2:00PM Water Cooler 11/22/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, stay tuned for Elizabeth Warren. –lambert UPDATE All done. Got a late start, and from that start, finished early. It was a tough week (for reasons unrelated to NC). So I’m clocking out for now!


UPDATE “House Dems, Trump administration fail to reach deal on USMCA trade agreement” [CNBC]. “Lawmakers and the White House have worked for weeks to resolve Democratic concerns about enforcement tools for labor and environmental standards under the deal, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Leaving a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal said the sides made progress but did not strike a final agreement, his office confirmed.”


“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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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 11/22/2019, 12:00 PM EST. Biden leads, Sanders strong second, Warren third, Buttigieg third tier.

Here, the latest national 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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Bloomberg (D)(1): “Bloomberg spending $15M-$20M to register half million voters” [Associated Press]. “New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg is rolling out plans to spend an estimated $15 million to $20 million on a voter registration drive designed to weaken President Donald Trump’s reelection chances in five battleground states.” • So if you live in other states, you don’t deserve a franchise. Voter registration should be a normal party or even governmental function. It’s insane to do it on a project, campaign-driven basis.

UPDATE Buttigieg (D)(2): “Pete Buttigieg, millennials’ bane” [WaPo]. “The fresh-faced first major millennial candidate and his deep-pocketed campaign have recently gotten a big bump in the [teeny sample-sized] polls. But there’s one hang-up: Mayor Pete has an easier time charming people twice his 37 years of age than half of it. Gen Z has even started calling him Mayo Pete, and no one — no one — wants to be mayonnaise.” • Because, as who among us do not know, mayonaisse is very, very white (kidding; I don’t want to ignite a mayonaisse controversy. But that is the potn of the meme).

UPDATE Buttigieg (D)(2): “Could Pete Buttigieg Actually Become President?” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “Buttigieg’s overwhelmingly white base of support has gotten a lot of attention. In a recent Latino Decisions poll of California Latinos, he came in at one percent, a point behind Andrew Yang. And his inability to attract African-American support is becoming even more conspicuous as his strength in mostly white places like Iowa and New Hampshire grows. Whether you think his problem in this demographic stems from the problems he’s had in South Bend with police-minority relations, or from his sexual orientation, or from his general “wine track” political style, it’s real, and it presents a real obstacle in his path to the nomination — particularly when the majority-black electorate in South Carolina weighs in on February 29. A new Quinnipiac poll of the Palmetto State released earlier this week gives Buttigieg a flat zero percent among black voters.”

Gabbard (D)(1): “Democratic establishment reaches boiling point with Tulsi Gabbard” [Politico]. “The Hawaii congresswoman’s presence on the debate stage is becoming a headache for the party as she uses the platform to appeal to isolationists, dissatisfied liberals and even conservatives. She has managed to secure a spot on the debate stage as more mainstream candidates like Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Gov. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.) failed to meet polling and donor thresholds to participate.” • So how are candidates that can’t get donors or make an impact in the polls “mainstream”? Maybe the mainstream isn’t where the political class thinks it is?

Patrick (D)(1): The rule is that you should always hire a hall that’s too small. Unfortunately for Patrick, in his case the hall would need to be smaller than 0’x0′. That’s a heavy lift:

Patrick’s debacle at Morehouse is in great contrast to Sanders–

Sanders (D)(1): Impressive photo at Morehouse, another key HBCU:

Sanders (D)(2): “El-Sayed endorses ‘consistent’ Sanders for president” [Detroit News]. “In 2018, [El-Sayed] ran for governor as a progressive outsider. … Ultimately, El-Sayed finished second with 30% of the vote in the Democratic primary, behind Whitmer’s 52%.” • So we’ll see.

Sanders (D)(3):

We have post-modern polling, a narrative created by an unreliable narrator.

UPDATE Trump (D)(1): “Poll: Trump edges Biden, trails Sanders in neck and neck match-ups” [The Hill]. “President Trump has a narrow lead over former Vice President Joe Biden and barely trails Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in two neck and neck hypothetical match-ups for the 2020 presidential race, according to a new Emerson College poll released Thursday….. Trump is buoyed by a rising approval rate; the latest Emerson poll shows him slightly above water, with 48 percent of registered voters approving of the job he’s doing and 47 percent disapproving. The president held a 43 percent approval rating in the same poll last month.” • Clinton’s ratings improved when the Republicans impeached him. Of course, “this is just one poll.”

Warren (D)(1): Important thread from Ryan Grim. “Protesters” disrupted a Warren speech on charters. Guess who funded them… And to which candidate is adjacent to one of the funders:

(This thread really ought to be done in the appropriate medium: Blogging, where it would be much easier to read. But this is where we are.)

UPDATE (D)(2): Warren freezes, and has to be rescued by Ayanna Pressley:

The people on either side of Warren are chanting “Let her speak.” Here are the protesters:

(Note the racial composition of the “protesters.” Paid or not, many black voters support charter, simply because the public schools — I would urge as a result of the Neoliberal playbook — have failed their children.) So first Amy Goodman, now this. Did Warren ever travel outside her comfort zone in Massachusetts?

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UPDATE “Suburban women could decide 2020: Who are they giving to?” [OpenSecrets]. “But women are not a monolithic fundraising or voting bloc, and there are key differences in fundraising patterns from women in different pockets of the country. Suburban women, who power a significant electoral battleground, are a key demographic for 2020.” • Handy chart:

Ruy Teixeira, strait-jacketed, locked in the vaults where the dry powder is stored, screaming: “My gawd! This can’t be happening!”


“John Bolton’s absence grows conspicuous as Fiona Hill and David Holmes testify at impeachment hearing” [MarketWatch]. “Bolton hasn’t been subpoenaed to appear, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has so far suggested he won’t be, even though his testimony could be of high interest to impeachment investigators. Schiff has indicated he doesn’t want a prolonged court battle over Bolton’s testimony, and Democrats have said they already have a mountain of evidence in their impeachment probe.” And then–


“Opinion: Two things are now clear: Trump’s call wasn’t ‘perfect,’ and he won’t be removed” [Scott Jennings, Los Angeles Times]. Scott Jennings is former advisor to President George W. Bush and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a CNN contributor. So I’d say Jennings is sending a message, both from the Republican establishment and Mitch McConnell. “[L]est you think use of the word ‘coup’ is something hysterical Republicans have deployed to whip conservatives into a frenzy, they borrowed it from a card-carrying member of the liberal resistance: attorney Mark Zaid, better known as the whistleblower’s lawyer. In January 2017, Zaid tweeted: “#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately. #lawyers.” So the attorney for the whistleblower who started this impeachment frenzy (yet will not appear before the Intelligence Committee) predicted a ‘coup’ and ‘impeachment’ almost simultaneously with Trump taking office. You’d have to forgive your average Republican in flyover country for taking Trump’s opposition at its word.” • 

“Understanding Adam Schiff’s ‘Bribery’ Theory” [Andrew McCarthy, National Review]. “Schiff knows that not all bribery is created equal. He knows the first official act is not good enough for impeachment, even if it’s good enough for the federal bribery statute. That is: No one in America except the most ardent anti-Trumpers is going to support the impeachment of the president of the United States over the mere denial of a White House visit to a foreign politician.” • I’ll say it again: If a Republican Senator in the trial phase of the impeach can make their case in a sober manner — unlike the yapping puppies of the Freedom Caucus — they’ll have the chance to be Trump 2.0. For example: Do we want foreign policy made by an elected President, or by The Blob? Because that’s what this power struggle is about. And the power struggle is what’s important!

UPDATE “The Note: Trump survives week with no new cracks in GOP support” [ABC]. “Democrats got just about everything they could have hoped for out of more than 32 hours of impeachment hearings over the past two weeks. Current and former Trump administration officials — including diplomats, a donor and a uniformed service member — have told different parts of a consistent story and have reinforced a consistent narrative.” • Murdur on the Orient Express had a consistent narrative, too. More: “But President Donald Trump still has much to like about the week. No signs emerged of new cracks in Republican defenses, in either the House or the Senate, no matter how odious some consider the depicted conduct…. The Intelligence Committee’s work on this matter is close to being done now.” • I don’t see how Pelosi walks it back. Much will depend on the rules under which McConnell determines the trial phase will go forward.

The Debates

Like a Roman circus:



Ladies and gentleman, I give you The Political Class. The debates are vile and destructive. Tickets should be by lottery to those who apply, and not passed out like party favors to hacks and boosters.

The debates should also be taken away from the networks and given back to the League of Women Voters:

“The All-Women MSNBC Debate Panel Wasn’t a Feminist Victory — It Was a Right-Wing Disaster” [Jacobin]. “The fifth Democratic presidential debate received an outpouring of praise for its all-woman cast of moderators: Rachel Maddow and Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC, Ashley Parker of the Washington Post, and Kristen Welker of NBC. Writing in the Nation, Joan Walsh asserted that the event “showed us what American political life would look like if women’s concerns were routinely at the center of the conversation.” • Heaven help us.

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

“EXCLUSIVE: Inside Jeffrey Epstein’s New Mexico ranch: Jaw-dropping pictures show pedophile’s eight person party shower, life-sized installation of a crucified Jesus and ‘underground strip club where teens would entertain VIP guests'” [Daily Mail]. Do these VIP guests have names? Well, one of them does. An anonymous contractor: “‘I had seen things in the house, on the computers, which made me evaluate whether I should be working for him or not. There was numerous photographs in frames, in his library, his office, on the walls, of young underage girls topless and him and various other powerful people. Celebrities, entertainment people, political people, Bill Clinton, he wasn’t shy about having those in the house… I have seen a picture of him and Bill Clinton smoking cigars on pool lounge chairs with underage topless girls.” • Granted, this is a single source, but let’s not let this get lost in the oddly simultaneous hoopla about Randy Andy, mkay? And: “On security, [the contractor] discloses: ‘There were a lot of photographs being taken, they were all over [the ranch]. I noticed in the closets there were video distribution systems, which I initially assumed to be for entertainment, but now I’m not so sure. [They] may have hidden cameras in some of the rooms, that type of thing.'” • Damn, what’s that Russian word everybody was using, back when RussiaGate was a thing? Starts with a “k.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

Trump is so wonderfully clarifying:

Krugman’s allegiance is not to elected officials controlling foreign policy, but to unelected ones. The cat is now completely out of the bag.

Stats Watch

Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index, November 2019: “Tenth district manufacturing activity continued to contract in November, with the composite index remaining unchanged at minus 3, matching the second lowest reading in three years” [Econoday]. “There were also some signs of recovery in the survey, however, particularly in shipments, which rose. Improvement was also seen in orders, though these were still negative… ” • Mixed news at best.

Purchasing Managers’ Index Composite Flash, November 2019: “Very close together along a shallow upward slope is the modest but still constructive indication from November’s set of flash PMIs, led by a 6 tenth gain for manufacturing” [Econoday]. “New orders for the manufacturing sample were also the best since April.” • Good news, even if only a survey!

Consumer Sentiment, November 2019: “Consumer sentiment continues to recover from its tariff-related scare in August” [Econoday]. • More good news.

Tech: “Global 5G wireless deal threatens weather forecasts” [Nature]. “Wireless companies are beginning to roll out their next-generation networks, known as 5G, around the world. The new agreement is meant to designate the radio frequencies over which 5G equipment can transmit. But some of those frequencies come perilously close to those used by satellites to gather crucial weather and climate data. … Weather forecasters will have to figure out how to mitigate the impacts on satellite observations — perhaps by working with the wireless industry to research ways to shut off or redirect 5G transmissions when a satellite is making its measurements. Botha said that the new agreement requires a “continued monitoring” of how 5G networks affect weather observations, but provided no details on what that monitoring would involve or what the consequences would be if the weather data are degraded.” • That’s insane. Why isn’t the precautionary principle controlling? The wireless monopollists should have to prove that they won’t screw up weather reporting, not the other way round. And all for moar and faster pr0n and the Internet of SH*t? It’s exactly Musk screwing up astronomy with his stupid satellites. And for what?

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 68 Greed (previous close: 70, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 87 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 22 at 12:31pm. We have now transitioned to Greed from Extreme Greed.

The Biosphere

“Coal Knew, Too” [HuffPo]. • Excellent, a must read. The first three paragraphs:

In August, Chris Cherry, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, salvaged a large volume from a stack of vintage journals that a fellow faculty member was about to toss out. He was drawn to a 1966 copy of the industry publication Mining Congress Journal; his father-in-law had been in the industry and he thought it might be an interesting memento.

Cherry flipped it open to a passage from James R. Garvey, who was the president of Bituminous Coal Research Inc., a now-defunct coal mining and processing research organization.

“There is evidence that the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is increasing rapidly as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels,” wrote Garvey. “If the future rate of increase continues as it is at the present, it has been predicted that, because the CO2 envelope reduces radiation, the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere will increase and that vast changes in the climates of the earth will result.”

“Massive Australian blazes will ‘reframe our understanding of bushfire'” (interview) [Science].

Q: What is the role of climate change?

A: You have to ask: Has there ever been a fire event of 1.65 million hectares that’s burnt a large area of what is generally considered fire-proof vegetation, and also occurred simultaneously with fires in other regions of Australia and California? What is happening is extraordinary. It would be difficult to say there wasn’t a climate change dimension. We couldn’t have imagined the scale of the current event before it happened. We would have been told it was hyperbole.

This is teaching us what can be true under a climate changed world. The numbers, scale, and diversity of the fires is going to reframe our understanding of bushfire in Australia. This is a major event which will have huge intellectual and policy legacies.

Well worth a read. Also, new word: “Pyrogeography is thinking about landscape, people, and fire.”

“Trump EPA to roll back Obama-era chemical rules” [Axios]. “The Environmental Protection Agency is set to roll back a set of Obama-era standards outlining how companies must store dangerous chemicals… The rules were enacted following a 2013 explosion in Texas that killed 15 people. Officials blame arson for the deadly blast, but the fertilizer plant fire was fueled by 80,000–100,000 pounds of unsafely stored ammonium nitrate. Under the EPA’s newly weakened rules, companies will no longer have to provide public information on what chemicals they store onsite.” • What could go wrong?

“How two intruders from interstellar space are upending astronomy” [Nature]. “Among other things, 1I/‘Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov have provided the first direct glimpse of the physics and chemistry of the squashed debris clouds that surround young stars and serve as the birthing grounds for planets. These samples from other planetary systems are allowing scientists to explore whether the Solar System is unique or whether it shares building blocks with other planetary systems in the Milky Way.” • Ha ha, they only look like debris clouds. I mean, the aliens managing our interstellar quarantine aren’t stupid. I just hope they like what they see on their latest swing through.


“Nearly All Mass Shooters Since 1966 Have Had 4 Things in Commonm” [Vice]. “The stereotype of a mass shooter is a white male with a history of mental illness or domestic violence. While that may be anecdotally true, the largest single study of mass shooters ever funded by the U.S. government has found that nearly all mass shooters have four specific things in common. A new Department of Justice-funded study of all mass shootings — killings of four or more people in a public place — since 1966 found that the shooters typically have an experience with childhood trauma, a personal crisis or specific grievance, and a “script” or examples that validate their feelings or provide a roadmap. And then there’s the fourth thing: access to a firearm.”

Groves of Academe

“Southeastern Middlestill University Hiring Visiting Assistant Adjunct Just Because They Heard You’re on the Market” [McSweeney’s]. “The School of Communications, Businesses, and Queer Studies in the Fränk Malamarde College of Impossibilities at Southeastern Middlestill University invites applications for a visiting adjunct professor in nonprofit management to begin in August 2018.” • And it gets better.

Guillotine Watch

“How the 1% like to heal the world” [MarketWatch]. “There were a few recurrent themes among the [Forbes 50] top 20 donors’ priorities: universities, K-12 education, health-related causes, research to end various diseases, and criminal justice and prison reform.” • Gives me a warm feeling that top donor Warren Buffet is donating to social justice causes.

Class Warfare

“Bankruptcy, Divorce, and Long Commutes. More Evidence That Income Inequality is Toxic” [Evonomics]. “A team of economists led by Robert H. Frank measured changes in income inequality in each of the states and in the 100 most densely populated counties in America during the period 1990-2000. Income inequality was measured in two ways—the familiar GINI index and the ratio of the 90th percentile household income to the 50th percentile household income (P9050ratio). Well-being measures included non-business bankruptcy rates, the proportion of the adult population that is divorced, and the proportion of workers whose daily commute is an hour or more. The first two measures are obviously indicative of financial and other forms of stress. The rationale for the third measure is that most people do not want to commute more than an hour to work if they can afford to live closer. As with all good research of this sort, a host of other variables were controlled for. The results spoke loud and clear: The states and counties that experienced the largest increases in income inequality between 1990-2000 also experienced the largest increases in bankruptcies, divorces, and long commutes.” • A long commute is a really good stress indicator, as I know from personal experience.

“Analyses claiming that taxes on millionaires and billionaires will slow economic growth are fundamentally flawed” [Economic Policy Institute]. “Genuine information about economic policies is good and useful. But the highly stylized output of models that assume supply-constraints on growth are the norm, and which are presented as effects on ‘growth’ and ‘jobs’ with no further context are notably unuseful, and often actively misleading in today’s policy debates.”

News of the Wired

Not to start a text editor flame war or anything:

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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 (PS):

PS: “These are deep-sea corals that live below the depth that light can penetrate. Consequently, unlike their shallow-water cousins, they have no photosynthetic algae symbionts and so have to rely exclusively on what they catch to feed themselves.” Moar coral (an honorary plant)!

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Angie Neer

      Thank you for that link. I used to have a narcissist business partner, and that post really resonates. And Trump constantly reminds me of him.

  1. Romancing The Loan

    Re: Epstein ranch. I suddenly wonder if the seemingly unnecessary and kind of weird media panic over “deepfake” videos comes from the fear that his insurance policy will escape into the wild.

    1. JohnnyGL

      The whole thing had a very creepy vibe to it.

      The shot from overhead was really something….

      “No one can hear you scream”. Nowhere to escape….just miles of desert in all directions.

      1. Bernalkid

        Granted, some other rich dude built the place, but profoundly ugly interior and furnishings, huge crucifix oversized for room it’s in. Main attribute–isolation. I wonder why?

      2. WJ

        What’s with the large circular labyrinth with a bush? plant? at the center? Is that a landing pad or where the goats were sacrificed?

    2. dcblogger

      I keep wondering how it was possible to disappear what must have been a large stash of blackmail, even if it was stored in digital format. someone must know. it is amazing how little has leaked out, because Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew do not have anything like the amount of $ to keep that sort of thing in operation, so all those perverts still inhabit places of power.

        1. Tvc15

          Agreed. I also think the FBI visit to his island was to disappear any remaining evidence. The Podesta brothers are also collectors of this unusual art.

          Barr said, “Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide was a ‘perfect storm of screw ups”. Of course it was, nothing to see here. Certainly not any intelligence agency murder or extraction operation. The only people being charged so far are two low level jailers. Not Clinton, Dershowitz, Richardson, Trump or any of the other frequent Epstein visitors from the ruling class…can’t make this up.

      1. toshiro_mifune

        Depends really. If it was me it would have been a few TB tar ball of things off loaded to various sites and then encrypted and seeded on to bittorrent with the encryption keys held by a number of third parties with instruction to release it on my death. Hell, just script it to release the descryption keys as a torrent if my phone has been inactive for more than 72 hours.
        An older guy like him though… it was probably all on a WD My Cloud sitting under his stairs still set to the default password.

        1. Tvc15

          Agreed Acacia. I also think the FBI visit to his island was to disappear any remaining evidence. The Podesta brothers are also collectors of this unusual art.

          Barr said, “Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide was a ‘perfect storm of screw ups”. Of course it was, nothing to see here. Certainly not any intelligence agency murder or extraction operation. The only people being charged so far are two low level jailers. Not Clinton, Dershowitz, Richardson, Trump or any of the other frequent Epstein visitors from the ruling class…can’t make this up.

          1. The Rev Kev

            The FBI did not have to do a thing. It took them a whole month to go visit that island by which time the place had been thoroughly cleaned out and a large scale concrete pour done.

        2. scarn

          I assume that he was always a spy, and that the evidence is held by some government or governments because that is who he turned it over to. There never was a fail switch, and all the evidence remains in the hands of the blackmailers who he worked for. If I were to guess, it’s the Israelis.

          1. Acacia

            Yes. This part of the article: “‘The guy I spoke to installed this sophisticated camera system, with cameras in each room, and it all went through a mainframe server, which went to either New York or Florida.'” — could be amended to “… or Florida or Tel Aviv.”

            (Parenthetically, I was reminded of the “John Wayne was…” scene in Repo Man, with Miller saying: “I installed two-way mirrors in his pad in Brentwood…” ;)

      2. WJ

        So many oddities, I agree.

        He knew he was being arrested. Why return?

        Ghislaine is still nowhere to be found. Will she ever turn up? Is she alive? In Israel? Belize? Massachusetts?

        Which intelligence did he “belong to” and in what sense?

        Why was the operation terminated?

        1. Acacia

          She has lawyers. They are representing her in an open case in New York (see the article to which I linked, below). She could likely be found if the law were actually looking for her, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    3. Acacia

      From the Daily Mail article:

      ‘The point of the cameras was to record powerful people and for blackmail. Ghislaine Maxwell has thousands of names and videos, she’s threatening, if she gets pulled under, she’ll spill. She’s sending a clear sign that she’s untouchable. She has all that information.’

      Also this week:

      Ghislaine Maxwell Requests Extension to Argue Against Exposing ‘Hundreds’ of Names in Epstein Docs

      Attorneys for former Jeffrey Epstein partner, friend, and alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell on Monday asked a federal judge in Manhattan to grant them a one-month extension as they prepare to argue that the court should not unseal the identities of non-party persons whose names appear in documents ordered released by the court.

      Could it be that Maxwell wants to keep her nice little monopoly on all the dirt? She remains untouchable as long as she has the list of names, but obviously that would change if the court dumps the data.

      1. Clive

        There’s that’s picture, which I presume everyone has seen, of Andrew, the jailbait underaged girl he was clutching and Ghislaine. Has anyone else notice the odd composition of that photo? It’s supposed to look like a casual snap, but as anyone who has ever tried to take a family photo knows, to get both the people in the foreground and Auntie Jane, sorry, Ghislaine Maxwell who is in the background, further from the cameraman anyway, all in shot and all in focus (plus no camera shake to ruin the photo) — oh, and the lighting was bad, too — and yet somehow have a useable snap, is very, very tricky.

        And yet, there it is. And, moreover, apparently Andrew was relaxed enough and reassured enough to allow this photo to be taken?

        Of course, if as you say, Ghislaine has got a whole family album with shots just like this one, she doesn’t even need to call in any favours. The favours, for people in that sort of situation, have a habit of simply falling, unbidden, into one’s lap. Not, then, unlike, some of the poor gullible, unfortunate and abused girls involved in this sordid affair had to.

  2. Louis Fyne

    —You’d have to forgive your average Republican in flyover country for taking Trump’s opposition at its word.” • —

    maybe this train of thought deserves its own post one day….. 2019 is the year conspiracy theories became normalized.

    Epstein’s death;
    anti-Trump coup by “the Resistance”;
    constant stream of hearsay or anonymous or fake news reported by the major news outlets

    The country has become paranoid and neurotic…reminds me of this Adam Curtis video, “how we all became Nixon” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKaIoGHB6QU

    1. Off The Street

      TFW you recognize Paul Krugman as the current version of that Raiders of the Lost Ark guy saying Top Men.

      Paul is woke so he can say Top People.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Two things to say about conspiracy theories . . .

      1: Its not a theory if its happening.

      2: Its not a theory if it happened.

    3. Carey

      >The country has become paranoid and neurotic

      I’d amend that to “the country has been steadily and carefully driven to paranoia and neuroticism”, myself.


    4. Rhondda

      I believe this was linked to here on NC a few weeks back. It’s taken me that long to digest it and read up on Rene Girard, etc. Well, actually, I am still digesting it ;-). Very interesting. And relevant: What is Liminality?

      Here’s a tidbit:

      People trapped in a liminal situation are increasingly unable to act rationally, because the structures upon which their rationality is based have disappeared. (Check.) Being in a liminal state spells crisis for most people. Emotions run wild, making clear thinking all but impossible. (Check.) This leads to “mimetic” (imitative) behavior by those trapped in the liminal space. (Check. 4 out of 4.)

      In the politics of liminality, the future is unknown; since no one has gone through the process before, there is no one to lead people out of it. This allows for false ceremony masters—politicians, pundits, sophists, and general snake oil salesmen—to fill the void and offer bogus solutions or ways out of the liminal state, to alleviate the disorientation and helplessness of others, thereby perpetuating liminality indefinitely. (Check. Check. Check. Check.)

      Conditions of permanent liminality can be maintained by schismogenesis—literally, the creation of a split, a polarity that, if unchecked, pushes the poles further and further apart. (Check!!)

  3. Wukchumni

    Governor @DevalPatrick was supposed to have an event at Morehouse College tonight. An organizer with the college who planned the event told CNN that Patrick cancelled the event when he arrived and learned that he would not have an audience. (Note, two people came, not pictured)

    Dick Tuck (was there ever a better trans name?) died last year, otherwise i’d guess this was his doing…

    “There was an absent-minded professor who knew I was in politics and forgot the rest. He asked me to advance a Nixon visit.” Tuck agreed and launched his first prank against Nixon. He rented a big auditorium, invited only a small number of people, and gave a long-winded speech to introduce the candidate. When Nixon came on stage, Tuck asked him to speak about the International Monetary Fund. When the speech was over, Nixon asked Tuck his name and told him, “Dick Tuck, you’ve made your last advance.


    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      “Dick Tuck, you’ve made your last advance.”

      This makes me think about the Warren freeze update. I’m sure Nixon gestated that comment while giving his set piece as well as he could. He breathed this stuff. He got drunk one night and tried to figure out demonstrators in person.

      So a Warren nomination means a Heal/Face thumpdown. How will our average sports viewer respond to that?

  4. Carl

    Report from the ground in Bogotá indicates that the Colmbian protests are continuing. Relative of someone I know, big exec, is trapped in her office and unable to return home. Seems the Colombians are quite unhappy with their elected president, Duque. Don’t have a link to cite; MSM coverage seems dated and incomplete.

    1. maxi

      from Medellin – at least 10 hours of protests, with protestors actively stopping people from using graffiti and destroying things from what i saw. city was largely shut down.

      things were generally peaceful from what i’ve seen and heard; at the end of the day, some people who seemed quite shady started some fires etc., but nothing atrocious. of course, tear gas and flashbangs came out at the university, which has a history of demonstrations – so police are typically quite “proactive” there.


    2. Carl

      Update: friend who lives in a smaller, normally quite tranquil, city (Ibague) in the Tolima region reports that she cannot get downtown for work because of blocked streets. Her sister, referred to earlier, was able to reach her home in Bogota by walking several kilometres.

    3. Carl

      Further update: curfew imposed in Bogota. Friend’s sister reports that she anticipates being confined to her home for several days. There was a curfew yesterday in Cali. There is plenty of military in Colombia to enforce such things.

  5. Lee

    I’m not seeing the coral.

    As it happens Science Friday is doing an extended segment on coral:

    Meet The Scientists Reviving The World’s Fading Corals

    A quarter of the world’s corals are now dead, victims of warming waters, changing ocean chemistry, sediment runoff, and disease. Many spectacular, heavily-touristed reefs have simply been loved to death.

    But there are reasons for hope. Scientists around the world working on the front lines of the coral crisis have been inventing creative solutions that might buy the world’s reefs a little time.

  6. Lambert Strether Post author

    Patient readers, I added the videos of Warren freezing at the podium during a protest.* As a former debater and public speaker, I know, and Warren as a debater should know, that you never freeze at the podium, ever. Not only does it wreck your own credibility as speaker, it’s very, very painful for the audience that has to watch the debacle.

    NOTE * She was set up, as Ryan Grim’s tweet thread shows, but that’s both no excuse and a sign of bad advance by the vaunted Warren staff.

    1. divadab

      She had the flipping mike – she could have talked right over them…..

      Anyway if she makes it that far Trump will eat her alive….

      1. toshiro_mifune

        She had the flipping mike
        Thank you. This my exact reaction when they started chanting “Let her speak”. She has the PA, she can just drown them all out. -OR- Actually try to engage them and see what they want. Hell, that would have been an actual human moment, “How can we help”.

      1. lambert strether

        The Muppet theme song takes a dark turn:

        Why do we always come here
        I guess we’ll never know
        It’s like a kind of torture
        To have to watch the show

    2. Shane

      If you turn up the volume in the video, you can hear Warren ask Pressley, “What do we do??”

      Pressley knew how to play/placate the protesters; Warren didn’t have the slightest clue how to respond.

      Contrast Bernie last cycle allowing the (legitimate, grassroots) BLM protesters the mic. The real test for him would be identifying the difference if this group showed up at one of his rallies and shutting them down while still validating the struggle of Black Americans today.

        1. ambrit

          Warren has a spot waiting for her in the Saturday Night Live “Not Ready For Prime Time Players.”
          Politics, at the ‘retail’ level, is an art that must be learned through experience. Warren relies too much on a Meritocratic concept of ‘Public Service.’
          Why do I keep getting the feeling that Warren has been set up to fail.

      1. RMO

        Nah, he did that with the X already… (note: the Delorean had a fiberglass composite body over a Lotus style sheetmetal backbone frame – the stainless steel parts were just non-structural external cladding)

        From the comments I’ve seen on various auto websites, better than 95% come to the conclusion that it’s either A: a joke or B: Elon has the brainworms. Even commenters who call themselves “Tesla Kool-Aid drinkers” mostly hold one or the other of these opinions. And the Starliner prototype just blew up during a pressurization test too.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Brilliant photo, the whole scene looks like a really bad PhotoShop. I scrolled to the video to make sure it wasn’t satire.

    2. ewmayer

      I sent a different-site link to the story to Yves&Lambert earlier today, with comment “Hilarious clown-car stuff … just look at that ridiculous design, good luck loading a ton of lumber and sheetrock in the back of that! The window-shatter fubar is just the icing on this sh*tcake.”

        1. ambrit

          That would end up with the worst sort of ‘pod’ cast.
          I can see it now; “Musk Yutani. Building better worlds for the ‘better’ people.”

  7. Camelotkidd

    I just read Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.

    Lambert turned me on to Gibson with his referral to the “Jackpot” that takes place in his latest novel–Peripheral–and I’ve become a big fan.

    I think that the Fetish:Footage:Forum in Pattern Recognition is much like Naked Capitalism’s comment section, where smart, online participants engage with each other.

    Anyone else recognize the pattern?

    1. Lost in OR

      Me too.

      I identified with her allergic reaction to logos and revulsion of commercials.

      On to Spook Country.

    2. Ranger Rick

      That book messed me up. Viral marketing is truly one of the greatest and most insidious evils invented by man. Reminded me of one of the classic early-00s games, Uplink, a game about hacking among other things. It’s motto? “Trust is a weakness.”

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I just read Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.

      One book Gibson’s “Blue Ant” trilogy: Pattern Recognition (2003), Spook Country (2007), and Zero History (2010). From an interview with Gibson:

      The “Blue Ant” trilogy has been heavily focused on the advertising trade, from the “cool-hunters” of Pattern Recognition to the “secret brands” in Zero History. Why have you become so interested in advertising in this moment?

      It’s a literalization of the way that we’ve become an apparently postindustrial civilization. If we’ve become a postindustrial civilization, what then is it that we actually do? We do branding and marketing, that’s what we do.

      I hope there’s more to it than that, but just entertaining the possibility that that’s all we do is a very interesting proposition from which to begin a novel.

      What I find interesting about these novels is that you don’t take the usual opinion that advertising is one-sidedly oppressive and terrible. In your books there really is something cool about cool-hunting; it’s not just fluff.

      I try for an anthropological approach: I go into the territory I’m looking at it and try to see what it is. I try not to go in with too many preconceptions. Of course it’s impossible in the end not to have preconceptionson the first day of Anthro 101 they tell you that you’re never going to actually understand your own cultureand so my attempts at objectivity vis-à-vis my own culture are sort of ridiculous. But I still try for it.

      I try to rein in the natural human tendency to be didactic in fictionbecause as soon as the actions of the characters begin to illustrate my own opinions, I’ve lost what feels to me to be my highest function as a novelist, which is to get the characters up and running to the point where I can’t quite anticipate their actions and the course of the narrative starts to follow the trails of the strangely autonomous constructs who are living in my brain for 14 months while I’m doing this.

      I don’t write novels to express ideas; I write novels about characters and the ideas come out of them. During the course of doing the book tour, I get interrogated on behalf of the book. I get to read it over and over again for the first time to rooms full of strangers. During that, if I’m lucky, I get to discover for the first time what I will subsequently regard as the ideas expressed in the book. That’s where I find them, if I find them.

      Gibson says “I write novels about characters and the ideas come out of them.” Perhaps that’s why Agency, whose premise is a world where Clinton won, which was announced in 2017, is taking such an infernally long time to deliver (January 2020, now, it seems).

      Interestingly, if one view the Blue Ant trilogy as a window into the deep well of unconscious cerebration of the 10% (the Democrats base that will, one presumes, have a role to play in Agency), you can see a lot of its features in the current zeitgeist ten years on, besides advertisers (and influencers + viral marketing + obsessive fans). Easy globalism, the billionaire class as non-villains, a fascination with tradecraft from the intelligence community, “intelligence is the health of the state,” a fascination with Russian intelligence, colorful lumpenproletariat figures providing authentic local color, etc. Gibson really was quite prescient in that regard.

  8. urblintz

    I should send Lambert this link but will post it here too. Aaron Mate continues to do thorough and clarifying journalism about the Russian and Ukraine fairy tales in which the woefully short-sighted Dems are wallowing:

    Oddly, but not surprisingly, The Nation also has Nichols on the Dem’s “slamdunk” for impeachment, Heer praising Fiona Hill as if she isn’t a racist. xenophobe who worked for Lyndon LaRouche and best of all, Joan Walsh, cognitive dissonance be damned, attributing the “success” of the blindingly pathetic debate to the female moderators as proof of…. what?

    And of course, you have to search a bit for Mate, while the other essay have all enjoyed top page status. I was hoping for better from Guttenplan…

    1. Carey

      >in which the woefully short-sighted Dems

      Holding actions are all they’ve got now, IMO, and if that’s so, they’re really playing it decently well for their class interests.

      Sanders 2020

  9. DJG

    Lambert Strether:

    I read the moniker Mayo Pete here first. Didn’t you make it up? Don’t you want credit in the O.E.D.?

    Please advise.

    Present at the creation,


    1. Sol

      I thought it was a tribute to Terry Pratchett, who has a character nicknamed Mayonnaise Quirke. So named for being thick, rich, and oily. :D

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I did not make it up. It originated on Black Twitter. It was used very infrequently, and I (under another another persona) worked hard to propagate it. I’m sure others did as well. So I was present near the creation. This is how the blogosphere worked in the old days, albeit more inefficiently.

        1. ambrit

          Hah! The ‘Bag Test’ for politicians. “Are you XXXXX enough for us to call you ‘Authentic?'”
          That is so, Id Pol. (I view the formulation “Id Pol” as a multi-layered pun.)

    1. Sol

      Anecdotally, in my locale people seem to be moving the other way. There’s an increasing demand for vehicles and household appliances that the modern market would call not merely obsolete but archaeological. Washers and trucks from the 70’s and 80’s. You know. Back when Grandma may have used pliers to set the dryer, and yet it still ran for two decades.

      In this area of the country, at least, the planned obsolescence, shiny new bandwagons, and woke capitalism that some corps substitute for progress might have pushed too far.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        New PTO appliances are not to be found. I was thinking it’d be nice to set up a washer in the back yard on a little deck and pedal laundry while I read a book. Not even Ali Baba. If you want to use your preferred power source to drive your favorite appliances, you’re going to have to hack something.

        But boo-yah, another million electric cars. We’ll be up to 200,000,000 in no time.

      2. paintedjaguar

        “Ran for two decades”? Pshaw. A properly built appliance ought to last for twice that, maybe with a few spare part replacements. People used to buy new ones for “improved” features, not because their old ones had stopped working.

    2. Monty

      I reminded of when the iPad came out and everyone was in hysterics about how silly it was, and it’s of course the name was like a digital feminine hygiene product.

      1. Plenue

        Actual progress would be more public transport, not more cars where we’ve just moved the burning fossil fuels to a powerplant somewhere.

        1. polecat

          Yep ! Shorter Elon : “Buy my Vanity Ride”

          I’d rather own a ‘Tumbler’ .. much more fun !!

          “Bruce Wayne to the courtesy bat-phone please.”

  10. marku52

    Here’s my problem with calling the impeachment bogus. It seems clear that Trump used US FP and Congress’ money to extort something to damage his political opponent.

    He should be impeached.

    Also, Brennan’s use of the bogus Steele thingy to implement a FISA warrant on Trumps campaign should cause him to do a fact-finding mission to Club Fed, where he can join Comey, McCabe, and HIllary.

    And there should be a law against the self-dealing the elite children are doing, be they Biden’s, Kerry’s, or Chao’s

    But if we just yawn at Trump, I don’t see how we complain if say, Pres Biden publicly directs the IRS to audit every one of AOC’s campaign contributors. I don’t see how it’s any different.

    1. Lost in OR

      It’s like remodeling a house… where do you start and where do you stop?

      Yeah, investigate and impeach Trump. But don’t stop there. Go back through O and W and slick willie and Mr CIA himself (Bush I) and don’t stop there. Don’t leave out their cohorts and don’t leave out the three-letter agencies that aided and abetted (or instigated) or Wall Street or K Street or, well, where DO we stop?

      No, it’s not Trump! It’s the system. It’s the culture. It’s the economy. It’s us. It’s our jackpot coming home. Focusing on Trump just diverts attention from the underlying rot.

      As long as somebody else is always and forever to blame, we ourselves will never ever be responsible.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      The cat is out of the bag. The Democrats will achieve their weekly strategies goals towards becoming the party of trendy suburbia and the Republicans will use the national security apparatus and impeachment (lotta offices you can impeach) against Democrats as soon and hard as is feasible. And since the Republicans are better at this sort of thing, that just about wraps it up Mr. Franklin.

      1. kiwi

        Oh stop.

        You write as though dems are as pure as the driven snow. I find it fascinating how people regularly manage to accuse the other party of doing exactly what they are doing.

        “Republicans will use the national security apparatus….???” – you mean like the dems have been using it?

        IMO, there are a number of dems who should be charged with sedition.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . the Catfood Democrats don’t want to register any new voters at all.

      So Bloomberg is 5 states better than the Catfood Democrats are, in terms of political involvement morality.

  11. Wukchumni

    I for one would enjoy seeing a Twitter battle royale between Bolton and the President, I wonder if the latter rises to the occasion?

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        I’m trying to figure out why the WWF doesn’t get into the political debate biz? They’d bring better production values and know how to present a difference of beliefs and policies very clearly to the audience; that is exactly what draws the audience now.

  12. shinola

    Re. the ‘Politico’ article about Tulsi Gabbard.

    As usual with the msm, anyone who is against interventionist/regime change wars is automatically labelled an “isolationist”. Check out this comment after her debate performance:

    “She has views on foreign policy that are so outside the mainstream as to be a real liability to the Democratic Party,” said another Democratic senator, who requested anonymity to candidly discuss the party’s issue with Gabbard. “It is corrosive to have folks on that stage who represent views that are clearly not right.”

    A rather revealing remark…

    1. Carolinian

      What’s revealing is “requested anonymity.” It’s Tulsi versus the anonymous cowards. Some of that Hawaiian sunshine would go a long way to disinfect the secretive DNC.

      Which of course must not be allowed. It will take a large and overwhelming popular movement to reform the Dems. Given that Biden is still the front runner that doesn’t seem to have happened so far. Time for a DC Spring to join other populist movements around the world?

    2. The Rev Kev

      Funny how they were all proud of the All-Women MSNBC Debate Panel but when you had an actual women call out people like Harris & Buttigieg as well as the imperial wars, then it was OK to dump on her for this and wailing that she must be stopped. I have heard of the United Daughters of the Confederacy so I guess that the All-Women MSNBC Debate Panel could be called the United Daughters of the Empire.

      1. polecat

        You know, the way to a Harpy’s stomach is to throw a banquet of bad ratings, before casting the big nets ….. thought it helps to have a bug-eyed baited blindman to schiff the odds.
        It seemed to work in the Argonauts favour …

      2. JBird4049

        … appeal to isolationists, dissatisfied liberals and even conservatives.

        Wow! Politico is really trolling or the commentator is an ignoramus. Which is worse?

        Let’s see. Up to about 1947 when the Cold War started, being an isolationist was a respectable, mainstream position across the entire political spectrum. Right after the Second World War, most of the military was brought back and discharged as fast as possible.

        There has been a not so hidden resistance, sometimes even effective, towards every single war, conquest, regime change or annexation done over the border. It only really dies down (mostly) when the wars started until Vietnam. Also neither party is really Leftist, liberal, or conservative, and even if they were, they are completely corrupt and in service to the oligarchy.

    3. Monty

      “views on foreign policy that are so outside the mainstream”

      I don’t know about any of you guys, but I find it a bit painstaking wading through all this political ‘news’ every day. I have no idea who these people are, or why they believe what they do. It does not make sense to me at all. I am becoming resigned to the fact that ‘most people’ must be so brainwashed and/or stupid that it’s not worth engaging in it at all (Other than a rubbernecking a massive car crash kind of a way).

      My world view vs. Theirs; never the twain shall meet…

  13. DJG

    Warren freezing at the podium and Ryan Grim’s thread.

    Much to contemplate here: First, the Walton Foundation funding. I am familiar with them. Here in the Fortieth Ward in Chicago, there was Walton money a-gogo during the aldermanic elections earlier this year. Admittedly, Andre Vasquez, who eventually won, had some, errrr, weakneses. But the money flowing in through a shell NGO to Pat O’Connor was prodigious. I was getting ten postcards a week from such concerned citizens. One could practically see dollar bills flying in flocks over our ward.

    Paid protests. Fascinating. And the protesters should know better than take money to protest.

    And whose name should show up in Grim’s thread? Mayor Pete.

    There is a “racial” aspect to Buttigieg’s racial insensitivity, obvious lack of concern, and white-boy “presentation” that galls me. The Maltese are Sicilian. They are pretty much the same people as Sicilians, a bubbling sauce of Greeks, Latins, Semites, and Africans. Yes, Africans. So is Pete running away? Clueless? As a Sicilian, I know that I don’t fit well, if at all, into the American racial categorization. Does Pete–or did becoming an Episcopalian wash away his Sicel, Punic, Corinthian genome?

    He has a strong whiff of the fear and resentment of black people that I see among many Italian-Americans, Santorum, Alito, and Scalia being leading for-instances.

    Oh, well, I guess that I just won’t share my caponata with Mayo Pete.

    1. DJG


      among many right-wing Italian Americans.

      There is a resentment among this group at not being considered sufficiently “white,” no matter how much they try.

      1. jrs

        If they look white they will be considered white, the american racial categorization is really not much more complex than that in my experience.

        1. Big Tap

          In the early 20th century in America Italians were not considered white. This was the era of eugenics. White people were defined as part of the ‘Nordic Race’ made up of northern European stock only. No Italians, Greeks, and in particular Jews were white people. That doesn’t justify some Italian – American hostility today but the discrimination then was vicious.

  14. pjay

    “Trump is so wonderfully clarifying”

    Precisely! That is the one good thing about the otherwise miserable last 4 years. I will agree with Krugman that Hill was “impressive” — but not in a good way. As for “principled,” here is Mark Ames (forgive me if this has been posted):

    “Fiona Hill is smart & has intelligence background so she knows she’s lying—and to what purpose she’s lying—when she says contrafactual that Ukraine did not meddle in 2016, and that anyone who says Ukraine meddled is a Kremlin asset (this would make Leshchenko a Putin asset ffs!)”


  15. DonCoyote

    I noticed Kamala Harris was speaking of the Obama coalition in debate 5 Wednesday, so I went and read the NC link. One quote that caught my eye from David Pflouffe:

    Well, the Senate GOP might have just ensured the Obama coalition turns out in ’16,” added Obama’s 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe. “Dem WH for 16 straight years, Dem Senate in ’17. Geniuses.

    So I wondered what soothsayer David (OK, he did say “might”, but still) was up to these days (advising the Harris campaign?). No. He’s on the board of directors for some liberal digital messaging outfit called ACRONYM

    Obama’s 2008 campaign manager identified six states on which he thinks Democrats should focus their efforts: Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina. The work of ACRONYM and other outside groups, he said, should focus on countering Trump’s spending while Democratic candidates are still focused on winning the nomination, to ultimately make the pivot to general election messaging for the eventual nominee as smooth as possible.

    Based on his record, I would guess at least half of these states turn out not to be battlegrounds. And one wonders whether they have more planned than the “Trump bad” drum HRC beat so loudly in 2016.

    1. Big River Bandido

      AZ, FL, NC are absolutely un-gettable for any establishment Democrat. Sanders might open up those three.

      Interesting, too, that he just omitted Iowa and Ohio. Like any Democrat could get elected to the White House without those two states. And the idea that a Democrat *could* win Florida while losing Iowa and Ohio?

      What an idiot.

    2. paintedjaguar

      ” to ultimately make the pivot to general election messaging for the eventual nominee as smooth as possible.” But why should it be either necessary or desirable for a candidate to “pivot” or change their “messaging”? Other than of course to keep voters in the dark as to your real intentions.

  16. Misty Flip

    A document titled “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement” will never be recognized by an adult unless a child got a B minus reporting it, bumping up his geography score. It is impossible to negotiate in good faith when the public official who proposed the USAMEXCAN Agreement has yet to resolve the breach of at least several Title 18 statutes of the sexennial “Code of Laws of the United States of America” published by the House of Representatives, which prohibits the demanding or asking for anything of value for personal use, let alone campaign contributions from a foreign national. To confuse this poorly executed electoral rodent mating strategy with a drafted piece of foreign policy is to fail recognize the sphragis, or “mating plug” that subverts the efforts of better mates, i.e. anybody else [a biological concept from where this “rat-f***ing” metaphor comes]. The American people at least deserve a competent rodent mate, for boot-scootin’ boogie’s sake.

    1. Rhondda

      Wowzers. +1000 for sphragis! When put into my “DC politics” mental bucket, that makes some nasty imagistic combinations!

  17. Carla

    “A new Department of Justice-funded study of all mass shootings — killings of four or more people in a public place — since 1966 found that the shooters typically have an experience with childhood trauma, a personal crisis or specific grievance, and a “script” or examples that validate their feelings or provide a roadmap. And then there’s the fourth thing: access to a firearm.”

    Hhhmmm… doesn’t quite explain why they’re almost all white.

    1. Louis Fyne

      In his latest stand-up special, Dave Chapelle had a related monologue/anecdote about a down-on-his-luck black friend and the suicide of Anthony Bourdain. On how many bad cards the friend was dealt, it never occurred to him to commit suicide.

      To be blunt I’d bet that from an early age non-white Americans (and white Europeans) process setback, pain, microaggressions, adversity differently than white Americans.

      1. Jerry B

        ===non-white Americans (and white Europeans) process setback, pain, microaggressions, adversity differently than white Americans.

        Louis — I think your statement above is mostly correct but as the son of White European immigrants who immigrated to the US in the 1950’s I do not see them as processing things differently. At least today. Growing up I was an only child but my mother was one of seven children and I had a large extended family and we would always have gatherings with family and friends(the friends being mostly European as well). But over the decades as my relatives and their children assimilated into US culture they have started to all keep to themselves more and more.

        To your comment. Much of Angus Deaton’s and Anne Case’s “Deaths of Despair” writings focus on the issues in your statement above and if I recall especially as it pertains to white Americans. If my memory serves, Deaton and Case discuss that many non-white ethnic groups have more social ties, social capital, and extended family ties than White Americans.

        I am tired otherwise I would post some links from Deaton and Cases’s work but I am sure there is a lot in Google and Google Scholar.

        I used to work in plastic injection molding factories and when I would take my lunch break I would observe that many African Americans and Hispanic Americans would eat lunch in groups and seem to have a great time socializing during lunch. The White Americans (both men and women) would usually eat lunch alone.

        1. Carla

          Okay, but I’d just like to point out that — in my mind at least — suicide and mass murder are pretty damned different.

          I believe that I have a right to commit one and no right whatsoever to commit the other.

    2. The Historian

      Perhaps that comes under the heading of specific grievance and the script the white supremists have prepared for them.

  18. fdr-fan

    Both sides are missing the point on charter schools in the drably predictable partisan way. Charter schools run the gamut from “conservative” emphasis on memorizing Cicero and the Peloponnesian wars, to “liberal” Montessori and Reggio Emilia.

    Around here most are closer to the Montessori end, and they’re doing quite well. Parents seem to be happy with the results, and skill-based education is the BEST way to develop real critical thinking. Warren is threatening to take away these schools because the teacher unions hate them. Removing charters will NOT be good for the parents or the kids.

    1. eg

      “Removing charters will NOT be good for the parents or the kids.”

      Which parents? Which kids?

      Neither group is monolithic.

    2. Big River Bandido

      Removing charter schools will be great for parents and children in the public school system, who are currently being cheated of public resources that are being diverted to charters.

  19. Jerry B

    ===Nearly All Mass Shooters Since 1966 Have Had 4 Things in Common====

    Actually just two things in common — male and access to a gun.

    I have studied men’s and boys issues for the last 20 years and after reading this article my first (over) reaction was “all the mass shooters are male”. End of story. From my own personal experience and the vast amount of books and academic papers I have read on men and boys issues, women/girls issues, and gender and biological sex differences, we as a society to do not pay enough attention to the difficulties that men and boys are having in today’s society.

    And when we try to focus on men’s and boy’s issues the feminists chime in with “but we still have a long way to go on women’s rights, gender equality, etc.”. And they would be absolutely right that there is still more work to be done to make the US society a more fair and equal place for women and girls. But this does not have to be a zero-sum game people!! Why should helping boys and men have anything to do (or detract from) with the goals for women and girls? It should not. We can and need to devote resources to helping all genders and sexes deal with their unique challenges.

    There is a significant amount of research that shows that men and boys are more physically aggressive than women/girls. Also much research has shown that Anti Social Personality Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder are more prevalent in men/boys.

    Early in life young boys are more prone to neurological disorders such as ADHD, Autism, Aspergers, and neurological issues that contribute to conduct disorder and other externalizing/acting out behaviors.


    From the link above:

    The gender differences in dimensions of effortful control are consistent with gender differences in externalizing problems, and may indicate an important link in the greater male incidence of aggression, delinquency, and attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    Boys are more likely to possess risk factors for life-course- persistent antisocial behavior, such as difficult temperament, hyperactivity, and behavior problems, and girls are less likely to develop life-course-persistent antisocial behavior (Moffitt & Caspi, 2001)


    Now to my knowledge ALL the above I just discussed about men and boys issues is probably true for men and boys all over the world, in all other countries, cultures, etc. However, in IMO I believe the issues that men and boys have that are similar around the world are made worse and more prevalent by the type of culture/society the United States has become in the last 40+ years.

    So if men and boys issues are similar in most of the countries in the world then from the study above what is left that is endemic to the US??? Drum Roll please. Access to Guns, Access to Guns, Access to Guns.

    And while have strict gun control, background checks, assault rifle bans, etc. is critically important, the US has 393,347,000 firearms in civilian possession. What are we going to do about all the guns and assault rifles that are out there already??? An overly militarized and weaponized armed forces, an overly militarized and weaponize police forces, and an overly weaponized civilian population. Young men and boys are just exhibiting the violent weapons driven behavior that our culture is modeling for them.

    1. kiwi

      I wonder what it is like to be a male and to be regularly under attack by women and regularly under attack for being male.

  20. The Rev Kev

    Paul Krugman: “One side lesson from this inquiry is that the Deep State contains some really impressive, principled people. Which is why Trump hates it so much.”

    Hmmm. Sitting back here, I have been thinking of politicians like Pelosi & Schiff and public servants like Taylor & Vindeman. For the life of me, I cannot think of which ‘really impressive, principled people’ he is actually talking about.

  21. Phillip Allen

    I just clicked the link to the Maté article and was greeted by a push ad for a contest to win a meeting with Elizabeth Warren, showing her leaning forward, arms out for an embrace, face full of her beaming, excited smile. My brain short circuited at the notion that winning such a thing would constitute being ‘lucky’.


  22. smoker

    5g is insane.

    And speaking of it, is anyone aware of whether a phone company is still required to allow someone to maintain their age old cellphone number if their shabby phone goes dead? Horrid T-Mobile made an acquaintance forfeit their years old number when they upgraded due to a deliberately easily obsolesced phone to a newer one. I live in fear of losing my cellphone number now, as I’m somewhat of a guardian and contact person for someone I love, with my number on near fifty contact lists, or more, for the person.

    And don’t get me started on the frightening state of dropped connections on phone calls from and to Hospitals, in emergency situations. Can’t call back either because the doctor always calls from a generic line that they can’t be reached at. I’ve witnessed severe connection issues at four hospitals in the California North Bay and Silicon Valley Area. Nurses at one of the VA hospitals informed they even have a problem with pricey Androids and iPhones dropping connections.

    Thanks for the immorality Ajit! I hate this country’s fascist powers that bes’ increasing demolition of basic needs; no moral compass left whatsoever, utterly immoral. I feel like I’m living on the edge of a giant, finely honed Razor.

    1. turtle

      That doesn’t sound right at all. Starting a few years ago you can keep your phone number even if you change carriers, so I can’t imagine why they couldn’t transfer your friend’s number to a new phone. He could have just gone to a new carrier and kept the number!

  23. Wukchumni

    Kinda bummed, had to call off going to one of our favorite Thanksgiving haunts-Saline hot springs in Death Valley NP, because the weather forecast has a powerful cold winter storm coming in from Alaska with rain & snow, and it’s a 52 mile drive on a dirt & crushed lava road to get there with lots of elevation gain & loss along the way, and a journey that’s so tough on tires, that we carry 2 extra full sized along with the spare on the truck.The soaking is sublime and conversations scintillating.

    It can wait.

    Rather amazing Thanksgiving potluck there last year, about 175 made the pilgrimage.

    1. Sol

      That must have been about 15 gallons of gravy. I would be dismayed too, to miss an opportunity to be in the same building as 15 gallons of gravy. From the sound of that drive, though, perhaps a wise move.

      1. Wukchumni

        It’s rare for Death Valley to get precipitation as typically the storms come from the Pacific-not sweeping down from the north, as its in the rain shadow, for the Sierra Nevada & White Mountain ranges get first dibs on eastbound goods.

  24. allan

    Giuliani associate willing to tell Congress Nunes met with ex-Ukrainian official to get dirt on Biden [CNN]

    A lawyer for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani tells CNN that his client is willing to tell Congress about meetings the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee had in Vienna last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.

    The attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, represents Lev Parnas, the recently indicted Soviet-born American who worked with Giuliani to push claims of Democratic corruption in Ukraine. Bondy said that Parnas was told directly by the former Ukrainian official that he met last year in Vienna with Rep. Devin Nunes. …

    Nunes declined repeated requests for comment.

    Bondy tells CNN that his client and Nunes began communicating around the time of the Vienna trip. Parnas says he worked to put Nunes in touch with Ukrainians who could help Nunes dig up dirt on Biden and Democrats in Ukraine, according to Bondy.
    That information would likely be of great interest to House Democrats given its overlap with the current impeachment inquiry into President Trump, and could put Nunes in a difficult spot. …

    Parnas’ claims that Nunes met with Shokin, which has not been previously reported, add further context to a Daily Beast report that Parnas helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for Nunes last year [at taxpayer expense], citing another Parnas’ lawyer, Ed McMahon. …

    Over the past two weeks, CNN approached Nunes on two occasions and reached out to his communications staff to get comment for this story. …

    “To be perfectly clear, I don’t acknowledge any questions from you in this lifetime or the next lifetime,” Nunes said while leaving the impeachment hearing. “I don’t acknowledge any question from you ever.” …

    Sounds legit.

  25. Mike

    Re: Tech: “Global 5G wireless deal threatens weather forecasts” [Nature]

    Quote from Lambert: “It’s exactly Musk screwing up astronomy with his stupid satellites. And for what?”

    There’s precious little time, Lambert. Money must be made, and quickly, too. No time for the liberal niceties of research or debate. Action now, action quickly, so that the debate and reaction is 2 or 3 steps behind the reality. By the time you realize you’re being pick-pocketed, the item has already been passed on to a third and fourth party. Speed allows for quick transmission of your money into their hands, banks, offshore accounts.

    5G will probably hurt much more than weather forecasting (tissue damage and organ disruption should be on the list of preliminary findings, if such research was allowed). An informed public would be in the way, wouldn’t it? The few lone voices trying to counter development are, indeed, lone, and therefore easily reported as nuts. Assassination in reverse.

    1. ambrit

      I was going to make a remark, but self censored it out of existence. Now, what does that tell us about our society?
      A new motto for America: “Paranoia Is Rational.”

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