2:00PM Water Cooler 7/1/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Leaked: What’s in Obama’s trade deal” [Politico (allan)].

POLITICO has obtained a draft copy of TPP’s intellectual property chapter as it stood on May 11, at the start of the latest negotiating round in Guam. .. [T]he draft chapter will provide ammunition for critics who have warned that TPP’s protections for pharmaceutical companies could dump trillions of dollars of additional health care costs on patients, businesses and governments around the Pacific Rim. The highly technical[i.e., deeply obfuscated by the very same corporate lawyers who will later appear before the ISDS so-called courts] 90-page document, cluttered with objections from other TPP nations, shows that U.S. negotiators have fought aggressively and, at least until Guam, successfully on behalf of Big Pharma.

Well, Presidential libraries don’t come free. Anyhow, this would be perfectly in character, if that is the word I want, for Obama, whose secret betrayals with Big Pharma paved the way for ObamaCare. Same play, same playbook.

“Following Congress’ hard-fought approval of ‘fast-track’ trade authority last week, U.S. Trade Traitor Representative Michael Froman vowed not only to complete the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership but an even bigger pact with the European Union and three other major trade deals — all in the 18 months remaining in President Barack Obama’s term” [Politico]. The Fast Track vote was a skirmish. This a war.

“A European Union (EU) trade expert secretly told a French economics minister that America’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) seemed designed to provoke a confrontation with China, according to a US intelligence intercept published on WikiLeaks” [Sputnik]. OK, Russian media tossing the apple of discord, but since it’s true….

“TTIP: MEPs pave way for plenary vote by retabling June amendments” [European Parliament]. “In the run-up to a plenary vote, negotiations between political groups are seeking common ground on the divisive issues that arose in the TTIP talks, and in particular whether a TTIP deal should provide for the use of private arbitration to solve disputes between investors and states.”

Bold-faced names: Democrat trade traitors. Readers, more like this, please (contact form below). List of traitors; is one of them “your” “representative”?


  Ouch [The Hill]. About the hope and change thing:

Here is the scoreboard of the political legacy that Obama may leave his party:

When Obama assumed office, Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. That majority was destroyed and a Republican House was elected on Obama’s watch.

When Obama assumed office, Democrats controlled the Senate. That majority was destroyed and a Republican Senate was elected on Obama’s watch.

When Obama assumed office, Democrats controlled a majority of governorships. The majority was destroyed, and Republicans took a majority of governorships on Obama’s watch, which led to the reapportionment after the 2010 Census that was catastrophic for House Democrats.

Given this legacy of damage that Obama has inflicted against his party and his presidency, by depressing liberal Democratic voters and motivating conservative Republican voters in two midterm elections that were disastrous for Democrats, it was breathtaking that throughout the recent trade debate Obama demonstrated he still has not learned that the leader of a great party must not insult its core voters if it has any hopes of prevailing in future presidential and congressional elections.

Way to sharpen those contradictions, Obots. We owe you a solid.

Will that loveable goof, Joe Biden, toss his authenticity into the ring? [Bloomberg]. Maybe if he grovels on having passed the law that condemned millions of college kid to debt servitude. How about it, Joe?


“Wittingly or not, Sanders seems to be joining a small cadre of other no-bullshit old people—think Betty White or Chuck Grassley—whose perceived lack of guile resonates with digital natives” [National Journal].

The S.S. Clinton

“The State Department on Tuesday released 3,000 pages of emails from the private server former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used while in office” [The Hill]. Of course, that Clinton privatized a public function renders her unfit for public office, since knowing the boundary between private and public is essential to avoid corruption. But do let us continue to stare at each tiny fleck of color on the canvas, instead of stepping back to see the big picture snap into focus.

Republican Establishment

“Jeb Bush’s Wealth Soared When He Left Governor’s Office, Tax Returns Show” [New York Times]. “[A] significant leap in wealth that reflects the power of his connections and the breadth of his entrepreneurial pursuits.” That’s “dynastic connections.” Fixed it for ya.

Republican Principled Insurgents

“What GOP primary voters most want is a candidate who will not compromise on conservative principles but can still win a general election. That’s where Walker’s triumph over public-sector unions really helps him” [The Atlantic]. And what are those principles? As I’ve been saying: Stomp Democrats (and the goddamn unions). Good article, which omits mention of Walker’s ability, as a preacher’s kid, to dog whistle with the best of ’em.

Walker giveaway to the Bucks arena contrasts with gutting the University of Wisconsin [Bloomberg]. Maybe decision making like that is why Wisconsin job growth lags neighboring states.

Republican Clown Car

“‘Did Jesus ride dinosaurs?’: Bobby Jindal’s Twitter Q&A hilariously backfires” [Raw Story].

“Would Chris Christie Run America Any Better Than He Has Atlantic City?” [Forbes]. Simple answers to simple questions….

The Hill

“Chuck Schumer, the third ranking Senate Democrat, is trying to build congressional support for legislation that would allow Puerto Rico to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy” [MarketWatch]. Everybody but students and homeowners and the rest of us get a break on debt, it seems. Perhaps some of Schumer’s more important constituents are exposed?

Stats Watch

Many reports today!

Motor Vehicle Sales, June 2015:  “With about 3/4 of the data in, unit vehicle sales are running at about expectations” [Bloomberg]. “So far, today’s results point to weakness for the motor vehicle component of the government’s retail sales report.” I don’t understand. This is the greatest economy ever. What’s wrong with these people?

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of June 26, 2015:  “Rates moved higher in the June 26 week, contributing to sharp declines in mortgage applications” [Bloomberg]. “Now that the Greece default crisis seems over (for the moment), Treasury yields and mortgage rates will continue rising in anticipation of The Fed’s anticipated rate hike” [Confounded Interest]. ”

Challenger Job Cut Report, June 2015: “[A]nnouncements totaled 287,672 for a 17 percent increase from a year ago.” Retail and the chemical industry [Bloomberg]. “Announcements sometimes take months before jobs are actually cut so today’s results, though a negative for the outlook, are not likely to affect expectations for tomorrow’s employment report.” “Retail was the leading job cutting sector in June with 17,947 job cuts. Most of those were related to the closure of all Canadian stores by Minnesota-based Target” [Econintersect].

ADP Employment Report, June 2015: “ADP estimates that private payrolls rose a larger-than-expected 237,000” [Bloomberg]. “ADP has missed badly the last couple of months, likely limiting its effect on expectations for tomorrow’s employment report.” “This month small and medium sized business created the majority of the jobs” [Econintersect]. Indeed, small business was confident.

Gallup US Payroll to Population, June 2015: “Full-time employment for an employer continued to increase through the first month of summer, after a slow start in 2015. It is now at its highest measurement since 2012” [Bloomberg]. “The percentage of U.S. adults participating in the workforce in June was 67.1 percent.”

PMI Manufacturing Index, June 2015: “Slowing growth in June” [Bloomberg]. Exports; energy.

ISM Manufacturing Index, June 2015: “[S]teady rates of moderate growth”  [Bloomberg]. “Manufacturing has had a tough time this year and this report, though showing growth, will not be raising expectations for any second-half acceleration for the sector.” “ISM Manufacturing represents less than 10% of USA employment, and approximately 20% of the business economy” [Econintersect].

Construction Spending, May 2015: “Construction spending rose a solid 0.8 percent in May” [Bloomberg]. “Areas of special strength include manufacturing facilities, up 6.2 percent in the month for a fourth straight outsized gain that belies declines in other measures of business investment.” Interesting. “Turning to the key residential construction component, growth was less strong.”

“As it became clear Greece would not make a key debt payment to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, markets shrugged, reclaiming some of the losses of the day before” [WaPo]. Ye”s, one would have expected something more like a plunge, as opposed to a blip.  “[S]tock markets have been on a seemingly unstoppable rally. Key indexes have doubled in value or more, even as the world economy logs disappointing growth year after year.” Of course, early is wrong…

“Is There a Student Loan Debt Crisis?” [Credit Slips].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Headline: “Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong” [WaPo]. Subhead: “False history marginalizes African Americans and makes us all dumber.” Note lack of agency in the editor-written headline and subhead. Maybe I should read a biography of D.W. Griffith, whose Birth of a Nation was the Battleship Potemkin for the noxious “Lost Cause” cadres and apparatchiks.


“Custodians’ payments to RIAs for fund picks raise eyebrows” [Investment News].

Registered investment advisers like to promote themselves as being on the side of investors, but a growing number are quietly accepting money from custodians in exchange for recommending certain mutual funds — usually funds that are more expensive for investors. The payment is made to advisers as a “shareholder services fee.”

Oh, the fees. The fee fees. Because feedom.

How the UK’s Metropolitan Police covered up for Rupert Murdoch [Belling Cat].

Police State

“[A]nalysts believe that other nations have adopted a number of practices that contribute to less-contentious relations between police and residents – and might make a difference on US streets” [Christian Science Monitor]. “In Germany, a gun is not sexy.” Good luck with that. Amazingly, German cops aren’t ammosexuals. It’s a funny old world.

Here’s how cash cops seize in law enforcement for profit civil asset forfeiture gets divvied up [WaPo]. “In cases like Clarke’s, where local and federal agents cooperate on a seizure, federal agencies typically keep at least 20 percent of the assets, while local cops split the remainder among themselves.” 20%? Reminds me of the “2 and 20” in pirate equity. Coincidence?

The 420

“For the first time in history, a presidential candidate is openly seeking campaign contributions from the thriving cannabis industry” [East Bay Express]. Rand Paul.

As of today, “Oregonians can possess up to an ounce of cannabis away from home and up to 8 ounces at home. Every household can grow up to four marijuana plants” [Oregonian]. I only hope they’ve optimized for local growers. A corporate dope industry — sorry, I mean a new corporate dope industry — would be a huge missed opportunity.

As of today, “Minnesota’s medical marijuana program is one of the most tightly regulated in the nation, and also the most clinical. Cannabis will be sold only in pills, oils or liquids, not as smokable plant material. The hope is that the manufacturers will be able to tailor doses, not only to different conditions, but to different patients and their needs” [Star-Tribune]. Read Michael Pollan’s terrific Botany of Desire; humans have been getting loaded on plant matter since forever. In fact, plants evolve to help us do just that. I’ll never understand “medical marijuana” as a rationale; as a politicized stepping stone, perhaps.

America the Petrostate

“The Department of Environmental Conservation has just issued their “Final Supplemental Generic Impact Statement on the Oill, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program” that formally bans fracking in New York State” [Albany Project]. This is an amazing victory, and due entirely to the self-organizing capabilities of the citizens of New York. Come to think of it, marijuana legalization, though falling fall short of dynamiting the prison industrial complex, is also a victory.

Class Warfare

“US SEC Releases Details of Exec Compensation Clawback Proposal” [Market News]. “The Commission will consider whether to propose rules directing national securities exchanges and associations to establish listing standards requiring companies to develop and implement policies to claw back incentive-based executive compensation that later is shown to have been awarded in error.” “Awared in error.” You mean, like every dime since the 2008 Crash, and then some damages?

“Raise wages or lower them, it makes little difference compared to the new technology that does jobs both cheaper and better” [Fabius Maximus]. McDonald’s Happy Meals from a kiosk.

News of the Wired

Healing plants for your garden [Los Angeles Times].

Contraband GMOs in the Phillipines [Interaksyon]. Corn, not rice. I don’t like the implications of this.

“The Annotated Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace” [Asian Review of Books]. The co-discoverer of the theory of evolution was a great naturalist.

“Once a Beloved French Symbol, Cousteau’s Ship Now Rusts Into Oblivion” [New York Times (resilc)].

A new SI Unit: “One Hitler shall henceforth be a unit of measurement equal to 6.0*106 human deaths” [Reddit].

“How computers see porn” [Fusion]. Since every new medium is driven by porn, this is a more important article than it seems, aside from the facial and body recognition issues.

Why we are less nasty about stolen celebrity photos [The Atlantic]. Because there are more of them, and because with cellphones (see above) it can happen to us.

“How to make a gym commitment stick” [The Atlantic]. Maybe I should do this….

* * *

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 (via H). Look at this gorgeous arbor!


H writes:

All of these photos were taken in the last week of June 2015 at our house in Texas. If it looks kind of permaculture-y that is no accident. Listing these things out made me realize for the first time how much we have planted. We just gradually filled it in over the past couple of years.

And captions this photo:

3) What eventually happens when you plant cucumbers next to grapes

As readers may know, I set up the Naked Capitalism Water Cooler Desk in my garden in the summer month and into the fall until it gets too chilly. One day, I want to put my desk under an arbor. So I find this encouraging!

H sent some other pictures of his projects, and I’ll run those, too. I encourage other readers with similar projects to send their photos in.

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. I need to keep my server up! And pay the plumber….


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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. craazyboy

        This has a GoPro clone camera. It’s a wide angle lens which makes everything look far away. So my dirt field looks like it goes forever. We don’t have grass here, but we do have a lot of mesquite trees, Palos Verde trees, and various shrubs. So it is green, in the cultivated areas.

        Soon I’ll try and get some good shots at my park next door. It’s on a ridge overlooking Tucson on one side and Oro Valley on the other. The Catalina Mountains are on one side and other smaller mountain ranges are in the other directions. It’s a small park, so I fly straight up over the soccer field and just rotate the quad around and get video. I don’t trust my flying skills enough yet to fly it farther away over somewhat populated areas. The only problem is in order to get the good mountain view you have to point east. But the sun doesn’t light up the mountains well until after 11 AM. Usually we have low wind in the early morning and it picks up later. So far when I go later in the day to get good lighting, the wind buffets around the quad too much and the video comes out really bouncy. So I’m waiting for a day when I get low wind later in the day.

          1. craazyboy

            This is a “homebuilt” made from parts. I just upgraded to a full autonomous flight controller for $90, so I’m up to $450 so far. I’ll need to add more stuff to finally have full autonomous features actually implemented – like external GPS&compass and an android tablet for the ground control station with map display. Then a friend gave me a radio transmitter, so that saved me between $70 – $200 depending on how good a radio control transmitter you buy.

            It’s questionable whether I’ll come out cheaper than just buying a ready made one – but it’s a hobby. Depending on capabilities, store bought ones can range from $150 at the “toy” end up to $1500 for a very nice DJI Phantom 3. But you want to learn to fly with a toy one first. Better yet, first start with a free simulator like HELI-X6 that has a Phantom model in it. You can get a RC transmitter mockup controller for your PC with joysticks just like a real RC transmitter. Those only cost $20.

    1. craazyman

      There’s no naked women in that video. Not even a bikini.

      That makes me think I’m in a UFO flying around. With your technology You can make a movie about an alien spaceship cruising earth looking for hot women in backyards, Sometimes they even abduct them! That’s bad. It gets back to the mothership that a saucer’s gone rogue comitting crimes abducting naked earth women, so they send out an alien police patrol saucer to chase it down and put the crew under arrest. You could film this in your house with creative special effects and bug-eyed alien masks, and over a few backyards. It would be no problem getting actresses, that for sure. When the alien police finally catch the rogue crew, after many amusing adventures, they put them in jail inside the moon. Anybody who pays attention knows the moon is hollow and rings like a bell when you hit it. That’s because it’s a jail for criminals from other dimensions. That’s why moon beams are so weird. I think the great Whitley Streiber planted the idea in my head of alien police and maybe the moon being a jail. It may have been a novel he wrote. I don’t think I made it up by myself.

      You could make this movie for a few thousand dollars (including beer and wine). Just be sure to watch it when your sober since it’s human nature to overestimate one’s creative achievements. Not to say that should stop you. it doesn’t stop any real artist.

      1. craazyboy

        Ok. Sounds like I need another camera, tho.

        It was easier finding naked women in CA. In fact, if I still lived there, I’d head to Black’s Beach in San Diego. But string bikinis are pretty close, so usually you could save yourself the trip and go to any old beach.

        Then again, there’s the strip bar and you don’t need a quadcopter at all!?

      2. different clue

        The moon is a jail? I thought the earth is a prison planet for off-world beings who were convicted of something or other and sentenced to life without parole in human form here on Prison Planet TerraLuna.

  1. timbers

    “When Obama assumed office, Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. That majority was destroyed and a Republican House was elected on Obama’s watch.”

    “When Obama assumed office, Democrats controlled the Senate. That majority was destroyed and a Republican Senate was elected on Obama’s watch.”

    “When Obama assumed office, Democrats controlled a majority of governorships. The majority was destroyed, and Republicans took a majority of governorships on Obama’s watch, which led to the reapportionment after the 2010 Census that was catastrophic for House Democrats.”

    This leaves out state legislative representatives. If you include state reps, I’ve read that more Republicans have won elective offices (and thus more Dems have lost elective office) under Obama than under any President in history.

    That’s breath taking. It’s even more breathtaking that this is never mentioned or discussed by The Party Elite and does not faze Obots (it doesn’t – the ones I’ve pointed this out to on FB couldn’t care less).

    1. Waking Up

      That is why someone is an “Obot” or “Hillbot”…they are robotic followers that can’t or won’t use critical thinking skills.

      1. PhilK

        Budowski is as pathetic as (if not more pathetic than) the zombies he’s writing about. No reasonably aware 13-year-old would write a sentence containing the phrase “Obama demonstrated he still has not learned . . .”

    2. Propertius

      This was quite predictable if you were any kind of Democratic insider during the 2008 campaign. Basically, no resources were expended at the party level on anything but the Obama campaign. No volunteers, no staff, no “combined campaign” – it was, as the overstock.com commercials used to say, “all about the O.”

      Having the DCCC and DSCC meddle in state primaries didn’t help, either – a lot of very promising candidates got clobbered by their own party (or, rather organizations affiliated with it) before they even got started.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        No. This isn’t accurate. After 2008, yes, but before the Obama campaign aggressively plugged other candidates except maybe in Wisconsin. Two, there were so many volunteers who were there for Obama, but congressional and Senate races tracked Obama.

        If it was just about Obama in 2008, there would have been no resources in Virginia, NC, Indiana, and even Georgia. They picked up seats in really tough districts. They pulled out of places as races settled. After Dean was out, OFA peed all over the carpets.

  2. Propertius

    I’ll never understand “medical marijuana” as a rationale; as a politicized stepping stone, perhaps.

    That’s certainly the way it played out here in Colorado. Once there was a “dispensary” in every neighborhood (complete with a onsite physician to write you a prescription on demand), the absurdity of keeping pot illegal for recreational use became readily apparent.

    1. Local to Oakland

      Re political maneuvering and viability I’m sure you’re right.

      But there is a medical case for certain applications ranging from helping cancer patients and aids patients with appetite, to relaxing muscle spasms and easing pain caused by spinal cord injury. No doubt it created a broader political coalition enabling recreational users, but it wouldn’t have done that without the actual medical users and their doctors who wanted an alternative to the dealer on the corner.

      1. Propertius

        Of course there is a medical case (although probably not as much of one as there would be if research into cannabis hadn’t been systematically crushed for decades). I’m just describing how the politics played out in Colorado. Medical legalization definitely paved the way for recreational legalization, if only because it proved to the majority of citizens that the mere presence of marijuana didn’t portend the total collapse of civilization.

  3. Token

    Custodians paying RIA’s to pick certain funds? How about investment bankers giving preferential access to their private bank clients to the funds managed by investment banking clients? Do you think you will get a lead underwriter role for an asset management IPO if you DON’T do something like that? Its a competitive world out there. Quid pro GO! GO! GO!

  4. David

    “..that America’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) seemed designed to provoke a confrontation with China..”

    Could someone explain to me how this would work? How does not being part of the TPP upset China?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Access to markets. The secret courts and patent protection is designed to keep the Chinese out. Large companies from around the empire are being given anything they want to support this. Small companies will be victims, but American hegemony is dependent on keeping the Chinese/Russian alliance out of five marketplaces because ruling through fear is very expensive and most of our bases aren’t designed as anything more than transit spots dependent on local governments. The goal is to make certain local governments can’t buy from Chissa without incurring huge economic losses. What is to stop the Chinese from just selling Apple products without giving money to Apple? They have the engineers and factories. The TPP wouldn’t ban the Chinese, but the courts would rule in favor of preferred companies and order the seizure of assets and funding streams in TPP countries. In a way, it’s protectionism without being protectionist. The attacks on Russia are designed to prevent Eurasia trade routes which would effectively negate the U.S. navy.

      “Free trade” is neither free or trade.

  5. Anon

    Re: Budowsky

    Now, it could just be that I’m becoming more aware of things like this, but it seems as if there’s a lot of written articles putting Obama down. You would think that if many different people from different political positions are largely saying the same thing, even the most ardent Obot would take notice. Also, it seems a bit disingenuous to say that Obama may leave his party this political legacy as opposed to using the more certain word of will leave his party this political legacy, but that’s just me.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama’s token nature and cult like devotion (the swooning over his singing and crediting with gas marriage’s advancement is just bizarre) won’t be around, and other candidates will face more questions.

      With the Obot echo chamber, traditional pundits need to rebuild their audiences. They won’t be able to rely on the free pass Obama was given. Even Sanders surging support suggests voters won’t just roll over for Hillary.

      Without the daily, Obama worship jam session on msnbc what is their audience? NonObots stopped supporting outfits such as the Huffpost ages ago for greener pastures ages ago, but will the Obots stay? They don’t even have the attention span to know Obama’s record on things like crime, his opposition to guy rights (using ofa against the good side in North Carolina was particularly egregious), TPP, and whatever crummy thing I’m sure he did. After their hero is gone, they will go back to dancingnancy or cracked? What will become of Dkos without Obots? The people who have livelihoods dependent on pro-Team Blue press releases are going to find an audience far more skeptical going forward. They need to build a record.

      Obots have to reach rock bottom given the accusations they have made about liberal critics of Obama. They remind me of my first year roommate’s attachment to his girlfriend. In the second year, his fraternity held an intervention. The relationship became a serious detriment to his mental and physical health.

      1. NOTaREALmerican

        I think you are forgetting the Obots are all painted blue. There’s also a set of red bots.

        Roughly 30% of the population are Blue Bots the other 30% are Red Bots. The Bots (of both colors) respond to specific patterns of bullshit that resonate in their “brains”.

        These bots are also present in all other parts of the world, and – altho the colors are different – the bullshit they resonate to is the same.

        Let’s run a test:

        1) The Coke brothers are gonna steal your children’s food!!!
        2) “Those people” are gonna git ya!

        Did any of the bots near you resonate?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          There is crossover, but a significant portion will leave these media outlets and the remaining ones won’t be as loud or as devoted. Look at the pass JFK gets from LBJ bashers. There will be a stark difference going forward. The generic Team Blue bots are way less irritating than a Personality bot.

          Without an Olbermann type situation, outfits like MSNBC will never reclaim their old heights because the Internet has provided so many alternatives. Yves and Lambert read the news for me. There are twitter hashtags. Direct feeds. Why would I ever click a link to the ComcastPost even if the found Jesus tomorrow? Compilation videos of Game of Thrones nudity? I obviously have the Internet, so who cares? Many of these media outfits and personalities are in a panic because they see their audience numbers and know their hold is running out. Obama stories cause a spike but not what they once did, and two, Hillary isn’t driving that kind of reaction. Her supporters are really old and probably locked in to their media out let’s until death which is closer.

        2. Oregoncharles

          You’re correct about the percentages per the last poll I saw, but they’ve been declining steadily for decades and are probably lower now (anyone seen recent numbers?)

          At the recent rate, the “major” parties will soon total under 50% and won’t be major any more.

  6. Chauncey Gardiner


    Thanks for keeping the anti-democratic, unconstitutional TPP, TTIP and TISA proposals, and your list of members of Congress who support them, front and center. Public Citizen has also posted analyses and links regarding the TPP that I find of value:


    Wonder when the Obama administration will bring these Secret agreements out from behind their opaque cloak and into the public light?

    1. Vatch

      We might as well have the Senate and House traitors together in one list, along with their phone numbers. Note that this is only a list of Democratic traitors. Most Republicans in Congress also voted for TPA, and by extension, for future TPP, TTIP, and TiSA bills.

      Senate traitors:

      Bennet (D-CO) (202) 224-5852
      Cantwell (D-WA) (202) 224-3441
      Cardin (D-MD) (202) 224-4524 (Given a free “No” vote, but stood ready to vote “Yes.”)
      Carper (D-DE) (202) 224-2441
      Coons (D-DE) (202) 224-5042
      Feinstein (D-CA) (202) 224-3841
      Heitkamp (D-ND) (202) 224-2043
      Kaine (D-VA) (202) 224-4024
      McCaskill (D-MO) (202) 224-6154
      Murray (D-WA) (202) 224-2621
      Nelson (D-FL) (202) 224-5274
      Shaheen (D-NH) (202) 224-2841
      Warner (D-VA) (202) 224-2023
      Wyden (D-OR) (202) 224-5244

      House traitors:

      Rep. Ami Bera (Calif.) – 202-225-5716
      Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.) – (202) 225-3341
      Rep. Susan Davis (Calif.) – (202) 225-2040
      Rep. Sam Farr (Calif.) – (202) 225-2861
      Rep. Jared Polis (Colo.) – (202) 225-2161
      Rep. Mike Quigley (Ill.) – (202) 225-4061
      Rep. John Delaney (Md.) – (202) 225-2721
      Rep. Brad Ashford (Neb.) – (202) 225-4155
      Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) – (202) 225-3461
      Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) – (202) 225-4811
      Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.) – (202) 225-0855
      Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.) – (202) 225-5711
      Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.) – (202) 225-4311
      Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas) – (202) 225-1640
      Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) – (202) 225-8885
      Rep. Don Beyer (Va.) – (202) 225-4376
      Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.) – (202) 225-1492
      Rep. Rick Larsen (Wash.) – (202) 225-2605
      Rep. Derek Kilmer (Wash.) – (202) 225-5916
      Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) – (202) 225-5506
      Rep. Suzan DelBene (Wash.) – (202) 225-6311
      Rep. Jim Himes (Ct.) – (202) 225-5541
      Rep. Hinojosa (Tex.) – (202) 225-2531
      Rep. O’Rourke (Tex.) – (202) 225-4831
      Rep. Peters (Calif.) – (202) 225-0508
      Rep. Rice (N.Y.) – (202) 225-5516
      Rep. Sewell (Ala.) – (202) 225-2665
      Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (202) 225-7931

      1. NOTaREALmerican

        With bipartisan support like this TPP must be good for our children’s future. The only alternative would be: there’s not much difference between the two Teams, and we all know how much the Blue Team loves “da workers” and the Coke brothers don’t, so it must be bipartisan goodness.

        Simple logic.

      2. Propertius

        I can’t really call Bennet a “traitor”. He’s always been a corporate shill and he’s remained intensely loyal to his real constituents (as opposed to the fools who voted for him). He was initially appointed – no doubt in large part because of the fantastic job he did wrecking the Denver public school’s pension fund (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/business/06denver.html ). He’s just working for the same guys he was always working for. He would have lost re-election in the primaries were it not for the intervention of the DSCC and the White House in the Democratic primary to destroy the candidacy of Andrew Romanoff.

        Polis, on the other hand, really *is* a traitor – and I fully intend to tell him so the next time I see him.

        I’m still waiting to see Feinstein’s reaction when some Chinese or Filipino arms manufacturer uses TPP to challenge California’s various gun control laws. I’m gonna need more popcorn.

        1. sd

          Feinstein only cares about her husbands investors. She could care less about much of anything else. Why she plays for the D team has long been a mystery.

          1. different clue

            Well . . . how would the Limousine Liberals of San Francisco feel about someone bearing the “Republican” label?

      3. Waking Up

        But, are these Congressional representatives from the Democratic party TRULY traitors to the party? It’s more likely they are the designated “rotating villains” for TPP and are fulfilling EXACTLY what the Democratic party wants. If they are just a minority group within the party who DID act as traitors, then one can expect to see a major push by the Democratic party (national and state) to remove them from office. If not, that should tell people exactly where the Democratic party is on the issue of TPP.

        1. Vatch

          Your point has merit. They are loyal to the party leadership and to the billionaires and hecto-millionaires who own the party and the country. But they really are traitors to their constituents and to their rank and file supporters in the Democratic party.

          1. JEHR

            I had to look up hectomillionaire and got a good lesson in the use of the metric system.

    2. different clue

      Only after they are passed, unless they can be stopped from ever being passed. In which case, never.

      As Representative Impeachment-Is-Off-The-Table once said . . . ” you have to pass the Trade Agreement to find out what is in the Trade Agreement.”

  7. Carla

    Reminder to NC commentariat: to help fund the Wikileaks Prize for Understanding Good Government that will award $100,000 to the first person or group to leak the 26 still-secret chapters of the TPP, go here:


    Three of the 29 chapters have already been Wikileaked. Join me and 1,479 other people who have so far pledged $76,784.33 toward the $100,000 goal.

  8. The Insider

    Re: “corporate” cannabis, I don’t know that there’s any way to prevent it. Too many people are convinced that they are going to make a big stack of cash off of it to let little inconveniences like well-intended regulations get in the way. When local producers with outside investors start running into regulations designed to keep them from growing to the size of a corporation, they’ll push to get those regulations dismantled. Given that the local producers have been involved as organizers and bankrollers for legalization, I suspect they’ll get their way.

    Re: smokeless cannabis, I think it’s a reasonably intelligent way of forestalling concerns over secondhand pot smoke. The legalization activists have taken as their philosophy that you should have the right to decide for yourself whether or not to you’ll be taking the risks that come with cannabis use. It’s not going to help the popularity of the movement if it turns out that your downstairs neighbor also has a say in the matter.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      Is there any advantage to smoking?

      If not, perhaps a Johnson & Johnson 24 hour time release tablet for a buzz that lasts all day.

      Now available in Extra Strength.

      1. hunkerdown

        In addition to the clear health benefit of being able to pick your own herbs off the backyard tree, cure ’em and smoke them, all without asking some absentee landlord for permission… the faster onset of inhaled THC allows finer control over how much is taken. Medibles like brownies, on the other hand, can give you a very disappointing time if overconsumed. Now that there are e-liquids made with cannabis extracts and e-cigs in which to vaporize them, maybe smoking isn’t so hot anymore.

        1. Propertius

          We’ve definitely had issues in Colorado with people overdosing on edibles – the onset is apparently slow enough that inexperienced people conclude they’ve taken too little, only to vastly overshoot their intended dose and feel rather unwell when it finally hits.

    2. jo6pac

      Yep, that’s what happened in the organic food industry. The organic food people started writing the rules and sadly big ag stole it for a rewrite. Unless you’re at the farmers market good luck

      1. Mel

        People at the market here, and other local vendors, are advertising “Non-certified Organic” as in “Who are you gonna believe, me, or an industry-created official standards board?”. They feel the standard sets the bar rather low.

  9. Jerry Denim

    Thank you Lambert for reprising the oldie but goodie HuffPo link on Obama’s sell-out on single payer. I though it was a new scoop on an old story until I read it through to the timestamp. Dovetails perfectly with the “trust me, the final draft will be much better” lines in the Politic piece about the TPP. I liked your link to ‘The Hill’ anti-Obama op-ed as well. All of this disgusting Obot triumphalism of the last week has been nauseating, depressing and disorienting for me. I broke down and inappropriately flamed a few Facebook friends over their online O-gasming this past week. It’s like I’m not even living in the same dimension as the rest of America. It almost makes me want to have a puff of what they’re smoking but I don’t know how to inhale when it comes to delusional cult of personality drugs. Thanks for curating one of the very few places left where I don’t feel crazy. It’s usually depressing as hell, but I’ll take principled and sane over the ‘blue pill’ any day.

  10. ian

    I’m looking forward to a Biden candidacy. Some of the Onions best work was been done on him ( cf “Shirtless Biden washes Trans-Am in White House driveway” ).

    1. nippersdad

      I saw that the other day! Give Naomi Klein a pulpit and just watch the sparks fly. This will not be the last we hear of this.

  11. nippersdad

    I see that you got the Budowski column in, but I thought that the one about Pelosi, also in The Hill today, made a great bookend to it:


    So, per Pelosi, the Party is actually the representative for Wall Street whilst Warren speaks for the weedy outliers. Meanwhile 13,000 people just showed up in Madison to see Bernie Sanders stump speech with an additional 8,000 watching the podcast on Youtube. She just doesn’t seem to be able to help herself.

      1. Sam Kanu

        Peloisi is not an evil witch conniving in a cave – she has a constituency in her state with tens or hundreds of thousands of people that keep voting her back into office. And they will next time around. As will virtually all the other so called traitors.

        Our people simply cannot stop themselves from voting for politicians that dont serve their best interests. It is we the electorate who deserve this punishment such as TPP. Nobody is doing this TO us – we are doing it to ourselves.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          One problem with voters is the one thing people hate more than scams and con men is being conned themselves. Usually frauds are obvious, yet they fall for frauds anyway. Acknowledging Obama as anything other than a superdy duperdy orator is to acknowledge falling for an obvious dog and pony show or even the recognition one is shallow. The last thing anyone who applauded Obama’s crummy speechifying will see themselves as is shallow.

        2. different clue

          There are anti-FreeTrade Reps who keep getting re-elected and re-re-elected. Marcy Kaptur is one such. So it is not something “we” are doing to “ourselves”. In the Pelosi case, it is something which her Silicon Yuppie base is doing to the rest of us. Pelosi suits her Limousine Liberals’ class and culture interests just fine, thank you. They aren’t voting against their own interests. As coastal elitists, they are voting to make a fortune off the country’s misfortune.

          It once again goes to show that there is no “we” in this country. There is only “us” and “them”. One side will survive by crushing the other side. Hopefully “us” will survive by destroying the Free Trade system that parasitic “thems” such as Pelosi AND HER BASE live off of.

      2. different clue

        She is also a perfect example of everything the DLC Clintonite Obamacrat leadership stands for. She is a perfect illustration of why the Democratic party either needs to be autoclaved and irradiated and then bio-remediated, or otherwise exterminated from existence and wiped off the face of the earth.

        And if the Pelosi-Steny HoYo Clintobamacrats are too powerful to remove, then exterminating the Dparty would be the more pragmatic and hopeful course.

  12. Sam Kanu

    I object to the red herring that the mainstream media is throwing around regarding Hillary Clinton – and this blog is falling for it too.

    “E-mail-gate” is not the main reason regarding Hillary. It’s a sideshow.

    In fact Hillary is royalty – and royalty can be expected to do what they like. Including privatising public property. That’s not a symptom of corruption – its a symptom of royal privilege.

    And ultimately it is that royal status that’s the real issue: we are supposedly a democratic nation of 300 million people. What are the chances that a single family should produce a husband and a wife that are BOTH the most qualified people to run the country? What are the chances of a father and a son. Or a father and TWO sons?

    When these people show up like this in a supposedly open process, they are spitting in the face of democracy. They shouldn’t be there in the first place! They are giant signposts of oligarchy and a failed democracy. Putting us in no better position than a banana republic. For this reason they should be rejected out of hand. Its not a matter debating their supposed “qualifications” or “weaknesses”. They don’t belong here in this process. Period.

    THAT is what the media should be bang on auto repeat. And this blog too. Not the damn emails….

    1. different clue

      Well, if the damn emails are a good takedown weapon, why not bang on about them? Every kneecap has its own tire iron and every tire iron has its own kneecap. One uses the tire iron best suited to the kneecap in question.

      1. Sam Kanu

        if the damn emails are a good takedown weapon,

        They are not a good takedown weapon – they are a distraction. In any self respecting democracy, said person is just not a candidate. It would be unseemly and just not done.

        So in this scenario, decency has not been established – and as such any prat about emails is inevitably going to go nowhere. Leaving the candidate in the game.

        Leaving you having wasted time that you should have spent on refusing this candidate to even enter the competition in the first place.

        I mean this si AMERICA. And we are discussing coronating the presidents wife? Of the presidents son/bother? With full acceptance from the electorate AND the press? Seriously?

        Its got indecency written all over it. But we want to waste time playing charades about email that assume the presence of decency in the first place?

        No – you have to demand decency to begin with.

        1. different clue

          Well, we have two theories on this question. There are probably enough people to have a bunch pursue each track . . . No Dynastic Politics! or Corrupt Emails Reveal Corruption . . . and see which works better. Perhaps each will multiply the effect of the other.

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