendrocytes and my genetics point to a need for both. Taken together there is a multiplication of benefit.

    Everyone knows memory is crucial to learning, but it is also a hindrance for intelligence and creativity. How can you think of something new if you cannot forget about all the old? what is addiction and PTSD after all but not being able to forget a memory?

    Reply
      1. Krystyn Walentka

        Yes, me too. 10mg though. Works so much faster and better than lithium carbonate.

        It is a potent GSK3 inhibitor so it has a range of functions from glucose to WNT signalling.

        Reply
        1. Carey

          Good to hear, KW. I occasionally take 10 mg, but mostly 5 does the trick.
          Agree that it’s better (and easier on the body) than lithium carbonate, in
          my experience.

          Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To forget.

      It seems to me it is easier to add than to subtract memory-wise.

      Try forget that 1 + 1 = 2. It’s almost impossible.

      Or Hillary was robbed in 2016. For many, they can never erase that from memory. Never!

      And ‘he or she has forgotten more than you will ever know’ seem to suggest something uebermensch about the person.

      Reply
    2. paul

      My mother suffered from an unspecified demyelination disease.

      Which is terrible, but unspecified, mother is just getting old

      It was not till after her death that I saw the genetics of our condition.

      Bit late for that, genetics vs age,age is designed to win.

      Which is a good thing.

      . Both Omega 3 and lithium have been shown to protect oligodendrocytes and my genetics point to a need for both. Taken together there is a multiplication of benefit.

      Good luck with everything scientific and send me a postcard about the benefits

      Reply
          1. Krystyn Walentka

            I have just started to live well after 30 years. 15 of that was researching my genetics and the nature/nurture interaction. If you want to help me, and others, to live well you should support what I am doing. I was able to get off of all the medications they had me on that kind of helped but also hurt. I would say that is living well.

            I have said this many times before. I am not trying to live forever, I just do not want to feel like I am going to die everyday.

            Reply
              1. notabanktoadie

                Disagree strongly (cf. Proverbs 31:6-9).

                Not that the widespread NEED for drugs (including alcohol, tobacco and caffeine) is something we should be complacent about but rather is an indication of a grossly unjust economic system.

                Reply
            1. paul

              Good for you!

              I have no idea how to support you other than advise that you desist from throwing out medical garbage to others.*

              I am delighted that you have cracked the nature/nurture problem.Please share

              From an earlier stramash:

              *If If you cannot quit vaping you are an addict, controlled by a corporation.

              Change vaping for insulin and addict for diabetic

              Reply
              1. Yves Smith

                Making shit up and insulting a reader are violations of our site Policies. I’m not about to waste my time dredging up links to disprove your earlier dismissal of genetic research in medicine. If you hadn’t made many valuable comments in the past, your denigration of Krystym would get you blacklisted. Drop it.

                Reply
      1. Krystyn Walentka

        Old? Uhm no. She was in a wheelchair at 60 but suffered neurological issues her whole life. She was diagnosed at the Mayo clinic, Myelinoclastic type. I did not hear them say it was “old age”, so I will take their opinion over yours.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demyelinating_disease

        It’s funny how people will think that the average person cannot gain insight from their genetics. They think they don’t matter, and that science does not matter. But these are people who have not been sick a day in their life, or who have not seen drastic changes by manipulating their diet. But lucky them is all I can say.

        Reply
        1. paul

          It’s funny how people will think that the average person cannot gain insight from their genetics

          I do not find it funny, I find it baffling that anyone would treat it as anything but an avenue worthy of exploration.

          The human genome project died with a whimper.

          Old fashioned empiricism and observation has served us far better.

          Clean water,good food and a sense of security are what matter.

          That is why we go to general practitioners, not general theorists.

          Reply
          1. Krystyn Walentka

            Here is some empiricism and observation:

            https://www.nature.com/articles/s41576-018-0018-x?spm=smpc.content.content.1.15473376001127D5jliP

            Initial expectations for genome-wide association studies were high, as such studies promised to rapidly transform personalized medicine with individualized disease risk predictions, prevention strategies and treatments. Early findings, however, revealed a more complex genetic architecture than was anticipated for most common diseases — complexity that seemed to limit the immediate utility of these findings. As a result, the practice of utilizing the DNA of an individual to predict disease has been judged to provide little to no useful information. Nevertheless, recent efforts have begun to demonstrate the utility of polygenic risk profiling to identify groups of individuals who could benefit from the knowledge of their probabilistic susceptibility to disease. In this context, we review the evidence supporting the personal and clinical utility of polygenic risk profiling.

            Your assement of the Human Genome Project as a failure will not age well, promise.

            Reply
            1. paul

              Well I hope it ages better than lord matthew ridley’s boosterism

              As for your example, it is paywalled, so I cannot comment except upon the abstract

              As a result, the practice of utilizing the DNA of an individual to predict disease has been judged to provide little to no useful information.

              ..So we have little to no which inclines towards and includes zero…

              but….

              Nevertheless, recent efforts have begun to demonstrate the utility of polygenic risk profiling to identify groups of individuals who could benefit from the knowledge of their probabilistic susceptibility to disease.

              ..and the usual more funding needed.

              Which I would need as well if I wanted to access the data.

              The sheer reductive fantasy of ‘probabilistic susceptibility to disease’ blows my mind.

              Reply
    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      How tuned are these approaches to the individual body, though? As a gut microbiota stan, I think this is a super-interesting comment, but if Omega 3, say, works for you in whatever dosage, is that a reason to think it works for somebody else? I guess what I’m asking is how variations in individual body chemistry/ecology fit into the picture.

      Reply
      1. paul

        Not at all.
        Took my mother up for her winter flu jab, met a neighbor who said both him and his wife had a terrible flu like time after this intervention.
        My mother got the jab and has not suffered any side effects.

        Its all the luck of the draw and informed consent is paramount

        Reply
      2. notabanktoadie

        I have a hypochondriac niece and she breaks my heart.

        I told her once, “There are a billion things out there that can kill you”, seeking to make her despair of worrying and to trust God instead.

        Me? I’m in better health now than 30 years ago, I think, but if not then I’m at least living rather than worrying and seeking to control things beyond my control.

        Reply
        1. Krystyn Walentka

          I love when people associate my interest in my health and genetics, not with the fact that I (and my family hence the genetics) have suffered most of my life and had labs that made my doc put me in the hospital, no, it is just that I am a hypochondriac! Crippling depression? Hypochondriac! Can’t walk? Hypochondriac!

          Next time you have an infection I want you to not go to the doctor for antibiotics and just say; “Welp, it’s beyond my control! No worries!”

          Reply
          1. notabanktoadie

            My remark was in no way meant for you. I sympathize and wish now I had refrained.

            In my own case, by a strange act of Providence involving a broken leg and involuntary commitment, I was legally allowed all the drugs (amphetamines) I could ever dream of – for over a decade – and I’m grateful for that.

            Before then, I used MAOI’s for decades and they made me fat, happy, and productive till I grew tired of them. But eventually I grew depressed and went back on them.

            So I by no means lack sympathy for what ever you take to enjoy life – even if you had a perfect genome.

            My niece is another case. She refuses to take drugs and she refuses to go on disability even though she would no doubt qualify. Nor are jobs in her field by any means steady.

            Anyway, my apologies and best wishes.

            Reply
          2. notabanktoadie

            Besides which, my comment was addressed to Lambert and may I never be so cowardly (not to rule out prudence though wrt our hosts) as to not confront someone DIRECTLY.

            So rest assured I’ve never had a beef with you.

            Best wishes and may you have a lovely life.

            Reply
          3. Lambert Strether Post author

            I understand that other people might have said that to you.

            But reading notabanktoadie’s comment, I do not think they did.

            They were, after all, responding in an on-point way to a general comment that I wrote, and not to a comment you wrote; that’s why we have comment nesting, to make who responds to whom clear.

            Reply
      3. Krystyn Walentka

        The only reason Omega 3 might work for someone else is if they have a similar Fatty Acid Desaturase genotype. This is the fundamental idea of personalized medicine and polygenic risk scores. The failure to help people with chronic diseases (autoimmune, mood disorders) is because current medicine treats us all the same. It ignores genetic variance.

        They know that the FADS1 and FADS2 genes will dictate levels of DHA and EPA in the blood given the same amount of a-linolenic acid. Since the metabolites of EPA and DHA have important consequences in health why should we not see this as important?

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28186827
        https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181485

        These FADS genes alone do not dictate illness, but some people MAY be more sensitive to a lack of DHA than others.

        For me, high DHA/EPA was the only thing that changed the APOB fraction in my cholesterol to a point that they took me off the heart attack watch list.

        Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      One of the first times I heard that ‘we have to fight them over here instead of in America’ phrases was from a soldier in the early days of the Iraq Occupation. The soldier actually said we have to kill the Muslims over here so that they do not kill us back home in America. A year or two later I heard about this soldier again. He was being charged with war crimes.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Sports obsession of the modern world (not just the US)?

        I mean, how often it is said, in sports (except maybe Italian soccer, sorry, football), that the best defense is a good offense?

        Reply
      2. anon in so cal

        Yes, and I think Bush, Cheney and others also said that, and their actions killed about 1 million innocent victims, more or less?

        Reply
      3. JTMcPhee

        Boomer here, a guy who enlisted in the US Army in 1966 because “we have to fight the Commies over there, so we won’t have to fight them over here on the boardwalks of California.“ Dominoes were toppling left and right, politically speaking…Took me a while “in country” and reading “Catch-22” a dozen or so times to get that rude awakening shock that I and the rest of us had been lied to… Nothing new — same sh_t in any war I have read about.

        Anecdote: A good friend, also a Vietnam veteran, was in a group therapy session for depression/PTSD. He reports that the session was not going well, nobody speaking, just thousand-yard stares and surreptitious checks of the time. So the “facilitator” had an inspiration; He asked the group to describe the moment each one had realized that the government, the military and their childhood indoctrination (for me Boy Scouts, civics classes and the Presbyterian Church) had lied to them, that the Vietnam war was not the crusade they had thought it was but something horribly other.

        Instantly everyone wanted to tell their version first…

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Being lied to… You had the same in that book “All quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque, a combat vet from WW1. The teachers from his school sounded the worst for this and in the book the teacher inspired the main character and his classmates to sign up with a patriotic speech to them. If I recall right, it was the first time they saw a man with a belly wound that showed them that they had been lied to.

          Reply
    2. VietnamVet

      This is the rebirth of the Korean and Vietnam War’s justification that is much more nonsensical today. America has never fought a war with the Communists in North America. Ronald Reagan’s detente with Moscow is long forgotten. The Russian Federation is a plutocracy just like the West. China and Vietnam are ruled by the Communist Party. Just as the Benghazi hearing’s never addressed the regime change war in Libya or the ratline shipping Libyan weapons to Jihadists in Syria; Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings ignore the reality that the West seized Ukraine to access its resources and destabilize Russia (The Great Game). It is not a coincidence that the Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden, was on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukraine natural gas producer, making officially $50,000 dollars a month and his financial group reportedly funded millions of dollars. The Impeachment is a continuation of the effort of a group of globalist oligarchs to get rid of the competition, a nationalist oligarch who was elected President of the USA.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The Impeachment is a continuation of the effort of a group of globalist oligarchs to get rid of the competition, a nationalist oligarch who was elected President of the USA.

        It just occurred to me that if Trump is corrupt on the lavish scale attributed to him — not just the penny ante stuff, like hotel bookings, but corrupt as other oligarchs are corrupt — the 1% could have just bought him. Simpler, no?

        Makes me wonder if the real issue is that Trump is not a member of the globalist club, and members of that club are doing things that would make even the crassest — heck, even the rapey-est parvenu from Queens would find monstrous and repellent. No, I don’t love Trump.

        Reply
        1. notabanktoadie

          — the 1% could have just bought him. Simpler, no? Lambert

          Nails it, imo.

          So money is NOT the motivator for Trump beyond making sure he never becomes less than wealthy.

          Not a Trump lover either and I didn’t vote for him (nor Hillary) but I have more hope he’ll deliver meaningful reform than the wanna-be rich or wanna-be powerful. I mean, what can you bribe him with?

          Question? Would a President removed from office still have Secret Service protection for life?

          Reply
          1. notabanktoadie

            I mean, what can you bribe him with?

            Or even blackmail him with since he is (or at least was) OPENLY crass. And sexual (or sexual frustration) sins are hardly the worse*, Biblically speaking.

            So we may have found an honest man – a relative saint in a corrupt, hypocritical** society such as ours is.

            *except for adultery.
            **e.g. the so-called Bible Belt has the highest porn viewership per capita.

            Reply
        2. VietnamVet

          Jeff Bezos, George Soros, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett are in a club that Donald Trump will never become a member. He is a Reality TV star for god’s sake. It would be demeaning for them to bribe Donald Trump. Besides it wouldn’t work. Greed and Revenge are powerful motivators. The Globalists’ contempt for him was expressed by Barrack Obama when he humiliated Donald Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Winning was his retaliation. Except now the President is alone in the White House and the staff is telling tales. I really think that the President doesn’t know what he is up against. He is old. He gets angry and frustrated. He watches Fox News. He doesn’t have a clue.

          Ukraine and Syria are hybrid wars that western oligarchs are fighting to destroy nation states in order to control the looting in a world of declining resources. Nuclear armed Russia and China are resisting.

          Reply
  21. ewmayer

    Re. Breathing As A Service™: Ah, but every neoliberalism-created problem has a neoliberal solution, right? In this case, the solution is clearly retraining: All those mouth-breathing obligate aerobes simply need to adapt by retraining themselves to use an anaerobic metabolism, or go die. Simple! And in the meantime, oxygen bars springing up all over provide a boost to GDP, or something.

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      Cute little WordPress bug – when I comment not-in-reply-to-previous comment, i.e. at bottom of the article page, “Click to Edit” fails to appear. So if I need to edit such a comment, the workaround is for me to reply to my own comment-which-needs editing, causing both comments to acquire “Click to Edit”-ability, then delete the reply-to-self once the original comment is edited. (In the present case I instead edited the reply-to-self to describe the bug and the workaround.)

      Reply
    2. Carey

      Yes, I remember the times, really not so long ago, when I thought the elites and their minions just didn’t understand what was happening / what they were doing to their little people… they understand very well.

      The Sanders *campaign* is on the right track, big time.

      Reply
      1. George HW Bush in the supermarket, 1992

        > Yes, I remember the times, really not so long ago, when I thought the elites and their minions just
        > didn’t understand what was happening … [but] they understand very well.

        Up to a point — but then there’s a dis-connect.

        I had a job once where all of my co-workers, to a person, agreed that the environment was wholly dysfunctional, in terms of both morale and productivity. We continually marvelled at how bad things were but how repeated well-meaning suggestions for improvement were ignored and points raised at staff meetings were referred up the chain of command, with promises that they would receive due attention, only to vanish.

        We started wondering then, how high up did you have to go to find someone who actually believed that everything was fine? Our immediate boss, call him Mr B, saw the same things that we did, every day, so he obviously knew how bad it was. But he was a good company man who had to toe the line. His boss, Mr C, was in charge of five or six sections similar to ours. We believed that he too must know; he was the one who chaired the meetings where our concerns were collected, never to be heard from again. But then we come to his boss, Mr D. Mr D was in charge of a division, with hundreds and hundreds of employees. He didn’t have a clue as to what my colleagues and I even did, in the trenches. All he knew about our section was what Mr C told him: that everything was fine.

        Abstract this out to the 1%. They really are in that much of a bubble. And that, of course, is the root of the whole problem.

        Reply
  22. Lost in OR

    OK, it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s inevitable. I’m just waiting for google aka youtube to determine that I am not a profitable investment (I’m not). And poof, I’m banned.

    And I’m just learning about The Rising. OK, I’ll watch some commercials. Just tell me how much or how many. How high do I need to jump. Please…

    Reply
    1. Sol

      Yeah. The internet is becoming disturbing. I mean, well, honestly the internet was always disturbing, except now it’s not content to be disturbing in seventy-billion flavors, each in its own little corner, which we could learn to (mostly) avoid. It’s creepy hair-smelling pickpocket disturbing and it’s all over the place.

      I just want to look at tools, and cooking equipment, and pick up a few new tricks, whyyyyyy do I even have to ask myself about political ramifications and profit and whether[ha]when this metadata is going to bite me in the bum and how to Youtube properly so I’m still allowed to Youtube.

      Reply
      1. Carey

        Full agreement; not to mention the increased opacity of each website / OS / ‘update’..

        “It’s just all so complex!” Yes- by design.

        Reply
        1. Hepativore

          Well, COPPA is going into effect on the 1st, so prepare for a new era of fines and internet censorship, courtesy of the FCC.

          https://invidio.us/watch?v=v85meMWqhKk

          The internet will eventually be as bland and corporately-geared as cable television, if it is not there already.

          The only way that the internet is going to continue to be “innovative” now is for companies to figure out new ways to use it for spying and data collection.

          …neoliberalism marches on!

          Reply
  23. anon in so cal

    —Biden and children in migration detention centers: AFP deletes story once it realizes it was referring to 2015 and not 2019:

    AFP news agency

    @AFP

    AFP is withdrawing this story.

    “The author of the report has clarified that his figures do not represent the number of children currently in migration-related US detention, but the total number of children in migration-related US detention in 2015.

    We will delete the story.”

    “AFP news agency
    @AFP
    #BREAKING More than 100,000 children in migration-related US detention: UN”

    https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1196472197017153536?s=20

    Reply
  24. The Rev Kev

    “How 37 U.S. banks became just four megabanks in the space of two decades”

    Fascinating this. Can you imagine what one would look like for the media since the 90s when a coupla hundred came down to only the present six?

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The same with what we eat.

      10,000 years ago, it was much more diverse.

      Today, the top 3 are corn, rice and wheat.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        That is quite a good point that. I have read what Londoners were eating in the 19th century and it was much more diverse than what we eat nowadays. And it was hardly processed to boot.

        Reply
    2. Jeff W

      Can you imagine what one would look like for the media since the 90s when a coupla hundred came down to only the present six?

      You don’t have to imagine—it looks something like this. In 1983, over 50 corporations controlled half of all broadcast media. Today, it’s down to six companies that own 90% of our broadcast and print media.

      Reply
  25. petal

    Saint Anselm poll: Buttigieg surges to 10 percentage point lead over Biden, Warren in NH.
    “Support for South Bend mayor jumps by 15 percentage points since September poll of Democratic primary voters.
    The Saint Anselm College Survey Center poll of 255 likely Democratic primary voters shows that Buttigieg, supported by 25 percent, now holds a 10 percentage point lead over former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who are tied for second at 15 percent. Buttigieg is substantially ahead of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is in fourth place at 9 percent.

    Rounding out the top 10 were Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar at 6 percent; billionaire activist Tom Steyer of California at 5 percent; U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey at 3 percent each; entrepreneur Andrew Yang of New York at 2 percent and California Sen. Kamala Harris at 1 percent. Thirteen percent of those polled said they were undecided.

    Democratic voters also indicated they are satisfied with the current field of candidates. The poll showed that 77 percent believe former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg should not run, while 62 percent would discourage former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick from running and 91 percent would discourage 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from running again.”

    Reply
      1. petal

        Isn’t that the dance the California Raisins did?
        Must be nice to be able to afford to take a semester off to go do something like that.
        The LMIAL house has put up one of those big ~4’x5′(?) Amy for America signs in their front yard. They’re all in, man. Funny how that one turned out.

        Reply
        1. notabanktoadie

          Isn’t that the dance the California Raisins did? petal

          Led me to “Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours”.

          Thanks.

          Reply
      2. Carey

        What’s odd to me is, if not for years and years of PC-policing, we’d all be laughing
        our asses off about this corporatist kid’s “Presidential candidacy”.

        #hologramPete2020

        heh

        Reply
      1. petal

        I totally agree with you on the sampling size. Oddly enough, I have seen an explosion of Mayo Pete yard signs in my area in the last 2 weeks.

        They did question more for general election:
        “A larger sampling — 512 Democratic, Republican and independent voters — were asked who they would vote for if the general election were held today and who they believe would win the general election. The margin of error for the questions asked of all voters was 4.3 percent.

        Biden shows the best potential performance against President Donald Trump, out-polling the Republican incumbent 51 percent to 43 percent. Buttigieg tops Trump 49 percent to 42 percent, while Sanders and Warren have narrower leads – 49 percent to 46 percent, and 47 percent to 46 percent, respectively.

        Yet, when all voters were asked who they believe would win against Trump, none of the top four Democrats came out on top. Trump topped Biden, 52 percent to 40 percent; he topped Sanders, 65 percent to 27 percent; Warren, 66 percent to 26 percent; and Buttigieg, 63 percent to 26 percent.”

        Reply
  26. notabanktoadie

    That’s too vague and unsettling for those of us who believe that if UBI is tried in a big way, it must be associated with a muscular social welfare state.” Lambert

    Arguably, a just economic system would require a MINIMUM social welfare state or, arguably, it ISN’T a just economic system.

    Not to be taken as an endorsement for a UBI but rather as an endorsement for a Citizen’s Dividend to replace all fiat creation beyond that created by deficit spending for the general welfare – along with limits to real asset ownership such as ownership of land.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      What would we do without Hollywood “liberals”? Or is Krasinski “conservative”? Who can tell nowadays?

      Regardless, the article nicely illustrates how the Hollywood propaganda machine functions, including giving Krasinski “the Tour” (of Langley). Warning: it’s RT, so it could be Rooskie disinformation.

      Reply
    2. anon in so cal

      “After all, without the agency, who would prop up foreign dictators, stage coups and ‘play’ with mind-control drugs?”

      Reply
    3. rowlf

      Has anyone flipped over the CIA’s baseball card and checked the performance statistics? Wins, losses? Batting average? US citizens injured /killed, non-citizens injured/killed?

      Has the CIA made the heartland safer, or only protected financial interests?

      Reply
    4. Pat

      Without them we wouldn’t have “Scarecrow and Mrs. King”, “24”, “Mission Impossible”, “The Man From UNCLE” or “Jack Ryan”. And I wouldn’t have a multi million dollar gig. Plus they know too much about me and my wife…

      The unspoken end to the quote.

      Reply
  27. Summer

    “It looks like Warren’s #MedicareForAll rollout didn’t help her at all (at least nationally).”

    Loonnng term…It’s hard to give a rat’s about any other concerns in a country where people think you should die if you can’t afford healthcare.
    They want free college but death if you can’t pay a doctor.

    Reply
  28. ambrit

    Just a note of interest. Yahoo mail has suddenly bypassed my ad blocker in the email queue. To get rid of those ads, Yahoo now wants to charge you, the customer, $3.49 USD a month. I know that ‘they’ have to make a living, but, what a racket.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’ve got some ProtonMail accounts, too. I think it’s fine (has the ability to sort mail into buckets without which I could not cope). Not sure I want to pull the trigger on Yahoo, just because so many have that address….

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Thanks about the ProtonMail idea. I also don’t think that ditching Yahoo is feasible, yet.
        I see a business opportunity for some sharp cat to work up a program that automatically ‘shifts’ a person’s internet ‘identity.’ Oh, let’s call it “Shapeshifters.”
        Stay warm up there in the Land of Ice and Snow!

        Reply
  29. Redlife2017

    Re: Breathing As A Service™:
    I instantly thought of one of my favourite movies from the 80s (besides To Live & Die in LA)…Spaceballs. Nothing like a nice can of Perri-Air…

    Reply

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