2:00PM Water Cooler 2/3/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

TTP/TTIP/TiSA

“Economists Sharply Split Over Trade Deal Effects” [New York Times]. A summary of the various studies that you, readers, have seen emerge here over the last few weeks. Good to see the Times covering it, however.

“It would be foolish for the Australian Parliament to rush to approve implementing legislation before the US Congress has done so, as it may then face demands for further concessions” [The Age].

” Trans-Pacific Partnership Being Sold With Bogus Economic Models” [HuffPo]. Massive takedown of trade wonkery. “The above assumptions are understandable, as devices to simplify models enough to make them teachable to undergraduates. They are, however, somewhere between profoundly controversial in their own right and flatly empirically false.” Well worth a read.

2016

Policy

“Never, ever…”


Money

“Clinton’s move last year to lock in fundraising alliances with 33 state Democratic parties has already added $26.9 million to the mountain of hard money she has raised so far” [Bloomberg]. “At least 24 donors have given $300,000 or more to the fundraising vehicle, known as the Hillary Victory Fund… Under the agreements, the first $2,700 of a contribution goes straight to Clinton’s campaign, the next $33,400 to the Democratic National Committee, and the remainder is split evenly across the 33 often cash-strapped state committees.” In other words, the DNC and the state Democratic Party organizations have a direct, financial interest in the Clinton candidacy. So if Iowa reminded you of Ohio in 2004, perhaps there’s a reason for that.

“Sanders raised $3M in 24 hours, his biggest single day yet” [The Hill].

“In the fourth quarter of 2015, Michigan Republicans received a whopping 50% of their campaign contributions from members of the DeVos family” [Electablog]. “This is the purchasing of a corporate-friendly state legislature by fewer than ten wealthy individuals from a single family.”

The Voters

“His idea is to bring the Democrats’ economic stances up to speed with the progress they’ve made on social and identity issues, and make them a genuinely economically leftist party again. This will lose them upper class and donor class votes. But so what? They’ll solidify their support among black Americans, Latinos, and women; pull a lot of new working- and lower-class whites into the party; and leave a lot of poorer Americans who currently don’t vote with the impression they’ve finally go something to vote for. Sanders’ position isn’t simply that this is the right thing to do. It’s that reliance on economic populism specifically will set up the Democrats with far more durable majorities in the future” [The Week].

“[Wisconsin’s] low-profile effort to educate voters about Wisconsin’s new voter ID requirement has critics fearing some voters will be caught off-guard when they head to the polls” [Wisconsin State Journal]. It’s almost like the whole voter ID thing is designed to suppress voters….

The Trail

Iowa: “6 things that help explain Iowa’s Republican caucus results” [Des Moines Register]. “1. The ground game is still king in Iowa.” Which accounts for Trump; turns out that marketing and politics are separate disciplines.

Iowa: “Unlike most of his opponents, Cruz has put a voter-contact specialist in charge of his operation, and it shows in nearly every aspect of the campaign he has run thus far and intends to sustain through a long primary season” [Bloomberg]. “Cruz, it should be noted, had no public position on Iowa’s fireworks law until his analysts identified sixty votes that could potentially be swayed because of it.”

Iowa: “Cruz and Rubio’s campaigns ran circles around Trump’s bare-bones operation, which gambled that Trump’s star appeal could overpower modern organizing tactics, and relied instead on big rallies, an outlandish social media presence, a flashy endorsement from Sarah Palin and a late advertising blitz to try to get supporters to the polls” [Politico].

Iowa: “Donald Trump accuses Ted Cruz of stealing Iowa — and demands a new caucus” [WaPo]. Politics ain’t beanbag; Trump would get just as much traction by accusing Cruz of wanting to turn Iowa into the eleventh Canadian province.

“Rubio is in the cage with players altogether more vicious and focused than the ones Romney ever faced. And they have money and ideological constituencies to keep them in the race. The next week will tell us a lot.” [Talking Points Memo].

* * *

Iowa: “Why the Guy Who Wore Stickers on his Cheeks at Hillary Clinton’s Speech Wore Stickers on his Cheeks” (includes hilarious GIF showing stickers) [Independent Journal]. How did he get his seat, on camera in the VIP section? “Everyone that proceeded me had a badge, and I walked in and they didn’t care.” Wow. Poor advance work.

Iowa: “I was accompanied on the canvass shift by two Slovenian journalists. ‘I come from a socialist country,’ one told me, ‘and I know Sanders is not real socialist'” [VT Digger (MR)].

Iowa: Howard Dean, and other Vermont figures, on the Sanders candidacy [VT Digger (MR)]. Very good musing, from Dean, on the difference between the Dean and Sanders campaigns.

Iowa: “However, entrance and exit polls from Iowa showed more than a ‘very small’ group of Democratic voters who want the next president to break from Obama’s agenda. Only a little more than half of the Iowa Democratic voters surveyed told pollsters the next president should “generally continue Barack Obama’s policies” — in a state that he won in both of his national campaigns. A third of Democrats said the next president should “change to more liberal policies” and another 7 percent said the next president should “change to less liberal policies” [Los Angeles Times].

“Senator Bernie Sanders Campaign Rally in Keene, New Hampshire” [C-SPAN]. (There’s a transcript from uncorrected Closed Captioning, but it’s pretty poor. You have to listen! Sanders starts off with a bang!)

“Sen. Bernie Sanders will attend Thursday’s debate hosted by MSNBC, he told the hosts of “Morning Joe” on Wednesday” [Politico]. “The Sanders and Clinton camps had agreed in principle to schedule at least three additional debates beyond the DNC’s current debate schedule, but the Clinton camp demurred when Sanders wanted specific locations and times of those three added debates.” So Sanders cleaned up Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s mess on how many debates there will be, but they could still be scheduled on Superbowl Sunday, February 31, or whatever. Clinton’s so confident she has to keep gaming the debate schedule?

“UNITE HERE’s New England Joint Board (NEJB) endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for president on January 22 after the union’s executive board voted unanimously to ‘[answer] Bernie’s call for a political revolution’ [In These Times]. “The NEJB is a regional collection of 10,000 workers from 51 different UNITE HERE locals that have historically represented women and new immigrants in manufacturing, hotel and food service jobs.” (These are locals; the nationals, says the article, mostly go for Clinton.)

Chris Matthews serves up softballs to Clinton [Charles Pierce, Esquire]. Clinton: “Our politics have to work better. That’s what I know how to do, and that’s what I want to get done.”

Which is why one would think that a campaign run on small contributions would be what everybody wants to “get done,” and what the famously wonky Clinton wants to “get done.” I mean, the “How much politicians hate fundraising, because they have to spend all their time doing it” is a genre piece of Beltway journalism. But now I’m thinking that’s wrong. I’m thinking both legacy parties, Republican and Democrats, enjoy sucking up to squillionaires and servicing their needs. Because they enjoy it, they want to keep doing it. And as a result, the 1.3 million people who made small contributions (average: $27) are unpersons, both to the establishment and Clinton. They don’t figure in the narrative at all.

“Should Millennials Get Over Bernie Sanders?” [The New Yorker]. This article is everything. Here’s Corey Robin’s reaction:


“It’s about to get very real for Bernie Sanders” [WaPo]. “There’s reason to wonder whether he’ll be able to handle the pressure…. ‘Check out where all the geniuses on the editorial page were with regard to the invasion of Iraq,’ he said, among other things.” Yeah, [guffaw].

“Give a little thought to what a GOP campaign against Bernie Sanders might look like” [Vox]. “They’re going to be digging through his trash, investigating known associates, rifling through legal records.” Oh, come on. Does anybody seriously think the Clinton campaign hasn’t done this? They’d be derelict if they hadn’t.

“Eric Holder Appeals To South Carolina Voters In New Hillary Clinton Ad” [HuffPo].

Nevada

“The Democratic caucus is on Saturday, February 20th and the Republican caucus is on Tuesday, February 23rd” [News4]. “While Democrats can register to vote the day of the caucus, Republicans must do it in advance.” Anecdotes on “the ground game.”

“There’s no recent polling to indicate how support is lining up in Nevada” [Reno Gazette-Journal]. Nevada is also much more “diverse” than Iowa and New Hampshire, and does not have a large evangelical population. IIRC, Nevada was — correction, still is — a foreclosure hotspot. I wonder how much of that pain still lingers.

“Imagine how much help a President Rubio or President Cruz could be to a gubernatorial candidate in Nevada. My guess is that Adam Laxalt and Mark Hutchison already have” [Las Vegas Review-Journal]. Since “Rubio’s state chair, Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, and Cruz’s lead surrogate, Attorney General Adam Laxalt” really don’t like each other.

“The [57,000-member] Culinary Union announced in January that it wouldn’t unleash its influence on behalf of any one candidate before Nevada’s late-February caucuses.” [CBS]. Interestingly: “‘No organization in Nevada represents more Latinos or more African-Americans, and as we did in 2008 and 2012, we will turn out tens of thousands of people to vote,’ the union’s statement said” [Vegas Inc].

“Adding to the growing list of hip-hop acts making the pilgrimage to Sin City, Big Boi has announced a yearlong residency at the Wynn Las Vegas,” starting this Saturday [Los Angeles Times]. Interestingly, Big Boi is a Sanders supporter.

Reid/Clinton protege performs as expected [Buzzfeed]. (Although AFAIK Reid hasn’t endorsed.)

Astrid Silva, a prominent immigration activist whose close relationship to Nevada Sen. Harry Reid put her in the middle of the Dream Act and executive action fights, told BuzzFeed News she is endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Allowing ourselves to be swept up by appealing but ultimately empty promises is a luxury our loved ones cannot afford,” she continued. “Here in Nevada, we understand how the legislative process works, and we prefer real, tangible results over lofty goals that are impossible to reach.”

The Hill

“Speaker Paul Ryan is meeting with House Freedom Caucus members late Tuesday night as an uprising simmers in the conservative rank-and-file over government spending levels and increased deficits” [Politico]. “Freedom Caucus members Monday night overwhelmingly said they would oppose a 2017 spending plan … unless they agree to tens of billions of dollars in additional spending cuts. However, rewriting the spending plan would violate an agreement GOP leaders reached with President Barack Obama and Democrats last year as part of the omnibus budget deal.”

Stats Watch

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of January 29, 2016: “The purchase index has been posting outsized gains this year but not in the January 29 week, falling 7.0 percent. The refinance index, however, did post a gain in the week, up 0.3 percent” [Econoday]. “Low interest rates [*** cough *** manipulation *** cough ***] have triggered strong demand for mortgage applications.”

ADP Employment Report, January 2016: “ADP is calling for less strength in the January employment report, at 205,000 for private payrolls which, though far lower than December, is still 15,000 above the Econoday consensus” [Econoday]. “ADP’s private payroll tally doesn’t always accurately predict the outcome of the monthly employment report but it certainly did in December, calling for an outsized gain that proved to be correct.”

Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index, January 2016: “U.S. workers’ reports of hiring activity at their place of work remained positive in January, though they have fallen from the high point in Gallup’s eight-year trend measured last year” [Econoday].

PMI Services Index, January 2016: “Growth is respectable but slowing in the nation’s service sector” [Econoday]. “Growth in new orders, reflecting general business caution, is at a 12-month low while backlog orders are in contraction for a 6th straight month. Solid hiring, however, is part of the reason for the drawdown in backlogs though how long employment can continue to rise while new orders are weak is an open question…. Overall business confidence in the sample did rise in the month but remains close to a 3-1/2 year low…. This report hints at another quarter of subdued growth for the economy.”

ISM Non-Mfg Index, January 2016: “Monthly growth is slowing noticeably in ISM’s non-manufacturing sample” [Econoday]. “A negative in the report is narrow breadth among industries with 10 reporting composite growth in the month vs 8 reporting contraction, with the latter led by continued weakness for mining. Strength is led by both finance and real estate [*** cough *** manipulation *** cough ***] and includes construction.”

Motor Vehicle Sales, January 2016: “Unit vehicle sales slowed going into year-end but moved higher in January, to a 17.6 million annual pace vs expectations for 17.5 and against December’s 17.3 million” [Econoday]. But: “This is being spun as a positive, when all I see is a chart showing the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales peaked several months ago and is going down” [Mosler Economics].

“The transparency provisions of the U.K. Modern Slavery Act went into effect this past fall and the fashion industry needs to take notice. The legislation, which was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, requires companies to report annually on the steps that they have taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in their own business or in their supply chains” [The Fashion Law]. “And it is not just limited to companies that are headquartered in the UK. In fact, it applies to all companies, regardless of their origin, with an annual turnover above £36 million (or $51 million).”

“Wells Fargo & Co. said Wednesday that it has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle a long-running suit that accused the company of “reckless” lending and leaving a federal insurance program to pick up the tab” [Market Watch]. Another cost-of-doing-business fine.

“Bank of America’s blockchain patent push shows how bankers’ attitudes toward the technology of cryptocurrencies have changed over the last few years — from dismissing it, to sizing it up to trying to protect their interests in it” [American Banker].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 19, Extreme Fear (previous close: 24) [CNN]. One week ago: 19 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed).

Our Famously Free Press

“Reporter Fabricated Quotes, Invented Sources at The Intercept” [Gawker]. And “A Note to Readers” [The Intercept].

Corruption

“Jupiter Imaging Associates in Florida has settled allegations with the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) that it gave gift cards to 100 referring physicians, with the value of the cards based on the volume of the physician’s referrals. This is not the first time that gift cards given to referral sources have gotten a health care organization in hot water. In” [AIS Helath]. “Why, a gift card! How thoughtful!”

“”We support quite a number of PhD students – we have 50 on the go at any one time – but our retention of them is very poor,” Professor [Chris Firth, chief scientist (research and technology) at the UK arm of Thales] told a Vitae researcher conference in London on 26 January” [Times Higher Education]. “‘We are only able to keep about 10 per cent – although 25 per cent will remain in academia as our friends, so that is a result,’ he explained.”

“As budget problems continue to bear down on Chicago Public Schools, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Tuesday that the state is preparing to take over the city’s beleaguered school district” [Chicagoist]. I wonder which private equity firm is going to cash in on all the new charters?

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Black America and the Class Divide [New York Times]. “In other words, there are really two nations within Black America. The problem of income inequality, [Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson] concludes, is not between Black America and White America but between black haves and have-nots, something we don’t often discuss in public in an era dominated by a narrative of fear and failure and the claim that racism impacts 42 million people in all the same ways.”

Water

“Why Is the Postal Inspection Service Investigating the Flint Water Crisis?” [Emptywheel]. Maybe the water bills for poisoned water?

Class Warfare

“[T]he growing disconnect between the macro-level performance of the U.S. economy, which has been reasonably good, and the economy as it is lived by many Americans, which has been far from good…. is the fuel on which insurgent campaigns are built. Both Trump and Sanders, in different ways, are appealing to Americans who feel like they have been the losers.” [Foreign Affairs]. Wait for it… “The risk now, however, is that such sentiments will overwhelm sound policy.” [harrumphs, strokes chin] “Sound policy.”

“Buildings Dept. approves night construction, angering residents” [New York Post]. Gotta sell condos to hot Chinese money now now NOW!

“Goldman Sachs Says It May Be Forced to Fundamentally Question How Capitalism Is Working” [Bloomberg]. And for whom. “profit margins should naturally mean-revert and oscillate. The existence of fat margins should encourage new competitors and pricing cycles that cause those margins to erode; conversely, at the bottom of the cycle, low margins should lead to weaker players exiting the business and giving stronger companies more breathing space. If that cycle doesn’t continue, something strange is taking place.”

News of the Wired

Suicide cluster at the European Patent Office. Also, its executives enjoy diplomatic immunity [Ars Technica]. Interesting reading for patent geeks.

“Wanted: fake partner to impress family at Hong Kong Lunar New Year gatherings” [South China Morning Post].

“Stabler’s diagnosis [of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease] further suggests that no position in football, except perhaps kicker, is immune from progressive brain damage linked to hits to the head, both concussive and subconcussive” [New York Times].

“Why is Twitter’s pop-out feature such a disaster?” [Storify]. It’s awful. It’s like Jack Dorsey shorted Twitter.

* * *

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

stream1

These are stationary stones.

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

Lambert Strether has been blogging, managing online communities, and doing system administration 24/7 since 2003, in Drupal and WordPress. Besides political economy and the political scene, he blogs about rhetoric, software engineering, permaculture, history, literature, local politics, international travel, food, and fixing stuff around the house. The nom de plume “Lambert Strether” comes from Henry James’s The Ambassadors: “Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.” You can follow him on Twitter at @lambertstrether. http://www.correntewire.com

117 comments

  1. Jim Haygood

    You know it’s bad when …

    Exxon Mobil Corp., one of three U.S. companies with Standard & Poor’s highest rating, is facing its first downgrade in 86 years. [It] has been rated AAA by S&P since 1930. The oil giant was placed on credit watch with negative implications.

    In a sweeping review that also included many of the top U.S. shale drillers, Chevron Corp. had its rating cut by S&P, to AA- from AA, for the first time in almost 30 years, a day after Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s rating was reduced to the lowest since S&P began coverage in 1990. Exxon, Total SA and BP Plc may be next, the rating company said.

    The only other U.S. corporate issuers with AAA ratings aside from Exxon Mobil are Microsoft Corp. and Johnson & Johnson.

    http://tinyurl.com/j9h7ndt

    Only two (2) triple-A issuers left standing! It ain’t just Big Earl suckin’ wind. Corporate yield spreads over Treasuries (a measure of risk aversion) have climbed to their highest level since the euro crisis in mid-2012:

    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BAMLC0A0CM

    Now we know: the purblind eclownomists of the FOMC (Fubared Old Monetary Charlatans) tightened policy into a credit crunch. Even bearing in mind that they represent a bank cartel, hiking rates was contrary to their charter. The lost-puppy PhD fortune tellers don’t have a clue.

    1. Steve H

      I’ve had two type, Moderation Cue, and disintegration (though with a comment-number). The latter I haven’t had since double-clicking Reply fastest, though that may be superstition. Also

      If substring=”http”, Then Goto ModQ.

      {#showingmyage}

        1. Vatch

          A link (http, etc.) will increase the likelihood of either moderation or spam limbo, but it’s not a certainty. And even without a link, messages occasionally go into the moderation queue, or as you describe it, the scary alternative, disintegration with a comment number.

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s not disintegration, just sort of crossing in the mail. If this happens to you, hit reload within 10 seconds and you’ll likely see your comment.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Anyhow, the post was about Exxon Mobil — one of only three (3) triple-A rated companies left standing — being put on credit watch for (possibly) its first downgrading since 1930.

      Who ends up holding the bag when corporate credit corrodes and defaults rise? You guessed it: the slowest guys in the room — the TBTF banks.

      In the past month, the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 — worse even than energy — is financial services (XLFS), down a harrowing 13.18%.

      Is this any way to run a bank cartel?

  2. Carolinian

    Counterpunch’s Paul Street gets to attend an Iowa caucus. He says among the evenly divided crowd the Hillary folk looked like affluent Republicans and the young Sanders voters like people in need of a job. So perhaps the voting generation gap–discussed here yesterday–is because older people tend to be richer or more economically secure. At any rate, interesting:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/03/signs-of-a-gathering-storm-iowa-caucus-report/

    And I was going to vote for Hillary in our upcoming primary but now that Eric Holder has endorsed her that’s all off. Clearly she must be a crook.

    1. Brindle

      On the twitter I follow a woman from Brooklyn—she’s a lesbian in her early 30’s and teaches meditation. Mainly I like her random musings—on the subway etc. She just had a post directed to her female friends who support Hillary— basically she said that because she supports Sanders that she is not naive or gullible.
      Interesting to see from a non-political source some of the dynamics now at play.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        My guess is that those who voted for Hillary in Iowa still do not feel they are naive or gullible.

        It is the basic building block of democracy that the voter is always right..even those who voted for Obama in 2012.

        1. Uahsenaa

          I posted this yesterday, but it bears repeating. The people I talked to at my precinct on Monday night who caucused for Clinton didn’t strike me as naive at all, if anything they were a bit cynical. The logic, as they presented it, was that institutional forces are just to powerful to completely overthrow (re: Sanders), so the best option is to find the best candidate that the machine itself will accept. Now, I took issue with this logic, but that in itself does imply it is naive or gullible.

          1. curlydan

            Unfortunately, the Clinton supporters you mention are like Krugman and Co. and are afraid of change and can only deal with what they know.

            Other random thoughts: After listening to a few minutes of Bernie’s speech at Keene College, I realized his appeal versus other candidates. He speaks truth to power when the other candidates cannot. Clinton cannot speak against the Wal-Mart family because she was on their board of directors. She cannot speak against health insurance. She’s taken too many speaking fees from them. Same with financial providers.

            I probably should stray from calling it “truth to power.” As Bob Dylan sang, “there are no truths outside the gates of Eden.” But it is “calling bull$#!+” on the power brokers.

            To all Hillary supporters, if one more of you says I’m a dreamer and don’t realize political reality, f-you. Do I expect much of Bernie’s platform to get passed when he’s President? Hell no. You really think I’m an idiot, don’t you all? I do expect him to keep calling bull$#!+. That’s all I ask of him. P.S. That New Yorker millennial hit job on young Bernie supporters further debased a once decent rag and made me puke. /rantoff

            1. RabidGandhi

              I don’t buy that Krugman and Co. are “afraid of change and can only deal with what they know.”

              These are people with a vested interest in the neoliberal establishment (erstwhile head fakes to the contrary notwithstanding). Sanders is not an incognito: he is a known threat, that threatens a very comfortable way of life for the Acela Punditocracy. It is not fear of an unknown, rather hatred of an all too familiar threat.

              The Upton Sinclair quote about a man and his paycheck has been quoted here ad-infinitum, but it applies even to the Krugster.

            2. mk

              If elected, I expect Bernie to at least call out to the masses for support to bear pressure on the politicians working against him and not just leave us behind once he gets elected LIKE OBAMA DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. dk

            Maybe the words “complete overthrow” is a clue.

            Not sure how a $15 min. wage, or Glass-Steagall2, or Medicare4All constitutes the end of the oligarchy, it’s just a few tweaks, healthy ones, too. Sanders is not saying “make the rich poor”, although people on both sides may be hearing that. As has been observed, Sanders isn’t even a real socialist, not that there’s anything wrong with.. oh. Anyway, he isn’t one.

            Sounds like kids not wanting to get into the bathtub, tears and bawling, and later you can’t get them out.

            It kind of annoys me though, that the Sanders campaign is already veering away from refreshing pragmatism and is using “believe” in it’s slogan, which really feeds into the impracticality meme. Whose brilliant idea was that? And Sanders is saying “revolution” a lot.. does he not get that literal-minded people (across the spectrum) think that’s a synonym for “blood in the streets”?

            1. Left in Wisconsin

              And Sanders is saying “revolution” a lot.. does he not get that literal-minded people (across the spectrum) think that’s a synonym for “blood in the streets”?

              I’ve been wondering about this too. But he’s no dummy and the fact that not only does he continue to use it but it plays such a large part in his narrative suggests that he thinks it helps more than it hurts. In other words, perhaps the fact that it scares comfortable people is exactly why he uses it.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Older people with more money than young people are not necessarily more secure, as they head into their earning-less (except Social Security) years.

      Realizing they are no longer rugged individuals that they may have been when younger, their needs are different.

      1. jrs

        Yes pretty much unless they have pensions, the pension set is their own group and may tend conservative. Born on 3rd base, at a time when such benefits existed, and think they hit a triple (instead we need to improve the national pension system – that is Social Security).

        But the set living off Social Security or if they are lucky Social Security and meager 401ks will need to keep Hillary’s hands off our Social Security!

        1. Jess

          I take issue with your characterization of those who have — or had — old style pensions as being born on third base. Many a man who fought for the rights of unions during the Depression ended up with a modest pension from the UAW or the Steelworkers or some other industrial union. They were hardly born on third base and most of the ones I knew never lost the fear of poverty and going hungry or doing without that represented their early years.

          1. jo6pac

            Thanks and I know I wasn’t even near third. 40yrs of blue collar trades and a small pension for the aches and pain. SS and it allow me to live in Calif. in the same house I’ve rented for 40+ years and if the rent wasn’t as low as it is I wouldn’t be living here for sure.

            People that complain about old style pensions should fighting for them other wise it’s the New and Improve Business Plan, Uber.

            Oh as it has been pointed out here NC my pension can be taken away at any time.

            1. Left in Wisconsin

              Divide and conquer. Take away people’s pensions a few at a time. No one comes to support the losers (too busy, too fearful, not a big enough deal) and soon enough, the only people left with pensions were born on third base.

            2. Procopius

              I wasn’t born until 1937, but I felt a little of that fear of poverty. I still remember my father musing one day about when he and Mom were first married, a big weekend was splitting a bottle of beer at the kitchen table. He ended up prospering very well, but I think few people now have any idea of how traumatic that decade was, and then the War years.

    3. sleepy

      I wouldn’t use the caucuses in Iowa City as an example for much of the rest of Iowa, at least in terms of the appearance of the caucus goers as an indicator of anything. It’s the University of Iowa.

      I live in a declining blue collar Iowa town of 27,000. It lacks the sort of upscale affluent dems that the counterpunch article refers to as Hillary supporters.

      My precinct went 41-29 for Sanders. The Hillary folks didn’t look any more or less affluent than the Sanders voters, just blue jeans, coats, sweatshirts, all around, just not as young. Around here, folks who get all decked out with designer stuff are repubs. The rest of us just look like country rednecks.

      One thing I thought was funny–lots of folks in attendance could have passed for Oregon militia members if you used the MSM stereotype–cammo coats, beards, etc., but that’s just the way people here dress. That would not compute for a Chris Matthews type.

      1. jessica

        Thank you for all that detail about a place I have never been to and written with a sympathetic eye.

      2. Uahsenaa

        Paul lives in IC, so he should know better, that the parts of town the city high precinct represents are some of the most affluent. My precinct and the one south of highway 6 were where the working class people were, and they were not overwhelmingly white.

        1. Carolinian

          Hey I just thought it was interesting. Thanks for the on the scene. And kidding of course about voting for Hillary….that would be like voting for Lucifer.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Lucifer at least would be a capable and efficient administrator.

            Plus he’s up front about being evil. :-)

    4. 3.14e-9

      Re: Carolinian’s link to the CounterPunch article by Paul Street…

      I’ve noticed a sudden shift by what I call the “hard left” in their disparagement of Bernie Sanders. There is no question that it’s a result of the wave of dishonest attacks on him by mainstream media defenders of HRC. It’s almost as though the wrath of the Democratic establishment against Sanders is a seal of approval for those whose main beef has been that he’s running as a Democrat — in their minds, proof of their long-held opinion that he sold out to the establishment long ago. The big turning point seems to have been when David Brooks urged Americans to “stay sane” and vote for Hillary.

      Paul Street is one of many writers of the “Bernie the Bomber” genre that proliferated after he entered the race and who are now toning down the criticism. However, they are assuring readers they haven’t changed their minds about his “screwy” foreign policy or imperialist ambitions by including at least one link to a past article about his hawkish leanings. Eventually, I hope they will revisit those positions, too, and do some honest research, because much of the narrative they’ve bought into all those years doesn’t hold up under closer examination of the facts.

      1. lindaj

        I haven’t changed my mind. Bernie has no problem with militarism and tolerates Israel’s colonization of Palestine. Any principled socialist would be against both of these positions.

        But since he is running as a Democrat he will 1) if he wins, give us more of the same disastrous foreign policy we have now, which precludes using our resources for the things Bernie says he wants; or 2) even if he loses, he will have pulled more people (sadly, many young people it seems) into an extremely corrupt and unworkable party.

        Even without climate change, I don’t think we have time for this.

          1. EmilianoZ

            Chris Hedges on Bernie:

            “Bernie has also not confronted the military industrial complex at all,” Hedges said. “On a personal level, having spent seven years in the Middle East, I’m just not willing to forgive him for abandoning the Palestinians and giving carte blanche to Israel. He was one of 100 Senators who stood up like AIPAC wind up dolls and approved Israel’s 51-day slaughter last summer of Palestinians in Gaza — the Palestinians who have no army, no navy, artillery, mechanized units, command and control.”

            http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/15/chris-hedges-on-bernie-sanders-and-the-corporate-democrats/

            1. 3.14e-9

              This is exactly what I’m talking about. This “fact” is used to support the narrative, but Hedges got it totally wrong. Sanders in fact did NOT approve Israel’s assault on Gaza. I just wrote a detailed explanation, but it vanished into the black hole. Fortunately, I saved it, but Yves and Lambert have asked readers not to post twice, so it will have to wait for now.

  3. Vatch

    “Why Is the Postal Inspection Service Investigating the Flint Water Crisis?” [Emptywheel]. Maybe the water bills for poisoned water?

    Aside from the water bills, perhaps there’s a drinking fountain at the Flint Post Office? Maybe it’s considered bad form to poison Post Office employees?

    1. jrs

      Haha, maybe they should stop paying their water bills. Take it to court there. They didn’t provide what one is paying for, safe water.

      Maybe those in Porter Ranch or vicinity should stop paying their gas bills, although the case for fraud there is less direct, it would made good political protest.

    2. Ivy

      The Post Office may investigate if there was some mail fraud involved. Perhaps that is an angle to pursue.

  4. Massinissa

    “Our politics have to work better. That’s what I know how to do, and that’s what I want to get done.” Hillary Clinton

    This actually reminds me of an old quote from the Simpsons from 20 years ago.

    “The politics of failure have failed. We must get them working again!” Alien impersonating Bob Dole

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Our politics have to work better. That’s what I know how to do, and that’s what I want to get done.”

      One has to admire the Clintons’ art of crafting rhetoric that sounds superficially profound, but upon closer inspection is seen to consist of empty, anodyne tautologies that say nothing and commit to nothing.

    2. fresno dan

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyaJ8eR9tzw

      Kang: My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball; but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

      Kang: Abortions for all.
      [crowd boos]
      Kang: Very well, no abortions for anyone.
      [crowd boos]
      Kang: Hmm… Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.
      [crowd cheers and waves miniature flags]

      Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system. You have to vote for one of us.
      Man 1: He’s right, this is a two-party system.
      Man 2: Well I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.
      Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.

      Kent Brockman: Senator Dole, why should people vote for you?
      Kang: It does not matter which way you vote. Either way your planet is doomed. Doomed. Doomed.
      Kent Brockman: Well, a refreshing bit of candor from Senator Bob Dole.

      =======================================
      It remains the most profound statement on American governance ever stated…
      If only we had leaders of such stature now a days, who could forthrightly and directly explain the difficult choices that lie ahead, and courageously twirl us into the future….

  5. fledermaus

    “New Yorker critic: identity politics+total indifference to economic plight of her generation. Perfection.”

    With apologies to Anatole France: “The economy, in its infinite majesty, allows both black and white, man and woman, to work for subsistence wages, to buy overpriced housing, to overpay for education and to be ripped off by Wall Street banks and retire impoverished”

  6. mookie

    I like that Sanders seems to have Stephanie Kelton on his team. Does anyone know anything on her role/influence?

    1. diptherio

      I think it was “The Colonel” who appointed Stephanie to the post of “Senate economist” or something like that. Anyone back me up on that?

    2. Higgs Boson

      It’s been particularly frustrating that Sanders has not talked about functional finance and MMT when discussing how to “pay for” his proposals. Tax Wall St and billionaires is great populist rhetoric but the voting public needs some educating on how modern money and banking actually work.

      1. HotFlash

        If I were in Sen Sanders’ shoes (which I am emphatically not!!! But still…) I would not try to educate the populace wrt MMT until well after he is the Dem front-runner. It is a difficult concept.

        He is already treating the electorate as intelligent people and, you will notice, leaving us to connect the dots (although he is generous with dots, if you have noticed).

        The best argument is the one that the person you are trying to convince makes themselves.

        We will see Stephanie when the time is right.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I think the simple message is “if we have my eye for wars the American people didn’t want we have money for education which we as a society claim is important. It’s time to treat education as important.”

          One might note Russia has the highest rate of college graduates.

  7. flora

    The Iowa coin toss. Now being investigated for fraud.
    http://abcnews.com.co/dnc-involved-in-joint-investigation-into-clinton-coin-toss/

    “ABC News interviewed Liz Krupa, the 19 year old who claims to have found evidence of Clinton’s fraud.

    “Well, I was shocked a coin flip was considered a fair way to decide delegates in the case of a tie. It is 2016 after all. I saw Sanders lose the flip, and all I could think about was when I was in elementary school I used to bend coins with my teeth in order to give myself an unfair advantage over bets.” With that thought, when Liz saw the caucus worker put the coin on a table, it was her immediate reaction to grab it. “I felt bad for taking it, but I ended up getting out my phone and I recorded myself flipping it seven times before two big men noticed me. Every flip was tails.” At this point, the coin was taken back from Krupa, and the men, likely security guards, insisted that she delete the video she had taken, and then tried to confiscate her phone. When she refused, the men physically and forcibly removed her from the Desmond caucus location. “I was thinking, maybe this was just strange chance. It wasn’t until security acted forcibly towards me that I knew I needed to send the video somewhere for investigation.” ”

    Video has been impounded.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Our justice system, unfairly maybe, often discounts the testimonies of known lawbreakers.

      I hope they don’t do that to Liz, who once cheated with her coin in elementary school.

      1. lylo

        Seriously, though:
        we really should describe cheating (with coin flips in particular) as the Clinton Coin-flip.
        It’s catchy and it’s devastating, as it draws attention to this in particular but her general “good luck” that she has so well enjoyed her whole career.

        I am using this from now on, and highly recommend everyone (particularly Sander’s supporters) to do so as well.

    2. diptherio

      The DNC is involved in the investigation…so I’m sure it will be totally legit! Let’s hope that young lady kept a copy of her video.

        1. diptherio

          WTF is that site about? How has ABC not sued these guys yet? It’s not obvious satire, despite the give-away at the bottom of the page. I think someone is just trying to make money on click-bait stories by masquerading as a news organization. Not cool.

          1. grayslady

            Click-bait indeed. It’s a classic phishing technique–changing one letter in the URL. In this case, the website in question used dot co instead of the real ABC’s dot go.

          2. Optimader

            How many people have chipped teeth????
            Who could possibly bend a coin with their teeth—thats the video i want to see

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        I would guess the young lady has been whisked away by Clinton staffers to be debriefed — at an undisclosed middle east location. ;-)

        1. Skippy

          Nay the Clinton Plantation in Haiti, aka the pro sports garment nail shack….

          Skippy…. after repetitive mind numbing sowing thousands of emblems… she will conform… oh she will…

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      So, I Googled “I used to bend coins with my teeth” and found this:

      http://cbsnews.com.co/dnc-involved-joint-investigation-clinton-coin-toss-2/

      which is another fake site, “CBS News,” built on the same principle as “ABC News.”

      Random, or a serious disinformation — and very Rovian — disinformation campaign?

      NOTE: Since whoever took the video says “I used to bend coins with my teeth,” we don’t really have any evidence she didn’t bend the coin herself before filming her own flips, right?

      UPDATE On Paul Horner, who runs the sites from Snopes:

      No list of shameless misinformation would be complete without a mention of National Report (and its omnipresent former lead writer, Paul Horner), as the site is (or was) perhaps the most prominent example of its genre.

      Among National Report‘s most widespread hoaxes were claims that notorious street artist Banksy was arrested and unmasked (as Paul Horner, naturally), that a teen was imprisoned over a “swatting prank,” and that a U.S. company was hiring mercenaries to kill ISIS militants. While most of the site’s efforts have been relatively benign, their fake story about an Ebola outbreak’s prompting a quarantine in Purdon, Texas, caused headaches for local officials at the height of coverage and anxiety about the virus.

      National Report (and its “satirical” brethren) have sustained huge losses of traffic in the wake of Facebook’s algorithm changes intended to limit the reach of fake news. In response, sites have been established that spoof the domain names of legitimate news outlets such as the Washington Post and USA Today which mirror the National Report‘s content in order to more efficiently dupe readers and work around Facebook’s restrictions.

  8. James Levy

    Sound policy, hey. Sound for whom, and in what ways?

    All these people assume winners and losers. What fascinates me is that when the environment wins, or the poor win, this is dangerous and unsound. When the rich win, it’s just the natural course of things: sound policy. This is the reflexive, unquestioning logic of the people who write and read crap like Foreign Affairs.

    I’m sure, deep down, they are too well educated and experienced in the world not to have formulated some form of bedrock, unspeakable, but commonly held (among such people) justification for this prejudice (for that is what it is). Corey Robin says that it’s the defense of privilege–that all forms of conservatism are, in the end, defenses of the current distribution of wealth and power. Is that what the people reading Foreign Affairs are thinking? It would be interesting to know.

    1. diptherio

      The quote that Lambert pulled is shocking (or not) in it’s absolute imbecility. One might expect a professional writer to not contradict himself from one sentence to the next, but that’s exactly what he does:

      “[T]he growing disconnect between the macro-level performance of the U.S. economy, which has been reasonably good, and the economy as it is lived by many Americans, which has been far from good…. is the fuel on which insurgent campaigns are built. Both Trump and Sanders, in different ways, are appealing to Americans who feel like they have been the losers.”

      He admits that the economy as actually experienced by people has been “far from good,” but then claims that the issue is citizens who “feel” like they’ve lost. So which one is it, have they actually lost out economically, or is it just a “feeling”?

      Not to Foreign Affairs: it’s the policy, stupid. People feel like they’ve lost because they have.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        Take 1000 people:

        One is a 10 million dollar a year bankster, give him a 2.5 million dollar raise/bonus.

        The 999 members of the wretched refuse are $25K year working stiffs. Give them zip/nada.

        On AVERAGE, those 1000 people are getting 6% pay raises this year.

        And that how the “improving economy” is reported.

        Then, follow the money………

        The 999 would probably have spent a raise on “stuff”. (As practically no consumer products are Made in US anymore, this spending will benefit other countries more than the US).

        OTOH…….

        The bankster will use his $2.5 million (and leverage) to buy out a company, saddle it with debt to pay off the “investors/vampire squids”, then pay for it all by cutting the pay/benefits of all of the company employees.

  9. rich

    Blockbuster 60 Minutes Investigation Exposes the Details of Criminal Money Laundering Via Real Estate

    “We don’t send lawyers to jail, because we run the country.”

    – From the 60 Minutes report: Anonymous, Inc.

    What follows is one of the most important videos I have ever shared. Watch it and then send it to everyone you know. The issue of criminal money laundering via real estate has been one of my core issues here at Liberty Blitzkrieg for years now. Not only is it extremely unethical, but it leads to prime real estate being used as empty investment vehicles, which ultimately prices out American citizens and destroys communities.

    Before taking a watch, I want to highlight a few of the more shocking revelations:

    • The U.S. is well known as a global hub for money laundering and is the easiest place on earth (ranked 1 out of 180 countries) to set up an anonymous shell company.

    • Out of the 13 law firms approached, 12 agreed to at least make suggestions as to how to get the questionable money in the country without raising red flags.

    • Banks are legally required to report questionable funds being brought into the country, lawyers are not.

    • Congress has attempted to require that the real people behind shell companies are disclosed, but the American Bar Association has successfully lobbied against it.

    Now take a watch…

    http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/02/03/blockbuster-60-minutes-investigation-exposes-the-details-of-criminal-money-laundering-via-real-estate/#more-31211

    Setting the Bar low…real low?

  10. sleepy

    “Allowing ourselves to be swept up by appealing but ultimately empty promises is a luxury our loved ones cannot afford,” she continued. “Here in Nevada, we understand how the legislative process works, and we prefer real, tangible results over lofty goals that are impossible to reach.”

    To paraphrase–Mitch McConnell lives in Hillary’s head and has set the parameters of political discourse for dems. So that’s settled.

    You notice of course that no repub gives a flying f about what any dem pol thinks. Can you imagine one of the repub candidates saying that the senate dems would do x, y, or z in opposition, so we can’t go there?

    1. Uahsenaa

      What’s so infuriating about the “impossible to achieve” claim is that it’s baldly asserted without any empirical basis, because if you looked at, say, the popular movement in Seattle led by a socialist (GASP!) city council member, you’ll notice that one of Sanders’ policy planks was, in fact, achieved.

      1. alex morfesis

        The issue is probably that because of the neutertainment industry many confuse evil with intelligence…if one is smart there is no need to be evil…the billary hillbillies are just evil….but the darkness comes across with such conviction and fortitude it comes across as smart.

        Her coven would melt her if she did not conform

      2. Lexington

        What’s so infuriating about the “impossible to achieve” claim is that it’s baldly asserted without any empirical basis…

        By definition articles of faith have no empirical basis.

        The whole “this is as good as it gets and it can never get any better than this so get your head out of the clouds” talk from compromised establishment Democrats is all about heading off change that would be detrimental to their own interests and to those of those of their core constituency -meaning the plutocracy- by denying even the possibility of such change.

        Defending the status quo when people have already mobilized against it is hard. So much better to crush peoples’ spirits so it becomes impossible to even conceive of a more desirable alternative, never mind taking concrete steps toward actualizing it.

        In effect what establishment Democrats are saying to their own supporters is “take the crumbs that fall off our table, because that’s all you can ever hope to get”.

  11. ChrisFromGeorgia

    So Rand Paul is out, what a pity. The only guy with a stance on foreign policy, privacy and/or criminal justice reform that differentiates him from the pack has been purged.

    I still don’t see a path for Rubio. He’ll have to do something dramatic to win south of the Mason-Dixon line, I’d suggest going after the NSA to pull in the Rand Paul voters, but obviously those aren’t a significant enough number.

    My dark horse is Christie. But at any rate, NH looks to be the end of the line for Bush, Kasich, or maybe him.

    1. Ed

      I’ve been watching this play out now over ten presidential elections.

      Rubio is the most malleable of the remaining candidates, if only because of his personal finances, so I expect quite a few coins will be bent to put him in the White House.

      I don’t expect him to upset Trump in New Hampshire. But look for him to win Nevada in an upset, while Cruz wins in South Carolina. Rubio then beats Trump (and Bush) in Florida and does well enough on March 1st to start inching up in the delegate count. Cruz gets confined to the same evangelical/ flyover ghetto they put Huckabee and Santorum in, and Rubio becomes the main alternative to Trump. In the general, its still the Republicans’ turn to win.

      1. fresno dan

        Good analysis.
        I think Rubio is the repub version of Obama – – nice dem rhetoric from Obama, now its time for nice repub rhetoric from Rubio. The propaganda ministers have to keep these things carefully balanced…

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I kind of expect Cruz to do do well in Nevada for Rubio to trump Trump.

        270 is still a issue in the general. The GOP isn’t a growing party, and even though Hillary is just awful, Kerry was a terrible candidate in 2004 against a politically sound sitting Preside the with a relatively new war. With even the semblance of organizing, Kerry could have won Ohio. Hillary can self destruct. Again, she is really awful, but a random member of the Democratic caucus without a yes vote on Iraq would be crushing it right now if Team Blue elites weren’t so deluded.

    2. jrs

      Agree Rand Paul was my favorite among the Republican contenders. He was the only one who came across as not entirely bat@#$# crazy at the Republican debates. The others were lunatic asylum material babbling on about war with Russia or equally crazy things, a sad sorry spectacle indeed.

      1. Skippy

        What a tea party astroturfer christian reconstructionism guy that quotes Gary North and advocates “Honest Money: Biblical Principles for Money and Banking” who’s stated goal of the Constitution Party is to reestablish America as a Republic organized around biblical principles and under the authority of Jesus Christ is not wing nutter enough to set off all kinds of red flags jrs….

        Skippy… mate I know its getting surreal out there but…. wtf

        1. Optimader

          Scary Gary!
          What a pistol
          Wiki…North was also a prominent promoter of the Y2K scare during the late 1990s,[33][34][35][36][37] earning him the nickname “Scary Gary.”[38] His main Web site became dominated by links to extremist predictions for Y2K damage, including widespread collapse of governments, financial institutions and more. North declared on his home page that Y2K “may be the biggest problem that the modern world has ever faced” and labeled 2000 as “The Year the Earth Stands Still”.[39]

          Critics said the motivation for North’s predictions was linked to his Christian Reconstructionist aims, which require widespread societal collapse to set the stage for a new theocratic order. North made the connection explicit in communications with fellow Reconstructionists: “The Y2K crisis is systemic. It cannot possibly be fixed. I think it will wipe out every national government in the West. Not just modify them—destroy them…That is what I have wanted all my adult life. In my view, Y2K is our deliverance.”[40]

  12. Clive

    Re: TPP re-trading the deal on the table

    Japan’s “Economic Revitalisation Minister” (which is like Clive’s “Tea and Cake Conservation Department” in the likelihood of being able to achieve their stated aims) Amari was quoted, before being unceremoniously fired for having his hand, amongst other things, in the cookie jar, as saying if anyone attempted to unpick the TPP deal then there was no deal.

    Interesting that Australia is now speculating that Congressional meddling may end up doing precisely that.

    How many marriages start off with “I love you just the way you are and I wouldn’t change a thing” and end up with, sooner or later, a long list of “improvements” being drawn up by both parties? And with the TPP, to misquote Princess Diana, “there are twelve of us in this marriage…”

  13. RP

    “Should Millenials get over Bernie Sanders?”

    better article:

    “Should affluent baby-boomers who pulled the ladder up behind them and pulled the Overton window so far to the right that FDR is spinning in his grave just die already?”

    Call me, New Yorker.

    1. jrs

      But it was written by a millennial although they may not run the magazine. Some millennial who probably has a liberal arts degree, but it’s likely from an Ivy League so therefore it’s ok, and they got lucky (maybe did some free internships to get there) so all is well.

    2. flora

      I’ve seen lots of stories the past couple of years along the lines of ‘Millenials are giving up on Democracy’. “The young in Europe are abandoning democracy.’ They all have the same flavor and seem a bit, um, manufactured. I don’t know any millenials who have given up on democracy. There’s a lot of disinformation out there, including in the MSM. Latest offering was ‘Young voters embrace Sanders, But Not Democracy’ in a second rate publication that can serve as a talking point to push into wider publication. How would it benefit the powers that be to convince Millenials their age group is giving up on democracy, or that someone in that age group shouldn’t vote for their favorite candidate, or shouldn’t bother to vote at all? I’m seeing too many of these kinds of articles to think it’s honest journalism. These stories all have an odor.

  14. grayslady

    Lambert, thanks for the video of Bernie’s Keene, NH speech. I’ve heard several of Bernie’s speeches, but this, IMO, was one of his best. The presentation was more like an informal conversation with the crowd; he attacked all the criticisms of the Democrat establishment that his platform could never be achieved; and the ending lines were incredibly inspirational. The crowd went wild at the end.

  15. cwaltz

    “Allowing ourselves to be swept up by appealing but ultimately empty promises is a luxury our loved ones cannot afford,” she continued. “Here in Nevada, we understand how the legislative process works, and we prefer real, tangible results over lofty goals that are impossible to reach.”

    Someone should ask Ms Veal Pen- er I mean Astrid, how it feels to be used by the party who exceeded Bush in terms of deporting immigrants?

  16. Steve in Flyover

    “Sanders is not real Socialist.”

    I’d love to see a list of Eisenhower accomplishments/proposals and fiscal/tax policies compared to Sanders.

    I used to be an “Eisenhower Republican”. My political/social views haven’t moved much in 40 years. But thinking that our country was run better in the 1950s than today has turned me (according to current Republican dogma) into a Commie/Socialist.

    1. RP

      Sanders is an FDR dem.

      He’s not even a Henry Wallace dem.

      Message control of the Overton window achieved, overlords.

    2. SufferinSuccotash

      90% rate on the top income tax brackets? Infrastructure that actually worked?
      America was a totalitarian hellhole in those days!

      1. jrs

        Many people then did make that critique of course, that an economy and society dominated by big staid corporations was in many ways repressive, and I kind of don’t doubt it was in some ways. But it doesn’t mean things can’t get worse, such as this ridiculous joke called a gig economy with no safety net. Meanwhile Ike’s CIA was already overthrowing governments by then.

  17. mle.detroit

    Iowa: “I was accompanied on the canvass shift by two Slovenian journalists. ‘I come from a socialist country,’ one told me, ‘and I know Sanders is not real socialist’” [VT Digger (MR)].

    But Melania Trump is a real Slovenian. Is that why they’ve sent two journalists?

  18. Anon

    Re: Tweet

    Sickest burn I’ve seen all year and we’re only 34 days in! Also, that New Yorker piece was the most shallow bit of writing I’ve ever seen from them. She mentions the unemployment rate being lower now, without taking into consideration what the real unemployment rate is, or this wonderful piece buried in towards the end:

    One risk that comes with all the celebration of Bernie’s intransigence on the issues is the implication that any change in political opinion or action is automatically corrupt. As Taylor Gipple made evident, the suspicion that political compromise is inherently venal is at the root of the grievances that so many of Bernie’s young supporters harbor against Hillary, whose long record bears the kind of battle scars that are easily dodged by an independent senator from Vermont. But rethinking one’s position, or tactics, or point of view, can be a far greater mark of integrity than any purist’s staunch refusal to yield, in politics as in anything else. One conclusion to draw from Obama’s Presidency is how necessary the right proportion of flexibility and resolve is for the job, and what a significant liability the insistence on purity can be when it comes to the actual business of governing.

    What scars? And the only conclusion that I can draw from Obama’s presidency is that a person who tries to compromise with those who wish to push you down is a fool, through and through.

    1. RP

      Your comment implies Obama was anything other than a feel-good iPhone case over the Same Old Neoliberalism.

      Obama was never going to fight them, and he didn’t.

      Neoliberal wolf in populist sheep’s clothing.

      Nothing more.

    1. Cry Shop

      That’s been expected. However, Congress still gets a simple vote; up or down. This close to elections it won’t be such an easy job.

  19. MikeNY

    Sadly, everyone’s favorite Counter-Reformation candidate, Rick Santorum, looks likely to drop out as well. Ah, timing, timing. If only this were 1560s Spain!

  20. Cry Shop

    Anemic Academic Immunity to Corruption: ​ Goldman Sacs has a head start on Thales, and is buying up seats at important universities and the UN research institutes even outside the Boston Corridor. If necessary, Goldman Sacs will pay both salary and the bribes to the board (example: Mr Sutherland’s appointment is for a term of five years and will be unremunerated).

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/news/archives/2015/11/PeterSutherlandIGA.aspx

    Background: Sutherland is a neo-liberal who has worked to disband much of the UN, US, Australian, EU and other economic zones labour protection laws as well as environmental regulations. ​LSE shut down their environmental economics section right after Sutherland’s arrival​​, and as a primary supplier of EU and UN bureaucrats, seizing control of a good swath of LSE is a major coop for Goldman Sacs. This same Sutherland has been doing enormous damage inside the UN.

    ​http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/partners/srsg.shtml​

    Interesting how the UN glosses over Sutherland’s Goldman Sacs relationship, the organ is so corrupt one would think they would celebrate it.

  21. John Gilberts

    I see Chrystia Freeland just signed the TPP for Canada in Auckland. The signing was ‘only a technicality’ assured the Trade Minister. Now comes the two years of discussion and examination prior to ratification via a vote in the Canadian House of Commons. I was wondering what kind of advice and counsel Justin Trudeau and Minister Freeland might have called upon in their determinations. I was a bit alarmed when I found out:
    Taking Summers’ Advice Defies Logic
    “Steering the world economy” indeed!

  22. Oregoncharles

    From ” Trans-Pacific Partnership Being Sold With Bogus Economic Models”:
    “Given that the world economy is not static, but constantly moving into new industries, there are always new transitions being generated, which means that transition costs go on forever, as an intrinsic cost of having a global economy based on shifting patterns of comparative advantage. Somebody will always be the rustbelt. ”

    This hints at, but doesn’t make explicit,the fundamental problem with “Free Trade” and economic theory: Comparative Advantage doesn’t apply any more, because a fundamental “assumption” (I’ll get back to that) isn’t true any more.

    As the economist Herman Daly pointed out years ago now, that assumption is that capital and labor do NOT move freely between countries – something that was essentially true when the theory was published. Does anyone think it’s still true? Indeed, and underlining the dishonesty involved, “Comparative Advantage” is now used to justify free movement of capital – in the face of recent experience that it’s very destructive. Daly actually advocates banning international movement of capital (I think you’d have to modify that, in practice), because it destroys functioning markets.

    And about “assumptions:” economists regularly use this word when they mean requirements. EG, the “assumption” that the competing units in a market will be quite small – otherwise you don’t have a market, you have an oligopoly. Indeed, the point of the Huffpo article, which is quite good other than the above crucial omission, is that economists NORMALLY assume away reality, and even critical bits of basic economic theory. Especially where “trade” is concerned, since that’s become a suborned item of dogma.

  23. Oregoncharles

    “Only a little more than half of the Iowa Democratic voters” –
    don’t get you the nomination.

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