2:00PM Water Cooler 6/4/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“[T]he myriad interests involved in the trade fight include some very large American corporations, which are currently padding their profits with labor costs kept low by modern-day slavery in Malaysia” [HuffPo]. This would be Obama’s “new high standard rules”, then.

Menendez on trafficking: “The scene described in news reports included cages for the human victims, and in one painfully poignant image, a single tiny orange slipper — evidence that children had been among them” [Roll Call]. Even the most corrupt pol can sometimes say or do a good thing. Even the lowliest worm can turn.

Obama: China has “already started putting out feelers about the possibilities of participating at some point” in TPP [NPR]. Obama at Nike: “If we don’t write the rules for trade around the world, guess what? China will” [Market Watch]. So China’s going to join an organization where they get no say in the rules? Make up your mind.

Obama explains the effect of TPP on workers: “In an economy of this size, there’s always going to be some dislocations” [The Hill]. Yeah. When a bankster gets dislocated, he loses a bonus. When Obama gets dislocated, he goes over par. When you get dislocated, you lose your job or your house. And don’t talk to me about training, which is just walking around money for Democratic non-profits.

“Republicans proponents of TPA estimate they will need about 190 GOP votes, leaving Obama to bring along roughly 30 Democratic votes to get the bill across the finish line” [The Hill].

“In the House, [Rosa DeLauro,] the Connecticut liberal has become the de facto leader of Democratic opposition, running a behind-the-scenes whip operation against new fast-track trade powers for the president” [Politico].

Op-Ed: “TPP backers say the deal will allow our businesses better access to foreign markets. But there simply isn’t an equivalent foreign market” [Baltimore Sun]. For example, “the U.S. federal procurement market is approximately double the size of similar markets in the other TPP nations.This means that any new markets American businesses could pursue as a result of the deal would be outweighed by the impact of their new domestic competitors.”

Shane Larson of the CWA: “We said, if Vietnam is not living up to the terms, why not let the AFL-CIO bring up charges? USTR said you don’t understand how the system works” [David Dayen, Fiscal Times]. Loomis: “[That] suggests we’re back in a pre-New Deal scenario.”

TiSA: “They look like working documents,” said Scott Miller who holds the William M. Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Most of them have plenty of text that is in brackets. Bracketed texts are simply proposals. They aren’t agreed to by anybody” [Fiscal Times]. But that’s great, right?

TiSA: “Article 6 of the leaked text seems to ban any country from using free software mandates” [Ars Technica]. This would “prevent a European government from specifying that its civil servants should use only open-source code for word processing—a sensible requirement given what we know about the deployment of backdoors in commercial software by the NSA and GCHQ.”


“Voters of America: What exactly is your problem?” [Matt Bai, Yahoo News]. Seems like the political class is taking up Mouth of Yellen Hilsenrath’s comedy sketch concept. “Why do you insist on dating bad boys like Scott Walker and Bernie Sanders when we’ve gone to such trouble to arrange reliable marriages that benefit everyone?”


“In every debate, Sanders will argue that the party needs to do more to soak the rich” [Vox]. “Clinton surely sees this threat coming.” Some threat!

“[Sanders] is advocating what is actually a modest redistribution of power and money through a federal rebuilding of our infrastructure, equal pay for women, a G.I. Bill-like free tuition, a higher minimum wage and a beginning move in the direction of European level sick leave and vacation” [Op-Ed, Lebanon Daily News]. Mic adds clickbait to the same content under the headline: “These Are the 6 Bold Ideas Fueling Bernie Sanders’ “Political Revolution” [Mic]. Actually, both are wrong, if only because Sanders is a single payer supporter.

Sanders on Late Night with host Seth Meyers. Meyers: “Some have tried to frame you as this fringe candidate, but a lot of the things you believe are things that the majority of Americans believe” [New York Times]. Reads like a hazing session, though.

“While Bernie may come across as sincere about class politics, make no mistake, he’s is a militarist that isn’t about to challenge U.S. supremacy” [Counterpunch].

Sanders reaches out to Run Warren Run and their mailing list, having recently hired Kurt Ehrenberg, who previously worked on Run Warren Run, to spearhead his New Hampshire efforts [The Hill].

Sanders as Burlington mayor, 1981-89: “Thanks to the enduring influence of the progressive climate that Sanders and his allies helped to create in Burlington, the city’s largest housing development is now resident-owned, its largest supermarket is a consumer-owned cooperative, one of its largest private employers is worker-owned, and most of its people-oriented waterfront is publicly owned. Its publicly owned utility, the Burlington Electric Department, recently announced that Burlington is the first American city of any decent size to run entirely on renewable electricity” [The Nation].

Round-up of the Democratic field [US News].

Lincoln Chaffee throws his hat in the ring: “Ban capital punishment, halt drone strikes and bring home Edward Snowden [US News]. “We will abide by the Geneva conventions, which means we will not torture prisoners” [The Intercept]. Crazy talk, like the metric system, which Chaffee advocated for. Apparently, Chaffee has no handlers.

The S.S. Clinton

Hillstarter.us: “a disruptive, innovative platform that democratizes access to Hillary Clinton by letting you pool your money with others to raise enough to get Hillary’s attention” [The Intercept]. Unfortunately a work of satire, but these days, what isn’t?

Clinton numbers sliding “in the realm of preferred media narratives,” while voters overwhelmingly support her policy prescriptions [Greg Sargent, WaPo].

Clinton unfavorabilty numbers continue to rise [Politico].

Hillary gets her own squillionaire [Time]. Box CEO Aaron Levie.

“This should be a bright line in the primary, the most important substantive issue facing Hillary Clinton: How would she reform the tax and regulatory codes that unduly favor the financial sector?” [Joe Klein, Time]. Note O’Malley puffery at the end.

“Clinton’s decision to deliver a substantive, high-profile speech on voting rights here on Thursday — in addition to fund-raising stops in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio — can do much to assuage” the feelings of Texas Democrats [New York Times]. Of course, it’s a measure of the bankruptcy of Democrats that voting rights haven’t been a front-burner issue ever since Jebbie tried to game Florida 2000 by scrubbing the voter rolls of likely Democrats in the Felon’s List scandal. Let me get out my calculator: 2015 – 2000 = 15. That’s 15 years ago. We’re looking at is sclerotic, ancien regime-quality reaction time. More background here [Christian Science Monitor].

“Texas Republican Party brings giant rack-mounted computer server to mock Hillary about her email controversy” [Daily Mail]. Republicans: Always more feral.

“Bill Clinton’s foundation set up a fundraising arm in Sweden that collected $26 million in donations at the same time that country was lobbying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department to forgo sanctions that threatened its thriving business with Iran, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Times” [Washington Times]. Yes, “at the same time” doesn’t mean “quid pro quo.” But then “quid pro quo” isn’t the defintition of corruption, either. Converting public goods to private gain is.

Republican Establishment

Rick Perry to run for… run… S-n-o-o-o-o-r-r-r-r-e [E! Online]. Anita Perry: “Rick is absolutely the guy that you want to have a beer with, but he’s so much more than that” [People].

Headline: “Five Things to Know About Rick Perry’s Indictment” [Bloomberg]. Not the sort of headline a candidate just coming out of the box likes to see. “An underlying allegation by the left-leaning watchdog group Texans for Public Justice, which isn’t spelled out in the papers, is that Perry tried to eliminate the ethics unit to block its investigation of political backers who got state grants through a cancer-research program he sponsored.”

Contrasts between California and Texas economic models [New York Times]. And to be fair to Perry, not all Texas growth is due to oil, though its booms and busts are.

Republican Clown Car

Headline: “Is 2016 the year of the Republican ‘clown car’?” [Reuters]. Simple answers to simple questions: Yes.

Christie’s administration omitted $335 million of “performance fees” from state pension analysis, many paid to Christie contributors. Then they cried poor and tried to cut pensions [International Business Times].

“A New Jersey Superior Court judge says Gov. Chris Christie’s disclosure of the particulars of his security detail to a Cub Scout at a recent town hall meeting seriously calls into question the reasons he’s given for keeping his security spending secret” [Star-Ledger]. A Cub Scout?!

Zephyr Teachout recruits teachers as candidates [Albany Project]. Smart.

Stats Watch

Portuguese 10-year bonds: “GSPT10YR:IND Yield 2.852; down 0.023; change: .8%” [Bloomberg]. Going down. Mr. Market less worried about contagion

“The U.S. Federal Reserve should delay a rate hike until the first half of 2016 until there are signs of a pickup in wages and inflation, the International Monetary Fund said in its annual assessment of the economy on Thursday” [Reuters]. Wowsers. IMF tries to call the shot for a sovereign country (or give J-Yel cover. Either way). Based on the loanable funds theory. It’s a two-fer. More free money for rich people! Garçon! More champagne!

Challenger Job Cut report from May 2015: “Jobless claims are down and so is Challenger’s layoff count” [Bloomberg]. Layoffs led by finance sector (JP Morgan) and goverment.

Jobless Claims, week of May 30, 2015: “[C]ontinue to run very low, down 8,000” right at consensus [Bloomberg].

Productivity and Costs, Q1 2015: “The grinding halt that the economy came to the first quarter pulled nonfarm productivity down by 3.1 percent and inflated unit labor costs by 6.7 percent” [Bloomberg]. “Looking year-on-year, productivity is on the plus side, though just barely.”

Gallup US Payroll to Population, May 2015: ” strongest month-to-month change for P2P so far this year, in line with an expected seasonal rise in full-time employment” [Bloomberg].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, May 2015: Down slightly to extend a string of declines. [Bloomberg].

“Intermodal traffic improved year-over-year, which accounts for half of movements – but weekly railcar counts continues deep into contraction” [Econintersect]. And the decline isn’t all from coal.

News of the Wired

* * *

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, the fourth of Gardens, Week Five (Diane):


More iris from Montana!

Readers, the weekend’s discussion for “Open Thread on Water” was terrific. So many interesting projects! Please, send me pictures of your projects, at least if plants are involved, and when aren’t they? If only of maple twirlers in gutters!

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. It’s the soil, seeds, flats, and sheet mulching season, so I need straw!


(Readers will notice that I have, at long last, improved the hat!)

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. hunkerdown

    The same Rep. DeLauro (D-Monsanto) who has a husband in the “consulting” business and pushed for an anti-organic farming bill in 2009? The rotating face comes back around…

  2. fresno dan

    “What do they really put in scrapple? [Lancaster Online].

    “And some skin actually helps to set it up a bit.”

    I really don’t understand why people are so squeamish about the foreskins….like the pig ears and snouts, its just protein.

    1. DJG

      Yep, but they are leaving out the buckwheat flour. So I will continue to forgo the scrapple (or scrap the foreskin).

    2. Paul Tioxon

      Scrapple is okay, especially with ketchup but here in The Big Scrapple, the nectar of the gods is Pork Roll.

    3. albrt

      The local supermarket chain has scrapple in a box the same color green as Morningstar veggie burgers. And they always make sure to keep the two close together in the freezer section.

  3. Carolinian

    Moyers and Winship:

    In a recent Washington Post op-ed piece, headlined, “The last thing America needs? A left-wing version of the Tea Party,” the Democratic congressman from Maryland scolds progressives and expresses his worry “about where some of the loudest voices in the room could take the Democratic Party.”…….

    Rep. Delaney even implies that a freewheeling, open discussion of “these subjects” could lead to the election of a Republican president.


    In other words a vote for Sanders is a vote for GOP doom because only Hillary and her deep pockets can win. If the surrogates are already trotting out this line (once used against Jesse Jackson) then they must be worried. It brings to mind a famous National Lampoon cover.


  4. grayslady

    Clinton’s going to make a “substantive” speech about voting rights, while Sanders continues to target inequality for working families. Which one do you think the average voter cares more about?

  5. Gabriel

    In case any others readers are mildly depressed that Joe Klein still works in journalism, allow me to share an anecdote from the 90s, when, among Newsweek foreign correspondents (yes, such did once walk the earth), he was known as “Marco Polo,” because he was always swooping down from the US to write pieces discovering things that everyone knew existed already (and had written about).
    One of his Chinas, btw, was Chilean pension privatization (now clearly as much of a disaster as its later American 401k counterpart), which made a big impression on him, as it did on so many other American journalists who seemed, at the time, somehow mysteriously guided onto a subject that might otherwise seem fairly recondite and obscure topic among those available in the South American beat.

    1. OIFVet

      Speaking of Newsweek, I recommend Michael Hastings’ ‘The Last Magazine’. I imagine it deflated quite a few overblown Newsweek egos when it was published following Hastings’ untimely death.

      1. Gabriel

        Thanks for mentioning that–somehow never got around to reading it, tho’ always meant to (God I miss the guy).

        In return, allow me to recommend, in the genre of explorations of the conceit, laziness and really remarkable ignorance of journalists on the foreign beat, Matt Taibbi’s two chapters on “Hacks” in the book he co-wrote with Mark Ames on writing “The Exile” in Russia.

        1. Gabriel

          Apropos Exile and foreign journalists in Russia, I looked up the person who seems to be the NYT’s Judith Miller 2.0 (one Anne Barnard), and she appears to have worked between 95-96 in Moscow. Tweeted to Mark Ames asking if he ran into her, but so far no reply.

  6. Ian

    I have a gorgeous picture of a tree for you, but your link doesn’t seem to be up. Very unique.

  7. Chauncey Gardiner

    Re: … “The U.S. Federal Reserve should delay a rate hike until the first half of 2016 until there are signs of a pickup in wages and inflation, the International Monetary Fund said in its annual assessment of the economy on Thursday.” [Reuters]

    “Wowsers” is right! Is this merely a suggestion made in recognition of the role the U.S. dollar plays in the global economy and as the global reserve currency, or is something else in play here that could transcend and affect US monetary sovereignty?…

    1. Benedict@Large

      So exactly what is the Fed’s excuse for a rate hike? Because it’s been a long time since we’ve had one, so it must be time. Because all the inflationistas have their panties in a wad that their junk economics isn’t working, so it must be time anyways.

      Now frankly I don’t give a damn. No one’s borrowing anyways, so the rate hike will just increase the money paid on new bonds, and we can just print that stuff. But until we get these right wing wackos out of macro policy, this country (and the rest of the world) isn’t going anywhere. These jerks really have no business diddling in a subject over which they have zero comprehension. (They really don’t.)

  8. Kurt Sperry

    Being a gearhead, I appreciate the Jam Handy period film on differentials. Look at something like a Napier Deltic aircraft engine and I wonder if there are any longer people with the capability of imagining new complex three dimensional mechanical devices in the way people demonstrably could 75 years ago. There’s no “app” for that.

  9. LifelongLib

    My wife went to a school where students helped out in the cafeteria. She says the woman in charge there would give extra food to kids who weren’t getting enough to eat at home. Everybody then thought that was wonderful. Nowadays I guess it’s criminal.

    Wonder if the school district contracts for food service? In the old days IIRC school caferia food was USDA surplus. Maybe now somebody’s making a profit off it?

  10. SCSteve

    My favorite iris color.

    Obama is like if we had elected Al Smith instead of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. By that point, Smith was surrounded by Wall Streeters and went on to headline the Liberty Lobby, the contemporaneous Rubinites’ response to the New Deal.

    Having a hard time accepting that De Lauro is for real.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I like Drudge’s branding of the TPP: “ObamaTrade”. Hey I don’t care if Rush gets together with Attila the Hun to stop it, this is ridiculous toxic corporo-fascism and must be killed.

      1. different clue

        Language clarification request:

        Is de Lauro whipping “for” TPP or whipping aGAINST TPP?

    1. grayslady

      Reassuring to see that there are still some places in the world where police monitoring peaceful demonstrations don’t see the need to dress in helmets and riot gear and ride in on tanks.

      1. German native speaker

        According to the same Sueddeutsche Zeitung, there are 17 000 (!!) police to guard the G7 summit, which is happening in a very remote mountain hotel in Bavaria. Some police are riding by the cows on horseback, fully armed.
        The nearest town is Garmisch, where a few thousand protesters tried camping on a large meadow. The farmer who owns the meadow allowed it, but the mayor ruled against using the meadow as a campground.
        I am glad seeing the creative streak in the protests. The (parliamentary) leadership of the Green also present against TTIP.

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Thank you for the link. Very impressive public protest demonstrations in Germany against these antidemocratic and unconstitutional transfers of national sovereignty to large transnational corporations.

      Also appreciated Lambert’s link to Senator Menendez’ essay in “Roll Call” on human trafficking. Difficult to comprehend the values of those in the U.S. and foreign governments, including our legislators, who would place corporate profits under these agreements above those who commit these crimes against humanity.

      First paragraph:

      “The horrors along the Thai-Malaysian border revealed in the past week have shocked our consciences, and put the scourge of human trafficking at the front of international news. In this most recent revelation, 139 graves were discovered at the site of what was virtually a prison camp run by human traffickers. The scene described in news reports included cages for the human victims, and in one painfully poignant image, a single tiny orange slipper — evidence that children had been among them.”…

      ’nuff said.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The public protests in the US have been very impressive too (/sarc off)

  11. geoff

    Today is the 25th anniversary of the crushing of the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing. I am surprised it has not been mentioned here (apologies if I missed it). We USians, thanks primarily to the efforts of President Clinton (I), have since largely outsourced our industry to China. I suppose workers living in a political and economic dictatorship are preferable to those of us here in the land of the free.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Whether she is a dictatorship or a corrupt ‘democracy,’ the corporations are still going to outsource and buy from there, as long as they can make more money.

      In fact, the same corporations probably benefit, when negotiating deals, from news coverage on China’s dictatorship and repression in Tibet.

  12. Ed S.

    OK, you asked for more comments……………………

    I was struck by the Vox piece and the language used in it. It’s meant (I think) to be conceptually supportive of Sen. Sanders efforts and hopeful of changing the conversation (in the vein of “Well, he’s right on XXX, but that can’t happen the way he wants)

    Unfortunately, what really came across is that the writer puts him in Crazy-town and even if he gets support of the rank and file, the “elite” aren’t going to let him get the nomination. (and as I regularly point out, he’s to the right of Nixon on many issues, let alone Truman or Roosevelt).

    A few choice selections of the spin in the article:

    …..has fed a perception that she’s (Hillary) too close to the rich Is it just a perception or is it a fact?

    He wants the Democratic Party to wage a rhetorical war on the billionaire class….. Just a rhetorical war? Or a real change? His interviews make him seem pretty moderate (unless you’re Tom Perkins)

    …she’s accepted millions in speaking fees and donations …..(and) her image has been hurt by all this. Image? The real Hillary is a “happy warrior” in the class struggle but she’s portrayed as a plutocrat?

    Sanders will argue that the party needs to do more to soak the rich. Soak the rich sounds like a Republican term of approbation. And it’s a WaPo writer who is using that phrase, not Bernie.

    …some of his supporters may believe she’s just carrying water for monied interests This is a binary question — she is or she isn’t.

    He lacks the ties with the party establishment necessary to unify elites around him. Plus there will be serious concerns about his electability So the rank and file really don’t have any say on the nominee

    If Sanders managed to pick off an early state, it would mainly be an embarrassment for Clinton — not an existential threat.

    Here’s the REAL problem with Sanders vis-a-vis O’Malley: Sanders is meant to be the warm-up act but the danger is that he completely upstages the main act of Hillary. Thus the focus on “image” and “perception”. The danger is that the voters stay home on election day if the vote is for Hillary. O’Malley wouldn’t do that.

    The risk isn’t that Bernie hurts Hillary in a way that switches voters to the Republicans – it’s that he hurts her in a way that his supports will not vote for her. I actually think that the D leadership sees this and is scared. She gets the coronation, but nobody comes to the parade.

    1. Benedict@Large

      As I often try to remind people (because they seem to forget amidst all this selling of electoral politics), it is not up to you to vote for whomever the Democrats nominate. It is up to the Democrats to nominate someone you will vote for.

      And yes, if that means we suffer while the Democrats learn the hard way that it can’t just be their way all of the time, so be it. Because this constant march to the right that both parties are engaging in ends at the same station, no matter which party leads it there, and making it take longer to get there is just foisting on your children the problem that you couldn’t solve yourself.

      1. hunkerdown

        Exactly that. With a withering, contemptful sneer of “consumer” at the end. (Hey, if one or the other Caesar could motivate his restless troops by denigrating them as “Civilians!”…)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I want to be more than just a consumer though.

          I am a hard working serf!!!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      “…is meant to be…” Assumes facts not in evidence. Will the dominant faction in the Democratic Party right now (Clinton’s) try to take advantage of a Sanders run? Of course (see under Bear, Woods). Does that mean they planned Sanders’ run? Does that mean there’s conscious collusion? It most certainly does not. If you want to look for a straw, look at O’Malley. In addition to the jawline, he’s bought into Democratic identity politics: The youth vote. That’s the tell. Sanders has not. That too, is a tell.

    3. Carolinian

      I think they are scared because she may not get the coronation. Some of us were saying months ago that she wouldn’t even run because it seemed so unlikely. Pat Lang–vilified elsewhere on NC today–said he had heard it was all her husband pushing her to go for it. Does she even act like somebody eager to hit the hustings?

      Which doesn’t mean Sanders gets the nom. Looks like they are warming up other alternatives.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I find it hilarious that we were all fed this same ‘inevitable’ narrative 8 years ago and it was wrong then. Now the media is trotting it out again, assuming we all have the bandwidth of a brain-damaged gnat and hoping we won’t remember. Clearly not enough people cared for her then and I don’t think we or she have changed a whole lot since. The fact that she’s even trying to paint herself as some sort of populist (the same as she did 8 years ago) despite all the evidence that she isn’t only shows how deep her cynicism runs.

        There may be a certain female, 55+, east coast, liberal arts educated demographic (AKA my inlaws) that will vote for her no matter what but that’s not enough to get her elected. If she is the nominee liberals will stay home and we’ll get Bush III which will be pretty bad but no worse than Clinton II. And yes Bush will be the nominee no matter how low he polls in the beginning, same way Romney was the inevitable nominee last time even though nobody liked him either. Eventually all the clowns will drive their car back to the circus again as big money falls in behind the one they deem to have the most name recognition and looks convincing enough in the corporate-wear while spouting the corporate-speak.

        I doubt that I’ll get to vote for a president I actually like next year but I will not follow George Carlin’s advice and not vote. I’m going to show up and vote for George instead :-P

        1. hidflect

          That about nails it. I’d only add that any casual glance over the blog comments of any post about Madame Clinton on any progressive website shows a 50-1 pitch against her. One the mainstream and/or right-leaning sites it’s 100-1. So I don’t see her winning. If she’s the nominee almost no-one is going to bother showing up to coronate her.

        2. gene

          “female, 55+, east coast, liberal arts educated demographic that will vote for her no matter what” No. But thanks for playing.

  13. ScottW

    How much of the Clinton Foundation’s $2 Billion can be linked to Ms. Clinton’s stint as Sec. of State and her being the presumptive nominee of the party? Stated another way, had the Clintons retired from politics after Bill’s Presidency, does anyone really believe the Foundation would have received all of those donations from foreign governments, corporations and individuals with specific business interests in foreign countries? Sure there was a payoff for past favors while Bill was President, but no corporation, foreign government or businessman is going to donate much money to a Foundation if there is nothing in it for them.

    One must suspend all belief in reality to conclude the Clintons’ did not utilize their time in public office to enrich themselves and their Foundation.

  14. McWatt

    Can anyone explain why after 2 p.m. everyday I get two robocalls both from different numbers
    calling from “Google Maps” at both of my retail stores? This has been going on for months!

  15. OIFVet

    They contract with google but are not google. They want to take pictures of the retail space which will come up when people search for you or your type of retail store.

  16. different clue

    Chaffee: ” Bring home Edward Snowden”. Really? How? In a body bag?

    Maybe Chaffee means well or maybe Chaffee is part of the plot to retrieve and Guantanamize or Padillafy or “suicide” Edward Snowden. If Snowden has any survival instinct, he won’t trust a “President Chaffee” any further than he would trust any other DC FedRegime “President”. He will stay right there in Russia where the FSB has a hope of protecting him from DC FedRegime kidnappers and/ or assassins.

    1. Peter Pan

      I instantly think of a Presidential pardon, similar to Pres. Ford pardoning ex-Pres. Nixon.

      1. different clue

        But would it be a trick and a trap? To lure Snowden back here for the Intelligence Agencies or their friends in the private sector to conduct their own private contracted actions against Snowden once he came back here?

  17. Carolinian

    Grassroots activism.


    An Italian developer is looking to

    transform the 580-resident community of Tusayan, Ariz., from a small, quiet tourist town into a sprawling complex of high-end homes, retail stores and restaurants only a mile from the Grand Canyon National Park boundary. The development threatens groundwater that feeds the Grand Canyon’s creeks, springs and seeps, endangering some of the park’s most important and biodiverse wildlife habitat.

    Because Forest Service approval is needed they must now decide to reject outright or begin the environmental permitting process. Tusayan is a tiny town just outside the main entrance to the South Rim and surrounded by the Kaibab Nat. Forest. Meanwhile the Navajo are seeking to put a cable car to the bottom of the Canyon from a site just outside the park on their reservation.

  18. SeanMPLS

    Glad you posted the Counterpunch article. Good to see some critical analysis of Sanders. Although I agree with him on many things, he’s extremely troubling on way too many fronts to give him a free pass.

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