2:00PM Water Cooler 11/6/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, so much happened in Politics over the weekend and then Tuesday that I have to do a bit of a pantry clearout (and since I think by writing, I have to do this. More coming. –lambert


“Farmers are really milking China’s growing appetite for dairy. A surprising surge in Chinese demand is helping shore up global prices and giving producers some relief after years of low returns and regional milk gluts…. Cream and cheese are creeping into Chinese diets, accelerating demand for products such as milk powder for use in infant formula and other foods” [Wall Street Journal]. “[China’s w]hole-milk powder imports rose 23% in the first eight months of 2019, when China imported roughly a third more skim-milk powder and cream. That’s benefiting big producers like New Zealand-based Fonterra Dairy Co-Operative Group and pushing prices to the highest levels in five years. The gains come as global milk production is under pressure from dry weather in Australia and Northern Europe and dwindling dry-milk stockpiles in the European Union.” • China is not buying foreign milk only because of “demand.”


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

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

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Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart. Here is (are) the latest Dem Primary Polling as of 11/6/2019, 11:00 AM EST:

The Biden juggernaut rolls on, with today’s YouGov poll having Warren well in second place over Sanders. Yesterday’s Ipsos poll was the reverse. Here, today’s results, as of 11/6/2019, 11:00 AM EST:

There are no new state polls for IA, NH, SC, or CA, but here is NV as of 11/6/2019, 11:00 AM EST:

And here is the latest result, as of 11/6/2019, 11:00 AM EST:

(The poll one day early has Biden in the lead, Sanders second, Warren third.)

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

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UPDATE Biden (D)(1): “Ex-Biden advisor: Warren’s ‘Medicare for All’ like trying to ‘buy a unicorn’ with a unicorn” [CNBC]. “Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s sweeping “Medicare for All” plan is too much of a political reach to actually be implemented on Capitol Hill, according to Jared Bernstein, who used to advise her Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden.”

UPDATE Gabbard (D)(1): “Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill to Withdraw Troops from Syria” [AntiWar]. “The idea of the bill is to remove any troops in Syria that do not have Congressional approval to be there, which is all of them. The resolution says, ‘Congress has not declared war with respect to, or provided any specific statutory authorization for, United States military participation in any activity related to securing, guarding, possessing, profiting off of, or developing oil fields in northern Syria. All of these actions are unconstitutional.'” • Good for her!

Harris (D)(1): “The real reason Kamala Harris is tanking” [The Week]. “Harris has seen her polls collapse, her donations tumble, and her campaign in shambles. She claims her woes show that the country is just “not ready for a woman of color” to be president…. If Harris’ fall from grace could be attributed to her gender and mixed Indian and African American heritage, then, she would never have shot up in the first place. Also those very same attributes would doom the part-Samoan, practicing-Hindu Gabbard. Moreover, if the country is not ready for a ‘woman of color,’ it is even less so for an openly gay man with a husband. Yet Mayor Buttigieg is surging…. Harris has long billed herself as a “progressive prosecutor.” To most people, that would strike as oxymoronic. But to her this meant using the carceral state that conservatives like to tackle social problems that progressives care about.” • IOW, “Kamala Harris is a cop.” If only she had been a spook!

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie’s Old. So What?” [Jacobin]. “Better to be old and right than young and a sh*thead.”

Sanders (D)(2): “Sanders outpaces other 2020 Dems in Latino fundraising support” [Politico]. ” independent analysis provided to POLITICO shows the Vermont senator is out front in online contributions to his campaign from Latinos — a voting bloc that will be key in critical early nominating states such as Nevada and California… The report coincides with favorable polling for Sanders among Latino voters and appears to back up his campaign’s plan to aggressively court the Hispanic community. A Univision survey released in September showed Sanders and Biden statistically tied with 20 percent and 22 percent, respectively, among Latino primary voters.”


UPDATE Sanders (D)(4): “Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Accuses Mainstream Media of Erasure” [Truthdig]. “”In a report about its own poll showing Bernie in first place in New Hampshire,” Sirota wrote. “CNN put an inaccurate graphic up showing Bernie in second place.”… Sirota also cited a report by the New York Times claiming that South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg “eclipsed” Sanders—despite the poll the story was based showing Sanders in second place ahead of Buttigieg… Journalist Ken Klippenstein noted the [“Bernie blackout’] phenomenon on Monday in response to the Times poll that showed Warren and Sanders—given the margin of error—statistically tied. The newspaper’s push notification tellingly left Sanders’ name out entirely.” • The mistakes all seem to go one way…

UPDATE Sanders (D)(5): Oddly, there are no CBS stories on this that I can find:

UPDATE Sanders (D)(6):

Parallel to the coat video (Kohls, IIRC).

UPDATE Trump (D)(1): “Analysis: Trump’s GOP has no answer for suburban slide” [Associated Press]. “It’s difficult to draw sweeping conclusions from state elections, each with their own unique quirks and personalities. But there’s little doubt Tuesday’s outcome is a warning to Republicans across the nation a year out from the 2020 election and a year after the 2018 midterms: The suburbs are still moving in the wrong direction…. Just outside Philadelphia, Democrats said they took control of the Delaware County’s five-member council for the first time since the Civil War. In nearby Chester County, Democrats beat two Republican incumbents on the board of commissioners to seize the majority for the first time ever. The same shifts defined state legislative races across Virginia’s suburbs, particularly in places like Henrico County just outside Richmond.”

UPDATE Trump (2): “Trump’s Re-Election Likely If Economy Stays on Course” [Bloomberg]. “An enduring U.S. expansion puts President Donald Trump on course to win re-election in 2020, according to economic models with a track record of predicting who wins the White House. The forecasts from Yale University professor Ray Fair, Oxford Economics Ltd. and Moody’s Analytics Inc. are based on Trump being boosted at the ballot box by steady economic growth, an historically tight labor market and limited inflation.”

UPDATE Trump (3): “Amid troubles, Trump has huge cash advantage for 2020” [Roll Call]. “The White House incumbent, who took the unprecedented step of opening his reelection coffers the same day he took the oath of office in 2017, recently reported holding more than $83 million for his next race. Trump has raised a total of $165 million so far. Plus, he’s helped haul in millions more for the Republican National Committee, which will help all GOP candidates get the vote out, while outside organizations allied with the president have amassed their own big bundles of political money.

Warren (D)(1): “Democrats give Warren’s ‘Medicare for All’ plan the cold shoulder” [The Hill]. “Some Democratic senators [Doug Jones, Bob Menendez, Ben Cardin] on Tuesday said flatly that they would not vote for Warren’s plan if she were president in 2021. …. Asked by a reporter in Iowa on Monday how she would get Medicare for All through the Senate, Warren said the election results would send a message. ‘When I win, I will turn around to all of my Democratic colleagues and say this is what I ran on,’ Warren said, according to a transcript provided by her campaign.” • That and a buck gets you a cup of coffee. It will take a lot of outside pressure, and the only possible source for that is an activist movement, and probably direct action. That won’t come from Warren. She knows this, hence “long-term.”

UPDATE Warren (D)(2):

UPDATE Warren (D)(3): “Ayanna Pressley Broke With “The Squad” To Endorse Elizabeth Warren For President” [Buzzfeed]. • “Pressley’s first official appearance on the campaign trail is scheduled for Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Warren will conduct a town hall meeting.” • Unsurprising. “The Squad” was always a media creation.

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ME: “Safiya Khalid becomes first Somali American elected to Lewiston City Council” [Bangor Daily News]. “Safiya Khalid defeated a fellow Democrat on Tuesday to win a seat on the Lewiston City Council. That makes Khalid, 23, the first Somali American elected to the council. She is also the youngest person to hold a seat on the council. Khalid won with 69.6 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. She received political training through Emerge Maine, which helps Democratic women who want to run for office. Khalid also serves as vice chair of the party’s Lewiston chapter and has an executive seat on the state committee.”

UPDATE KY: “Senate president: Kentucky governor’s race could be decided by state legislature” [Courier-Journal]. “Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers threw another wrench into the state’s razor-thin gubernatorial outcome late Tuesday night, saying that the legislature could decide the race. Stivers’ comments came shortly after Gov. Matt Bevin refused to concede to Attorney General Andy Beshear, who led by roughly 5,100 votes when all the precincts were counted. ‘There’s less than one-half of 1%, as I understand, separating the governor and the attorney general,’ Stivers said. ‘We will follow the letter of the law and what various processes determine.'”

UPDATE PA: “The blue wave crashed down on Pennsylvania again, as voters from Philly to Delaware County turned left” [Inquirer]. • Well worth a read for the detail. In fact, the story — remarkably — does not confused liberal and left (though liberals did do well in the suburbs).

UPDATE VA: Lee Carter:

Not sure about @TTM19VA (“Joint @VADemocrats, @VAHouseDems, @VASenateDems, @TheWayAheadVA, and @TheDLCC venture to flip the Republican-controlled House of Delegates and State Senate”)

UPDATE WA: “A fistful of cash on the scales of democracy” [Pramila Jayapal, Medium]. “I am extremely disturbed by the unprecedented amount of money that Amazon has dumped into Seattle City Council elections — not just a thumb, but a fistful of cash, on the scales of democracy… This latest $1.1 million poured into city elections by Amazon two short weeks before the election is truly outrageous. I am getting asked about it not just in Seattle, but across the country.” • Jeff Bezos makes $215 million dollars a day. That’s a lot of elections he can buy.

UPDATE WA: “Early Results: Amazon Didn’t Buy a Majority, but the Socialist Ship Is Sinking” [The Stranger]. “Did Amazon win the majority it tried to buy? That answer appears to be a no. Amazon’s money may have bought them another seat or two on the council, but a progressive majority appears to have held, thanks in large part to Seattle’s two at-large seats, which were not up for reelection this year and are held by progressives. However, progressives who were hoping voters would recoil at Amazon’s unprecedented $1.5 million contribution and elect a full slate of liberals also didn’t get the slam dunk they wanted. Socialists Kshama Sawant and Shaun Scott are in deep trouble, based on these early returns.” • Who said socialists were liberals?

WA: From Seattle:

Touching. Until you ask yourself if Amazon polluted their minds with its million bucks.

From the Ministry of Fear:

The litmus test for all of this is that if they’re advocating voting “cybersecurity” and not hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public, they’re not good faith actors. Worse than that, we see the intelligence community not only working hard to achieve veto power over Presidential selection, they’re working for veto power over the legitimacy of elections.


“Medical emergencies and Milo Yiannopoulos: Roger Stone’s trial opens” [Politico].

And that first juror was an only-in-Washington character, a former Obama-era press secretary for the Office of Management and Budget whose husband still works at the Justice Department division that played a role in the Russia probe that ultimately snagged Stone. She acknowledged having negative views of President Donald Trump and said she had followed the media coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Still, the woman said she did not have strong views about Stone, and Jackson denied a request from Stone’s lawyers to strike the woman as a potential juror.


Our Famously Free Press

Speaking of erasure:

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “Politics is for Power, Not Consumption” [Boston Review]. • This is terrific, introduces the new concept of “hobbyist”:

[P]olitical hobbyism, a catchall phrase for consuming and participating in politics by obsessive news-following and online “slacktivism,” by feeling the need to offer a hot take for each daily political flare-up, by emoting and arguing and debating, almost all of this from behind screens or with earphones on.


Political hobbyists tend to be older than the general public, though they are found in all age groups. They are disproportionately college educated, male, and white. In the current climate, they are more likely to be Democrats than Republicans or independents. Not only are they different from the general public, they also have a different profile from people who engage actively in political organizations. For example, of the people who spend two hours a day on politics but no time on volunteering, 56 percent are men. But of those who spend that much time on politics, with at least some of it spent volunteering, 66 percent are women. When ordinary Americans volunteer in politics, they are trying to acquire power. Each voter they convince is a small piece of that power.


Hobbyism is a serious threat to democracy because it is taking well-meaning citizens away from pursuing power. And the power vacuum will be filled.

“Propaganda Narratives Are Custom-Made For Each Ideological Echo Chamber” [Caitlin Johnstone, TheAltWorld]. This is brilliant and important:

Every political sector has been given a custom-made reason to hate Assange by the narrative management network whose sole interest is imprisoning a journalist for telling the truth. And it’s been done so brilliantly that people never even stop and question who these new beliefs they’ve suddenly espoused are really serving. The science of propaganda is truly awe-inspiring sometimes…. It’s good for Assange to be locked up because it will hurt the Deep State. It’s good for Assange to be locked up because he’s a Russian agent. It’s good for Assange to be locked up because he’s a rapist. It’s good for Assange to be locked up because he’s a fascist enabler. The only common denominator in all these wildly different narratives is the belief that it’s good for Assange to be locked up. Which tells you that this is all it’s really about. Turn off the narrative soundtrack and what do you have? A man locked in a cell and no one coming to his rescue.


It’s just like the illegal US occupation of Syria. US troops need to be in Syria because of humanitarian concerns. US troops need to be in Syria because of chemical weapons. US troops need to be in Syria to stop ISIS. US troops need to be in Syria to counter Iranian influence. US troops need to be in Syria to counter Russian influence. US troops need to be in Syria to protect the Kurds. US troops need to be in Syria because of oil. There’s a different reason for every ideological echo chamber.

But take away the narrative soundtrack and what do you have? US troops staying in Syria. That tells you what this is actually about.

Simply mentally muting the narrative soundtrack that babbles about all the endless justifications for the US-centralized empire’s behaviors, and instead looking at the actual behaviors themselves, is a great way to see the empire’s true motives for yourself. Ignore all the stories about why things need to be as they are and you just see things as they are:

“Lobbyists’ Revolving Door Leads Back to Capitol Hill Jobs” [Bloomberg]. “100 staffers traded in jobs with high-paying K Street firms, corporations, trade associations, or nonprofits — like Common Cause and Heritage Action for America — for long hours on Capitol Hill beset by partisan brawls and legislative gridlock. Nearly 60% of the 110 people who’ve moved to the Hill from the influence industry since the midterm election went to work for House Democrats, according to data analyzed by Bloomberg Government, a likely result of the flurry of new jobs available after the party regained control of the chamber.” • Note that because liberal Democrats are defining corruption, though the impeachment process, to be only quid pro quo. So the “revolving door” is not corrupt, by definition.

UPDATE “There is no single “black vote.” There are many.” [Vox]. “[The 2008 Democratic] primary offers a lot of lessons. For one, it shows that the margin of victory for a candidate among black voters matters almost as much as the victory itself, meaning that it’s in a candidate’s best interest to push their support among black voters as high as it can possibly go. The 2008 primary also provides one example of how black voting power has worked in recent elections: showing how a presumed frontrunner who was banking on black support (Clinton), and actually did have a lot of support from specific groups of black voters and the black political class, saw much of her lead evaporate after a different candidate proved they could also get votes from different portions of the electorate.”

Stats Watch

Productivity and Costs, Q3 2019: “Hours worked increased faster than output in the third quarter, pulling down nonfarm productivity” [Econoday]. “Productivity improves when increases in output outmatch increases in hours, which was not the case in the third quarter, a period of subdued demand. Slowing demand unfortunately is an ongoing risk that may extend to the fourth quarter, in what would be a possible negative for both productivity and the cost of labor.”

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of November 1, 2019: “Home sales have been improving but slightly less improvement is the limited signal from weekly mortgage application data” [Econoday].

Tech: “Twitter Issues iOS App Update to Fix Buggy Auto-Refresh Timeline Behavior” [MacRumors]. • Hopefully. It was driving me bananas. I’d be reading a Tweet and suddenly the timeline would automagically scroll away from it. What kind of quality assurance have they got over there, anyhow?

Tech: “Chip makers are making big bets on factory overhauls to make the next generation of semiconductors. Intel Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and other companies racing to produce smaller and faster processors are spending billions on new equipment…. investments that are reverberating through technology supply chains” [Wall Street Journal]. “The tools don’t come cheap: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plans as much as $15 billion in capital spending this year, while Intel’s capex target is up 36% compared to 2017. The expenses are boosting companies like ASML Holding NV, which makes manufacturing tools, but come as semiconductor companies also contend with slumping demand for smartphone and memory chips.”

Manufacturing: “Boeing Chairman Says CEO to Forgo Bonus as 737 Max Fallout Grows” [Industry Week]. “Boeing Co. Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg will waive his 2019 bonus and decline equity grants for at least a year until the grounded 737 Max fleet is flying again ‘in its entirety,’ Chairman David Calhoun said…. ‘Reform has to happen. The system let everybody down,’ Calhoun, a managing director at Blackstone Group Inc., said in the half-hour interview. ‘If a rebalancing has to happen by way of reform, so be it. So be it. I get that.’ In crisp comments that contrasted with Muilenburg’s occasionally hesitant responses before Congress, Calhoun acknowledged that the design of the flight control system implicated in both crashes was flawed but said there was no corporate coverup. ‘No one was hiding anything. It was a set of engineering decisions that ended up being wrong,’ he said. “There is no question the fundamental assumption we designed around was flawed with respect to how a pilot would react.’… .”There’s no question there will be settlements,’ Calhoun said. ‘If [Muilenberg] can get us from here to the end point, and the end point being a Max that’s flying in service and accepted by the flying public, and begins to restore our brand,’ Calhoun said, ‘I might argue he’s just about the most qualified executive in the world to be running a company like Boeing.'” • Hmm….

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 87 Extreme Greed (previous close: 89, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 75 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 6 at 12:41pm.

The Biosphere

“An Energy Breakthrough Could Store Solar Power for Decades” [Bloomberg]. “Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg have figured out how to harness the energy and keep it in reserve so it can be released on demand in the form of heat—even decades after it was captured. The innovations include an energy-trapping molecule, a storage system that promises to outperform traditional batteries, at least when it comes to heating, and an energy-storing laminate coating that can be applied to windows and textiles. The breakthroughs, from a team led by researcher Kasper Moth-Poulsen, have garnered praise within the scientific community. Now comes the real test: whether Moth-Poulsen can get investors to back his technology and take it to market.'” • So not chlorophyll…

“After A Decade Of Drought, Iraq’s Famous Marshes Come Back To Life” [Niqash]. “[The Jabayesh marshes in southern Iraq] were drained by former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, in the 1990s in an attempt to starve revolutionary Iraqis out of the area and even though waterways were unblocked after 2003, the marshes – home to unique birds, fish and plants as well as farmers and fishermen – have never been the same since. More recently it has been nature that has been an enemy of the marshes… [T]hen came 2018 and the heavy winter rains that replenished the marshes… For now, the marshes are once again teeming with life. Buffalo herders like Najim have been able to return home, as have fishermen and the craftspeople who use the marsh reeds to produce goods for sale. There has also been an increase in visitors coming to the marshes and boat and restaurant operators are also thriving. ‘Thanks to low salinity levels in the water, we have more plant and animal diversity too,’ [Jassim al-Asadi, a senior manager with Nature Iraq] says. Fish species that were thought to have died out have returned, birds are migrating from Europe for the first time in years and water lilies are also growing in greater numbers than ever before.”

“How Laos lost its tigers” [South Africa Today]. “A new paper in Global Conservation and Ecology finds that the last tigers of Laos vanished shortly after 2013 from Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area. And the scientists believe it was most likely a surge in snaring that did them in, despite large-scale investments in the park, relative to the region. With the loss of tigers in Laos’s largest protected area, the tiger is most likely extinct in Laos, as it probably is in both Cambodia and Vietnam. That’s an area significantly larger than Texas in Southeast Asia that’s now bereft of its proper top predator…. This tragedy is simply another sign of industrial-scale ’empty forest’ syndrome across Southeast Asia, as poachers with guns and snares continue to wipe out animal populations, targeting anything the size of a mouse or sparrow and larger.”

“Where humans suffer, so do elephants” [National Geographic]. “The researchers identified two variables that influence local poaching rates more than expected. One is poverty, as measured by infant mortality rate, derived from data provided by Columbia University’s Centre for International Earth Science Information Network and the UN. The other is corruption, as measured by the NGO Transparency International.” • See above.

“Dr. Bronner’s Psychedelic Mushroom Trip” [NUGL Magazine]. “Holistic cannabis culture and psilocybin therapy are not disconnected goals to [David Bronner, son of the founder]. ‘There is similarity in that cannabis is also a plant medicine that’s very helpful in helping us relax and appreciate the present moment, each other, music and all the magic in our lives, and to get out of the ‘go go’ mode of consciousness that’s really interfering with connecting with each other and nature.’ Coming from a less accomplished idealist, statements like that might sound myopic, but the legacy that David Bronner steadfastly maintains has withstood skepticism, mockery and even incarceration in the past, and among the wealthy and influential individuals eagerly affiliating themselves and their money with psychedelics, it is unlikely that any of the others are following as directly in the footsteps of their grandfather.” • Fascinating article, especially about Dr. Bronner, especially if you like the soap.

Health Care

“Ady Barkan Is Running Out of Time to Speak” [The New Republic (NippersMom)]. “He puts his illness—which he wrote about in his memoir, Eyes To The Wind—and the awful fact of what’s to come, to good use, advocating for Medicare for All.” • I think it will take direct action by the many of us who are in Barkan’s position to push Medicare for All over the finish line.

Guillotine Watch

“The obscene conniving in Hunting Valley to get residents out of paying public school taxes” [Cleveland.com]. “With a mean household income of $507,214 and average home value of about $1.3 million, the Higley 1000, using 2010 Census data, ranked Hunting Valley Ohio’s most affluent place and the nation’s 17th richest community… By law and the state constitution, Ohio funds its system of primary and secondary education with money from the state’s general fund and local property taxes approved by voters. Millions of Ohioans with no children in the school system in which they live pay these property taxes – not necessarily because they like it, but because they understand it is the right thing to do, because they embrace the notion that educating our children is an essential element of sustaining our democracy. But for years, a small minority of Hunting Valley’s residents chaffed over paying property taxes to a school system (Orange schools) where only about 28 local residents attend public schools… What these money-grubbers don’t understand is, had the Hunting Valley handout been allowed to stand, people throughout Ohio could have successfully campaigned against local school levies, telling voters, ‘The rich don’t have to pay their fair share, so why should we?'” • Maybe they undetstand that quite well, since that would destroy the public school system.

Class Warfare

“Warehouses Are Tracking Workers’ Every Muscle Movement” [Bloomberg (Furzy Mouse)]. “[E]ach time [Jack] Westley bends too deeply to pick up a box or twists too far to set one down, the device on his chest vibrates to send a warning that his chance of getting hurt is elevated. Westley noticed he’d developed a habit of bending at the waist as he reached far into pallets to pull out boxes. “That might’ve been something they would vibrate on me for, but I started walking around to the sides of the pallets, you know, thanks to the reminder,” he says…. Unions and researchers who study workplace surveillance worry that employers who begin gathering data on workers for whatever reason will be unable to resist using it against them. Productivity tracking is already widespread throughout the industry—and workers can be fired or punished if their performance dips. The opacity of data-analysis tools can make it difficult for workers to fully understand how much employers can see.” • Love the name of the start-up (naturally) pushing the technology: StrongArm.

“Sexual Objectification Harms Women” [The University of Melbourne]. n=286 “We believe our research, conducted with colleagues in the US, is the first to demonstrate that when women are exposed to sexually objectifying events in their everyday lives, even when they aren’t the primary target, they become more preoccupied with their physical appearance… [W]omen reported obsessing about their physical appearance roughly 40 per cent more when they had just been catcalled, whistled at or ogled – compared to when they had not recently been targeted by such sexually objectifying behaviours… A subtle but important qualification of our findings is that experiencing sexual objectification on its own didn’t directly lead to increases in women’s negative or positive feelings. Rather, the harmful effects of sexual objectification only occurred when it resulted in women self-objectifying themselves.”

UPDATE “The Massacre That Spawned the Alt-Right” [Politico]. “The American left had largely given up on communism by then, but these demonstrators were full-on Maoists. Their ranks included professionals with degrees from places like Harvard and Duke. And they were descending on Greensboro, a city where sit-ins helped launch the civil rights movement in 1960, to ignite another revolution…. just after 11:20, a caravan filled with real Klansmen and Nazis surprised them… As the protesters stood their ground, a man in a white T-shirt leaned out the passenger window of a canary-yellow pickup truck, and yelled, ‘You asked for the Klan. Now you got ‘em!’ What happened next took just 88 seconds, but still reverberates 40 years later. In a confrontation where white supremacists began firing pistols, rifles and shotguns, and with television cameras rolling but police nowhere to be found, five communists were shot dead in broad daylight. Ten others were injured, some left to lie bleeding in the streets.” • How it’s done.

News of the Wired

“Slip Lanes Would Never Exist if We Prioritized Safety Over Speed” [Strong Towns]. “[Slip lanes] were borne of the simple realization by traffic engineers that cars turning right—even on a green light—can produce dreaded congestion because slowing down to a safe turning speed can delay traffic traveling straight. So to solve this one problem, they started adding lanes that allow traffic to make right turns without being required to slow or come to a stop, often accompanied with an additional lane on the approach or the exit. Whether you live in a rural, urban or suburban area, this feature isn’t hard to find: they’re a regular feature in most environments that were designed and built with federal money and guidance over the last 50 years…, Slip lanes increase the distance that people have to cover to cross a street, put people into spots that are often the hardest for drivers to see, and encourage drivers not to slow down when approaching an intersection and a crosswalk—the precise moment they should be the most careful.” • The article is really good and had plenty of images and videos. Something to consider organizing to fix if you have one in your town. Not killing pedestrians is good, but slowing cars down is good too!

“Turns Out Blogging Is Hard” [Vice]. • No kidding. After private equity goons gutted Deadspin, the only guy they had who could write was Paul Maidment, G/O’s short-lived editorial director. It sure looks like he was the guy putting the paper out: “No matter who was blogging, it seems safe to say, it was not a success. The sentence structure was uniformly strained. The ledes were clunky. Many of the paragraphs were simply lists of scores, football plays, or marathon finishing times. (The Kenyan runners who won the New York City marathon were unnamed in a headline and described as ‘cantering,’ which is something horses do, not people…) Attempts at cusses were embarrassing: a few things ‘sucked’ or were ‘dumbass.’ The headlines were dizzying verb-thickets that had to be read multiple times to be vaguely comprehensible. After a few days of these horrific word-manglers appearing on the site, whether they were his malformed children or not, Maidment resigned, citing an ‘entrepreneurial opportunity’ he simply had to pursue.” • I hope the goons who gutted Deadspin lose a whole lot of money and leave the business entirely.

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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 (Nate):

Nate writes: “Here’s a night blooming orchid cactus for the Water Cooler.”

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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. aj

    RE: “JUST IN: DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA release joint statement on 2020 election security, warning, “Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions.”

    Also just in: The Pope wears a funny hat.

    Also also just in: The DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions in Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign countries.

    1. Hepativore

      I can see it now. Sanders wins the primary despite all DNC efforts to stop him and stomps Trump in the general election. After he takes office, the Democrats lead impeachment proceedings on the grounds of Bernie Sanders being a Russian agent despite there being no evidence to support the claim. It ends up being a successful, bipartisan effort due to the Republicans animosity to someone whom they see as an avowed “socialist”.

      After his impeachment, Sanders is removed from office. Police are then called in to mop up the protesters in various cities across the country that crop up in the following months. However, Washington D.C. and its corporate donors breathe a sigh of relief as they return to “business as usual”.

        1. Danny

          No, Tulsi. The military, Bernie voters and some Trump voters back her, and she goes on to become the greatest president ever for two more terms.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Are we choosing a candidate like we are looking for a partner in a relationship, and that, oftentimes, we have accept what or who she/he is, if there is enough we like?

        2. David Carl Grimes

          AOC might lose her seat in the Bronx first. She might be primaried by a Pelosi protege.

          1. ambrit

            I would make book on that. Just when AOC thinks that she has compromised with the DNC Clique, they’ll let her know that absolutely no dissent is tolerated in “The Party.” The Democrat Party internal politics is beginning to look like the early Soviet days in Moscow.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Didn’t Moscow interfere with the internall affairs of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslavia, etc., or was it just more Western propaganda?

            2. JBird4049

              At least there are no Stalin style “Great Purge.” Yet. The Katyn Massacre was merely one of many, many, many executions and massacres done by both the Nazis and the Soviets in the Polish-Ukrainian region. Then add the slave labor and the extermination camps and realize that the area was one gigantic human abattoir. I have book recommendations on the subject, if you want to be not only seriously melancholic, but morose also.

              And yes, the Soviet Union dominated the Warsaw Pact, in some instances by violence.

              1. ambrit

                I have a copy of “Bloodlands” on one of my bookshelves. Read it a year or so ago. That and “IBM and the Holocaust” make twentieth century evil an exercise in equal opportunity.
                If I were a cynic, I might think that that era in history was a test run for the Jackpot.
                And yes, Washington dominated South America, in some instances by violence.

                1. JBird4049

                  I have those and Black Earth written, I believe by the same author of The Bloodlands, as a explanation of what was different in the local circumstances that enabled the violence that the first book documented.

                  If you want to get some further background, War Against the Weak written by the same author of IBM and the Holocust, Edwin Black.

                  I have a really hard time staying with these books, no because the writing is bad, as they are good writers, nor because the subjects are uninteresting to me. I am fascinated and Black Earth ties in especially with my studying societal collapse. But the whole subject of that 7-8 years of Hell in Poland and Ukraine is just so dark. I have to take tiny bites. How were those two writers able to write two books each on the subject without going crazy?

                  1. ambrit

                    I sort of knew two people, a married couple, who lived through that time in that place. Polish Jews, a near extinct demographic now. One fought in the Warsaw Uprising and the other survived Auschwitz. Fascinating people. I was young, but still occasionally realize something new I learned from them and didn’t realize at the time.
                    It is a fraught subject. Humans, when they forget their higher natures and indulge their baser urges can do horrific things.
                    We focus on our past history, Eurocentered perhaps, but still influential world wide. I can only imagine the freighted memories of those in the Far East. The last century in China and adjoining regions were just as horrible as anything that happened in Europe.
                    Sometimes I wonder if the human race is worth saving.
                    Thanks for the book suggestions.

            3. Lambert Strether Post author

              > I would make book on that. Just when AOC thinks that she has compromised with the DNC Clique

              Compromise will gain AOC nothing. That’s why I keep screaming that she has to take care of constituent services, or the DNC will come for her. Or Jeff Bezos will peel another million bucks from his wad.

      1. John Beech

        And this now notionally Republican voter, who switched party registration a month or so back to the Democratic party (Central Florida) did so expressly to be able to vote for Bernie – and – isn’t surprised at this possible conjuncture because it makes perfect sense for the world we’re in now. Whew, that was one loooong sentence. Sorry. Color me frustrated with the MSM’s coverage of his campaign, or more accurately, lack thereof.

    2. Lost in OR

      RE: “JUST IN: DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA release joint statement on 2020 election security, warning, “DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, CISA, and other malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions.”

      There, that’s better.

      1. The Rev Kev

        How about: JUST IN: Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors release joint statement on 2020 election security, warning, “DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions.”

        Funny, because it’s true.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Like that captain in Casablanca, one would be shocked, shocked at the interferring by many actors, at each other.

          So, it is not about what is occuring, but what a nation does to preventing itself from becoming a victim.

          Looking back, you have the Germans with shipping Lenin to Russia or Trotsky/Che and worldwide revolution, among many other examples.

    3. shinola

      Which brings up the question: Is there an actual law against a foreigner (non-US citizen) publicly expressing an opinion about a US election?

      1. JBird4049

        In the United States? The First Amendment protections of free speech is just about the only major amendment that is intact. On paper, the Constitution especially the Bill of Rights apply equally to every regardless of citizenship. This includes the Bill of Rights or the Ten Amendments. Only a citizen can vote, hold federal office, and I sure some lawyers can give better, detailed explanations than I can. I am sure somewhere that there is an exception. But the protections are supposed to apply to everyone.

        So, on paper and to some extent in the past, you could say just anything on anyone (leaving aside some police officer “chastising” you for bad manors) Now?

        Today, like so much in this corrupt and benighted time, if TPTB do not like you, the law is often not much protection. More like the club to be used on you. That is just a fact especially if nonwhite or poor. If someone is not an American citizen, and if there is anything that could be construed as a problem, and some politician with connections complains, or somebody in ICE just does not like you, life can get interesting. Detained for investigation or deportation interesting. This goes double, if not white or monied.

        I can go on a show and call President Trump, for starters, a sleazy, corrupt, racist, sexist, fascistic, orange baboon man-child pretending to be the adult he’ll never be and aside from a “surprise” tax audit or even more bovine manure from the student aid people, nothing will happen to me. For a non-citizen, someone undocumented, on a visa or even has a green card ICE can make life really unpleasant.

        TL;DR According to the law you can say whatever you want; according to reality, it can get you in trouble, although never for what you said, just for what they can find or make up.

        1. Yves Smith

          This is not quite right. The First Amendment applies to speech in government and public contexts. You can say whatever you want in the town square. If you insult the boss, you can be fired.

    4. John

      Russia, China, and Iran might attempt to interfere in the US election. Payback for interfering in the Russian elections in the 1990s and for helping the Brits overthrow Mossadegh for control of the oil in Iran in 1954 for just participating in the 100 year interference in China’s affairs.

      I am more concerned with the absurd ‘systems’ we have for voting, which if not easily hackbable, it is a blessed miracle.

      Think of the security of pencils and paper ballots and platoons of concerned citizens keeping each other honest as they count the vote or even those wonderful old mechanical monsters that we had in New York which with an expenditure of a small percentage of what our digital little marvels from Acme cost would still be clanking along and doing a fine job.

      Oh! I forgot. You cannot hack them.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think if a state or nation does not try to influence another country’s affairs, when it is advantageous, their officials are not doing their best.

        See the story of Xi Shi, and the ancient pre-unification states of Yue and Wu.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > I think if a state or nation does not try to influence another country’s affairs, when it is advantageous, their officials are not doing their best.

          This is what is so astounding about this “narrative” to me. We’re an imperial hegemon, even today. Do people really think that foreign states are not going to express their views? What should we do? Build our own “Great Firewall” to keep them out? (In a way, the liberal Democrat hysteria about “foreign interference” is the flip side of Trump’s hysteria about “illegals.” Foreign interference wouldn’t matter if elites were doing a half-decent job of governing. One could argue that the liberal Democrats’ hysteria is in fact as damaging, because it’s led to McCarthyism and the complete elimination of negative feedback from the political class. People driving a car blindfolding themselves because they don’t like what they see on the road ahead.)

          Or to put this another way, how come Israel gets to grossly interfere in our elections constantly, and nobody else?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think Bruenig viscerally opposes a Jobs Guarantee because he thinks it contradicts projects like this; Graeber, too. What the JG is (in my mind) is the first step toward workers controlling the workplace (here, through setting a baseline for wages and working conditions through the JG). That’s also the only political avenue toward, well, getting the job done (which the UBI, which is in essence a plan for the elites to be Lady Bountiful) does not.

  2. Dr. John Carpenter

    I keep reading in MSM stories that Mayo Pete is “surging” and is becoming a “formidable candidate” but I’m not seeing it. It seems like he’s still bouncing around where he has been the whole race. Is this a case of trying to manufacture a narrative or am I just looking at the wrong numbers?

    1. Michael

      He’s polling favorably in Iowa. Coincidentally, this week’s species of talking head feels that only Iowa poll numbers matter, and all the later states are sure to swing in the Iowa winner’s direction.

      1. dcblogger

        for once they are correct, right now Iowa’s numbers are the only thing that matters, once the Iowa results are in the entire narrative will shift.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          “Just win, baby!” –Al Davis

          Anybody here remember the “Dean Scream” — which though peddled by Gephardt elevated John Kerry? One wonders what last minute events will happen, and whether the Sanders staff has the stuff to deal with it when it does.

          1. ambrit

            What happened to the “kids” who ran Mike Gravel’s influence campaign? Sanders people should give them a new home and pronto.

    2. jong_sf

      His numbers seemed to improve slightly after a favorable media narrative regarding his debate performance. Subsequently, media has been overreacting about the polling (“4th, but a strong 4th,” etc.) or granting favorable access like the Heilemann interview. Whether it lasts has yet to be seen.

    3. JohnnyGL

      He’s had a couple good polls in the early states, Iowa, in particular. Supposedly, he’s been dropping a fortune on ads there. He seems to be cutting into Biden a bit, and Warren a bit more.

      He’s hopeless because he can’t make a dent with black voters. His record on policing in South Bend is atrocious. He’s even admitted as such. It was a clear tell for me that his leadership quality is completely lacking. He’s an empty suit.

      Also, he’s roughly 4th in NH, 4th in NV, possibly 5th or lower in SC.

      You’re correct that it’s mostly media wish-casting (instead of forecasting)

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        When will he bring his husband on the campaign trail? Don’t the plebes always want to see the happy family man? Ozzie and Harriett, or in this case Ozzie and Ozzie.

      2. anonymous

        Yes, JohnnyGL, Buttigieg has been dropping a fortune on ads in Iowa. With apologies to the moderator for the number of links, here are Buttigieg’s TV ads with transcripts:
        https://blog.4president.org/2020/2019/09/pete-buttigieg-2020-television-ad-your-choice.htmlhttps://blog.4president.org/2020/2019/10/pete-buttigieg-tv-ad-recruit.html https://blog.4president.org/2020/2019/10/pete-buttigieg-tv-ad-solutions.html 
        In one, he says that the solutions won’t come from Washington, which, I say, will certainly be the case if he is elected.
        What are people thinking? Read it and weep.
        https://iowastartingline.com/2019/08/17/iowans-find-emotional-refuge-in-pete-buttigieg/  https://iowastartingline.com/2019/09/25/for-pete-buttigieg-a-campaign-built-on-honesty/

    4. petal

      There’s another house on my commute route with a Mayo Pete sign in the yard. It’s near the other one that has a Mayo Pete sign, and the LMIAL house that’s all in for Amy for America. Also a new NH for Warren sign in the yard of a house that sold a few months ago for $525k(can’t say I was surprised).

      1. Arizona Slim

        Doesn’t Warren’s support correlate strongly with social class? As in, people who are well off tend to support her?

        1. petal

          That’s what I heard before and am seeing in my area, whether it’s yard signs or when I was at her town hall. I let my brain jury be out and gathered up the evidence I was seeing and yeah, it is sorting out that way. The comfy like her and she likes the comfy.

        2. Lost in OR

          They had Bloomberg on the idiot box at my health club this morning. The talking heads were explaining in that “what the F are they thinking ” sneer so common these days that (to paraphrase) “Warren’s tax plan to pay for m4a would target the 1% and other investors with a capital gains tax. That tax would apply to all gains, even if the asset was still held and the (apparent) gain was an appreciation in value only “.

          The scorn for Warren was intense. And all four panelists agreed that she certainly deserved it.

      2. anonymous

        Bernie has added a yard sign to his campaign website store. Maybe you’ll start seeing some Bernie yard signs now.

    5. Dr. John Carpenter

      Thanks for all the input. Everyone kind of confirmed what I was thinking.

      FWIW, I live in Indianapolis, which is 2-ish hours south of South Bend and I’m not seeing any traction for him here. Granted, South Bend doesn’t really consider itself part of Indiana (in my experience), but they did give us a recent Lte. Governor and Mayo Pete is exactly the kind of Dem Hoosiers seem to like.

  3. JohnnySacks

    Chlorophyll, that’s perfect. Every time I see some commercial or ad put out by the fossil fuel industry touting some earth shattering scientific breakthrough on carbon sequestration, all that comes to mind is, lovely, some dingbat marketing committee just re-branded chlorophyll and expects a gold star on their forehead and a Nobel prize.

      1. Danny

        And always work with nature instead of against it…

        So many times, just doing nothing in a garden and waiting a while produces far better results than the most frenetic activity.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not too far from those marshes is Najaf, where the Wadi-us Salaam cemetary is located.

      It is the world’s largest, at close to 1,500 acres, containing, per Wiki, over tens of millions of bodies, the earliest more than 1,400 years ago.

      Extrapolating, a billion bodies would require 15,000 acres, approximately.

      With each human generation at about roughly 20 years apart, and a 1900 world population of 1.6 billion and a 2000 world pop. of 6 billions, we might asssume an average of 4 billion at any given year of the last century. With that, it works out that 20 billion humans were born in the 20th century, and a need for 300,000 acres, exclusing cremations. and pet cemeteries.

      There are 2.43 billions acres in the US, I think.

      Running out of room for cemetaries would seem to be a low-priority problem.

  4. Michael

    RE: Amazon’s mind-pollution in Washington state:

    Kshama Sawant, one of the only Seattle city council members who didn’t recant on the head tax for large companies, is trailing by 8% and likely to be ousted. I don’t know the neighborhood politics, but the Seattle Times naturally came out in favor of business-friendly challenger Egan Orion (I recall seeing the paper’s “left-wing” political cartoonist posing Sawant next to a bust of Marx) and I hear she generally didn’t have much luck with endorsements.

    In other WA news, we also rejected an affirmative action measure (which opponents framed — effectively! — as discriminatory); and turned a hated-but-mostly-progressive car tab tax into a much cheaper flat fee, which’ll likely gut mass transit and infrastructure funding. Par for the course.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > business-friendly challenger Egan Orion

      Orion is [x] gay, hence progressive, because as we all know, your politics is a straight readout from your identity. As we saw with [x] black Obama. Oh, wait…

      1. GERMO

        Sawant had better luck with union endorsements than previously. MSM perspective on this race is one thing, SA’s description has the ring of truth though:

        Orion’s supporters tore down over 1,000 Kshama Sawant yard signs throughout the district, and in the final two weeks, they vandalized over 200 signs with spray-painted profanities and sharp objects to shred the signs.

  5. Camelotkidd

    Caitlin Johnstone’s post about custom tailored propaganda narratives compliments the review NC ran yesterday of Taibbi’s Hate Inc.

    “And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public consent, which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict, still be manufactured?? “That wasn’t easy for me to see in my first decades in the business,” Taibbi writes. “For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model” (p. 19).

    But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised — at least for the time being — highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.”

    Now Johnstone:
    “The whole propaganda matrix works this way: people are actively herded into conflicting ideological echo chambers, and the “us versus them” mentality which that conflict engenders creates strong identification with and loyalty to that tribe. From there it’s just a matter of giving people narratives which allow them to self-gaslight in a way that protects those identification structures.”

    The effect is impotent hate that helps our feral elite divide and rule.

  6. Tim

    Slip lanes increase the distance that people have to cover to cross a street, put people into spots that are often the hardest for drivers to see, and encourage drivers not to slow down when approaching an intersection and a crosswalk.

    No, with a slip lane you can slow down more and focus on what’s in front of you instead of worrying if the guy behind you is going to rear end you or get road rage if you slow down too much.

    They should just focus on writing about why cars shouldn’t exist in the first place, since that appears to be their fundamental assertion.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Did you see the videos and the photos? Everything I see in them speaks against your argument; there are no visual cues to slow. In addition, their whole purpose is to avoid slowing.

    2. Nakatomi Plaza

      Tim is correct. Also, it’s far safer for a bicycle or motorcycle to be able to get out of the flow of traffic to make a turn. Every motorcyclist has nightmares about getting run down by an inattentive driver.

      And large trucks that cannot make a ninety degree turn?

    3. Yves Smith

      If you are going faster, your ability to brake is worse than if you are going slower.

      And you clearly didn’t read the price and have no idea what “slip lanes” are. Did you miss that this is in municipal/town settings? The only time I encounter potential road rage bumper riding is on freeways. There’s little point in city settings because the jerk can’t get anywhere materially faster and he knows that.

      The last time I had someone on my bumper in a suburban setting, I stomped on my brakes and slowed down to a crawl for a bit to make a point. The guy backed off and gave me a proper berth.

    4. Tomonthebeach

      Problem is, people do not behave the way engineers think they will.

      I wish the article went a bit further – to left turn center-lanes. No, I do not mean the ones at traffic lights. I mean the 5th lanes that Florida and other states run down the middle of highways cuz it’s cheaper than building intersections. While these lanes do enable turners to not stop left-lane traffic, often cars slow down long before pulling into them, thus still creating rush-hour snarls anyway. But a far worse problem is that many left turners coming out of side streets used them as merge lanes. The results include: a) rear-ending cars stopped to turn left, b) sideswiping traffic in the left lane, c) driving smack into islands, and d) consistent with slip lanes, making pedestrians dash across 5 vs 4 lanes.

  7. Grant

    I have long had a problem with the polls and those doing the polls (how much can you value a poll if the person or organization doing the polls, or analyzing the polls, have clear biases regarding those running?), and the polls are all over the place. It is easy to get happy with one poll, then down with another, but I remain largely indifferent. It isn’t that they are entirely off, if the election was held today I don’t think we Biden would fall to sixth place or something, but I also think that they polls are likely to be off, in some states much more than others. And I suspect that there is a decent amount of manufacturing consent with the polls, and especially with how the polls are covered, which polls are covered and what data in the polls is covered and what isn’t.

    All I can say is that I never expected those in power to just roll over and let Bernie win, I expected them to the throw the kitchen sink at him and it is clear that polling is an important weapon that those in power are using to both manufacture consent and to discourage the supporters of particular candidates, Bernie more than others. But, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about Bernie doing well, and doing better than many polls are showing. My biggest concern is the Democratic Party itself, and the people in charge of it. Regardless though, progressive movements in other countries face far more open repression than supporters of Bernie here. The media here can ignore and lie about him, but union organizers are dragged out of their beds and killed, like they are in Colombia. So, while it is an uphill battle, the hill is a lot steeper in other countries and those movements won regardless, and the media in places like Latin America is just as right wing as the media here.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > the hill is a lot steeper in other countries and those movements won regardless, and the media in places like Latin America is just as right wing as the media here.

      It is indeed. I think of it as defense in depth: Control over the ballot, control over polling, control over the press, control over the voting process, and more. But each of those layers is being assaulted.

    2. JBird4049

      In the United States, union organizers are not dragged out of their beds and killed now, but a hundred years ago it was quite possible. Also in the 1960s the police really did commit assassinations occasionally. Because the actual left has been a ghost for forty years, why commit any violence? I do think that, if the reformers seem like they might be succeeding, then a number of unfortunate accidents, suicides, fatal encounters, and unexpected criminal arrests will happen.

  8. Lambert Strether Post author

    I have completed the pantry clearout; sorry for the length.

    There are a lot of reports on election results; scan for the states. (I think there are two stories in these stories: One is that the Democrat strategy of flipping suburban Republicans is working*, but (b) left (as opposed to liberal) candidates are achieving some success (see PA especially). There’s also Amazon carpet bombing Seattle with money. I would expect more of that, in every city were Amazon has a warehouse. It’s gonna get ugly.

    Also, I highly recommend the Boston Review article on power. I had to remove the human interest part, but the human interest part is important and good.

    Blogging is hard work!

    * More Blue Dogs! Yay!

    1. Arizona Slim

      Slim here. And I’m here to say that I grew up in Chester County, PA.

      Since I left Chesco, it has become the richest county in Pennsylvania. Which means that, even though the people may be electing Democrats to countywide office, don’t expect the newly elected to be in the progressive camp. Lambert has it right. They’re Blue Dogs.

      1. Tom Doak

        I did a project in Chester County 25 years ago, and sn addition ten years later, and I go back occasionally to see how it’s changed. It’s basically an extension of the Main Line for those people who aspire to being in the upper class, but can’t afford it yet . . . and have yet to figure out that they never will.

  9. Roy G

    Regarding ‘JUST IN: DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA release joint statement on 2020 election security, warning, “Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions.’ Here is my response, via Jacques Ellul:

    “To the extent that propaganda is based on current news, it cannot permit time for thought or reflection. A man caught up in the news must remain on the surface of the events; he is carried along in the current, and can at no time take a respite to judge and appreciate; he can never stop to reflect … One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones. Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but he does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man’s capacity to forget is unlimited … This situation makes the ‘current-events man’ a ready target for propaganda.” — Jacques Ellul, Propaganda (1973)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Propaganda, it seems to be me, is done at least 3 ways;

      1. by banning
      2 by broadcasting what is desired to be said or read
      3. the first two being ‘spatial’, this third one, temporal – the time a subject is to be discussed.

      The last one is closely tied to the news we consume.

      Why are we talking about X or Y today? Does some event that occurs just now that favors a certain position on the subject? It ‘makes’ the news.

      One way that has been helpful to me to counter that is to read up on history (which some think of as old news), particulary if we focus on one small area that is of interest to me, you or any one person. And so, when some (new) news comes up, you have some references to which to compare.

      And don’t be intimated by the sheer size of history.

      For example, Siku Quanshu, compiled under order from Qing’s Qianlong emperor, is 2.3 millon pages (800 milion Chinese characters), per Wikipedia.

      The Yongle Encyclopedia, completed in 1408, ordered by the same emperor who sent adm. Zheng He overseas 7 times, in comparison, came in at 370 millions Chinese characters.

      Unlike the above two, Sima Kuang’s monumental historiography, the Zizhi Tongjian, is not an encyclopeida, contains about 3 million Chinese character, which was published in 1084 (Northern Song dynasty).

      For comparison, Wilkinson’s Manual is about 1,300 pages (at 500 words a page) or about 650,000 words.

      So there is a lot to know, even if we are talking about a small area like Chinese history, within that, each tiny episode is worthy of a few doctoral dissertations.

      But, there is not need to feel frustrated.

      To know that Confucius was born in the Spring and Autumn period, and not the subsequent Warring States period, it’s enough to look up Wikpedia.

    2. RWood

      This seems an active formulation of cogdis as a mental phenomenon:
      He reacts, but he does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them.

  10. Jessica

    A math quibble
    “Jeff Bezos makes $215 million dollars a day. That’s a lot of elections he can buy.”

    He can buy far too many elections (any is too many), but 215 million x 365 days = 78 billion, which is his net worth, not his annual income.

  11. Mark K

    Re: The obscene conniving in Hunting Valley

    I did a little bit of following up on this story. The connivers first attempted to get a special tax-relief provision for themselves into the Ohio budget. It was vetoed by Governor Mike DeWine, who is not exactly what you would call a leftist. Their next ploy, just this fall, was to try to get a sympathetic candidate onto the local school board. I am happy to report that she was soundly defeated yesterday, winning only 15% of the votes compared to 45% and 40% for the other two candidates in a “choose two” election.

    I’d like to think that the good local reporting in this article contributed to her defeat.

  12. JohnnyGL

    Vox article on black voters is actually very good.

    It helps create a framework to understand how A) one group of older, more conservative, southern black voters delivered the nomination to HRC in 2016. And then B) another group of black voters, specifically in the Midwestern swing states, made the decision to bury her in the general election against Trump.

    Group B was mixed, but seemed to swing for Bernie, on balance, in 2016 during the primary. But Group A was so decisively behind HRC in the primary that it put her way out in front (since the southern states vote first).

    2020 certainly looks wide open. It seems the black vote is up for grabs. Even more so if Biden gets demolished (coming in 4th would meet that description) in Iowa and NH.

    Which way do black voters turn after that?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Vox article on black voters is actually very good.

      Yes, it is. I was moving too fast to excerpt it adequately, and it’s a complicated subject, but it’s well worth a read.

      Funny how the political class takes Group A as a proxy for all black votes. It’s almost as if it’s the outcome that matters to them, as opposed to “listening to black women” etc.

  13. Kevin

    “Trump’s Re-Election Likely If Economy Stays on Course”

    the economy half the country is not participating in?
    yeah, right.

    1. Tomonthebeach

      If one is an economist, it stands to reason that you think human behavior is ruled by economic prosperity.

      I suspect that Trump’s re-election outcome will be based more on his charming personality, carefully considered economic strategies, studious command of facts, and brilliant global diplomacy.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I agree. Getting out of TPP was an enormous win, ditto even the smallest reining in of an out-of-control national security system, and nobody, across the political spectrum, seems to be taking issue with, er, recalibrating our relationship to China. (And tariffs are good for developing nations, which is what forty years of neoliberalism turned flyover into.)

        No, I don’t love Trump!

  14. Krystyn Walentka

    Re: “Dr. Bronner’s Psychedelic Mushroom Trip”

    To me, there are two sets of genetics; one that more easily sees the unity of things and another that more easily sees the separation. In both cases medication changes our genetic response and enables us to put on mind in another’s shoes.

    Having had several psychedelic experiences without the need for and drugs or medications I fall squarely into the unity gene camp. But I do not wish people take drugs to be like me and see what I see, I just want them to let me live my life in an environment that favors my genetics. All my life I have been drugged to try to limit my genetic expression to join the majority of people. I have no idea why people want to drug them selves to escape it if they are functioning fine with their perceptions.

    To me it is a failed attempt to recreate a long eclipsed gene pool that was evaporated when the farmers took over the world.

    IMVHO, all the gurus of the world were people like me who were so lonely in their perceptions they created these cults to feel less alone in the world.

    There has been some talk of one gene, VMAT2 (SLC18A2), being linked to both feelings of unity and Neanderthals, which I carry and I suspect play a part in my perception.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I do not know what reality you know — but the reality I know as a putatively sane person is not comfortable to me. I do not wish to experience reality as you — nor do I wish to see what you see –if I comprehend even a small portion of the reality you portray. But my reality, the reality I perceive is perhaps more horrible, because I am aware it is a horrible reality which I share and must share with others who like me live in this the real world. [This assumes you believe your world is not entirely real, which your reservations about it make plain.] Drugs might let me dream of better worlds and let me perceive beauties in this world my eyes gloss over. Again … I must repeat … I do not experience reality as you seem to — judging from your comment. Nor do I dream as you might dream of different worlds. I do not know what sort of genetics are involved but I dream better dreams when I might take drugs. So far, I remain aware that I dream, painfully aware of my sanity, and the very rational mind I believe I might or must claim for my own.

      I believe a shaman requires an anchor in the ‘real’ and equally requires access to another experience of reality. The problem with madness as I can grasp it — is that those who are so blessed may access and experience a separate reality … but they are unable to relate it to the reality of those around them. A shaman is the bridge between worlds. Drugs are but a helper, so perhaps your unaided perceptions give you guidance for finding the path forward … but you must also find the intersections that path makes in the world others inhabit. [Disclaimer — to my best knowledge, I am painfully sane — but I have known and know insanity in my close family and I am deeply saddened by their torments.]

      My son is afflicted with some form of madness and I have no idea how to relate to his reality.

        1. Krystyn Walentka

          Thanks Lambert. It was hard, but getting easier all the time. And thanks to you and Yves because it is hard for me to find a social internet place like this, harboring intelligence and diversity and providing the safety to express myself. At least when I can control my perceptions :)

      1. Krystyn Walentka

        I am continuing this because of your son in a hope that something I say will help.

        I do not talk anywhere about changing my or anyone else’s reality, only changing perceptions. Not the small perceptions, only the Big one; that there is a separation between objects in the world that exists outside of our process of perception. We have no idea if there is a reality outside of us and we will never be able to find that out.

        Our senses take in energy and our mind compares that energy to our memory and says “Ah, I know what that is.” That is all we can really say about reality . And both our genes and drugs can affect that process. Even Alzheimer’s affects our reality as does a common cold. So no one can share the same reality, at best they are very similar. Show someone a rainbow when they are depressed and maybe the do not see the beauty you see. Or try to show it to someone blind from birth. Even our language shapes out perceptions. If you do not know Chinese and never knew there was even another language and someone came up to you speaking Cantonese they would be thrown in a loony bin! Ask them what a table was and they would reply 桌酒菜!

        And not even two different people on an mushroom trip will see the same reality. This is the question I always put to these people who trip, if it brings you to another reality why are they all different even when you are sitting next to each other? That is where the lesson in learned.

        A shaman does nothing but changes perceptions to remove peoples fear. They do this both with stories and drugs. They can do this because they know from experience how the process works. This is kind of true of psychiatrist as well, but psychiatrists mistakenly feel they are “correcting” something.

        You see, I found out that 90% of my suffering was because my reality was so different from everyone else’s reality. Once I understood the reality making process the stress and fear dissipated. (This is something that can be seen in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”). This also enables me to travel, yes, like a “shaman”, from my perceptions to another’s and not skip a beat. All I have to do is believe what they see. But someone who does not understand the process of making reality will never be able to accept to my perceptions.

        The worst thing you can say to someone depressed, anxious, or hallucinating is that their depression, anxiety or hallucination is not real. All this does is add fear and conflict and besides, it is not true. What they are seeing is true, So if they are anxious do not say “there is nothing to be scared of”, just hug them and tell them you will protect them.

        So maybe a “sane” person should take psychedelics only once to break their hold on their process of perception. Good trip, bad trip, is irrelevant, it is only the trip that matters. It is not what you see that matters, it is that you saw something so different you cannot deny the manufacturing of reality. The Unity is seen when those cracks are formed in the certainty of our fortress of separation. But this should not create a new reality, it should only change our understanding of how reality comes to be.

        So my healing started when I saw “escaping my reality” was not a viable long term solution and I just accepted mine. And wow, the stress that was taken off of me was transcendent. I could have anxiety and not be afraid of it, but listen to it, let it move me where I needed to be. Being responsive to my perceptions showed me how to stabilize them.

        I have no problem with psychiatrists and I hope they can stabilize your son enough so he can go through the process of understanding, that is what helped me. Psychiatric meds acted just like psychedelics for me, they helped me understand the reality making process. But I had to ignore them and go off my medications or lower them to become comfortable with my perceptions so i could understand what they were telling me. I found I would never be able to find a medicine that would consistently give me the perceptions close to the avergae persons. The pathology of psychiatrists is that they want us all to share the same reality all the time. Impossible! That is why the DSM keep getting larger and larger!

        Mental illness is an genetic-environmental disease. And in my process of healing I found that the changes in my perception were triggered by many things, from diet to EMFs to stress to air pollution. Now I can avoid those environments to mostly have stability in my perception without the needs of medications. But I still look and act differently since my diet is more like that of an Eskimo and living away from household electricity is difficult. Mediation alone will make me trip pretty hard; the carpet will start undulation like an ocean or I feel like I am floating. So I cannot even join those freaks!

        I would not doubt that you carry some gene changes that give you an uncommon perception since it seems to run in your family. if you want to talk further krystynpodgajski at tutanota com and you might want to look at the Hearing Voices Network who share my understaning.

    1. barefoot charley

      Ew, thanks for the warning. She obviously has a future with the party without a future. How daring of her to endorse Warren over Clinton!

  15. Oregoncharles

    “crowds of excited teenagers crowd around the box to cheer on their friends who could cast a ballot”

    That could be a very big deal. The vote was extended to 18 year olds because it looked so bad to draft people who couldn’t even vote. But they usually don’t turn out. If they suddenly start voting in large numbers, they could upend a lot of apple carts; and if I was going to give credit, it would be to Greta Thunberg’s climate strike movement and Sunrise.

    OTOH, the heartwarming story is from Seattle, where the left wave receded a bit. So we shall see. One caveat: 18 – 20 is not a huge number of people.

    1. John k

      It’s big in a tight race. And maybe a useful addition to Bernie.
      Great if the young start thinking exercising the vote is cool.

  16. anon y'mouse

    gotta love the women’s objectification study. it echoes other similar studies in abusive environments for children.

    it’s not the person doing the action, but how the person receiving the action “chooses to” take it interiorly.

    victim blaming at its finest.

      1. hunkerdown

        I’m starting to think “divide and manage” is a better term for it. The professional-managerial class (pace Ehrenreich) really seems to have their sense of aristocratic privilege embedded deeply into their identities. Unity is their birthright and theirs alone. To say “no” is a challenge to their entire identity, their place in life, the very order which they take to be right and proper. To say “Familyblog you, I quit” is tantamount to shots fired.

        1. Carey

          I don’t have much contact with that class, these days, but what you say here fits with my experience. Not to mention the (for now) breathtaking certitude.

          We’ll see how that goes.

  17. RWood

    And speaking cogdis:

    “The level of melamine in the powder was found to be as high as 2,560 mg/kg—the tolerable daily intake for the chemical compound is 0.63 mg/kg of body weight, according to the level set by America’s Food and Drug Administration.”


    “Melamine is an industrial chemical that has no approved use as an ingredient in animal or human food in the United States.”

  18. bwilli123

    On the real reason for the amount of Pollution in Delhi. USAID and Monsanto.

    …”In 2012, then Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal asked Monsanto to set up a research centre for creating maize seeds and announced plans (external link) to reduce the area under the cultivation of rice by around 45 percent in order to grow maize.
    Monsanto typically co-opts not only politicians but also members of the academia and converts them into its shills.
    Little wonder then that the fear-mongering about the cultivation of rice reached a feverish pitch a few years back in the form of a campaign advertisement (external link) from a group of ’eminent scientists’ who appealed, ‘Chonne hetho rakba katao, Pani Bachao, Punjab Bachao (Reduce the area under rice, save water, save Punjab).’
    Monsanto now offers the replacement of rice by its GMO crops as a solution that will increase the level of subsoil water, but the multinational corporation is the cause of the problem.
    Its fertilisers and pesticides have accumulated in the ground over the years and this has led to poor retention of moisture in the soil, (external link) leading farmers to pump excessive amounts of underground water.”


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The date of the ecologize article: 10-20-2018.

      In 2012, a request to set up a research center.

      Campaing advertisement a few years back (from 2018, the year of the article?) = 2014, 2015?

      Monsanto now offers its GMO crops as a solution (now = 2018, presumably).

      Its fertilisers and pesticides have accumulated in the ground over the years and this has led to poor retention of moisture in the soil, (external link) leading farmers to pump excessive amounts of underground water.”

      Whre is this? In Punjab? Over the years – over what years? From 2014, 2015 (a few years back above) to 2018 (the year of the article)?

      From 2014 to 2018, that’s 4 or 5 years. It seems a short time to see the problem of poor retention of mositure in the soil.

      So, that needs more flushing out.

      But if so, that would show the ‘aggressive’ nature of the problem…how fast things can go sour.

  19. russell1200

    “That and a buck gets you a cup of coffee. It will take a lot of outside pressure, and the only possible source for that is an activist movement, and probably direct action. That won’t come from Warren. She knows this, hence “long-term.”

    This is ok as narrative goes, but is a long way from having any real truth, or un-truth for that matter, to it.

    If either Warren or Sanders get elected with a Senate majority, it is going to get absolutely crazy. Which would be able to push through an agenda better is almost impossible to know.

    If either is elected without a Senate majority, that is a completely different beast. To be honest, better activists support (Sanders) or better establishment support (Warren), isn’t likely to make that much of a difference. You will get the same President by decree that we have now. Both Sanders and Warren will have the same base material to work with. Both would be able to make a huge number of improvements on the margin.

    1. scarn

      Dem Senate or majority or not, the only way a working class agenda is passed by Congress will be through mass political action. Strikes get teachers higher wages in red states – the same principle will apply. Either the Congresscritters are made more scared of the people than of their patrons, or nothing happens. Sanders at least understands this and appears to be preparing for it. Warren wouldn’t even know where to start.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Sanders at least understands this and appears to be preparing for it. Warren wouldn’t even know where to start.

        I agree. That’s why I regard “Sanders and Warren will have the same base material to work with” as a false equivalence — if Sanders’ strategy pans out.

        Now, we don’t know whether Sanders’ strategy of enlarging the electorate will work (although we will soon enough). I hear the door-knocking stats, but presumably we need a “conversion” rate on how doors knocked translates to the getting voters into the voting booth,. And then of course we have establishment rigging to contend with. As others have said, Sanders needs overwhelming turnout to compensate for that.

      2. russell1200

        Well put. But it is still narrative. It’s a story fueled by desire, with only very selective “facts” chosen.

        If I had to put money on which candidate would be most likely to generate a popular uprising, it would be Trump when (I suppose “if”) he loses. A different narrative if you will.

        So which populist uprising is it that is going to scare the congress critters into acting?

        Of all the populist protests and uprisings we have seen, except for the many that were rapidly (or even not very rapidly) suppressed, how many have played out to script?

    2. Fiery Hunt

      Ya seem to be confused…

      The Establishment is the opposition to M4A. You’ll never get there with them, only over them.

      “Centralists”, “moderates”, “incrementalists”, “Clintonistas”, “neoliberals”, “free-market capitalists” “Republicans”…
      These are the people opposing M4A. Having their “support” won’t advance the cause of M4A one iota.

      Liz is a Republican Lite.

      1. Carey

        .. as with the great majority of H.R. 1384’s “supporters” in the House of Representatives™. Their job is to smother single-payer
        healthcare, or any other people-benefiting policy.

        Sanders is the only one on-point on this- the only one.

      2. hunkerdown

        Liz is indeed GOP-lite, and, more importantly, never has not been. I really miss Tom Campbell (R-Silicon Valley). If only he had won against Feinstein (D-Palantir) in the 2000 Senatorial election…

        1. Daryl

          > Liz is indeed GOP-lite, and, more importantly, never has not been.
          That’s not fair. She used to just be GOP.

  20. Stormcrow

    New Monmouth national poll.
    Oct 30-Nov 3 +/- 3.4 (With change from Sept)

    What are we to make of this? Is Monmouth no good?

    Biden 23% (-2)
    Warren 23% (-5)
    Sanders 20% (+5)
    Buttigieg 9% (+4)
    Harris 5% (-)
    Booker 3% (+2)
    Yang 3% (+1)
    Klobuchar 2% (+1)

    Everyone else at 1% or below.

  21. Fern

    Concerning Gabbard’s bill:

    One day Trump says he’s withdrawing our troops from Syria, the next day he says we’re going to occupy the Syrian oil fields, swinging from non-interventionism to the most extreme neoconservative agenda.

    The only bright side is that Democrats, in their infinite knee-jerk oppositional wisdom, are now trying out a less interventionist line.

    From Military Times: “President Donald Trump has approved an expanded military mission to secure an expanse of oil fields across eastern Syria..”

    “Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, called the mission misguided.
    ‘Risking the lives of our troops to guard oil rigs in eastern Syria is not only reckless, it’s not legally authorized,’ Kaine told The Associated Press.”

    Tim Kaine was gung-ho for intervention a few weeks ago when Trump decided to withdraw troops.


  22. Annieb

    Bernie to Moody’s on moral hazard: “Thanks for the advice. We’re going to cancel all student debt.”

    WTG, Bernie! More like this! My donation is in the mail!

  23. Big Tap

    So Biden is attacking Warren even going after her as a former Republican. Biden wasn’t happy Warren said he was “running in the wrong primary”.

    Biden: “I have fought for the Democratic party my whole career,” he wrote. “I know what we stand for, who we stand with and what we believe. And it’s not just policies or issues. It’s in my bones.”
    In a not-so-subtle reference to Warren’s past as a registered Republican until 1996, he added: “That’s not something everyone in this primary can say”


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “Not…everyone in this primary…” can be referring to more than just one candidate.

      I read him to imply at least two. One stone and two birds.

    2. Carey

      >Biden: “I have fought for the Democratic party my whole career,” he wrote.

      I am certain that he has.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “The real reason Kamala Harris is tanking”

    Harris claims her woes show that the country is just “not ready for a woman of color” to be President. Oh I think that a country that voted for a black man to be President – twice – is a lot more sophisticated than that. It wasn’t that the country did not want a woman of colour to be President. It was that they did not want her to be President.

    1. Carey

      A commenter here said “maybe this is just who she is” awhile back, and
      I now think that was a good take on Harris. Good to see that she’s doing
      badly in the Presidential Sweepstakes, though I’m guessing her Corporate Self will be back.

      “Rayciss! Sexiss! Bad Person!”

    2. Plenue

      As I’ve said before, personally I hate women so much I voted for Jill Stein.

      Not only do I have no problem voting for a woman, if you presented me with a choice between Bernie Sanders and Bernice Anders, in other words a woman with basically the same platform, my inclination would very much be to vote for the female.

      It certainly is time for the United States to let the other half of the species run the country. I don’t have any idealized mystical beliefs about the esoteric feminine (or whatever) being magically better, but I don’t see how a woman just by dint of being a woman would do worse than any other leader we’ve had. But I’m not going to vote for some neoliberal trash heap just because they have a vagina. That’s just going to get us more of the disastrous same. I need a worthwhile woman to vote for, one with substance.

  25. Plenue

    >“Sexual Objectification Harms Women” [The University of Melbourne]. n=286

    “We believe our research, conducted with colleagues in the US, is the first to demonstrate that when women are exposed to sexually objectifying events in their everyday lives, even when they aren’t the primary target, they become more preoccupied with their physical appearance…”

    Maybe to first to concretely demonstrate it, but this paper from 2010 covers some of the same ground about the effects of objectification.


    Makes for bleak reading.

  26. hunkerdown

    “Real gangsta-a$$ n—–s don’t flex nuts, ‘cuz real gangsta-a$$ n—–s know they got ’em.” –Geto Boys, as featured in Office Space

  27. Carey

    From June- ‘The Women in Line to Hug Joe Biden’-

    “A hug can be an act of affection. Of encouragement. Of comfort.
    When it comes to hugging Joe Biden, it can also be an act of defiance.
    At least, that’s how some of his female supporters see it.

    “I told him, don’t apologize, never apologize for anything, ever,” said Juliette Daniels, 55, a lifestyle blogger..”


    Its not workin

  28. Carey

    It’s occurred to me that the enabling class’s ability to obtain substantial sinecures from the Few in return for their bended-knee services is a decent measurement to watch, as things do what they do, post-2016.

  29. Carey

    That Jared Bernstein quote is interesting to see, regarding Warren’s healthcare Plan, and in that context he’s probably right.

    Sanders 2020.

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