2:00PM Water Cooler 1/21/15

By Lambert Strether of .

SOTU

From the Department of How Stupid Do They Think We Are? As Matt Stoller has shown, the growth of income inequality under Obama is greater than that under Bush. And only now, when there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of their “proposals” passing — very unlike 2008-2009, when the Democrats had the House, the Senate, the greatest orator of our time in the White House, a mandate for “hope and change,” and their boot on the thoroughly discredited Republican neck — the Democrats are closing the barn door after the horse is gone coming all over populist, while simultaneously trying to fast track TPP with Republican help. Help me.

Four historic SOTUs: FDR, “Four Freedoms”; George Bush, “Axis of Evil”; LBJ, “War on Poverty”; Bill Clinton, “The era of big government is over” []. Common thread: FDR, Bush, LBJ, and even Clinton had the power to back up their words with policy. Except maybe on trade, Obama can’t deliver.

Texts of the Speech

Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address | January 20, 2015 [].

Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address: annotated []. Could be fun!

Shorter Obama

The 44th president’s address, edited down to 335 words [].

Video: Obama’s State of the Union in Two Minutes [].

Theatre Reviews

Chris Cilizza: “From start to finish, Obama was supremely confident, challenging” []. Based on what? Losing the Senate?

Mark Halperin: “[F]ired up and ready to go, unlike he’s been in a long time” []. Memories… It’s been a long time since I heard Obots chirping “Fired up! Ready to go!” How’d that hope and change thing work out for ya? I mean, unless you’re a banker, a drone manufacturer, or in surveillance.

The Zinger

Via []:

[After Obama said] “I have no more campaigns to run” Republicans started clapping derisively. And Obama responded with an ad-lib that will likely go down in State of the Union history: “I know, because I won both of them [].”

When stupid meets arrogant….

Twitter explodes [].

Turning the page

Ezra Klein: “The most striking sentence in President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union came near the start: ‘Tonight, we turn the page'” []. The crisis is over! Well, not exactly:

If there is a deeper crisis that the Obama administration is responding to, it’s the crisis of labor-force participation. One reason unemployment is down to 5.6 percent is that millions of people have dropped out of the labor force — they’ve stopped looking for work, at least so far as the government can tell. That may be because they can’t find it, or it may be because the work they can find simply doesn’t pay enough.

If the crisis is over, we’re in the new normal: Permanently higher disemployment, crapified jobs, and making ends meet with System D or in the precariat. Mission accomplished!

“The nation is ready to ‘turn the page’ from years of financial hardship, President Obama said Tuesday” []. No doubt they are, given that . So, does “turning the page” mean accepting the new normal? I’d say it does, given Obama’s weak tea proposals.

The Hill

Take a gander at the vaguely obscene and oddly colored “No Labels” logo [].

Herd on the Street

Hong Kong’s house property conglomerates trade at discounts of 23% to 57% to their net asset values [, “Asian Tycoons Take Note of Li Ka-shing’s Property Move].

PointState hedgies collect $1 billion on oil bet [].

Fed may trim US growth outlook on global slowdown [].

“After much internal debate, the S.E.C. declined to penalize S.&P. for its role in rating crisis-era mortgage deals” []. More impunity. Film at 11.

Davos

“The world appears on the verge of a nervous breakdown” [].

Today’s leaders congratulate themselves on having avoided another Great Depression [].

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says public anger at banks is “understandable” and that he’d like to see Dodd-Frank fully implemented [].

Reputational collapse for tech could be on the same scale as for banks [, “Tech giants at risk of reputation collapse, warn business leaders”].

Grexit?

Alexis Tsipras: “Unless the forces of progress and democracy change Europe, it will be Marine Le Pen and her far-right allies that change it for us” [, “End austerity before fear kills Greek democracy”]. Le Pen got an Op-Ed in the Times. Maybe I missed the one from Tsipras?

SYRIZA still pulling ahead [].

TPP/TTIP

Strange bedfellows on fast track []. Crossed fingers.

“[T]he president says he is ready to defy his fellow Democrats to push through the TPP. In a case of odd bedfellows, Obama has found new Republican allies in pursuing the deal” []. “Fellow Democrats.”

If Obama really want to help the middle class, he wouldn’t be pushing for fast track, given the record of past trade deals [Lori Wallach, ].

“‘The first thing we ought to do is pass trade promotion authority,’ new House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said []. Factions on the right are not at all happy with fast track.

Political scientists when polled think Republican control of the Senate makes TTIP more likely [].

Mexico

Unanswered questions about the 43 murdered students []. Hard to believe the Mexican political class hasn’t been able to come up with even a fake solution.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Gordon Parks photography at the Boston’s MFA []. The photos Life decided not to print.

Stats Watch

Housing starts, December 2014: Housing starts rebound slightly above expecations on single family homes. Housing permits decline. “Housing is still much on a flat trajectory on average” [].

Redbook, week of January 17, 2015: Chain stores slow. Cold weather seasonal merchandise moves well. January is traditionally a volatile month as retailers wor through holiday inventory [].

News of the Wired

  • Nine states in the Deep South now account for 49% of people living with AIDS [].
  • Beauty vloggers are brand endorsers, so how about some disclosure? []. And does the FTC care?
  • Bacteria discovered that both eats and excretes pure electrons []. Boy. That’s a bug to end all bugs, if it ever gets into a chip set. Or my cranium.
  • European Court of Justice: Websites can link to freely available content without the permission of the copyright holder []. That there was ever a question…. Yikes!
  • “We Suck at HTTP” []. Important!
  • Paperbooks and dumb phones making a comeback, and for good reason [].
  • AirPnP: What you think []. I wish I could be sure some parodist was winding us up, but .

* * *

Readers, feel free to with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant:

orchid

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Talk amongst yourselves!

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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.

59 comments

  1. Jim Haygood

    Repug party goes ‘full Israeli’ on us:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress was a departure from protocol, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.

    If this don’t make the rubes howl for an AUMF, then I don’t know Pennsyltucky.

    1. Banger

      Even I was stunned to read that and I’m very much aware of the power of the Israeli lobby in Congress seldom do they go that far. This obsession with Netanyahu that the RP has is kind of scary. It shows the fracture within the USG that one faction is using the Israeli state, and presumably, the Mossad to manipulate U.S. FP. This is very unsettling and must have the paleocons fretting.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Let us hope that our prime minister does the decent thing, and grants dual citizenship to those members of Congress who don’t already have it.

  2. grayslady

    The article on “low tech” is from The Telegraph, not the Independent, although the link is correct.

  3. Jackrabbit

    As noted by Lambert, the unemployment rate is so low because of the large number of people who haven’t found suitable employment.(*) But in addition to that, a large part of the newly created jobs were in fracking (now decimated by low oil prices) or were part-time.

    =
    (*) I feel that “dropped out” is OK during normal times but misleading in our current situation.
    =
    =
    H O P

  4. timbers

    Russia/Ukraine: Our media spin

    “Rebel moves in eastern Ukraine undermine hopes for peace”

    What actually happened is Kiev launched an attack against the east yesterday after killing peace talks with crazy pre-talk demands. The east defended itself against the attack.

    1. Banger

      I think the Ukraine policy signals that the US MSM is now completely in the control of CIA/State. They are and have been writing obvious propaganda from the beginning without even an attempt at “objectivity.” ME reporting is more nuanced and not 100% lies.

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      Another report from the field…

      This morning, I was perusing our copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the local manifestation of NeoCon Newz, and saw a little article on civilian deaths in Donetsk; people were killed by shelling from the Junta’s punishers while waiting for a bus. Another civilian death or two from similar causes was also reported.

      But get this. This story of Ukrainian war crimes being perpetrated against a civilian population was accompanied by a photograph. A photograph of a Ukrainian soldier, maybe someone who habitually killed civilians even, in a coffin, having himself been killed when forces from Eastern Ukraine fought back.

      No photos of disemboweled civilians, which was what the story was concerned with, rather a photo of one of the disembowelers.

      Fair and balanced, I guess.

    3. ambrit

      If he is up to his reputational skill level, Putin is being presented with a golden opportunity here. Without becoming visibly connected with it, the Russians can frame themselves as being the “saviour” of the Russ in Ukraine from the evil designs of the Oligarchs of the West. The closet strategy of the Kremlin is actually sound. Since the political entity known as Ukraine was an amalgam of competing, nearly warring factions, do as the West has done in the Middle East; break it up into more manageable segments and distribute them around to neighbouring states. If the West starts rattling sabres, rattle your own back. That’s what they are for anyway. (Hint: Watch “Dr. Strangelove” again. Remember the part about the “mineshaft gap?” Good.)

  5. PQS

    From some squillionaire at Davos:
    (Via Digby):
    Billionaire Jeff Greene, who amassed a multibillion dollar fortune betting against subprime mortgage securities, says the U.S. faces a jobs crisis that will cause social unrest and radical politics.

    “America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”
    […]
    Greene, who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week, said he’s planning a conference in Palm Beach, Florida, at the Tideline Hotel called “Closing the Gap.” The event, which he said is scheduled for December, will feature speakers such as economist Nouriel Roubini.

    HMMMM. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah – from Mellon during the GD:

    “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate… it will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people,”

    As I always say to that sort of notion –

    You First.

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      Wow, lucky Jeff Greene produced that amazing unselfconsciously ironic eructation in Switzerland instead of in France. I am led to believe that irony is now a criminal matter in the land of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity post CH. Probably there’s a loophole for rich hypocrites, though, so he would find safe harbor there after all.

    2. sufferin' succotash

      Thomas Mann could have written a novel about a place like Davos symbolizing the decadence of Western bourgeois society.
      Oh wait…

      1. Chris in Paris

        Bless you sufferin’, I have been waiting for the appropriate moment to make that quip for years now.

      2. James Levy

        Hey, people in the West once wrote across the doorway of their most sacred temple “Know Thyself” and “Nothing in excess”. Obviously, Herr Greene fails epically on both counts. But of course his betting on the ruin of millions of people’s lives and livelihoods and coming up a winner entitles him to everything he has, no questions asked, no need for reflection. Consider: this is the quality of mind that exemplifies our “masters of the universe.”

    3. Ian Ollmann

      I’ve been reading Charles Dickens to the kids. I have to say that I much prefer his sense of leftism to the modern left. I regret only that he so frequently resorts to straw man and run-on sentences to make his point. He wouldn’t have to paint the American right in caricature these days. They do it to themselves.

      I would suggest that labor needs to “take it to the man” again like in the early 20th century, but it really wouldn’t do any good. The fact of the matter is that automation is probably going to obsolete a lot more jobs in the near future, and labor’s irrelevance is a foregone conclusion. Quite a bit of it is for the best, really. Will you miss your cabbie? Is he a font of moral values like the cherished Small American Family Farmer? How about truck drivers? Will you pine about the naked ladies on mudguards after they are replaced by sensually symmetric circuit diagrams? On average, this free labor that automation provides should enrich us all, and free us up for more important work. The question is how to ensure that it does, more or less. I predict we will survive, and maybe even be happy, after the robot apocalypse.

      In the mean time, please resume your regularly scheduled hysteria and doom-mongering concerning the daily trivia. I’m certain I would come to miss it if daily life had any less than 90% nonsense content. It would leave me without a philosophical foundation to rely upon.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I remember when automation burst through to the mainstream (though not the date, alas). Suddenly everybody was talking about it, in the depths of the disemployment that followed the Crash, IIRC. I viewed it as a distraction, an attempt to make the disemployment problem go away by making employment, as a concept, go away.

        I guess I have to question how much is triumphalism, how much is the desire of our elites for slaves (which is what a robot is), and how much is real. Sure, the economists are saying that, but look at their track record. And IT is saying it, but they’re talking their book.

        I mean, thinking of the kind of work that I rely on in daily life — plumber, electricians, painters, repair people, HVAC, restaurants, retail, and delivery — the two that look like candidates for automation are UPS/USPS/FedEx, and that depends on drones becoming ubiquitous without (say) beheading some child with whirling blades, or dumping Aunt Minnie’s wedding ring into a landfill, and retail, and given how much Walmart has beaten down wages, what’s automation’s ROI? Of course, I don’t drive, so self-driving cars aren’t on my radar, but I’m skeptical glibertarian techies doing their testing in Sunnyvale have the answer (and Google not sticking to their knitting doesn’t give me confidence either).

        Yes, this is subjective, no evidence at all!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thanks, this is orchid week :-) If anybody has any photos of orchid exhibitions — this seems to be the season for them, to give people hope in the winter — I’d love to see them.

    1. abynormal

      beautiful loser he aint but he shoulda had this full blast

      Take away my inhibitions
      Take away my solitude
      Fire me up with your resistance
      Put me in the mood
      Storm the walls around this prison
      Leave the inmates
      Free the guards
      Deal me up another future
      From some brand new deck of cards
      Take the chip off of my shoulder
      Smooth out all the lines
      Take me out among the rustling pines
      Till it shines

      Like an echo down a canyon
      Never coming back as clear
      Lately I just judge the distance
      Not the words I hear
      I’ve been too long on these islands
      I’ve been far too long alone
      I’ve been too long without summer
      In this winter home
      Still if we can make the effort
      If we take the time
      Maybe we can leave this much behind
      Till it shines

      See the rich man lost and lonely
      Watch him as he dines
      Sitting there just testing all the wines
      Till it shines

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      If only … we could “Turn The Page” now. Instead we have to suffer for 2 more years until the next Neoliberal SOB takes hold of our collective leashes.

      If this was 2008, I would call “Bully”! But it’s 2014, so I call “Bullsh1+”!

      Btw Lambert. the speech link to whitehouse.gov is fubared.

  6. upstater

    SOTU: Lambert thanks for the updates. We realized last night to our horror that our supply of barf-bags was gone. Hence, we were unable to watch. Your links and commentary fill in the empty spaces for us. Thank you for your diligent efforts!

    1. Code Name D

      I am going to say this. Maybe Obama has a clue here.

      There is little he CAN do with a Republican controlled congress. He could go full neo on us and Republicans would still try to take him to the wood shed. So perhaps “setting the debate” is a good approach for him to take. This is kind of what I have been whipping into doing for years now.

      I say this in order to be even handed and to be as objective as I can.

      That said, I am still not impressed. This is more pandering to the demographics than it is trying to “set a tone” for any debate. The guy has practically published – in advance – Clinton’s 2017 campaign strategy.

      We got your pandering to the middle class, pandering to students, something for feminists, futurists. The moral hasn’t much improved with the global warming people, so the beatings will continue there. We have our “difficult decisions in a dangerous world” rhetoric so that he can pretend to be anti-war for the hippies while at the same time waving around the big stick at the usual suspects.

      Here is a hint. If you want to have a debate – you might want to actually raise an issue to talk about.

      So yay, I applaud the long term thinking. Yay he still sucks at it, but you got to start some where. But it’s not really long term thinking as much as it is writing off the next two years. If he can’t pass any legislation, then let’s work on getting Democrats elected with the next election cycle. Yay, good luck with that.

        1. ambrit

          Oh my good sir. Just what part of Clinton was he sniffing? (Huffing Hillary? I can see the HufPo ‘headline’ now.)

  7. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    I’m grasping to find the slightest residual credibility in anything these days, presidents, bankers, journalists, corporate leaders, Obomba’s SOTU reached a fever pitch of bold-faced lies and manipulation. Hey, I guess whatever works…maybe the sleepwalking public will get a clue when we get proper WW III under Hitlery. Meanwhile we already have economic WW III and people don’t give a damn.

    1. abynormal

      most are aware of my love for quotes and here’s my fav for the times:

      FROM THE STRONG I CAN PROTECT MYSELF.
      GOD PRESERVE ME FROM THE WEAK.

      : ))’s people/john lecarre

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      One way to conceptualize “residual credibility” is “good will on the balance sheet.”

      In 2008, the Democrats could still treat the New Deal as an asset. That’s why when the economy went south after Lehman tanked, the voters swung to Obama (““).

      I don’t think that, after Obama, there’s any good will left on the Democratic balance sheet at all. (They keep claiming there will be, because demographics and identity politics, but it seems like an ever-receding horizon, to me.) So they have to top up the good will each legislative/electoral cycle, from scratch. Not a recipe for success.

  8. Oregoncharles

    SOTU: the Green Party response –

    Meant as a livestream, but looks like it still works. “Guests will include 2012 Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein and her running mate Cheri Honkala, 2014 New York Gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins, hip hop artist Immortal Technique, Medea Benjamin, physician and activist Margaret Flowers, and other Green leaders.”

    Might serve as an antidote.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I like the idea of the Green “Shadow Cabinet” very much. Creative, effective. As usual, their PR/communications effort is horrible (and I do try, really) so please feel free to add links here (within reason, of course).

  9. ohmyheck

    This could be fun. Q&A with the White House at #AsktheWH. What could go wrong? This is a link to it from Zerohedge.

  10. jonboinAR

    Tariffs: What a Silly Idea! Part 1:
    On the Diane Rehm show this morning, first hour, I think, substitute host Steve Roberts of George Washington University dissected with his guests the State of the Union Address. These guests were EJ Dionne of the Washington Post and Brookings Institute, David Winston of “The Winston Group”, a Republican advisory organization of some sort, and Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal (I hope I have these names right). I found it interesting that on this show and on the other bits and pieces I was able to hear throughout the day where they discussed the president’s speech, the guests all seemed to be at least slightly right-leaning pundits.

    Anyhow, the bit I was able to listen to (I only catch bits here and there while I work) was near the end where they take calls. At just about 44:45 (if you want to look it up) Jim in Baton Rouge called and made the point that the American worker is getting destroyed by international wage arbitrage. He made what to me was an uncontroversial point, that only strong unions OR high tariffs can protect worker wages in the US. To be fair, when the guests took up their discussion, the first, I think it was EJ, pointed out that declining worker bargaining power in the US is a severe problem that both parties will have to address eventually. But then Roberts brought up: what about the callers mention of tariffs? The notion was immediately dismissed by, I think, David Winston of the Winston Group saying, effectively, that no economist anywhere would say that tariffs will help the American worker. This pronouncement seemed to pass unchallenged or commented on. The message that was given on the show then are that tariffs are a silly idea, period, and all economists everywhere agree on this point. By implication, protectionist policies generally are just a bad thing and need to be dismissed out of hand.

  11. jonboinAR

    TWASI: Part 2:
    Again, to be fair, I think EJ then pointed out that all the free trade agreements have not appeared to help American workers much and something eventually must be done. -But protectionist policies are still out per the previous pronouncement- So, what?? What is to be done? This never got addressed. Protectionist policies are out. Just ask ANY economist. What even is the problem, then, since we have free trade? What a mystery!

    Never discussed by the Brookings Institute jounalist, the Republican party uhh,… consultant, the Wall Street Journal pundit, is that possibly protectionist policies have been used in recent years by much of our international competition to advance their workers interests vis a vis ours, or that protectionist policies and tariffs have been documented by historians to have advance the American economy in the past. It’s just so silly that a person can dismiss it out of hand in a sentence and ALL economists agree.

    My question to the “board” then, can I get any help? Are there any economists anywhere on the record as saying that under certain conditions tariffs might be at least considered as a possibility to protect American workers from wage arbitrage and not be dismissed out of hand as a silly or destructive idea, especially in cases where it quite appears that protectionist policies by foreign governments are being used against us to damage and hollow out our industry and help to destroy all the leverage of our workers? It seems to me that for quite a few decades our governing bodies have laid down, giving “free trade” to the world while abjectly failing to demand the same for us. Much goes into the destruction of the American middle class, but this…, uh,… possibility has to at least be considered before dismissing tariffs out of hand, for me at least. So, before I fire off an email that probably won’t be read on the DR Show because I haven’t the skill to keep it short enough, can anyone refer me to an economist who dares to breathe the word “tariff”?

    1. Jim Haygood

      GATT and its successor the WTO spent 70 years after WW II reducing tariffs and trade barriers. As WTO is a treaty obligation with sanctions for violating it (such as the $300 million the US paid to Brazil last year for blocking imports of its cotton with quotas), hiking US tariffs is not even on the radar.

      This article gives a sense of the current state of play:

      1. jonboinAR

        Thanks for the info. I guess for all practical purposes tariffs are out of the question as we’ve gone “too far down the road.” My real objection to what the man said was not that tariffs are not something that we might practically consider at this time. It was that he seemed to off-handedly assert that no one trained as an economist would assert that tariffs could help a country’s workers under any circumstance. No one called him on it. It sounded like he was spewing neo-liberal propaganda with the DR Show’s blessing. It made me wonder if maybe that’s why he had been brought on.

    2. winstonsmith

      Jim Haygood is probably right about actual tariffs, but a weak currency is a tariff in effect and is considered good policy under certain circumstances.

      on the grounds that they are not really about free trade and that they exert downward pressure on wages for unskilled workers but not for doctors and lawyers (who you could argue are protected by a tariff of sorts). to admitting that Baker is right at least on the “not really about free trade” part.

      Be careful, jonboinAR. Listening to Diane Rehm can cause brain damage.

      1. jonboinAR

        Thanks for the links! I’ll study them in the morning, but right now I need my beauty rest. NPR’s about all I have as I drive around. That or right wing Christian radio. Sports-talk, classic rock, country, about it.

          1. ambrit

            I often wonder why “Air America” folded. “Fundit” Al Franken was involved, but moved on to greener pastures. When I think of the ‘Culture Wars’ I get the image of a cabal of Mr. Potters sitting around a kitchen table plotting their next ‘Five Year Plan.’ (“Oh Ronnie. Not so much vermouth in the martinis this time.” “Yes sir Mr. Coors.”)

  12. buffalo cyclist

    Socialist Response to the State of Union by Kshama Sawant:

    Not as good as her 2014 response, but still worth listening to.

    1. ambrit

      Alright, I’ll bite. What is a “hot sheet apartment?” (I do hope it is not the ‘Fin de Siecle’ extravagance I imagine.)

        1. ambrit

          Oh. I shoulddanode. Reminds me of some ‘no tell’ motels I’ve stayed in on out of town jobs. The kind where some chick knocks on the door at eleven at night and asks you if you want to party. You learn real fast when working out of town to ask the motel clerk to put you in the ‘Family Wing.’ Which assumes you got some sort of Per Diem along with the job. Most times you have to either sleep in the van or share rent on a trailer in the trailer park with four or five other workers.
          As for ‘sharing’ economy and hot sheets…

  13. Faye Carr

    Once again, thank you Lamber & All for succinctly catching me up on all the doings. I was kinda busy developing “work arounds” with a small group of locals to strengthen our resilience to all of the above.

    Missed the STOU ‘cuz we were working out the details of a seasonal skill share program.
    The motto is “Shovels in the Ground”

    Good to have ya’ll shoveling and sifting this shit.
    Thanks

Comments are closed.