By Lambert Strether of Corrente More on politics shortly. –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 Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart: And here is (are) the latest poll(s) as of 9/20/2019, 12:00 PM EDT: Biden still sagging, Sanders hacks away at Warren’s small lead. (If you squint your eyes so the big sample shares dominate, the trends are visible: Biden’s slow deflation, Sanders’ consistency, and Warren’s rise to parity with Sanders. You will also note that the narrative that there are only two top contenders (Silver; Cillizza)
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By Lambert Strether of Corrente
More on politics shortly. –lambert UPDATE All done!
“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
Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart:
And here is (are) the latest poll(s) as of 9/20/2019, 12:00 PM EDT:
Biden still sagging, Sanders hacks away at Warren’s small lead. (If you squint your eyes so the big sample shares dominate, the trends are visible: Biden’s slow deflation, Sanders’ consistency, and Warren’s rise to parity with Sanders. You will also note that the narrative that there are only two top contenders (Silver; Cillizza) arose after the last large sampling on September 7. Since then, volatility has been great, but sample sizes small. And the polling detail:
I think dk has started a really neat project, and in the near future we’ll seek your feedback (within reason) for the tool “live.”
UPDATE 2019-08-30: Now the polls aggregated (all available) are shown at the bottom of the poll. We also give more detail about each poll than RCP, and allow candidates to be selected or deselected. That’s three reasons what dk is doing beats RCP, and if we can make the individual polls selectable/highlightable, that will be four reasons. With more to come, grid willing.
Biden (D)(1): Nice staircase:
Joe Biden is in Chicago today for three fundraisers. The first was in the home of casino magnate Neil Bluhm, co-hosted by Michael Sacks and Elzie Higginbottom. Biden said the "first thing" he'd do if elected is re-join the Paris climate accord – and push to fight global warming. pic.twitter.com/khTN2aGUqb
— Tina Sfondeles (@TinaSfon) September 19, 2019
Biden (D)(2): Dad jokes:
At Joe Biden’s third fundraiser tonight in Chicago, he addressed the criticism from some of his younger competitors that he’s been around too long and should “pass the torch.” His response: “The reason I’m not passing the torch is because I don’t want them to burn their hands.”
— Tyler Pager (@tylerpager) September 20, 2019
Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie Sanders hits 1 million donors” [Politico]. “Sanders’ team said more than 99 percent of his donors can contribute again because they have not yet given the maximum allowable donation. The campaign also said that 125,000-plus people are giving recurring monthly contributions to Sanders.” • Clearly the Sanders campaign is failing and he should drop out immediately.
Sanders (D)(2): Money, money, money:
here’s bernie talking about growing up in brooklyn, living paycheck to paycheck. pic.twitter.com/iv6CCHu45I
— mike casca (@cascamike) September 20, 2019
Sanders (D)(3): “Sanders searches for answers amid Warren steamroller” [The Hill]. “The news media and pundits appear eager to cast the race for the nomination as a two-person contest between Biden and Warren.” • Oddly. Or not.
Sanders (D)(4): A lot of work to do:
One time I met a modest millionaire at a bar, he liked Bernie's reforms but added, "I don't want people eligible for his benefits if they're fixed income retirees who contribute nothing to society", I said "you start out okay enough, but then you have to add something like that"
— Yusuf: "Tweets aren't enough, get out and protest" (@yusufsaysbernie) September 19, 2019
Sanders (D)(5): “Manufacturing Consent — How Democratic operatives are undermining Bernie Sanders 2020 candidacy” [Ashok Koyi]. • A deep dive into “Focus on Rural America.”
Sanders (D)(6)(IA): “Iowa Democrats propose ‘satellite’ caucus system to replace virtual caucuses in 2020” [Des Moines Register]. “The Iowa Democratic Party is proposing using an expanded ‘satellite’ caucusing system in 2020 in place of the now-rejected virtual caucuses it had spent months developing…. Groups of people who “demonstrated a clear need” were able to petition the party to add nontraditional caucus locations — places like nursing homes, community centers or work sites, where residents might not be able to easily travel outside the facility to caucus.” • Um, who organizes the “non-traditional caucus locations”?
Trump (R)(1): “Trump Shows Off His Own Circle of Hell” [McSweeney’s]. “I’m the first guy to get a whole circle, it’s terrific. They evicted the Kennedys to put it in.”
Warren (D)(1): “Frederick Douglass photos smashed stereotypes. Could Elizabeth Warren selfies do the same?” [WaPo]. • This headline is peak something-or-other, for sure.
Warren (D)(2): “How Elizabeth Warren Got A Big Progressive Endorsement — And Why It Matters” [HuffPo]. “[56 delegates on the WFP’s national committee] weighted to make up half of the total endorsement vote. An estimated 10,000 of WFP’s dues-paying members and other progressive activists who participated in the online ballot made up the other half.” • In other words, the WFP adopted a superdelegates voting structure; the premise is that the executives of 56 NGOs somehow “represent” their members. Unfortunately, WFP refused to release the tallies, so it’s unknown whether the superdelegates and WFP’s actual, dues-paying members were at odd. So this looks an awful lot like standard Democrat politicking, does it not? Rather than release the tallies, what we get from WFP leadership is–
Warren (D)(3): “Working Families Party Staffers Face Harassment After Warren Endorsement” [Time]. • Oddly, or not, the receipts for “harrassment’ come down to two tweets–
So the only Twitter accounts that have been found to be calling any WFP leadership "Uncle Tom" or a "slave" appears to be a from a native American (former) and a black man (latter). This is what the WFP is calling "white left terror".
— Matzo Man ? (@NeeNeinNyetNo) September 20, 2019
Subtweeting Time and the WFP:
i just want to say, i expect my followers to be decent and kind at all times online. i actually have sole custody of all 117,178 of them
— pumpkin spice liz bruenig (@ebruenig) September 20, 2019
Warren (D)(4): “A Letter from our Movement to Our Movement” [Alicia Garza, Medium]. • Pointing out the the WFP voting process was superdelegate-driven is, apparently, racist. And so it goes. NOTE IMNSHO, Sanders campaign had made two mistakes here: (1) This vote should never have blindsided them. (2) Going into a defensive crouch when liberal Democrat NGOs place the race card (see Adolph Reed here) is not going to work. The Sanders campaign made a good-faith effort to create a far more diverse staff, succeeded, and has ended up with a far more diverse coalition than, say, the Warren campaign. That’s because Sanders is genuinely appealing to the working class, which is diverse by definition, as opposed to Warren’s appeal to professionals, which is not diverse, again by definition (“check your privilege”). While these efforts were justified in and of themselves, they obviously weren’t going to have any effect with liberal Democrats, who were and are going to do what they do, good faith efforts by others or not. Now, what the Sanders campaign should do, instead of going into a defensive crouch, I don’t know. But they’ve got to figure it out, because otherwise it’s going to be nothing but the race card from now ’til election day.
* * *
“The 2020 Electoral College: Our First Look” [Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball]. “Our initial Electoral College ratings reflect a 2020 presidential election that starts as a Toss-up.” • A splash of cold water:
“To Avoid Repeat of 2016 Disenfranchisement, Sanders Urges Gov. Cuomo to Sign Bill That Would Extend NY Voter Registration Deadline” [Common Dreams]. “In a letter to Jim Roosevelt and Lorraine Miller, co-chairs of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said the DNC should pressure Cuomo to “expeditiously” sign legislation that would extend the state’s party registration deadline to Feb. 14. ‘In 2016, countless voters across the state of New York were disenfranchised by the state’s arcane and inexcusable early party affiliation deadline—countless voters whose first attempt to engage with the Democratic Party saw them turned away,’ Shakir wrote. ‘There is no excuse for letting this legislation languish for three months when the current party affiliation deadline is fast approaching.’ Shakir said the DNC must ‘consider appropriate sanctions’ if Cuomo fails to sign the bill before Oct. 11, which would prevent the changes from taking effect for the 2020 primary. Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, said the governor intends to sign the legislation…. Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Cuomo, wrote on Twitter in response to the Sanders campaign’s letter that the governor plans to sign the bill ‘before the October 11 deadline.'” • Which is great. So why isn’t the legislation already on Cuomo’s desk?
“Key Senate panel approves $250 million for election security” [Associated Press]. “The committee approved the money on a bipartisan voice vote. The panel’s top Democrat, Patrick Leahy, said “funding election security grants is a matter of national security.” The House approved $600 million earlier this year, though there is considerable money left in the pipeline from earlier appropriations. Democrat Chris Coons said the funding would help states invest in updated voting systems and combat cyberattacks from foreign actors such as Russia, whose widespread efforts on behalf of President Donald Trump’s campaign were documented by special counsel Robert Mueller.” • The bipartisan effort to suppress “hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public” continues. Digital = hackable. These systems should not be “upgraded.” They should be eliminated!
Realignment and Legitimacy
“Let’s Play the World’s Smallest Violin for the Pod Save America Boys” [Splinter News]. “On Wednesday, New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo wrote a column on some of the biggest failures of the Obama administration, which Manjoo concludes were due to the administration’s reliance on neoliberal solutions to problems that required Roosevelt-level government intervention.” And:
We have to go back to Pfeiffer for the most incredibly tonedeaf line, however:
My burden in life is that every few months someone all of a sudden becomes an expert on Senate politics circa 2009 and fires off a scorching hot take
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) September 18, 2019
Really? That’s your burden? Because it pales in comparison to the burden tens of millions of people, including some in my own family, face by navigating the world without health insurance. It pales in comparison to all of the people who needlessly lost their homes or went into crushing debt to keep them due to the administration’s pisspoor handling of the housing crisis. It pales in comparison to the burden faced by undocumented people, who were terrorized by ICE well before Donald Trump took office. It pales in comparison to the burden faced by workers—those who want to join a union but are forced to jump through hoops to do so because card check wasn’t deemed enough of priority to publicly pressure the Blue Dogs, and those who are fighting tooth and nail for a higher minimum wage that’s woefully inadequate at this point.
Those are real burdens, Dan. Getting mad online because someone’s criticizing how your old boss—then the most powerful man in the world—handled these problems? Not so much.
Nice use of anaphora!
“In New York, the Far Left Is Targeting a Close Ally” [New York Times]. •˜DSA v. the Communications Workers of America, the Hotel Trades Council, etc. (DSA memo here). Can any New York readers comment?
Today is a quadruple witching day, but there are no official statistics of note.
Shipping: “Amazon.com Inc. is taking a major step toward electrifying its still-growing logistics network. The e-commerce giant says it is ordering 100,000 electric delivery trucks…. as part of a plan to make the company carbon neutral by 2040” [Wall Street Journal]. “The mega-order from Michigan-based startup Rivian Automotive comes as Amazon faces criticism over its environmental impact, including a walkout by a threatened walkout by some of its own employees to press the company to take action on climate change issues. The environmental impact of e-commerce has become a growing concern, and United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. have been rolling out their own electric vehicles in selected operations.” • Love the Amazon color scheme for its vans; the dark grey reminds me of a cop’s van.
Shipping: “Shipbuilders may get a boost from the burgeoning petrochemical trade. A surge in demand for ethane in industrial operations could drive orders for up to 40 very large gas carriers in the next 12 months… with much of the business likely to go to South Korean shipyards” [Wall Street Journal]. “The American Bureau of Shipping’s Aditya Aggarwal told a conference in Houston that U.S. exports of the gas are soaring as the price of by-product of shale production declines. Global trade in the gas has grown to eight million metric tons annually, and several production sites are due to go online in the next couple of years as U.S. exporters strike more deals in Asia and South America.”
The Bezzle: “Curve’s cloudy crowdfunding” [Financial Times]. “Curve is a banking app that allows you to collate all of your bank cards onto one smart card. Think a wallet which is not a wallet, but is also kept in your wallet…. In aid of its grand plans for bank account unification, Curve raised £43m in Series B funding from names such as Gauss Ventures, Oxford Capital and Connect Ventures… So it was surprising that in August, Curve decided to return to the capital markets. But this time, it wasn’t institutional investors committing cash. But retail punters. The story may just sound to you like one of a buzzy product with ardent followers, but the Curve crowdfunding does feel exceptional for one particular reason: disclosure. Curve’s investment deck for the raise was pretty opaque. The 31 page document, which was shared with FT Alphaville, did not contain one set of financial metrics relating to the company. Indeed, the “financials” page of the document consisted of a title page, and one slide outlining how it proposed to make money. There was no discussion of the sort of metrics an investor might want to know, such as customer churn, cash flow, margins or management’s preferred key performance indicators.” • What could go wrong?
The Bezzle: “WeWork and the Great Unicorn Delusion” [The Atlantic]. “The office-space company WeWork announced that it was postponing its initial public offering this week, a reaction to a sharp decline in its reported valuation from $47 billion a few weeks ago to less than $20 billion today. In many ways, the company’s four-week tailspin has been a one-of-a-kind spectacle. Documents filed in anticipation of its public offering revealed a pattern of behavior from its founder and chief executive, Adam Neumann, that fits somewhere on the spectrum between highly eccentric and vaguely Caligulan. In one lurid example, Neumann insisted that WeWork change its name to the We Company, a title he had already trademarked, thus allowing him to charge his own company nearly $6 million for the shotgun rechristening. But in at least one way, WeWork (as I will insist on calling it) is utterly familiar, even emblematic of this new age of unicorns: The company is bleeding unseemly amounts of money. WeWork is on pace to lose well in excess of $1 billion this year. Like so many buzzy start-ups in the consumer-tech division, the firm is popular, growing quickly, and deeply in the red.” • A reader threw a factoid over the transom: Elizabeth Holmes’ father was a Vice President at Enron. So one can only wonder what Travis Kalanick’s children will end up doing…
The Bezzle: “Oracle Founder Larry Ellison Calls Uber and WeWork ‘Almost Worthless'” [Barron’s]. “[Larry] Ellison asserted that while he is close friends with Softbank’s Masayoshi Son, he doesn’t see the investment case for either WeWork or Uber, both large holdings in Softbank’s Vision Fund. He declared both the companies ‘almost worthless.’…. Ellison argued that while Uber raises capital to spend on gaining market share from rival Lyft (LYFT), the business they secure doesn’t necessarily stay with the company. He pointed out that Uber doesn’t own its cars and doesn’t control their drivers. And he declared that ‘they have an app my cat could have written.’ Ellison said losing money to gain market share is ‘idiotic’ if customers won’t stay with the firm. ‘They have nothing,’ he said. ‘No technology. And no loyalty.’ He mocked WeWork’s assertion that it is a technology company. ‘WeWork rents a building from me, and breaks it up, and then rents it,’ Ellison said. ‘They say, ‘We’re a technology company, and we want a tech multiple.’ It’s bizarre.’ Ellison, who sits on the board of Tesla (TSLA), and considers Elon Musk a close friend, also asserted that Tesla could roll out a ride-sharing service with autonomously driven cars at prices two-thirds below what Uber charges, while also ensuring people get to their destinations safely.” • “Up to a point, Lord Copper.” You were doing fine, there, Larry…
The Bezzle: “Airbnb announces it plans to go public in 2020” [CNN]. “Uber and Lyft are each trading well below their IPO prices. Slack (WORK)’s stock took a beating after its first earnings report as a public company earlier this month. And WeWork is struggling just to make it across the IPO finish line. And yet Airbnb, one of the most highly valued tech startups around, wants the world to know it still intends to go public despite all the red flags from its peers — just not this year….. For its part, Airbnb says it was profitable in 2017 and 2018, excluding some expenses. Since its founding in 2008, Airbnb has slowly evolved from a home-sharing site into more of a full-service travel company.” • Regulatory arbitrage pays off big!
Mr. Market: “The repo markets mystery reminds us that we are flying blind” [Financial Times]. “[T]he fact that a ‘temporary’ cash squeeze created so much drama shows that neither the Fed nor investors completely understand how the cogs of the modern financial machine mesh. … A decade of extraordinary monetary policy experiments has left the system badly distorted. Thus the Fed is now like a pilot flying a plane with an engine that has been stealthily remodelled. Neither the passengers nor the pilot knows how the engine’s shifting cogs might affect the controls during a wave of turbulence, because there is little historical precedent…. But the bigger point that investors need to understand is this: the more that QE (and its partial reversal) reshapes global finance, the greater the risk that the cogs in the machine unexpectedly misfire. That is no reason to panic. But central bank pilots — like investors — are learning on the job. Better hope they stay completely alert.” • And let’s also hope “the machine” isn’t running MCAS.
The Fed: “Tracking the Labor Market with ‘Big Data'” [Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System]. “Payroll employment growth is one of the most reliable business cycle indicators. Each postwar recession in the United States has been characterized by a year-on-year drop in payroll employment as measured by the BLS Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, and, outside of these recessionary declines, the year-on-year payroll employment growth has always been positive. Thus, it is not surprising that policymakers, financial markets, and the general public pay a great deal of attention to the CES payroll employment gains reported at the beginning of each month. However, while the CES survey is one of the most carefully conducted measures of labor market activity and uses an extremely large sample, it is still subject to significant sampling error and nonsampling errors.1 For example, when the BLS first reported that private nonfarm payroll gains were 148,000 in July 2019, the associated 90 percent confidence interval was +/- 100,000 due to sampling error alone…. [C]omplementary data from private payroll providers can lead to more accurate, timely, and detailed information on the labor market. One such source of alternative labor market data is the payroll-processing company ADP, which covers 20 percent of the private workforce. ” • I dunno. I don’t like the timing. Isn’t rejiggering the numbers a bad sign?
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 61 Greed (previous close: 63, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 68 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 20 at 12:27pm. Note that the index is not always updated daily, sadly.
“The Worst Environmentalists in the World” [Jacobin]. “The LCV’s New York affiliate, however, one of its most important, especially at a time of so much potential progress on climate issues, should be reviled and shunned by even the most half-assed environmentalists. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of capital and demonstrably more dedicated to protecting the interests of the fossil fuel industry and the 1 percent than those of the planet. Two board members of the New York LCV work as lobbyists for the Williams Companies, the Tulsa-based energy company trying to gain approval for a pipeline off the Rockaways, reports LittleSis, a publication of the nonprofit world watchdog Public Accountability Initiative that has been researching LCV.”
“A brief introduction to climate change and sea-level rise” [Yale Climate Connections]. “So how much have the world’s oceans risen? On average, sea levels have gone up more than eight inches since 1880 – and three of those inches have been over just the past 25 years, which suggests that the globe’s seas are rising faster in this century than they did in the last.” Good explainer on ocean rise.
“Something strange is happening to Greenland’s ice sheet” [National Geographic]. “‘Ice slabs’—solid planks of ice that can span hundreds of square miles and grow to be 50 feet thick—are spreading across the porous, air pocket-filled surface of the Greenland ice sheet as it melts and refreezes more often. From 2001 to 2014, the slabs expanded in area by about 25,000 square miles, forming an impermeable barrier the size of West Virginia that prevents meltwater from trickling down through the ice. Instead, the meltwater becomes runoff that flows overland, eventually making its way out to sea. As the ice slabs continue to spread, the study’s authors predict more and more of Greenland’s surface will become a ‘runoff zone,’ boosting the ice sheet’s contribution to global sea level rise and, perhaps, causing unexpected changes.”
“The Climate Hunters” [Reuters]. “But methane, another carbon-based compound, is emerging as a wild card in the climate-change equation. If CO2 has a warming effect akin to wrapping the planet in a sheet, the less-understood methane is more like a wool blanket. Emitted from sources such as thawing permafrost, tropical wetlands, livestock, landfills and the spidery exoskeleton of oil and gas infrastructure girdling the planet, methane has been responsible for about a quarter of manmade global warming thus far, some models calculate.”
This is gorgeous.
The people are declaring a rolling emergency, all around the world.
— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) September 20, 2019
Bigger crowds than the marches against Iraq, for sure.MR SUBLIMINAL Kicking a puppy. As one does
“Here’s why the Amazon climate walkout is a big deal” [Recode]. “On Friday, over 1,500 Amazon workers plan to walk out of work to protest their company’s environmental impact. It will be the first time in Amazon’s 25-year history that its corporate employees have participated in a walkout demonstration. Employees are calling on Amazon to reduce its carbon footprint as part of a larger, youth-led global climate strike that has planned hundreds of events around the world.”
Black Injustice Tipping Point
“Black Panther Fred Hampton Created a “Rainbow Coalition” to Support Poor Americans” [Teen Vogue]. Lest we forget:
At about 4:45 a.m., the Cook County police department burst into the Panther headquarters. They shot 18-year-old Mark Clark, who was on security detail, in the chest, killing him instantly. They sprayed close to 100 rounds as they swept through the apartment, heading for Hampton’s room, where he was sleeping with his pregnant fiancée. His fiancée and another man heard the gunshots and tried to wake Hampton up, but they couldn’t. The police charged into Hampton’s room, dragging his fiancée and the other man out.
“He’s still alive,” they overheard an officer say. They said they heard two shots, and a second officer said, “He’s good and dead now.” They’d shot Hampton point blank in the head.
Years later, it was revealed that Hampton’s bodyguard, William O’Neal secretly worked for the FBI. He’d been coerced into becoming an informant in exchange for getting criminal charges dropped. O’Neal had given the cops a map of the apartment that helped them locate Hampton in the predawn raid. It’s long been suspected, but not confirmed, that O’Neal had also drugged Hampton ahead of the raid. Years later, O’Neal killed himself.
Hampton’s killing was part of the FBI’s secret COINTELPRO program. COINTELPRO targeted members of the Black Panther party and other leftist groups in the 1960s and early 1970s, surveilling and infiltrating them to sow discord.
Pretty amazing to see this in Teen Vogue.
“As line speeds increase, meatpacking workers are in ever more danger” [USA Today]. “One meatpacking worker I interviewed cried telling me how an industrial bag sealer seared away the flesh from her fingers. Another got emotional telling me about her supervisor’s constant screaming and the stress of keeping up. One told me that when she is on the line trimming chicken wings, she is terrified of breaking the cardinal rule that workers from meat and poultry slaughtering and processing plants across the United States shared with me: Don’t stop the line.” • Not sure what W. Edwards Deming would think of a production line run on principles the exact opposite of the Andon System, but you’ll soon be eating the outcome of that philosophy.
“Uber and Lyft Drivers Gain Labor Clout, With Help From an App” [New York Times]. “”From the beginning, they’ve been the voice of ride-share drivers not just in California but nationwide,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the bill’s author, said of Rideshare Drivers United. “Any union that wants to be the voice of ride-share drivers has to be inclusive of that group and others.” Rideshare Drivers United is not a household name within the labor movement, or even a legally recognized union, and it represents only a fraction of drivers in California. But its growing clout challenges the notion that highly dispersed workers are nearly impossible to organize absent a deal with their employer or the state, which can come with strings attached. While frustrated drivers have often formed loose associations using Facebook or even home-brewed technology, Rideshare Drivers United appears to have outpaced its predecessors by deploying an app that enables organizers to contact drivers as seamlessly as if they shared a water cooler.” • Important!
“Student loan crisis, not Mideast wars, helped Army leaders exceed recruiting goals this year” [Military Times]. “‘One of the national crises right now is student loans, so $31,000 is [about] the average,’ Muth said. ‘You can get out [of the Army] after four years, 100 percent paid for state college anywhere in the United States.’ A significant part of the recruiting push has been showing that the Army serves as a pathway to America’s middle class, with several service leaders noting that their children used GI Bill benefits and ROTC scholarships.” • Everything’s going according to plan.
“Serious crime has doubled on Chicago’s ‘L’ system, despite the CTA adding thousands of security cameras” [Chicago Tribune]. “Reports of serious crimes on the CTA rail system have doubled since 2015 even as ridership declined and such crimes rose only slightly citywide, according to a Tribune analysis of Chicago police data. At the same time, the arrest rate for these “L”-related crimes has dropped, suggesting that even as CTA’s rail system has become more dangerous, there is less chance the perpetrators will be held accountable. The troubling trends have occurred despite the CTA installing tens of thousands of security cameras that city officials have credited in the past for reducing crime on public transportation.” • So we totally need more cameras, right?
News of the Wired
“Mapping ‘woman’ in the Oxford Dictionary of English and Oxford Thesaurus of English” [Oxford English Dictionaries]. “These texts are based on the methodologies of descriptive, corpus-based lexicography, meaning that editors analyse large quantities of evidence from real-life use to determine the meanings of words. If there is evidence of an offensive or derogatory word or meaning being widely used in English, it will not be excluded from the dictionary solely on the grounds that it is offensive or derogatory. Nonetheless, part of the descriptive process is to make a word’s offensive status clear in the dictionary’s treatment. For instance, the phrase the little woman is defined as ‘a condescending way of referring to one’s wife’, and the use of ‘bit’ as a synonym for woman is labelled as ‘derogatory’ in the thesaurus. Sensibilities regarding language are constantly changing, and our editorial team is always grateful for feedback to ensure that the status of offensive or denigrating terms is clear to our readers.” • It’s easy to sign on online petition. It’s not so easy to change the corpus by sending in examples of words whose offensive status needs to be made clear. but that might be a more effective way to get the text of the OED to change.
I don’t know:
Teaser: whose palette? pic.twitter.com/Ts9p7eIMkl
— Peter Paul Rubens (@PP_Rubens) September 19, 2019
But there are nice neighborhoods on the Twitter, and I get a lot of pleasure out of art bots.
This is how cookie cutters are made pic.twitter.com/Ok53d9cQJe
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) September 15, 2019
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 (Stephen V):
Stephen V. writes: “Tomato hornworm caterpillar. We’re hoping for a sphinx moth!” I suppose this caterpillar could be said to be plant-adjacent; looks like somebody’s been chewing on those stems!
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