2:00PM Water Cooler 7/7/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


List of traitors in House and Senate, with phone numbers. Hat tip, reader Vatch. Be sure to visit them when they return to the district.

Australia: “As I keep warning, the Coalition looks set to make the same mistakes with the TPP as it made in negotiating the Australia-US FTA in 2004. That is, signing onto a deal that imposes significant costs on Australia’s consumers, taxpayers, and our world-class health system by placing the interest of US pharmaceutical and digital companies ahead of our own, all the while the US fails to free up access to its markets for our farmers” [Macrobusiness].

Froman: “A lot of opposition we heard during this debate on TPP was based on myth and misinformation. I can’t wait for this thing to be done and fully out there in public to say, ‘We told you this was going to have fully enforceable and binding labor obligations’, and it does” [Politico].
Australia: “A HIGHLY secretive deal being negotiated in Geneva [TISA] could see giant international childcare providers enter the Australian market with more limited future government control on how they operate” [News.com]. What could go wrong?



Portland: “What was scheduled as a town hall forum had become a full-blown rally by Monday night. Sanders’ speech was delayed by 20 minutes as organizers let in the throngs of people still awaiting entry. Estimates pegged the crowd at 8,000 to 9,000 people” [Bangor Daily News]. Idea: Sanders should pay a Brooklyn graphic designer a ton of money for a logo people can use to tweet selfies. What’s wrong with this guy?

“[T]he last three Democratic winners of Iowa (Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama) did win their party’s nomination” [NBC]. Trade traitor and Clinton surrogate McCaskill‘s anti-Sanders scare quote still making the rounds…

Black injustice: “I do not separate the civil-rights issue from the fact that 50 percent of African-American young people are either unemployed or underemployed” [Salon].

Iowa: “So does he think Iowa farms are getting too big? ‘Good question, I just don’t know’ [Daily Times Herald]. “I’m not a great fan of factory farming, I should tell you that.”

Iowa State University Political Science Professor Steffen Schmidt said Sanders’ “don’t know” response on the size-of-farm query is hardly surprising. It’s the sort of candor that makes Sanders, 73, so popular, Schmidt said.

‘When he doesn’t know something, he says, ‘I don’t know,’” Schmidt said. “Isn’t that better than if he came up with some BS.

It will be even more impressive if Sanders follows through with a policy response. But is his campaign operation up to that? Time will tell.

Ammosexuals and gun-humpers rejoice! Sanders does not want to grab your consumer fetish object! [Christian Science Monitor].

The S.S. Clinton

“Hillary Clinton Says Puerto Rico Should Have Access To U.S. Bankruptcy Laws” [Reuters]. Clinton’s policy on student debt “has not yet been finalized.” Regardless, why didn’t they come first? And will Clinton and the Democratic loyalists adopt another half-assed Republican plan? [Business Insider].

Experts are already drawing comparisons between student debt and [so-called] universal healthcare [ObamaCare], which several presidential administrations tried to tackle before it took the spotlight during the 2008 election. Then, Democrats touted the successes of Massachusetts’ 2006 healthcare reform just like they’re now pointing to Tennessee’s 2014 college promise plan that lets high schoolers get two years of free tuition at a local community or technical college.

Yeah. I mean, it’s not like working class people deserve a university education. Let’s be realistic! After all, we’re not a first-world country like Germany!

Last month, Hillary Clinton addressed America’s youth unemployment problem in a speech at South Carolina’s Trident Technical College to a predominantly black crowd [Fusion].

But where Sanders, a socialist, identified black youth unemployment as a civil-rights issue, Clinton portrayed it as solely an economic one, and did not identify specific proposals for black youth in her speech.

The Clinton campaign said last month it plans to outline economic policies proposals related to young black adults sometime this summer.

Clinton proposed a $1,500 tax credit to businesses that brought on young apprentices.

The vaunted Clinton policy apparatus needs to stop coming up with pissant proposals. This is school uniforms territory.

Republican donors call for calm [Yahoo].

“Exactly two weeks after the splash of his planned announcement on July 21, Fox News Channel will average together the latest polls of the Republican field and determine which 10 of the 16 announced candidates will participate in the first debate in Cleveland” [Politico]. Fingers crossed for The Donald!

Republican Clown Car

Trump’s Willie Horton? [Los Angeles Times]. Politifact: “Trump immigration claim has no data to back it up” [Politifact].

“Trump’s DC Hotel Is Being Built by Undocumented Immigrants He Despises” [Gawker]. So what’s the point? That Trump is savvy enough to be President?

“Chris Christie Administration Whistleblower To Justice Department: Bridgegate Prosecutor May Be Compromised” [Bloomberg].

Stats Watch

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, May 2015: “Job openings are up and employers are holding onto the employees that they have.” [Bloomberg]. “Payroll growth has been slow this year.” And: “The BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) can be used as a predictor of future jobs growth, and the predictive elements show that the year-over-year unadjusted private non-farm job opening growth rate declined significantly. The jobs growth rate predicted is about average for times of expansion. The problem with this data series is the backward revisions which makes real time analysis problematic” [Econintersect].

International Trade, July 7 2015: “[T]rade gap came in near expectations” [Bloomberg].

Gallup US Economic Confidence Indicator, June 2015:  “Most readings on confidence are going up but not Gallup’s economic confidence index which fell” [Bloomberg]. Lowest reading since November.

Redbook, week of July 4, 2015: “Hot weather triggered demand for seasonal goods”  [Bloomberg]. “But the reading is still soft and does not point to strength for the government’s core retail sales reading.” Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for Lambert:  An alert reader recommended a better indicator and I didn’t bookmark it.

“The latest Blogger Sentiment Poll released 07 June 2015 by Ticker Sense shows bullish bloggers are have mostly disappeared” [Econintersect]. FWIW!

China Markets

“Chinese Trading Suspensions Freeze $1.4 Trillion of Shares Amid Rout” [Bloomberg].

“The immediate question that comes to mind is that to qualify as a stock market, there has to be a two-sided market. If an investor can’t exit 26 percent of the stocks that are listed on the exchanges, if an investor and the marketplace have no idea where a quarter of the market is priced, is this really still a stock market?” [Wall Street on Parade]. “A trading ‘halt’ suggests a temporary measure; a trading ‘suspension’ suggests a much longer-term time frame.”

“The sell-off on Chinese stocks continued on Tuesday despite government efforts to bolster the markets amid investor unease that premier Li Keqiang failed to mention the deepening crisis in a statement on the economy” [Guardian].

“[The sell-off is] also causing a lot of pain in the commodities complex, where oil and copper prices are plunging amid fear lost wealth in China due to stock losses could slow China’s economy — the world’s second biggest — more acutely. While China’s A-shares have little linkage to other global markets due to the local nature of the investor pool and, therefore, is unlikely to cause contagion, there are risks” [USA Today].

“Still, there are warning signs that more pain may be coming. According to Oxford Economics, shares may have to fall another 35% or so to bring them into line with long-term averages” [CNN]. Fits this Maine bear’s priors!

“Of course, the right strategy is to leave it alone. The whole point of stocks is that they go down on occasion…. Unless the people and institutions holding them are highly leveraged” [The Grumpy Economist]. Indeed?

“[T]he Shanghai bust [is not a] disaster in and of itself. At a 15% share of household financial assets equity holdings are relatively minor. Add property and the share becomes small” [Macrobusiness]. So the main threat, then, would be to highly leveraged insiders? How de-li-ci-ous….

” [U]nless the ‘Xi put’ is way larger than the “Greenspan put” was back in the day, Chinese stocks still have a long way to fall” [WaPo].

Ongoing Developments in China [Econbrowser]. Some handy charts.

“China’s Policy Timeline” [Bloomberg]. Excellent graphic!


Flexian Eric “Place” Holder returns to Covington & Hotsheet Burling [National Law Journal]. “With somebody as talented as Eric is, I’m sure he will have lots of opportunities quickly.” Indeed! “Covington literally kept an office empty for him, awaiting his return” [The Intercept]. Ka-ching.

Health Care

“The Real Story of ObamaCare’s Birth” [The Atlantic]. I don’t have time to shred this, alas.

News of the Wired

The Grateful Dead’s “Wall of Sound” [Vice]. Speaking of tech….

“Augmented reality” — as with heads-up displays in cars — isn’t a good idea when critical fast-time reaction is required [Ars Technica].

“Google unveils Material Design Lite to help websites look more like Android apps” [The Next Web]. Why, Google? Why?

“Who is Victoria Taylor, the woman at the heart of the Reddit revolt?” [WaPo].

“Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest” [NPR].

“This weekend at Anime Expo, the manga community learned that Tokyopop would be officially returning to business. But not everyone is happy” [Daily Dot].

“Japanese men refusing to leave their bedrooms create social, health and economic issues” [ABC].

* * *

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-related project (Scott):


Scott calls this “Bag Ties and Twister Tool Garden Fencing” and writes:
Use with Rebar to anchor in ground then tie wood stakes or bamboo securely. Then use chicken wire or similar product to keep predators out!

I recall H’s lovely grape (and cucumber) arbor in Texas, also created with rebar. Maybe I have to hone my rebar chops!

Readers, if any of you did work in the garden over the long weekend, please use the contact form, and send in some photos to show off your work!

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. wbgonne

    Wiz remembered a similar Wall experience, this one in 1973 at Roosevelt Stadium, just outside New York City. There Wiz stood, at the far end of the parking lots. The band, who by this point could draw in thousands of people to an outdoor show, was set up on top of what would’ve been home plate, and their sound check beamed over the outfield bleachers. By his estimation, a good 100,000 people could’ve filled the space between the Wall and his ear canals.

    “Although the wind was playing with the sound—it would kind of blow it away—it was crystal clear all the way out there,” said Wiz, who joined up with the Dead in 1971 while working for Alembic. “The coherence of the waves as it propagated was really incredible.”

    Ahhh, funky Roosevelt Stadium. I was at that show myself, communing with the Wall of Sound via strange chemical processes.

      1. wbgonne

        For some reason, I can’t remember which one.

        Those strange chemical processes . . .

  2. Armchair Revolutionary

    I received a response on the ISO process for currency codes. This is related to the article The Card System De-Mystified

    The gist of the article was that the Card Settlement Process is extremely complex with a multitude of players; and, therefore the risk would be very high that tourists would not be able to use credit cards for extended period of time in the event of a currency change. This obviously would be very damaging to Greece given their dependency on tourism.

    You can see, however, by the players involved that this is just not the case. The Merchant Service Providers and Card Issuers will all either adapt quickly or give up their business. The industry is fragmented such that there will be a sufficient number of providers that will adapt quickly.

    The only holdout argument seemed to be that a new currency would require a new ISO code, which will have to go through a time consuming standards body and therefore could take a long, unknown time.

    So the response from SIX:

    The process is the following: as soon as a central bank approaches us with the request for a new currency code they propose the new code themselves.

    We as the Secretariat of the Maintenance Agency for ISO 4217 check in cooperation with the World Bank whether the proposed code by the central bank is in line with the ISO 4217 standard and is defined as follows:

    The first two characters of the alphabetic code are taken from the country code (ISO 3166-1:2013) which is, for example, GB for United Kingdom. The third character of the alphabetic code is an indicator derived from the name of the major currency unit. Therefore the new currency code must include GB for United Kingdom and the third letter describes the currency.

    We, as the Secretariat of the Maintenance Agency for ISO 4217, will recommend two options for the central bank with respect to readopting its legacy currency:

    1. Re-use the same denomination prior to switching to the EURO. The “old” ISO currency code remains the same; 2. Re-name / redenominate the legacy currency; introduce a new ISO currency code (i.e. alphabetic and numeric codes will change).

    Once the decision is made by the central bank, the Maintenance Agency would disseminate the new amendment within 24 hours (business days).

    This process would take one week approximately but this can vary from case to case. We have published new currency codes within a period from one week to several months. This often depends on political decisions and the question of money printing.

    Thus, we can conclude that credit card settlement in support of tourism is not likely a great risk in the event of a new currency. There will certainly be major risks for Greece, but this is not likely the greatest risk.

    To NC: this article and the associated comments were an exercise in scare mongering where you did not have the information to back up the claims. This should be a wakeup call that you need to stick to solid information or NC begins to sound like the sky is falling articles with no foundation that are common elsewhere.

    1. Nathan Tankus

      Before we talk about “substance” let me begin with this: you emailed along the comment questioning our integrity because your comment was in moderation. If you want all your comments to appear instantly you need to pay money for that to happen. If you’re unwilling to accept that your comment may be locked up for hours because there is at best 1.3 people running this site, the exit is that way.

      “You can see, however, by the players involved that this is just not the case. The Merchant Service Providers and Card Issuers will all either adapt quickly or give up their business. The industry is fragmented such that there will be a sufficient number of providers that will adapt quickly.”

      this is handwaving. IT transitions cost real amounts of time and money and are generally chronically underfunded by financial institutions the world over. You have no evidence that the transition will be quick and they will invest additional funds making Greece functional. They could easily decide their IT systems there are a sunk cost or at least wait and see if such a transition is really needed (ie whether the government collapses and a new government gets let back in).

      “The only holdout argument seemed to be that a new currency would require a new ISO code, which will have to go through a time consuming standards body and therefore could take a long, unknown time.”

      Pure misrepresentation. How long it takes for the ISO to issue a new ISO 4217 file is a minor part (although the week or so you quote here as the shortest possible time can easily be forever in transition form the Euro time). The big part is again getting IT systems all over, especially Europe and of course Greece to transition to the new file and to re-denominate the entire financial system (and deal with the associated lawsuits and asset seizures internationally).

      “Thus, we can conclude that credit card settlement in support of tourism is not likely a great risk in the event of a new currency. There will certainly be major risks for Greece, but this is not likely the greatest risk.”
      see above. this is pure handwaving and misrepresentation. Publishing a new file/= all new files updated. From all the reports we’ve gotten it took months, even a year to update all the new systems to the new ISO file given when transitioning to the Euro and that was with massive political and economic pressure to do so. Transitioning so you can do business in all of Europe is very different than transitioning so you can do business in Greece.

      “To NC: this article and the associated comments were an exercise in scare mongering where you did not have the information to back up the claims. This should be a wakeup call that you need to stick to solid information or NC begins to sound like the sky is falling articles with no foundation that are common elsewhere.”

      They were a look at the facts as we’ve had them and you haven’t dispelled any of the evidence based arguments you think you have. How about before assuming we’re wrong and than trying desperately to scrounge up evidence to back up what you already believe, you take a cold hard look at what we’ve actually said. I’d personally love to be wrong about this. Go about proving it and stop trying to find a shred of evidence you can bend over and over again until you can interpret it to say something it doesn’t say at all. If you continue strawmanning us and attempting to publish baseless invective on this site I will personally stop your comments from coming in. This is not the commons, it is a website run on very little resources that has spent an undue amount of them responding to you. You do not have a right to come here and do this. Start up a blog for all the commenters who are so upset that we’re oh so mean to you and complain there.

    2. Clive

      In my article, I certainly did not claim that any of the parties in the card payments system could not adapt. Nor did I claim they would not adapt.

      What I definitely did claim was that a) they would need a finite amount of time to react individually and that b) the system as a whole would only complete its adaptations once all parties had completed their individual adaptations in isolation (unit tested) and then the entire edifice could be tested as a whole (system tested). This collective organisation and implementation of change is not a trivial undertaking and so neither is the time required to complete it.

      You also refer to the risk of scaremongering if, here may I be permitted to paraphrase, simple straightforward adaptations are blown out of proportion. But there is another risk, that which is incurred because unvalidated assumptions are made about how a task is simple, easy to do and won’t take very long. If individuals, the organisations they work in and — worst of all — governments make plans or define strategy based on such overly optimistic assumptions, chaos can ensue when their plans fail and their strategies are found to be inappropriate.

      Your comment contains just such an assumption on how “easy” it apparently is to define a new ISO standard for a currency code and then gain agreement for it. But even based on the text you include about what the new currency code should be for any reintroduced drachma, there is a decision tree “we could do 1. or we could do 2. it’s your choice, just let us know”. But there are implications of choosing one or other option. That is why the stakeholders to the ISO standard have to consider the impact and come to a collective decision about what to do. Yes, when everyone has agreed, it gets rubber stamped pretty quickly. But you provide no substance on how that agreement is to be secured.

      And even once an ISO standard is defined, all that does is give the industry a pre-requisite for the implementation. If you could perhaps indulge us by providing some outline proposals for how tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of EPoS terminals can be upgraded and, as you put it “adapt quickly” I for one am all ears.

  3. allan

    Astroturf operation or personality cult? You decide:

    One day in May, operatives from a Washington-based super PAC gathered New Hampshire mayors, state representatives and local politicos at St. Anselm College for a day of training.

    They rehearsed their personal tales of how they met Hillary Rodham Clinton and why they support her for president. They sharpened their defenses of her record as secretary of state. They scripted their arguments for why the Democratic front-runner has been “a lifetime champion of income opportunity.” And they polished their on-camera presentations in a series of mock interviews.

    The objective of the sessions: to nurture a seemingly grass roots echo chamber of Clinton supporters reading from the same script across the communities that dot New Hampshire, a critical state that hosts the nation’s first presidential primary.

    They could have saved a lot of time and trouble by remembering this.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Awww, no. Say it’s not so. Personal conversion narratives again? That was the worst part of 2008 for me, the absolute worst. I suppose next comes “check the website.”

    2. Brindle

      Thanks for the link to:

      Mrs. Iselin: [at meal time] I’m sorry, hon’. Would it really make it easier for you if we settled on just one number?

      Sen. John Yerkes Iselin: Yeah. Just one, real, simple number that’d be easy for me to remember.

      [Mrs. Iselin watches her husband thump a bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup onto his plate]

      Sen. John Yerkes Iselin: [addressing the Senate] There are exactly 57 card-carrying members of the Communist Party in the Department of Defense at this time!

  4. Garrett Pace

    Reddit fired a person without knowing what their job was, and extremely public hilarity ensued.

    I take it as a sign of our times. As much as “economists” and “the economy” try to break every job and task into discrete pieces that can be performed by a robot or monkey, there’s still lots of ways that groups self-organize to get things done. MBAs get to feeling like they are just moving around pieces in a machine or a chessboard and then it breaks and it turns out they didn’t understand things as well as they thought. It’s not all just formulas in textbooks.

    Anyway Reddit management is trying to play catch-up and it’s going about as well as you would imagine, not least because they took their case to other media outlets and didn’t engage on reddit itself.

    Here’s a marvelous quote, from an email discussion where one of Reddit’s out-of-touch founders pooh-poohs problem that the “AMA” community was having to set up an interview with Stephen Hawking:

    “we’re also aware that a lot of these scientists are quite comfortable typing”



    1. different clue

      It’s too bad these independent sub-redditors didn’t think to make re-hiring Ms. Taylor with all rights, benefits, privileges, powers a pre-condition of turning their sub-reddits back on. They might have lost such a battle, but they might have won it. As it is, they have been “big about it” with a very small management.
      That management is now free to treat them as badly as it wants to, going forward . . . with occasional time-outs to spray a little “better communications” perfume on the management-policy pig.

      What would happen if backers approached Ms. Taylor about running her own site, to be called Ask Me Anything. Its address could be http://www.askmeanything.com Think she and the people being asked anything might go for it?

      1. Garrett Pace

        That’s right out of the bourgie playbook though, isn’t it? They benefit from the status quo, too. Management knew opposition would be symbolic, and it was.

        These moderators get to rule their little communities like little monarchs. No reddit, no fiefdoms.

        It’s interesting to observe as part of the proletariat – the controversies are esoteric and mostly private, until they aren’t, and when they erupt in public it’s really something.

  5. rich

    A Socialist Surge in the U.S.? Bernie Sanders Draws Record Crowds, Praises Greek Anti-Austerity Vote

    AMY GOODMAN: How does Bernie Sanders compare to Hillary Clinton?

    RICHARD WOLFF: Well, she’s the old. She is the staid, do it by the books, the old rules, as Paul said so nicely.
    She is playing the game the way the game has been played now for decades.

    Bernie Sanders is saying the unthinkable, saying it out loud, saying it with passion, putting himself forward, even though the name “socialist,” which was supposed to be a political death sentence—as if it weren’t there. And he’s showing that for the mass of the American people, it’s not the bad word it once was. It’s sort of a kind of position in which the conventional parties are so out of touch with how things have changed, that they make it easy for Mr. Sanders to have the kind of response he’s getting. And my hat’s off to him for doing it.

    AMY GOODMAN: Explain what socialism means.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “I don’t know” is a blunt argument. I’ll take him at his word and guess is doesn’t know how to move forward. Breaking up mega farms isn’t practical. Is a solution as simple as cutting corn subsidies or moving to a full blown futuristic farm in the ruins of old big box stores?

      Vermont has a cheddar industry and some rather unpleasant lake Champlain shoreline.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Fixing Big Ag is not an easy problem, no. But just because Vermont is small doesn’t mean Sanders can’t avail himself of a broad spectrum of alternatives.

  6. ambrit

    Ah, the nuts and bolts of garden design! I’ve lost my ‘twister’ that I had to use to retie rods I’d have to move because some uncaring steelman kicked my pipe “hat” out of his way while putting the bar and mesh in a deck prior to pouring concrete. Such was a constant problem when working on any multi floor project. The pipe hat is nailed to the wooden base of a floor form where a pipe must penetrate the cement. Said holes must line up with each other and wall centres, etc. When the concrete is poured, the hat creates a hole in the finished deck. The rebar, being the strength of the deck, should be run around such holes to preserve continuity in the ‘skeleton’ of the deck. I’ve been called many quaint and colourful things in several languages whenever I told steelmen that they had to move their rod so I could put a hat back where it belonged. If nothing else works, an eficient method of getting the problem dealt with is to bring an oxygen acetylene cutting rig onto the steel and fire it up. Since even the basic layout of rebar is engineered for particular purposes, the threat of cutting the rebar out of the way will get the foremans’ attention. I’ve done that several times.
    Still, do be careful using the ties and twister. You can really pinch your finger if it gets caught in the tie when you start twisting. (One more reason for steelmen to wear leather gloves.)

  7. Jill

    Sanders: This quote under the heading: black injustice tipping point is really important. “I do not separate the civil-rights issue from the fact that 50 percent of African-American young people are either unemployed or underemployed” This quote should be adopted by Sander’s supporters.

    I do not separate Sanders support for the military industrial complex from the fact that he talks well about many civilian social issues.

    Counterpunch has an article about how supporters are separating the two and what the implications of this are for liberals. It’s entitled: “Sanders meter goes off the BS charts”.

    1. Jess

      I, too, wished Bernie was move dovish on foreign policy and military issues. However, which would you rather have:

      a) War abroad and crushing austerity at home, with continued assaults on SS/M, abysmal domestic job growth, more bank coddling, and relentless efforts for “free” trade to further gut our economy, etc.

      b) War abroad with expansion of SS/M, massive domestic infrastructure spending to create jobs, vetoing of any TPP type efforts, and efforts to both prosecute the bankers and break up the TBTF banks?

      I’ll go with “b”.

        1. Jill

          Jess, if you have time consider reading the Counterpunch article.

          I do feel that roadrider is correct to say that your question is a false dichotomy and here’s why. The known military budget is over 50% of the budget. The black budget I figure must be extraordinary, given the activities it finances.

          You cannot avoid austerity at home by supporting and refusing to speak of the MIC. That money must come from somewhere and that somewhere is the ordinary taxpayer of this govt.

          The banks play an integral role in the MIC. In this way also, to refuse to speak of the military budget and to support various wars of empire is going to negate the ability to do the things that you want done.

          Money to do these necessary goods must come from taxpayers. If 50% + is going to the military coffers, the good things we all agree on will not happen.

          1. Vatch

            Clarification: the military budget is huge, and needs to be reduced. However, it is not half of the federal budget, it is half of the federal discretionary budget. For more information, see this:


            During FY2014, the federal government spent $3.504 trillion on a budget or cash basis, up $50 billion or 1% vs. FY2013 spending of $3.455 trillion. Major categories of FY 2014 spending included: Social Security ($845B or 24% of spending), Healthcare such as Medicare and Medicaid ($831B or 24%), Defense Department ($596B or 17%), non-defense discretionary spending used to run federal Departments and Agencies ($583B or 17%), other mandatory programs such as food stamps and unemployment compensation ($420B or 12%) and interest ($229B or 4%).

        2. Jess

          Okay, name one presidential candidate from either party who is talking the domestic economic and social policy programs that Bernie is. (No, you don’t get to argue that he will pull Hellary left, and no, you don’t get to put forward the unelectable dilettante and poseur candidate Jill Stein.)

          1. Jill


            You don’t answer anything I actually said you simply make a demand that I pick someone for you out of your limited circle. However, I don’t buy into your circle or your restrictions or your limitations. I don’t even accept the “either” party as a reality. There are other major party candidates and you should research them to see if they speak on these issues (one does!).

            Then, if you are an honest person, you will address the issue I raised as a honest response to what your wrote. I wasn’t BSing you and I think you should address my actual response.

            1. Jill

              This is from the website of Lincoln Caffe: “The tragedies of the Iraq War are manifold; lost and injured lives, hundreds of billions of squandered tax dollars, the difficulty of providing just and proper care for our brave veterans, but maybe the most tragic, the loss of American credibility. I commit to the repair needed to all the harm done….”

              Middle Class
              A strong middle class is the bedrock of any prosperous community.

              However today’s system is stacked against too many American families. They play by all the rules; they are educated, often at great cost; they work hard all week, and are barely making ends meet. This is not right….”

              Environmental Stewardship
              Responsible environmental stewardship can coexist with economic strength.

              Throughout my career I have shown the proper respect for our natural world. At the local level I was a champion for wise growth with maximum input from neighbors on development. As a Senator, I was often the critical vote in favor of clean air, clean water and protection of vulnerable species…”

              ActiveProtection of Personal Liberties
              The freedoms granted to America in our Constitution should never be abridged.

              Recently certain of our rights have been wrongfully infringed upon. Particularly the Fourth Amendment forbids the tapping of our phones without a warrant. And the Eighth Amendment outlaws cruel and unusual punishment or torture. I will never allow our liberties to be diminished. And I will always steadfastly support our First Amendment rights. I also strongly support a woman’s right to make her own personal reproductive decisions. I believe in common sense adherence to the Second Amendment.”

              1. Vatch

                Former Republican Lincoln Chafee would be a better President than Obama, and I would consider voting for him. But like Sanders, he’s not perfect. Here’s the House roll call vote for the Patriot Act of 2001. Sanders voted No, along with 65 other Representatives. So Sanders voted the right way that day.


                Here’s the Senate roll call vote for the Patriot Act of 2001. Chafee voted Yes, which was the wrong way to vote, but almost all Senators voted that way. Only one Senator voted No, Russ Feingold:


                Both Sanders and Chafee voted against the Iraq War Resolution of 2002.

            2. Jess

              First, I agree that the military budget should be drastically reduced. However, if you believe MMT, the cost of war has no impact on our ability to finance projects here at home on the federal level. Third, Chaffee is an ex-Republican who speaks in non-specific platitudes. I didn’t find anything in your quotes from his platform about:

              – Breaking up TBTF banks and prosecuting banksters.
              – Single payer healthcare.
              – Expanding and increasing Social Security.
              – Getting rid of tax breaks for companies that offshore jobs.

              I could make a longer list. But you go ahead and bury Bernie because he isn’t a total dove. I leave you Vatch’s comment from below:
              “If everyone in Congress “supported” the military industrial complex the way that Sanders does, the military budget would be smaller, and the U.S. would be involved in fewer wars.”

              1. Jill


                Of course the cost of war will impact the ability to pay for domestic programs.

                I gave you selected quotes from Chaffe’s website. Surely you should look at the entire site and research him before you bury him!

                More importantly, Sanders is becoming the cult of personality. Asking questions about Sanders is healthy and necessary. As a follower of him, you should ask those questions yourself so that you understand your own candidate’s positions.

                The amount of anger that questioning Sanders brings out is the tell. A citizen isn’t offended by information about their candidate. They would take that information and force their candidate to change.

                With Sanders we are already in Obama territory. There will be no questions. That is really scary. It is a citizen’s job to ask tough questions and move their leadership where they want them to go. Don’t wait for him to finish his 12 dimensional chess game or for the ship of state to turn around. Get moving, ask tough questions, demand answers and get pushy.

                1. Jill

                  Jess, I had one last question. Liz Warren is a former Republican. Since you think this counts against supporting Chaffee, do you also feel that way about Warren?

                  Wouldn’t that logically disqualify both of them from your support?

                2. Vatch

                  I agree that it is proper to ask tough questions. One crucial difference between Presidential candidate Sanders and Presidential candidate Obama is that Sanders has been in the Congress since 1991. Obama only entered the Congress in 2005, and by 2007 he was already a Presidential candidate. There wasn’t much of a record to analyze.

                  You can learn a lot about Sanders just by inspecting the Congressional roll call votes for the past 24 years. We didn’t have that option with Obama, and he was able to fool a lot of people (such as myself). If you have concerns about Sanders, go to https://www.congress.gov/, and see how he voted. There are thousands of examples. Don’t depend on a few writers at Counterpunch to tell you what happened. Obviously I don’t expect anyone to look at every roll call vote, but I think that people should pay more attention to the roll call votes than to opinion pieces.

                  As for Chafee’s status as a former Republican, I can’t speak for Jess. In my opinion, it certainly does not disqualify Chafee in any way. It’s just something to be aware of.

    2. Vatch

      Compared to most members of Congress, Sanders’s support for the military industrial complex is quite limited. If everyone in Congress “supported” the military industrial complex the way that Sanders does, the military budget would be smaller, and the U.S. would be involved in fewer wars.

  8. New Deal democrat

    Here you go:


    “The Retail Economist-Goldman Sachs (TRE-GS) Weekly Chain Store Sales Index rose by another hefty 2.1 % (seasonally adjusted) compared with its previous week for the period ending on Saturday, July 4. On a year-over-year basis, sales rose by 3.0 % – its strongest year-over-year pace since matching its May 23 performance.”

    In re employment, while I think Steven Hansen is incorrect about job openings – they were the last of the 4 JOLTS series to turn south before 2008, I do think JOLTS points to at least a small slowdown, which is confirmed by the American Staffing Association’s temp staff index, graph here: https://americanstaffing.net/staffing-research-data/asa-data-dashboard/asa-staffing-index/#tab:52-week-chart
    It is also reported weekly. Don’t forget to bookmark it!

  9. MikeW_CA

    Froman: “A lot of opposition we heard during this debate on TPP was based on myth and misinformation. I can’t wait for this thing to be done and fully out there in public to say, ‘We told you this was going to have fully enforceable and binding labor obligations’, and it does”

    Thank you for this “money quote”. If it doesn’t sum up what’s wrong, nothing does. TPP could be wonderful, it could be fantastic for American Workers, and we still need to oppose it, because “done and fully out there” is not how democracy works. Whatever the wonderful benefits of this “trade” agreement might be (and all indications are “negligible, at best”) the benefits of preserving a functioning democratic republic would be certain to outweigh them.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Chinese market sell-off is like 7 years late.

    And that confirms the theory that (the) time (it takes to burst a bubble) slows down as the mass (gravity) of the market increases.

    And perhaps the Chinese investors were hunting for wealth neutrinos in a deep mine and now, it looks like those wealth-miners are trapped in this mine-collapse.

  11. Morris

    An unwelcome dose of reality for the believers in the Bernie Sanders fairy. I cannot stomach any more from liberal democrats, or self-named socialists.


    “My bullshit meter went off the charts last night. I’ve seen this song and dance before. But it doesn’t really matter what I think because those 9,000 mostly liberal democrats left the Civic Center last night thinking they have found another shining knight on a white horse to lead them to victory. “

    1. nippersdad

      That is a good point, and I think that the total silence on it is largely because he already knows how divisive it would be to those filling those arenas. He is a pragmatic guy, and at some point that elephant in the room will have to be addressed before the debates. However, at this point in the game his schtick is to get support on all of the issues that are polling well to get his numbers up.

      The problem with a grass roots campaign is that you have to keep the troops happy.

  12. Glenn France

    Regarding China Markets

    It appears that the USA is paying back China for the hack into the Fed employee database.

  13. Carla

    “The vaunted Clinton policy apparatus needs to stop coming up with pissant proposals. This is school uniforms territory.”

    Geez, Lambert, whose side are you on? Tips for the anointed one are NOT what the country needs!

    1. Demeter

      Don’t worry! Despite all the Listening Tours, Hillary isn’t and won’t be listening to nobodies like the People.

      She’s rather like Pooh-Bah in the Mikado: so full of her self-importance that she won’t talk to anyone below “the rank of stockbroker” (or bankster CEO, to update the play).

    1. kj1313

      The politics of it are predictable but this nation needs to own up to their history.

    1. hunkerdown

      That’s a given, but the existence of MDL affects the mobile app economy (and ecology). Consider these events over the past year or two.

      Apple debuted Swift, a lighter-weight language in which to write native apps. Google recently introduced Blink, their portable HTML rendering engine (forked from WebKit, if I recall). Chromium, the community-maintained, less-googly version of Chrome, now has an app store. And Andy Rubin and most of the early Android technologists are now long gone from Google and off influencing other things, so the Java heritage, with all its baggage and bloat, isn’t necessarily so sacred to Google anymore.

      I might be high on hopium in speculating this, because it’s the sort of platform I would rather be targeting most days. But, given all that movement, and owing to the relevant VMs, standards and libraries being better cooked today, it could be that Google is fixing to resurrect, with gusto, the web app — a mobile app that just launches a web page, typically an HTML/JS-based single-page application embedded within the app container. A browser that approaches native-code performance is one half of that endeavor. An HTML/CSS toolkit that makes a web page look and behave like an Android app is the other half. The app developer, who could be any two-bit web dev, needs only pull them together using the standard procedures.

  14. Jack

    Tokyopop is coming back? Oh…great…

    Looking back on it now I see that they were in their own small way an example of crapification. They attempted to flood and dominate the market; the paper was cheap and quality control was basically non-existent. They also played a large part in the phenomenon of hiring amateur fan-translators en mass, which among other things made some of the worst and laziest practises of, well, non-translation (leaving every single honorific untranslated is a big one) the new industry standard. These newbies also had no idea what a fair wage was either (probably in awe of being paid at all to do what they had already been doing for free), which did not please veteran translators.

    Tokyopop eventually imploded, and other, better publishers like Seven Seas, Viz and Yen Press bought up most of the licenses. But TP still left a big impact. To this day lazy non-translation remains widespread.

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