By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
More tranches to come! –Lambert
“A company run by Keith Schiller, who was one of President Trump’s closest associates when he abruptly left his job as director of Oval Office operations in September, has received $75,000 from the Republican National Committee under a contract to assess security at possible 2020 GOP convention sites, according to records and a party official” [WaPo].
Pennsylvania: “The GOP Is Serious About Impeaching P.A. Judges for Reversing Their Gerrymander” [New York Magazine]. Republicans are feral. They don’t yammer and whinge about norms; they get right to it.
New Cold War
Not a good look:
What the Russians did in the 2016 election cycle deserves unconditional condemnation. That includes all of their conduct – whether it was active support of any candidate or active opposition to any candidate.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 21, 2018
Since neither the liberals nor the conservatives will give Sanders any credit for kowtowing to this narrative, why do it?
And then there’s this:
The key issues now are:
1) How we prevent the unwitting manipulation of our electoral and political system by foreign governments.
2) Exposing who was actively consorting with the Russian government’s attack on our democracy.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 21, 2018
No, no, no, no, no. The key issues are 1) how we prevent the witting manipulation of our electoral and political system by billiionaires and 2) exposing who was and is actively colluding with their attack on our democracy. This is really not hard to see. I understand why “he has to say this” — partly because it’s as essential to talk to Clinton voters as it is to talk to Trump voters, and partly because the Beltway has gone crazypants and I’m sure he hears this everywhere — but I think we have the right to ask Senator Sanders to recognize McCarthyism and warmongering when he sees it, and, at a minimum, to contextualize it.
“Did banks’ KYC controls fail in Russian efforts to swing election?” [The American Banker]. “The alleged use of fraudulent financial accounts by Russian internet trolls, who authorities say were trying to tip the 2016 election, reveals yet another fault line in banks’ efforts to truly ‘know’ their customers. The indictments announced Friday in the Russia special counsel’s investigation illustrate how banks can be exploited by bad actors, but once again the key questions are: What did banks know, and how could they have stopped it?” Nice work by Bob from Legal, that “alleged.”
2016 Post Mortem
“‘A sub-par TED talk’: Why Hillary Clinton’s tour is a rip-off” [The Sidney Morning Herald]. “Hillary Clinton’s book tour is now scheduled to make waves here in Australia in May, and for a whopping $195 you’ll be able to have “an evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton” in balcony seating, and this, mind you, doesn’t include a copy of her book. For that you’ll have to fork over $495 for a VIP ticket that comes with access to a pre-show party….”
“Is this nationwide network of students organized enough to take on the gun lobby?” [McClatchy]. It would be nice if rot didn’t rapidly set in after Oprah’s $500K. So far, the “kids” seem to be doing OK, at least on television. It’s righteous and proper to see Marco Rubio p0wned by a high schooler.
Accepting this as true (and it is true that our famously free press misquotes Trump consistently)…
I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
… it’s still a dumb idea:
Ronald Reagan was surrounded by Secret Service agents when he was shot.
I guess they just needed a few armed math teachers.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) February 22, 2018
And by dumb, I mean “supremely dumb”:
Teachers are supposed to bring guns to school? Fine. But you know within a year, they’re going to make us buy our own ammo and clips. I get chewed out for smuggling a pack of printer paper and two ballpoint pens, and you think they’re gonna cover armor piercing bullets? #MAGA
— Ronnie Cottonpants (@iamwilliedavis) February 22, 2018
Realignment and Legitimacy
“Voters upset after discovering they were removed from voter rolls” [Green Bay Press-Gazette]. “Dozens of active Green Bay area voters went to cast their ballot in Tuesday’s primary election only to find they had been removed from voter rolls. Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney attributed many problems voters experienced on Tuesday to a multistate electronic tracking system the state started using in 2016 to update its statewide voter rolls. He said the system sent postcards in November to close to 400,000 voters the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, identified as people who moved and would need to either confirm their details or register with updated information.” So, caging works!
Leading Indicators, January 2018: “The index of leading economic indicators points to robust economic growth ahead, accelerating in January” [Econoday]. “Contributing most to the unexpectedly large gain in January were building permits, stock prices and once again ISM’s new orders index, . Steady contributions continue to come from average initial claims, consumer expectations, the interest rate spread and the report’s credit index.” I think Econoday means to write “where, unusually, strength” as opposed to “where unusual strength.” What they did write makes no sense. But: “Because of the significant backward revisions, I do not trust this index” [Econintersect].
Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index, February 2018: “Manufacturing activity in the Kansas City Fed’s district posted very solid growth in February” [Econoday]. “production component of the index rose 5 points to 21, as factory activity increased particularly for the production of metals, machinery, and plastics.” And: “Kansas City Fed manufacturing has been one of the more stable districts and their index improved. Key internals remain strong” [Econintersect]. And: “So far all of the regional Fed surveys have been solid in February, and most have been above the January levels (most indexes suggest faster growth in February than in January)” [Econoday].
Jobless Claims, week of February 17, 2018: “Initial jobless claims continue to post very favorable readings that remain near historical lows” [Econoday].
Five Horsemen: “Apple and Facebook, the pokiest performers of the Fab Five, have beaten the S&P 500 index by nearly 7 percentage points over the past ten months” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 18 Extreme Fear (previous close: 17, Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 11 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Feb 20 at 7:00pm. Now only lagged by two days. Not helping with the fear, dudes!
One of the best corporate logos ever:
Yes, but with what? A question raised by an extraordinary find by Nippersmom: Sherwin-Williams Learning Center, with their ColorMix Forecast for 2018. The video, as a source for continuing education credits for designers, requires registeration, but the “course description” is available:
This course will take the participant on a visual journey with stimulating imagery, factual statistics and perceptive research that supports the 2018 forecast for color and design trends. We will explore the drivers influencing future color and design trends that include global, technological, historic, psychological and economic factors with specific information on the three dominant color stories: Sincerity, Connectivity and Unity.
Hoo boy. Nippersmom registered, and reports:
It purports to be about new/trending color palettes for 2018, and introduces their three collections: “Sincerity”, “Connectivity”, and “Unity”. As may not be surprising from the collection names, the intro sounds like it was written by a political spin doctor. It only gets worse. “Sincerity” fails to see the irony in pushing mass-manufactured items purposely deigned with flaws to make them appear hand-crafted, or in promoting tech solutions to technology overload (as opposed to just going out into nature, turning off technology oneself, etc.). “Connectivity”, under the auspices of a design color update, promotes robotic assistance and hails data-mining as a positive feature, as well as containing this gem: Having grown up with technology, Generation Z has the attitude that there is “no question that can’t be unanswered.” In “Unity”, we are treated to a discussion “everyday nomads” in which it is explained that with easy, 40-minute flights to places like Berlin, Paris is no longer the gateway merely just to France, but all of Europe. After all, “anyone can adopt this multicultural approach”, because anyone (who matters) can afford airfare to and around Europe.
I like “factual statistics” in the course description. Because who doesn’t?
Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (CC):
CC: “Freezing fog came in early this morning followed by a light freezing drizzle which coated everything in a crystalline white by early afternoon.
Thanks so much for the water cooler. Its absence makes the weekends long, and its return makes Mondays all the more bearable.”
[lambert blushes modestly]. This photo makes even February bearable. Well, perhaps I exaggerate….
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