2:00PM Water Cooler 4/12/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I am finishing up a round-up of on the arrest of Julian Assange, and so will throw out some conversation starters in the Politics section, then return later and finish up. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Politics

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

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

2020

Biden (D): “Joe Biden May Be Less Electable Than He Looks” []. “[Data for Progress] designed a survey to test whether Biden’s advantage over Trump is sturdy enough to survive negative attacks.” In other words, they did a meta-push poll. Results: “After hearing all of the negative statements, one in eight of Biden’s initial backers switched their preference to either Trump, someone else, or staying at home. As a result, Trump opened up a 39.4 to 34.2 percent lead (or 53.5 to 46.5 percent, among that subset of voters who were willing to pick between the two major party candidates). Notably, Biden’s greatest liability in this survey was his support for bankruptcy reforms that aided credit companies at the expense of distressed consumers — an aspect of his record that has not yet featured prominently in mass media.” • It will be interesing to see who picks this up and runs with it.

Buttigieg (D) (1): “Poll: Buttigieg busts out in Iowa” []. “The Monmouth University poll shows Biden, who hasn’t officially entered the race, is the first choice of roughly a quarter of likely caucusgoers, 27 percent. He’s followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with 16 percent and Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., with 9 percent. That places Buttigieg marginally ahead of a handful of candidates who entered the race with more established profiles: Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are at 7 percent, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is at 6 percent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is at 4 percent and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is at 3 percent.” • One poll, is a long time in politics, yadda yadda yadda.

Buttigieg (D)(2):

A 2017 event with Mayor Pete previews what his attack line against Bernie Sanders may be. "Angry liberals don't win hearts and minds….I didn't win I didn't get 80% of the vote by being angry."

— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani)

Anger is the big taboo, isn’t it? Buttigieg really was vat-grown to appeal to centrists, wasn’t he?

Sanders (D) (1): “Sanders campaign organizes nearly 4,000 parties for April 27” []. “Sen. Bernie Sanders’ army of volunteers has signed up to host about 3,900 organizing parties for his presidential bid, his campaign told POLITICO. The figure demonstrates the strength of Sanders’ volunteer operation, which includes a reported 1 million people who have agreed to rally support for his second attempt at the White House. The Sanders team is planning to provide its volunteers with specific tools to begin helping him. In 2016, his staffers trained volunteers to orchestrate their own phone-banking and texting efforts, resulting in 80,000 events, 85 million phone calls and 10 million peer-to-peer texts, according to his staff. The strategy, known as ‘distributed organizing,’ was also utilized by O’Rourke in his unsuccessful Senate bid in 2018.” • Not the same as AOC’s tool, though, which allows workplace and venue s….

Sanders (D) (2): Wonderfully clarifying:

ThinkProgress, the propaganda arm of Neera Tanden's Center for American Progress, is now openly attacking the Democratic Party's presidential front runner. Guess the Saudis and the Waltons are getting their money's worth.

— dsa otherkin caucus⌚ (@QueenInYeIIow)

Sanders (3):

“I was OK with Barack Obama getting $65M book advance, but Bernie Sanders got $1M? This system is clearly very broken!”

— 🌹 Clark Feels The Bern (@Clarknt67)

Swalwell (D):

I am running for President of the United States of America.

I see you. I hear you. I'm for you. I AM you.

— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell)

N-o-o-o-o-o….

UPDATE Warren (D): “Senator Warren joins striking Stop & Shop workers” [ (chuck roast)]. “Warren was stepping into one of the largest labor disputes in recent years. Thousands of supermarket workers , forcing the chain to temporarily close some stores. Some customers refused to cross picket lines. Warren was asked by reporters what message she wanted to send to the owners of the supermarket chain, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize. ‘Be fair,’ said Warren, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.” • Good to see a Democrat candidate join Sanders supporting unions. Remember when Obama promised to put on his “” and picket? Good times.

Yang (D): “Beam him to the White House” []. “In a phone interview today with The Carroll (Iowa) Times Herald, Yang said his campaign is working with a hologram company and could debut the technology — possibly in Iowa — as early as June. ‘We are exploring rolling a truck out that would enable someone to see a hologram of me that is three-dimensional give my stump speech,’ Yang said as he traveled between campaign events in New Hampshire. ‘And, also, if I were in a studio, which we could set up very easily, I could beam in and take questions live.’ The hologram appearances would allow Yang to see questioners and interact with people in real time, he said.” • Also, the hologram could appear to stand on counter-tops, yet not violate local heatlh codes.

CA: “Bernie Sanders vs. Kamala Harris: These Dems are plotting sweeping Super Tuesday strategies” []. “Kamala Harris’s top aides are privately meeting with local Democratic leaders from Alabama to Virginia. Bernie Sanders’s team is lining up interviews with potential senior staffers in California and Texas. And Cory Booker is cultivating relationships with officials across the South. While early voting states get a lot of attention, many of the most formidable candidates in the 2020 presidential field are preparing for what comes after that — Super Tuesday, when voters in at least 12 other states are set to cast ballots in the Democratic primary. Super Tuesday 2020 falls on March 3, but early voting will start as early as Feb. 3 in California — the same day as the Iowa Caucuses.” • Shows what a mess early voting is!

IA: “How to survive and thrive in Iowa — words of wisdom from former staffers” []. • Interviews with the Gephardt team — the ones who took down Howard Dean and, ultimately, brought us John Kerry and Bush’s second term. So, a distinguished crew.

ME: “Manchin says he supports Collins reelection” []. “Collins is ‘a dear friend,’ Manchin said. ‘I would go up and campaign for her … For America to lose someone like Susan Collins would be an absolute shame. I feel that strongly about this lady.’ Smiling, Manchin asked, ‘Do you think my party would be happy?'” • He’s not even a real Democrat! Oh, wait….

ME: “Susan Rice Will Not Run Against Susan Collins For Maine Senate Seat In 2020” []. Rice: “”In the course of weighing it all, I’ve decided with my family that the timing really isn’t right for us. I don’t rule out running for office in the future. In Maine or beyond.” • 

“DNC launches hyper-local 2020 effort to shadow Trump on the trail” []. “Responding to criticism that Democrats were too focused on Trump’s temperament and personal attributes during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, the party’s main organizing arm says it’s making a major expansion of its opposition research team that will be ‘hyper-focused’ on the impact of Trump’s policies on local communities…. Those include promises made to welders and pipefitters in Virginia Beach and Newtown, Pennsylvania, construction workers around Tampa, Florida and seniors struggling with high drug prices in Reno, Nevada…. The Democrats’ database includes every single Trump rally in 2016, material that will be used to create digital and television ads of promises he made to local communities from Lansing, Michigan to Tallahassee, Florida.” • As far as “responding to criticism,” it will be interesting to see if the Democrats have poisoned their own well.

“How Democratic Party insiders could make a comeback at the 2020 convention” []. “[Elaine Kamarck, an at-large DNC member who is one of the party’s foremost rules experts] argued that if the primary result was not conclusive, the public would welcome the superdelegates’ role. ‘There’s a source of legitimacy to say, look, the voters didn’t decide. And if the voters didn’t decide, you can’t rerun 50 elections,’ Kamarck told Yahoo News. “The natural people to decide are the leadership of the party, and that would be the superdelegates. I think there’s a legitimacy that people would be willing to accord it.'” • I’d welcome the clarity, indeed yes.

“‘Here come the Marines’: Democrats running veterans to flip red congressional districts” []. “Scott Cooper, a 2020 Democratic candidate in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, is a retired Marine, ‘We’ve divided ourselves so much by political ideology. The military is a unique place. No one asks what party you’re from, who your parents are, what god you pray to, who you choose to love,’ Cooper said. ‘The best thing that came of that was I was required to work toward a common purpose with people I didn’t like. There is no option in the military. I’m not saying veterans are somehow the savior of the country. But to bridge those divides and reach across the aisle, those are the kind of people we need in our Congress today.'” • So, bipartisanship through militarism…

RussiaGate

“FBI Man’s Testimony Points to Wrongdoing Well Beyond Spying” [] (). “More important, [assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division Edward William Priestap’s] testimony contains extensive indications of wrongdoing, including that the FBI and DoJ targeted Trump and did so with information it made no effort to verify. It paints a portrait of the Obama-era bureau as one that was unconcerned with political interference in investigations and was willing to enlist the help of close foreign allies to bring down its target. And, perhaps presaging a defense to Barr’s claim that American officials had spied on the Trump campaign, it showcases the euphemisms that can be used to disguise ‘spying.'” • I’m not master of the detail on any of this, but readers who have been following this story more closely may find the detail helpful. Especially Priestap’s [redacted] trips to London.

“FISA’s License to Hop” []. From 2018, still germane. An explanation of the “two-hop” rule, which is in essence two degrees of separation, and the effect of the Carter Page FISA warrant: “What this means in practice is that, under a single warrant, anyone Page had a text or phone call with in the Trump campaign during the brief months of his association with it in 2016, was fair game, as a direct connection, all the way through the end of the last warrant-extension period on Page in October 2017. The second-hop connections of those initial s—meaning everyone that those people had with—are also fair game. In other words, it’s likely that almost everyone on the Trump campaign staff was included in the universe of first- and second-order s of Carter Page. The entirety of their correspondence is therefore also covered by the initial warrant, regardless of whether or not they ever met or corresponded with Carter Page, or whether that correspondence referred to him in any way, directly or indirectly… Given the two-hop rule, we don’t know the extent to which [Trump] and his team were actually under surveillance. But we can guess. And for the health of our republic, we should probably find out.”

“The flimsy case for Russia’s role in Sanders to Trump crossover vote” []. “The Washington Post has just published about ‘the Russian effort to target Sanders supporters – and help elect Trump’. Once you wade through about 1500 words of background, however, the substance is quite thin: the Post asked two researchers to ‘[examine] English-language tweets identified as coming from Russia’. What did they find? 9000 tweets that used the word ‘Bernie,’ and ‘thousands of other tweets’ that were allegedly ‘designed to appeal to his backers’. That’s it. The article doesn’t even indicate whether this was an exhaustive survey or whether they were just looking at a sample group, which means that we have no way of knowing the scale of the campaign. Taken at face value, however, these numbers are absolutely trivial. To say that they won Trump a single state, you would have to argue, for example, that three out of every five “Bernie” tweets flipped a Clinton voter. To say that they won him Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, you would have to argue that each “Bernie” tweet flipped Trump more than four votes.” • 9000 tweets. Really?

Health Care

“‘We’ve done a lot more than you would think’: How the health-insurance industry is working to pull Democrats away from Medicare-for-all” [], “‘You have a new majority with a lot of new members, so it’s a whole new pool of folks to get in and talk to,’ said Robert G. Siggins, a senior policy adviser at the lobbying firm Alston & Bird who previously served as the chief of staff to a House Democrat. Siggins has lobbied on behalf of several private health-care companies. ‘You’re really trying to get a sense of where they’re coming from, and provide information.'”

“Bernie Sanders’s plan to blow up the filibuster and pass Medicare-for-all, explained” []. Sanders: “I would remind everyone that the budget reconciliation process, with 51 votes, has been used time and time again to pass major pieces of legislation and that under our Constitution and the rules of the Senate, it is the vice president who determines what is and is not permissible under budget reconciliation. I can tell you that a vice president in a Bernie Sanders administration will determine that Medicare for All can pass through the Senate under reconciliation and is not in violation of the rules.” • A good explainer.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Vetting Democrats Is Not ‘Eating Our Own'” []. “This column began as a repeated refrain on my public Facebook page. Every time I post a story offering the slightest scrutiny of a Democratic candidate, accusations of ‘eating our own’ swarm like fruit flies to a putrefied peach. We are vetting candidates, not consuming them.” • Columnist, married to Sherrod Brown.

I’m a little dubious that “white Christian nationalists” are not a small-ish subset of “white Christians,” but that aside, this is an interesting thread:

frankly, after two years of this admin and thousands and thousands of 'working class angry white men' essays, i think this more than anything out there is the reason 45 stays popular. white christian nationalists have been praying/organizing around this for decades.

— RustBelt Rebel (@RustBeltRebel)

The feminist “choice” movement is the second 10%-oriented failure I can think of, the first being the environmentalist movement. Gay rights did not fail, and I can’t help but think that “coming out” was the tactic that made the difference. As RustBeltRebel says: “”the movement’ happens in the church pews and in the movie theaters and in schools and play groups and local radio and welfare and unemployment offices and on the line and grocery co-ops and as i’ve said a hundred times–talking to the kid with the earbuds in at family table.”

“Inside the International Socialist Organization’s Dissolution After a Rape Cover-Up” []. “Since volunteer organizations are not courts of law and cannot deprive people of property or liberty, evidentiary standards used to guide disciplinary decisions must different (preponderance of evidence versus innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt). The punishments a volunteer organization can mete out — censure, suspension, expulsion — are far less devastating to an individual than jail time or fines and there should be far less reluctance to resort to punitive measures when interpersonal conflicts arise.” • Lots of detail of an organizational implosion, which I’m eliding in favor of one possible lesson to be learned.

DSA (1): “Here’s What Happens at a Local DSA Chapter Meeting, or: Despite National Stereotypes, Cleveland’s Democratic Socialists are Organized and Mobilized” []. “The meeting is run in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order. Items are discussed in an orderly fashion, motions are made, seconded and voted on via hand-raising. The agenda itself includes an outline of how the meeting is run and how discussions work. The chair explains these practices to the attendees, in case anyone in the audience isn’t yet a member or isn’t familiar with the practices…. I look around. No one is on their phone. They’re engaged in conversation with the people around them. They’re leaning in, listening to each other and ensuring that no single person dominates the discussion. When this portion ends, the group collectively discusses the ideas, with some facilitation by the co-chair of the subcommittee…. In short, it was exactly what an organized, agenda-driven meeting of like-minded individuals would be expected to look like. Whether DSA is an organization worthy of supporting on a substantive level, I’m not here to say, but I can assure you that its meetings are structured and engaging and its members, despite the national headlines and the local safety concerns, are warm and kind.”

DSA (2):

Our 4th Principle is “Decommodify survival.”

We all have a right to living wages, healthcare, childcare, housing, food, water, energy, public transit, a healthy environment, and other necessities to live our best lives.

— DSA Ecosocialists🌱🌹⚡️ (@DSA_Enviro)

“Decommodify survival.” Not sure how that will focus group…

Stats Watch

Retail: “Amazon says it will soon accept cash at cashless stores” []. “Amazon, facing backlash from critics who say cashless stores discriminate against the poor, will soon accept cash at all its stores. The online shopping giant has more than 30 stores that don’t accept cash, including its book shops and Amazon Go convenience stores. Amazon confirmed it is working to accept cash, but wouldn’t say when that would happen. ritics say cashless stores discriminate against those that don’t have credit cards or bank accounts.” • Some confirmation!

The Bezzle: “Uber unveils IPO with warning it may never make profit” []. “The S-1 filing underscores Uber’s rapid growth in the last three years but also how a string of public scandals and increased competition from rivals have weighed on its plans to attract and retain riders. The disclosure also highlighted how far Uber remains from turning a profit, with the company cautioning it expects operating expenses to “increase significantly in the foreseeable future” and it “may not achieve profitability.” • Oh.

The Biosphere

“GOP Tiptoes Toward Climate Plans as Ocasio-Cortez Turns Up Heat” []. “‘The debate over the Green New Deal has demonstrated there is a growing appetite to address climate change,’ said Christopher Guith, acting president of the Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute. But what’s needed is a better approach that harnesses ‘America’s energy advantage and continued environmental progress without threatening economic growth,’ he said. The institute released polling results Thursday that Guith said prove the overwhelming majority of Americans support an ‘energy agenda that drives innovation, lowers emissions and fosters economic growth.’ According to a chamber-commissioned telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters nationwide, 73 percent support a ‘cleaner, stronger’ approach to energy that uses more American energy supplies and continues environmental progress.” • I’m sure this approach was taken with tobacco, at some point. “Cleaner, stronger, but still with that great, smooth taste!”

“After a $14-Billion Upgrade, New Orleans’ Levees Are Sinking” []. “The $14 billion network of levees and floodwalls that was built to protect greater New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was a seemingly invincible bulwark against flooding. But now, 11 months after the Army Corps of Engineers completed one of the largest public works projects in world history, the agency says the system will stop providing adequate protection in as little as four years because of rising sea levels and shrinking levees.

“Division of labor and brain evolution in insect societies: Neurobiology of extreme specialization in the turtle ant Cephalotes varians” []. “Strongly polyphenic social insects provide excellent models to examine the neurobiological basis of division of labor. Turtle ants, Cephalotes varians, have distinct minor worker, soldier, and reproductive (gyne/queen) morphologies associated with their behavioral profiles: small-bodied task-generalist minors lack the phragmotic shield-shaped heads of soldiers, which are specialized to block and guard the nest entrance.” • Maybe that’s how things will be on Mars, after all the mutations!

“Letter from U.S. Scientists Opposing Repeal of the Clean Water Rule” []. “The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a revised definition of Waters of the United States that excludes many of the streams, wetlands and adjacent waters that directly affect the physical, chemical and biological conditions of the nation’s primary jurisdictional waters, eliminating Clean Water Act protections for more than 18% of streams and 51% of wetlands nationwide without scientific justification.” • If you’re a scientist, you can sign the petition (though I’ve never seen a field labeled “Post-nominal credentials” before!)

The 420

More like this, please:

Yesterday, my decision to dismiss misdemeanor marijuana possession cases was reported on. I believe it is time for prosecutors to purposely decarcerate & to use our prosecutorial discretion to provide restorative justice to our communities. I will remain a fighter for reform.

— Stephanie Morales (@AttyStepMorales)

Health Care

“Bernie Sanders on the role of insurance companies under ‘Medicare for All'” []. “But when asked if his proposal is considered socialism, Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist, denied it. ‘No. Actually it is not. It’s similar to what the Canadians have,’ he said.” • It’s better. Canadians don’t have dental. More:

“Under Medicare for All, we cover all basic health care needs, so they’re not going to be there to do that. I suppose if you want to make yourself look a bit more beautiful, you want to work on that nose, your ears. They can do that,” he said.

“So basically Blue Cross Blue Shield would be reduced to nose jobs?” O’Keefe asked.

“Something like that,” Sanders said.

Awesome!

“Health care CEO pay tops $1 billion in 2018 so far” []. “$1.1 billion is basically a rounding error within the $3.7 trillion U.S. health care system. But it’s also $157 million more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent in 2018 on chronic disease prevention.”

“Take it from an economist, Medicare for All is the most sensible way to fix health care” [Gerald Friedman, ]. “There is an instinct among political pundits to confuse caution for practicality — an assumption that those who advocate for incremental change are being reasonable, while those pushing for bold reforms aren’t…. Time to get real. As an economist who has spent decades studying our health care system, I can tell you that Medicare for All advocates are the only ones who are being reasonable, because theirs is the only plan that will control health care costs while finally achieving universal coverage. The problem with incremental plans, whether they are public options, buy-ins to Medicare or Medicaid, or pumping more money into subsidies in the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplace, is that they preserve the private health insurance system weighing down our health care. This may be why pundits and centrist politicians view those plans as ‘reasonable,’ but it means that they are leaving the main reason for our system’s dysfunction in place: the multipayer, for-profit financing model.”

“Offering Health Check-Ups in Barbershops Could Transform Health Care for Black Men in America” []. ” Black men, because of both logistical barriers and mistrust, are often cut off from health-care systems—but as he was thinking about haircuts one day, [Dr. Joseph Ravenell, an associate professor in the Departments of Population Health and Medicine at New York University’s School of Medicine] says, ‘a lightbulb went off.’ Barbers, he thought, as trusted confidants and community leaders, could become a powerful bloc to promote health in black communities…. For three years, Ravenell worked with 17 barbershops around Dallas to measure thousands of blood pressures and encourage healthy habits. The results were striking: In barbershops where barbers measured blood pressure, the number of men in each shop who achieved their target blood pressures increased by an average of 20 percent.”

“Harvard-Affiliated Doctors and Single-Payer Healthcare Go Way Back” []. “The connections between PNHP and Harvard go back decades. At the time of PNHP’s formation in 1986, according to its members, Harvard provided an optimal home for the fledgling organization that was advocating for a then-radical proposal. For one, Massachusetts was in the midst of its own fight over single-payer healthcare. A group of seniors called the Gray Panthers was seeking to place a referendum on the ballot calling upon Massachusetts congresspeople to support national health insurance. PNHP was formed in part to prop up the seniors’ efforts, Himmelstein says.” • Cool! The Gray Panthers have a place in history!

Another in the continuing series of health care rants. Thread:

Okay, time for a Healthcare rant. My company is changing providers come 5/1/19 and my premiums are about the same. Cool, no problem. Until I need to find if one of my current providers is covered….

— 𝔾𝕒𝕣𝕠𝕟𝕂𝕒𝕖 ⭐️ (@GaronKae)

You see so many of these threads. And they’re all stupid and horrible.

Class Warfare

“Journal Club: Brain scans and behavior suggest oxytocin can change perceptions of fairness” []. “Previous studies suggested oxytocin could have different effects on the prosocials and the individualists. It did, with selective impacts on the individualistic group. They began to prefer outcomes benefitting other people, based on their choices made in the scenarios in the fMRI. The scans confirmed amplified activity in their amygdalas. Oxytocin’s effects on naturally prosocial participants were not as straightforward. ‘The most exciting aspect of this new finding is that oxytocin seems to selectively enhance prosocial behavior in people with individualistic social reference points by influencing this reference point,’ says Yale neuroscientist Steve Chang. “And that this change is reflected in brain activations.'” • Hmm.

News of the Wired

“She went to the hospital for an infection. Doctors found four bees living in her eye, eating her tears.” []. “Craving salt, the bees had been ing off He’s tears, the doctor said at a news conference last week, later describing the odd medical diagnosis as a ‘world first.’ The insects had made a new home inside the woman’s eyelid — that is, until they were all successfully removed alive.” • After Tomb Sweeping Day…

“Aging and the prevalence of ‘ironic’ action errors under avoidant instruction” []. “Our study is the first to investigate whether older adults are more prone than younger adults to making ‘ironic’ motor errors (i.e., actions they have been instructed not to perform), or over-compensatory motor errors (e.g., moving more to the right when instructed not to move to the left)…. Surprisingly, however, older adults outperformed younger adults on the avoidant instruction task, producing fewer ironic and over-compensatory errors, and they performed similarly to the younger adults under cognitive load. Age-related decrements on the Simon but not the avoidant instruction task suggests that the two different types of motor tasks involve different subtypes of inhibition which likely recruit independent cognitive processes and neural circuitry in older age. It is speculated that the older adults’ superior ability to inhibit a prohibited action could be the result of age-related changes in distractibility.” • I said “Get offa my lawn!”

It rhymes:

Computer scientist Katie Bouman and her awesome stack of hard drives for image data 😍 — reminds me of Margaret Hamilton and her Apollo Guidance Computer source code. 👩🏽‍🔬

— Flora Graham (@floragraham)

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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.

106 comments

  1. Arizona Slim

    Thanks for mentioning the Sanders house parties. As mentioned here previously, I was in the process of signing up to host one of those things.

    And then I got to the part that said that my address would be publicized on the Internet. Uh-uh. Nope. No way.

    I abandoned the signup form.

    Since then, I’ve gotten several emails, and, yesterday, a phone message imploring me to complete that form. Uh-uh. Nope. No way.

    The Arizona Slim Ranch is home to me, myself, and I. After returning home to find this place ransacked — that was a year ago in January — I have become VERY protective of my address. I’m VERY wary of who I let in here. That includes campaign door knockers. If I’m not expecting anyone, I am NOT answering the door.

    Now, as to why I’m thanking Lambert, here’s why: If these house parties are the prelude to another round of phonebanking (I didn’t think it was very effective back in 2016) and door knocking, count me out. I think AOC — and her app — is how campaigns should be handling the outreach. Especially in this day and age, when people screen their calls and refuse to answer the door if they don’t know who’s on the other side.

    Reply
    1. Utah

      I’m co-hosting a house party for Bernie, as I did the last time when we were organizing to show that Bernie still has support. This time I opted to rent a room at the Library. The last event was really great, and I’m sure the info that I had to collect and input (people’s names and email addresses) will be put to good use.
      I’m with you on the AOC app. Hopefully Bernie’s organizers will use it. But also, this campaign will be run through the party in order to select convention delegates, and I think that Bernie really needs to get to the organizing conventions this year (with the AOC app). Rumor has it that Warren has a table at my county party convention tomorrow. The only way to change hearts and minds of the establishment is show them financial support. Which is sad to say, but totally true. And Bernie has been an independent so the state parties are worried that he’ll not be good for fundraising. Saying all of this, I can imagine why you’d want to circumvent the establishment.

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        so the state parties are worried that he’ll not be good for fundraising

        I guess all one has to do is remind the state parties how much money they netted off Hillary’s campaign, eh?

        Reply
      2. Aloha

        I would love to get excited about volunteering for a presidential candidate if I knew that our votes weren’t rigged and have been one way or another since at least Bush/Gore and the Supreme court decision.

        Reply
        1. Carey

          In my opinion it’s the organizing for the Common Good that matters, not the mcVote™, which
          I fully expect to be rigged, both primary and general.

          “Where did all these weeds come from? They’re everywhere now!”

          heh

          Reply
    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      I have no problems listing my address with about 7 events at my current residence or my old house in 2016.

      Pretty liberating actually.

      Id host an event in New Orleans april 27th but i gotta work a Trombone Short after Jazz Fest concert.

      Reply
    3. Lee

      Perhaps you should get a dog or, if you must leave it at home while you are out, get two. They get terribly lonely without companionship. Our official front door greeter is a pit bull. She is the sweetest thing, but strangers don’t know that, and there’s no doubt she would respond in kind to those with bad intentions.

      Reply
  2. nippersmom

    “Joe Biden May Be Less Electable Than He Looks”
    I think he looks completely unelectable. What is less electable than that? Is there a way to retroactively rescind his previously held offices? (if only…)

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If you only thought he was a lazy, gaffe prone, and out of touch, seeing his policy record would make him even less electable.

      Reply
      1. nippersmom

        I have been very much aware of his policy record for some time, and certain it would all be brought up should he decide to run, hence my conclusion that he was already unelectable to anyone who actually did “look”.

        Reply
    2. Chris Cosmos

      I’m not sure what voters will be looking for next year but I think Biden’s appeal centers on nostalgia–he represents stability, civility, and an establishment that “cares” in a touchy freely way. He would appeal to older citizens who tend to vote and he smiles a whole lot.

      Reply
      1. Carey

        “cares” in a used-car salesman way, I’d say, and even that is giving D’oh! Biden
        too much credit. Go back and have a look at those videos of him with young
        girls, including the one of him fitting his hand neatly just below one’s breast.

        This *is* our ruling class.

        Reply
        1. ObjectiveFunction

          Gather round folx [sp?], step right up, plenty of seats down here in the front!

          Now, in your minds eye, just picture: the 30 second Prime Time Attack Ad! A series of Tailgrabber Joe’s best grope clips (in respect of minors being concerned, we put black bars over the eyes, excepting Joe’s own of course, gotta see that smirk), to the strains of….

          Comeoncomeoncomeoncomeonnow….

          (TRUMP 2020: AND THE PIG LIKES IT)

          Reply
    3. Plenue

      Biden is like the ultimate expression of how much our ‘elites’ live in a bubble. Anyone outside that bubble can tell you he is at best a non-entity to the public. Under even the slightest scrutiny he crumbles like a vampire in the sun.

      That they’ve convinced themselves he’s even viable, much less the frontrunner, is proof of how delusional they are.

      Reply
      1. NotReallyHere

        For what it’s worth, I agree that he is totally unelectable and I have been puzzled about why his “I am pondering” tease has been a regular thing in both the run up to 2020 and in 2016.

        The only pattern I can see is that he is recognized, even within the bubble, as the bottom scrapings of the neo-liberal candidate barrel. He is being held as a last resort. I say this because I remember somebody on here saying the neo-lib Dems would rather lose the election than to allow Bernie to be their candidate.

        What we are seeing the regular drip drip of one centrist candidate after another. Each one gets his/her moment in the sun with adoring write ups in the WP, CNN etc. but each has suffered a failure to launch. So on we go ont the next. Buttegeig seems to be the latest attempt at vacuous identity based nothingness and we will see if he flies but so far it looks like he won’t. If not we have Swalwell tee-ing up for the next round.

        These “try” candidates are young and they have to be protected or they won’t run. They still have careers ahead of them. If they go down in flames they won’t likely get up again. So they are being trial ballooned but if no appetite, materializes then they are pushed to the back to be forgotten for a while.

        If none take at all, then Biden will have to do. He will be destroyed but what matter, his career is over anyway.

        Just my musings.

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > That they’ve convinced themselves he’s even viable, much less the frontrunner, is proof of how delusional they are.

        That’s what the polls are saying. One can only wonder what the internal polls of the various campaigns are saying.

        Reply
    4. Roger Smith

      I completely agree. He is DOA and his groping children/women issues coming back and further into the mainstream… beating a dead horse, sorry, Donkey.

      Reply
    5. nippersdad

      To be fair, I think Biden has the run-down-strip-mall massage parlor vote down cold. We have had soccer moms and Nascar dads, it is not inconceivable, given the deliberately close margins that win races these days, that such a demographic may become vital to the success of establishment Democratic campaigns next year. Further, the farsighted Biden may have wanted to preempt Trump’s political appeal by using his decades worth of carefully choreographed and documented grabbing of women by something other than their genitalia to show how enlightened he is.

      (Wherein I eagerly await pictures of Beto, gesticulating wildly, walking around on someone’s back for votes.)

      This Mustang Ranch concept envisions a whole new universe of ways for pols to intersectionally “connect” with their ostensible constituencies whilst also disarming the “handsy” argument which will inevitably be levelled against the front runner by such as Vladimir Putin through several dollars worth of charming comic book styled propaganda meant to divide the electorate.

      Democratic strategists need to get right on that before the Republican Party Trumps them with the idea first. Any of them reading this can be assured that the idea has yet to be copyrighted and that, good American that I am, I will more than willingly give them the opportunity to use this advice for their own advancement and profit without hindrance of any form by myself.

      So, no, I don’t think he is unelectable per se, he just needs the right multi-billion dollar political campaign strategy to get him on top of the pack and keep him there, so to speak.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        I must disagree on Joe Biden’s electability with some super mega ultra packaged political campaign. Despite his Creepy McFeelly rep as well as his lobbying for real debt servitude, he would run a better campaign than Hilary Clinton, but so what? It was said that Clinton was destined for glory because of her support and money.

        Since people can sense serious trouble coming our way they will almost certainly will give a deeper look into whoever runs. Clinton, Biden, Kamala Harris, and others of their ilk are probably politically DOA.

        Reply
        1. nippersdad

          I totally agree with both you and mom, he is toast. I just got a charge out of playing the Devil’s advocate and mocking the process.

          Reply
        2. hunkerdown

          Electability = running a campaign that brings in bacon for consultants, media, donors, and other grifters. It really doesn’t have anything to do with elections as such.

          Reply
      2. Carey

        “To be fair, I think Biden has the run-down-strip-mall massage parlor vote down cold.”

        I liked this line very much. Thank you.

        Reply
          1. nippersdad

            He could take a page out of the Congressional State of the Union media driven playbook, where they invite people who make the pres uncomfortable, and get Stormy Daniels to do it.

            When Trump shows up with Anita Hill it would make for quite a show, indeed.

            Reply
    6. Summer

      He would just try to do well enough in primaries to make an appeal to Obama.
      If he hangs around long enough in the game and gets that endorsement, people are still in thrall of the Obama symbolism and wealth.

      Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If it gets to the point where Obama’s endorsement would be considered really valuable and important to Biden, and getting it or not getting it would make the difference between being nominated or not nominated; Obama’s future reward-payers will tell Obama that if he wants to collect any more of the Big Tubmans he is planning to collect, then he will have to endorse Biden.

          Otherwise, its payoffus interruptus for Obama.

          Reply
          1. John k

            And he doesn’t even have his own gulfstream yet… granted lots of people love to loan him theirs… but really not the same, and crappy to be dependent… and decorate with his own stuff…

            Reply
  3. Janie

    Anecdote re Biden: yesterday a contractor was at the house. He’s been here several times and we chat in the neighborhood occasionally. He has seemed informed – but no. His 20 year old son’s college attendsnce came up, and I saw my chance to mention Biden’s role in student loans’ lack of discharge in bankruptcy. He didn’t know they are exempt. He thought Biden was a pretty good guy. I suggested a little research. Dunno if he’ll follow through. He seems typical in his opinion of Biden, but his lack of information astonished me. I’m in my own world here at NC, I guess.

    Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      The WaPo has a very nasty sounding editorial about Assange which ibdid not read but in my experience I could write their editorials because I know the ideology. Anyway the part of the intel community that is connected to the Democrats is expressed by the Post and that has been the case since the 1950s when it was the flagship of Operation Mockingbird.

      The Bernie story resembles in tone and style all the BS stories about Russiagate and this successful effort to program this country into an Orwellian State is ongoing and, so far, shows no sign in letting up.

      Reply
    2. Carey

      I’ve encountered this too; people buying into the regular-Joe bit. Hope they’ll look a little closer, and I think this time they will.

      Reply
  4. JohnHerbieHancock

    How ya gonna keep on down on the farm, after they’ve seen DC.

    Huh.

    I always thought that was just a clever quote from The Dude (“How ya gonna keep em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Karl Hungus?”).

    Learn somethin’ new everyday!

    Reply
    1. BobW

      “How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree)?” A song that dates to the WW I era.

      Reply
        1. NotReallyHere

          Her hee! You know, I never fully understood the whole gun rights thing in the us till I went all rural. I can hear coyotes yipping on the odd sleepless night and I saw this dog/coyote/wolf creature in my yard early one morning. I definitely n red to buy a gun and I’m not even that rural.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I suggest we call these things coyo dogwolves . . . because they are supposed to be a 3-way genetic mix between coyotes, dogs and wolves.

            They emerged in “the East” as pure coyotes began moving East after the extermination of the wolf and the de-foresting of the East. Or so I have read.

            Reply
  5. Intergalactic Joe

    Sorry if this has already been posted somewhere on NC, but good news! Tulsi Gabbard has enough donors to qualify for the dem debates (according to the ).

    Reply
      1. aj

        Best line of that article (from the 3rd paragraph from the bottom):

        ‘Hillary Clinton told an audience in New York that “it’s ironic that he [Assange] may be the only foreigner that this administration would welcome to the United States,” before chuckling at her own joke.’

        Reply
    1. DonCoyote

      Tulsi:

      1) Congrats on making the debate stage
      2) Kudos for immediately
      3) Aloha on your birthday (born April 12th, 1981)

      Reply
  6. Pat

    I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations over the last few weeks. People who are sure when the Mueller report comes out there will be collusion. People who still like Obama and therefore like Biden, and deny his record. People who try to justify Franken’s treatment versus the support for Biden and flounder completely. Although in the last day the one that has resonated the most for me is the baby journalist who has ties to Venezuela, as in their family were on the losing end of the Chavez rise, telling me that Assange has an agenda. Mind you they had no comeback to my query about why CNN was so eager to report every breathless leak about Mueller’s investigation without checking them out or confirming them, and if that means they are not a press organization. It wouldn’t surprise me if they celebrated yesterday without even understanding the implications of his arrest and detainment.

    It isn’t just our beltway pals who live in a bubble.

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      I forwarded that biden ukraine story from a few days ago aroudn to some friends. One of them said soemthing like, “so you think the dems are just as bad?”

      I had to hold back a bit :)

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Everything they think is a positive I see as either neutral ([x] gay) or negative (literally everything on the resumé. This dude looks as groomed for power as Obama. Meaning that even now, even now some liberal Democrat is swooning.

        Reply
  7. DJG

    Anger is the big taboo, isn’t it? Buttigieg really was vat-grown to appeal to centrists, wasn’t he?

    I knew this was going to happen. The first “serious” gay candidate is not a serious representative of the struggle for equality in the United States. In this regard, I recall the warnings of black people that Obama, whose father was from Kenya, would not understand how Black America lives and what conditions are placed on Black America.

    Buttigieg strikes me as cosseted. That’s the best word I can come up with. And somehow he thinks (maybe it was the upward conversion from Catholicism to Anglicanism) that Bernie Sanders is angry. Because Bernie Sanders is angry and pushy (and Jewish). And Mario Cuomo was angry and inscrutable (and Italian). Sheesh.

    And Buttigieg’s father supposedly is a scholar of Gramsci (?). Here’s a very un-angry young man running away from Gramsci, that’s for sure.

    Now to the skeptical part (wouldn’t want to be angry, dear groundlings): I am not sure that coming out was the most effective tactic for gayfolk. What I mean is that gay rights often advanced the more that the general public noticed that white people were impacted. If somehow all gay people were black, now matter how often they came out, the cause would not have advanced. And this brings me back to cosseted Mayor Pete.

    Reply
    1. windsock

      I have to disagree with your coming out theory, but as I live in UK with different class and racial dynamics, this may be simply due to a different national system.

      Anyway, I came out in 1976, 9 years after Stonewall, at 18 years old. I was very much of the working class demographic, which itself was portrayed as homophobic. And it really made a difference. People who heard anti-gay slurs, or saw anti-gay activity, or discovered the inequality of laws as applied to gay men (none, ever, to lesbians) would tell me they immediately thought of me, as in the slur they heard or anti-gay activity, could be applied to me, their brother, uncle, friend, cousin, co-worker (unfortunately, never son) etc. Once people know someone from a minority group as a person, who they think has shown “courage” in admitting to previously unwelcome trait, and in defiance of law, they are much more protective of them and by extension, the minority group.

      “What I mean is that gay rights often advanced the more that the general public noticed that white people were impacted.” But the advancement in gay rights also applied to people of colour too. Or was that simply collateral improvement?

      Of course, it may have been different if every gay person had been born green and therefore never had an option of coming out.

      Reply
  8. ChrisAtRU

    “Anger is the big taboo, isn’t it? Buttigieg really was vat-grown to appeal to centrists, wasn’t he?”

    Same one Obama came from no doubt … (see )

    As always, when it comes to indignation, I defer to the famous .

    Reply
  9. ChristopherJ

    A question for the US commentariat. Well, two.

    What would be the reaction if Assange was a US citizen, who had published unsavory secrets about the Australian government, who was seeking his extradition to Australia to be tried for espionage?

    What do others make of Trump’s lie that Wikileaks is not his thing?

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      You almost described Christopher John Boyce, and his finding out that the CIA wanted to depose Aussie PM Gough Whitlam, but he was tried & sentenced for espionage here, in selling secrets to the Soviets.

      Reply
    2. dcrane

      Trump’s probably telling something closer to the truth now. Would anyone have thought that he would care about an organization like Wikileaks if they hadn’t helped to embarrass his political opponent? Surely he was only talking them up in 2016 because it was politically useful back then.

      Reply
    1. ChristopherJ

      thank you, Carolinian – that was a deep dive by someone who understands the risks to journalism posed by JAs arrest.

      This is why the elites don’t want Corbyn. He would upset the status quo and would not have given the green light for the authorities to arrest him. The latest brexit fiasco shows that they want to postpone that possible reality for a few months more.

      Given what has happened, I wonder if JA would have been better off taking his chances 9 years ago.

      Reply
      1. windsock

        “Given what has happened, I wonder if JA would have been better off taking his chances 9 years ago.”

        My thought too.

        Reply
  10. Hameloose Cannon

    *Joe Biden May Be Less Electable Than He Looks [!?]* – Mr. B spent a lifetime of collecting indulgences. If he doesn’t cash them in now, then when? The afterlife? It’s his last act before the curtain closes. Politics is a stage; there are entrances and there are exits.… But in transaction terms, Biden is the stalking horse bid. There’s a breakup fee when the time comes, but until then, it’s crony peace of mind. Two-thirds won’t vote for him, so the candidate will shake out later. Committees, aides, and second bananas must wake up and do something with their day – Biden campaign? Sure, whatever.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      In this scenario, would a gridlocked deadlocked Convention finally get brokerized in Favor of Candidate Hillary 3.0 ?

      ” This time I’ ll campaign better. I promise.”

      Reply
  11. clarky90

    Re; “Suddenly liberals are very, very angry and outraged about the mercurial and inequitable system of compensation of superstar authors in the book publishing industry.”

    Two Hundred Years Together (Russian: Двести лет вместе, Dvesti let vmeste) is a two-volume historical essay by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It was written as a comprehensive history of Jews in the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and modern Russia between the years 1795 and 1995…

    Solzhenitsyn published this two-volume work in 2001 and 2002. The book stirred controversy….”

    Eighteen years later, Solzhenitsyn’s swan song, still has not been translated to, and published in English.

    This is a link to the Russian language edition

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Is there any reason why his final work not been translated into English? Is it too controversial to publish?

      Considering how the Soviet Union prevented him from publishing most of his work, that would be ironic.

      Reply
    2. integer

      This translation has been a combined effort by several people.
      Chapters 4 and 5 from Volume 1, as well as Chapters 13, 14 and 16-27 were
      translated pseudonymously by multiple people and posted online in 2010 at

      . Some of these chapters did not have
      English footnotes.
      Chapters 2,3 and 6 through 12, as well as Chapter 15 have been translated
      between February and March of the year 2017. They were made available
      pseudonymously by David and Davina Davison at

      . These chapters were translated
      from French.
      Chapter 1 is of unknown origin, it was posted on 8chan in format.
      Some footnotes from the French edition have been edited in. The translation for
      this chapter is not complete and a better version will likely be made and
      included in future editions of this work.
      Other translations of some of these chapters can be found online. There
      exists an alternative partial translation of chapters 2,3 and 6 from the original
      Russian. I decided to use the one made by the Davisons because the writing was
      of superior quality and no difference in the content was found.
      If you find any errors in this publication, look for my details at The
      Incorrect Library.

      Shadilay, March 2017

      Reply
  12. WJ

    Dem strategists believe that Biden will (1) motivate the black vote because of Obama and because black voters have a history of falling for rich, old, white patrician Democratic politicians to their own detriment. Dem strategists believe additionally that Biden will (2) recapture lots of white working class voters who can only be seduced away from Trump by, again, a suitably rich, old, white patrician. The white working class is also very comfortable voting for rich, old, white patrician Democratic politicians to their own detriment, and Biden is supposed to appeal to this dynamic.

    Can’t wait to see when the first casual, innocent, by-the-way allusion to Bernie Sanders’ Jewishness is carefully dropped by some mouthpiece of the corrupt DNC. You know it’s coming.

    Reply
    1. nippersdad

      At which point we will all enjoy watching the Democratic leadership do an AIPAC style diatribe against anti-semitic tropes./s

      But wouldn’t it be funny if Omar were the one to call them out?

      Reply
    2. Carey

      ‘Iraq Wrecked Me for Nothing
      Most everything that happened in Iraq and Afghanistan has gone un-investigated, unheard of, or unpunished. Ancient History.
      By Peter Van Buren • April 12, 2019’

      “..But there still are semi-believers. One former State Department colleague is on her fourth assignment in Kabul, roughly half her career. Her job is to liaise with the few NATO officials still hanging around. She says it’s easy work; they’ve known each other for years. She’s heard we’re making progress..”

      What a dismal empire this one is! Where is its Acropolis of Rhodes, or anything at all pointing to a larger purpose?

      Reply
  13. Seth A Miller

    Re Senate Rules:

    Like I keep saying, the Vice President decides. Yet another example of Bernie understanding what all the others don’t know that they need to learn.

    Reply
  14. ewmayer

    o Yang (D): “Beam him to the White House” [Carroll Times-Herald] — The hologram thing may be more apt than even Yang realizes. One of the kewl things about a hologram like that on your credit card is that you see different things, depending on which angle you look at it from. So, look at Yang from one perspective, he’s for policy X; look at him from a different perspective, he’s against X. It’s like a high-tech version of Hillary’s public-versus-private-position shtick. All things to all people, but now in holographic 3D! So awesome.

    o IA: “How to survive and thrive in Iowa — words of wisdom from former staffers” [Roll Call] — Anything about rigging the coin flips? I seem to recall that was key in Iowa in 2016.

    o “DNC launches hyper-local 2020 effort to shadow Trump on the trail” [NBC] — Oh gawd, “hyper-local”, another Elon-Muskian Silicon-Valley-style “smart” locution. [Tries to claw own eyeballs out.]

    o “How Democratic Party insiders could make a comeback at the 2020 convention” [Yahoo News]. “[Elaine Kamarck, an at-large DNC member who is one of the party’s foremost rules experts] argued that if the primary result was not conclusive, the public would welcome the superdelegates’ role. ‘There’s a source of legitimacy to say, look, the voters didn’t decide…” — The voters certainly didn’t decide the 2016 Dem primaries … so Ms. Kamarck is essentially saying “There’s a source of legitimacy in anti-democracy”. As ever, DNC insiders in their own words are so wonderfully clarifying.

    o “FISA’s License to Hop” [The Tablet]. From 2018, still germane. An explanation of the “two-hop” rule… — This is essentially combinatorial explosion, weaponized against the 4th Amendment. “Two hops” sounds not-unreasonable, right? 2 is a small-sounding number. I’m still waiting for a court – whether a regular one or one of the Kafkaesque secret FISA ones – to ask the crucial question that would illuminate the purported reasonableness here: “How many people are contained in the 2-hop s list?” Whoa, a million-six … that seems rather a lot.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      That Elain Kamarck quote was quite something. Will it fly in 2020? They used to manufacture consent; now they’ll settle for a hint of legitimacy, or even, I fear, less.

      Saying again they potentially-best thing I see coming over the next nineteen months
      is human connection for the Common Good. The few are enemies of the great majority of the citizenry, and in my impression, are now
      being recognized as such.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The mainstream Dems will try launching it whether they even think it will fly or not. Their sole goal is to prevent Bernie or Tulsi or Warren from getting nominated.

        The only way Bernie/Tulsi/Warren can prevent that outcome is to call themselves , and to beCOME , the Three Amigos. And get ALL their supporters to agree to the concept that the three of them will keep close track of their building delegate counts and if the cumulative all-three-together total number of delegates would be enough to win on the First Ballot if ALL those delegates voted for ONE of the Three Amigos . . . that the Second and Third Place Amigo in terms of delegate numbers all re-assign their delegates to vote for whichever the First Place Amigo is the one to win the most delegates.

        That would require an awful lot of consultation and agreement among many millions of people. If that agreement were not pre-forthcoming, the plan would never work.

        Reply
        1. Carey

          It seems to me that you’re right. The militarized cops of the last
          thirty-or-so years are a powerful hint from the Few.

          Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      I don’t see what the fuss is about Yang wanting to use a hologram during the coming elections. Modi did it about five years ago when he was running to be Prime Minister of India-

      Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    Here is a shout out to Katie Bouman (from that Flora Graham tweet), the 29 year-old whose algorithm helped make that image of that black hole possible-

    That is one steely-eyed missile girl that.

    Reply
  16. Carey

    Regarding Bayer-Monsanto’s Roundup™ and
    other glyphosate-based herbicides:

    ‘Links to Cancer Shown in New US Federal Draft Report on Glyphosate’:

    “..On April 8, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is tied to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, released its long-awaited draft toxicological report on glyphosate. It had been delayed for over three years, allegedly thanks to the efforts of Monsanto and a group of high-ranking officials within the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    The ATSDR documented a range of concerns about glyphosate. But most worryingly for Bayer/Monsanto, just like the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency IARC, it identified evidence for a link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This is exactly the outcome that the company feared because it undercuts its narrative that IARC’s concerns about glyphosate’s carcinogenicity can be offset by the EPA’s determination that glyphosate is “not likely” to cause cancer..”

    Reply
  17. JCC

    Very interesting summary of the Bailouts/Handouts given to the Big Six by our “Leaders”, from bettermarkets.com )

    They state it’s a conservative estimate… and people are upset about the US Deficit?

    Reply
    1. JCC

      I picked up this report from a link at Wall Street On Parade, also a good article:

      There are four words in this outstanding report from Better Markets that rendered it unpalatable to corporate business media: “rap sheets” and “criminal enterprise.” We searched Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times back to 2004 to see if at any time they had used the words “rap sheet” to describe the unprecedented serial crime sprees of these Wall Street mega banks. They had not.

      Reply
  18. anon in so cal

    Boeing 737 MAX

    “Pilots at Southwest question the airline’s all-Boeing fleet after 737 MAX crashes
    Southwest Airlines is by far Boeing’s largest 737 customer, and buying from only one manufacturer is a central tenet of the airline’s business plan. If Southwest were to buy Airbus jets, shock waves would ripple from Dallas through Chicago to Seattle.”

    Reply
  19. anon in so cal

    AFAIK, Bernie has remained silent on Julian Assange.

    Someone found one of Assange’s old tweets:

    “The bigger the domestic agenda, the worse the foreign agenda. Political capital balance.”

    Reply
  20. Rhondda

    I found “FBI Man’s Testimony Points to Wrongdoing Well Beyond Spying” [RealClearInvestigations] to be rather tendentious and the assertions a bit overblown. (Admittedly, I am only through about half of the transcript.) But the dot connecting on Priestap’s travel to London made it a nougat-y morsel!

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yes, I don’t like the “dot connecting” genre. But when this Mifsud dude pops up, trails his coat for Carter Page, and then, well, goodness, nobody can find him or whatever little institute he works for any more…. It does make you wonder.

      Reply
  21. allan

    [Washington Times]

    Congress on Thursday officially broke for a two-week recess without approving disaster aid money that lawmakers, notably from the Midwest and Southeast, say is absolutely vital to help their regions recover from recent tornadoes, floods and other extreme weather events.

    Democrats and Republicans have traded various offers in recent days and weeks, but the negotiations have become ensnared in a political dispute over how much money should be given to Puerto Rico to recover from hurricanes in 2017.

    Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, Alabama Republican, returned to the Capitol from a meeting Thursday at the White House with President Trump saying there were no major breakthroughs and that staff-level talks would likely continue into the two-week Easter recess. …

    The president’s apparent hatred of Puerto Rico is going to have serious consequences for farmers
    in some very red states. Time is passing and the spring planting schedule bats last.

    Reply
  22. TimH

    Regarding Amazon and cash… cash customers cannot be correlated and tracked directly, unlike account based payments

    Reply
  23. Prairie Bear

    Anger is the big taboo, isn’t it?

    Really, still? I had hoped that there might be at least one positive outcome of Trump’s success, and that would be the permanent retirement of that tedious and moronic “too angry” cliche.

    Reply

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