/2:00PM Water Cooler 7/1/2019

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/1/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, as I warned Friday, timing for Water Cooler will be a little bit sketchy until after July 4. Today I am starting an hour-and-a-half late, and will finish late, too. –lambert


“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 Democratic Presidential Nomination” [RealClearPolitics] (average of five polls). As of July 1: Biden down at 31.5% (32.0%) and Sanders still rising at 17.2% (16.9%), Buttigieg down 6.0% (6.6%), Harris flat at 7.8% (7.8%), others Brownian motion. Of course, it’s absurd to track minute fluctuations at this point. The debates do not seem to have affected any candidate much, though I would wait ’til the end of the week to be sure. Remember, it always takes a few days for the press to congeal the storyline.

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” The Democratic Primary’s Moving Margins” [The New Yorker]. “For example, all the Democratic candidates want to build on the promise of Obamacare—part of the Party’s valuable focus on inequality. Only four raised their hands when asked if they would abolish private health insurance, and yet three of those are among the top four contenders in the polls: Sanders, Warren, and Harris. (Harris, the next day, clarified that the plan she supported allowed some exceptions to the prohibition on private insurance.)” • “Clarified” is doing a lot of work there. What Harris said is that she didn’t understand the question, which seems implausible in a prosecutor.


Harris (D)(1): “Kamala Harris’ Big-Law Husband: Fact Sheet” [National Law Journal]. “Douglas Emhoff is a partner at DLA Piper in Los Angeles, California. The firm’s website explains that his practice involves complex business, real estate and intellectual property litigation disputes. DLA Piper describes Emhoff’s clients as ‘large domestic and international corporations and some of today’s highest profile individuals and influencers.’…. [Emhoff and Harris] posted adjusted gross joint income of $1.9 million last year, and reported that they gave an average of 1% to 3% to charity each year…. Speaking of Harris’ competitors, Emhoff is not the only attorney in the running to be First Gentleman depending on the outcome of the 2020 Democratic primary and 2020 presidential election. Warren’s husband is Bruce Mann, a Harvard Law professor. Klobuchar’s husband is John Bessler, an of counsel at the Minnesota boutique Berens & Miller.” • Credentialed professionals all….

“Can the Democrats Win Back Farm Country?” [Modern Farmer]. “In June, a detailed analysis of voter demographics from the 2018 midterms yielded an unexpected revelation: Democrats lost voters in suburban areas but made significant gains in rural areas. This does not translate to the flipping of more than a few rural congressional seats, but it does add fuel to the hypothesis that Trump’s rural base may, indeed, be eroding…. Another recent analysis found that Democrats essentially have to win back more rural voters to win the White House in 2020. Thanks to years of Republican-friendly gerrymandering, there are simply not enough urban and suburban voters who reliably vote for Democratic candidates to swing the electoral map in their favor….. If Scholten’s campaign had a secret to success, it’s that he spent a lot of time listening to, learning from and dealing with voters on their terms rather than showing up with fancy-sounding solutions that reeked of coastal elitism.” • Stoller was an early Scholten supporter, and he has an eye for such things.

Stats Watch

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Volcanoes. “Several volcanoes have erupted in the past week” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 182. Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.

The Biosphere

“Aviation’s dirty secret: Airplane contrails are a surprisingly potent cause of global warming” [Science]. “The aviation industry has long been criticized for its large environmental footprint, particularly its climate-warming carbon emissions. But a new study suggests that another byproduct of airplanes—the white contrails they paint across the sky—has an even bigger warming effect, one that is set to triple by 2050…. Andrew Gettelman, a cloud physicist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, says contrail cirrus clouds are a complex problem, but that their warming effect is still small compared with the overall amounts of CO2 belched by society. “If all we had were contrails, there wouldn’t be global warming.’x But, he adds, it’s still important for the aviation industry to understand the science and “get their impact right.’”

News of the Wired

“Sacred Heart Strawberry Brownie Treat” [Catholic Cuisine (DG)]. “The crown of thorns was made with melted chocolate chips.” • Oh.

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi 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 (eg):


One of the more pleasant things about walking down the main street just now is the scent of lilacs, and many other flowers. Not what one thinks of as typical of Maine!

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