2:00PM Water Cooler 8/25/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.



“Sanders: Great White Hope or Hype?” [The Real News]. Because #BlackSinglePayer doesn’t matter?

Donna Brazile is a Democratic insider’s insider. (“Campaign Zero” is the policy agenda put forward by a subset of BLM called “We The Protesters,” discussed here.)

If you’ll check, you’ll see that Clinton is notably light on endorsing any part of this policy agenda. Brazile has to know this. So…. 

The Voters

“John Anderson ran in 22 Republican presidential primaries in 1980 and still got on the ballot in all states in November as an independent or minor party candidate. After Anderson, the individual who set the most precedents is Lyndon LaRouche, who sought the Democratic nomination in 1984, 1988, and 1992, and then ran as an independent in all three elections” [Ballot Access News].

Frank Luntz polls trump voters: “Pollster’s Legs Wobble After Fawning Donald Trump Focus Group” [Time]. “‘He’s not afraid,” said a woman who voted twice for Obama. ‘He keeps prodding on even if people give him negative press. He doesn’t change and apologize.”

“By the night’s end, Rice was sold. ‘I heard echoes of Ronald Reagan,’ he told me, adding, ‘If I had to vote today, I would vote for Trump'” [The New Yorker]. Equating Trump and Reagan is a sign of normalizing Trump. Watch out for that.

The Trail

Sanders game plan: “Confront Hillary Clinton on issues – not her email use – resist the lure of negative attacks, pull off an upset in an early primary contest and harness that momentum to catapult forward into a targeted state-based fight for delegates” [US News]. Interview with Sanders strategist Tad Devine. “Four separate Clinton spokespeople and advisers did not respond to inquiries seeking a counterview.” And: “Sanders does not yet have paid staffers in any state holding a contest in March … At the top of that list [for later primaries] are Massachusetts, whose residents will see much of the advertising and media coverage of the campaign in next door New Hampshire, as well as Colorado….

“Dirty Tricksters, From Nixon to Trump (w/ Mark Ames)” [YouTube]. Illuminating discussion of Roger Stone.

The Hill

“[W]ith 28 Democrats backing the deal and 16 undecided, Obama is likely to reach veto-proof support for September’s resolution of disapproval, which would block congressional sanctions from being lifted. Obama needs 34 votes to sustain a veto” [Politico].

Stats Watch

The Fed: “Turbulence in financial markets and the shaky global economy are casting doubt over whether the Federal Reserve will take the landmark step of raising its target interest rate when it meets next month” [WaPo]. “Landmark” only because free money for those who have lots of it is now the new normal.

New Home Sales, July 2015: “New home sales rose solidly in July from a downdraft in June” [Bloomberg]. “The housing sector may not be soaring, but it is a center of strength for the economy.” But: “The rolling averages smooth out much of the uneven data produced in this series – and this month there was an insignificant deceleration in the rolling averages” [Econintersect]. “The quantity of new single family homes for sale remains well below historical levels.”

FHFA House Price Index, June 2015: “FHFA and Case-Shiller are both telling the same story: Home prices were soft going into the summer” [Bloomberg]. “Sales rates are tracking at roughly double the pace of price growth, a mismatch that points ahead to price acceleration given how thin inventories are right now in the housing sector.”

S&P Case-Shiller HPI, June 2105:  “Inventories may be low and sales rates firm, but both Case-Shiller and FHFA are pointing to a surprising flat spot for home-price appreciation” [Bloomberg]. “Softness in home prices is a surprise and suggests that sellers are offering price concessions.” But: “The way to understand the dynamics of home prices is to watch the direction of the rate of change. Here home price growth generally appears to be stabilizing (rate of growth not rising or falling)” [Econintersect].

Consumer Confidence, August 2015: “Enormous improvement in the assessment of the current labor market drove the consumer confidence index well beyond expectations. The expectations component also shows major strength. Buying plans, however, are downbeat with fewer planning to buy a vehicle and, in what could be an ominous indication for housing, many fewer planning to buy a house. Inflation expectations are dormant” [Bloomberg]. “The Yellen Fed has put great emphasis on the importance on consumer confidence readings and this report points to job-driven strength ahead for household spending.” And: “This index has now improved to a point that its level is now commenserate with periods of economic expansion” [Econintersect].

PMI Services Flash, August 2015:  “Service-sector growth is holding solid this month, well over breakeven. A negative is a marked slowing in new orders where” [Bloomberg]. “The service sector is more important than ever to the health of the economy given building troubles in China and Asia and slowing in Europe.”

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, August 2015: “Early indications on August factory conditions are mixed with Richmond the latest, coming in at a disappointing zero,” below expectations [Bloomberg]. ” Hiring is flat and price data are mute. This report follows last week’s big fall in the Empire State report and respectable readings in the Philly Fed and manufacturing PMI reports. All together, they point to a bumpy month for the still struggling factory sector.”

State Street Investor Confidence Index, August 2015: “Reflecting concerns over China, investor confidence eased in August” [Bloomberg]. Pre-Monday…. 

“The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), dropped 0.3 percent in August, a marked deceleration of activity from second quarter performance” [Econintersect].

“At 2.4% of GDP, the current year’s deficit will be the smallest since 2007 and below the 50-year average relative to the size of the economy” [Market News].

“Of course all of this can be reversed for the better with a simple fiscal expansion, as the underlying problem remains- the Federal deficit is too small in the absence of sufficient private sector deficit spending needed to offset desires to not spend income. (Yes, it’s always an unspent income story…)” [Mosler Economics].

Mr. Market

“U.S. stocks jumped Tuesday, echoing a rally in Europe, after Beijing cut interest rates and strength in a key barometer of economic health helped lift shares following a deep rout. ” [Wall Street Journal, “U.S. Stocks Jump as Global Markets Stabilize After China Fall”]. “In currency markets, many of the previous day’s big moves went into reverse. A host of emerging-market currencies gained against the dollar, including the South African rand and Russian ruble.”

“I Knew Black Monday. Black Monday Was a Friend of Mine. This Was No Black Monday” [Streetwise Professor]. “Today’s move was about a 3 sigma move. Black Monday, 1987, was a 20 sigma move. If the world was normal-which it ain’t, of course-a 20 sigma move should occur every several billion lives of the universe. Three sigma moves occur about once every five years. So in fact, we’re a little bit overdue.”  (“You were lucky.”)

“This week’s stock market turbulence could turn out to be a lot like [the 1987 Crash] — a source of stress for traders in the world’s stock markets, but not necessarily a sign that larger economic problems are looming” [Vox].

“The six Cs of the China stock slump” [BBC]. Central bank, currency, contagion, correction or crash, consequence. And China.

“It’s all very well panicking about China’s slowing growth, but panicking about China’s stock market implosion is misplaced. It was obvious … . that the market being in the grip of a speculative bubble. That the bubble has now popped, however, tells us little about what is going on in China’s economy” [FT Alphaville].

“[T]he Chinese authorities have apparently ended support for equity prices this week, according to a Bloomberg story, suggesting that they are shifting from direct support for equity prices (Wall Street) and instead are focusing on broader support for the economy (Main Street) through monetary policy actions. Sounds like a wise policy shift to me” [Across the Curve].

 “Some bond veterans say softness in investment-grade and junk bonds was ‘canary in the coal mine’” [Wall Street Journal, “Bonds Market Saw Global Selloff Coming”]. 

“Private so-called unicorns like Airbnb and Palantir … are racking up big losses yet have attracted astonishing valuations – $50 billion for Uber, for example. These beasts will take a bigger hit, but their suffering will, for now at least, take place behind closed doors” [Reuters],

“America’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, has lost 10.87 percent of its market capitalization in the past three trading sessions. That’s $27.18 billion in three days, raising serious questions about the Federal Reserve’s theory that beefed up equity capital would buffer the mega banks in a market downturn” [Wall Street on Parade].

“A White House spokesman on Monday sought to soothe public fears amid dramatic volatility in U.S. stock markets, while delivering a warning to Congress to avoid a ‘self-inflicted wound'” [The Hill].  Another government shutdown, not some form of reflexivity.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“I was a civil rights activist in the 1960s. But it’s hard for me to get behind Black Lives Matter” [WaPo]. I don’t care about their saggy pants, and I don’t care for pound cake.

“Campaign Zero: Black Lives Matter activists’ new, comprehensive policy platform, explained” [Matt Yglesias, Vox]. “The policy proposals are fairly reasonable” (discussed here).

“It’s not often that a man who laid the blueprint out for some of the most prominent Classical Civil Rights activists and their protest methods gets forgotten, lost to the wind, and rarely discussed. It’s not often that the man who assembled together 200,000 people in front of the Capitol Mall for the iconic March on Washington to be conspicuously left out of the textbooks” [Buzzfeed]. Bayard Rustin.

“[T]he [National Park Service] has hired two historians to conduct its first comprehensive survey of ‘nationally significant’ sites connected with Reconstruction” [New York Times]. The half has never been told about this, either.

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Nation Just Hoping Next President Can Prevent Country’s Decline From Being Totally Humiliating” [The Onion].

“Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in shaping his ‘Force of the Future’ initiative, is weighing creation of new ‘technical career tracks’ that would allow many more high-tech military personnel to serve full careers without having to strive for command or being pushed into supervisory roles” [Military Advantage]. Attaboy. That’s the way to make the civlian economy flourish.

Health Care

“n order to navigate increasing regulations and the burgeoning cost of practice, the majority of physicians in this country are now under contract with multispecialty medical groups with at least 50 doctors, which in turn are getting snapped up by hedge funds, hospitals, and corporations, he says” [Vice]. “Buyers expect a healthy bottom line from their investments, Caplan says. Evidence suggests their expectations are being met.” So if you think your doctor has your health is the first priority, think at least twice, because incentives are all the other way.

Dear Old Blightly

“Could Jeremy Corbyn resurrect Labour in Scotland?” [The Conversation]. Probably not; the separatist train has left the station.

” Why is Corbyn doing better on social media?” [Open Democracy]. “Old fashioned public rhetoric has been given a new lease of life by the internet. It is estimated that Mhairi Black’s maiden speech to the Commons has been viewed by millions; millions more have watched Emma Watson speak to the UN about feminism, Obama’s eulogy for Clementa Pinckney and Steve Jobs’ Commencement address.”

Class Warfare

“ATM Fees Drag Down People on Public Assistance” [American Banker]. “These ATM fees can cost families 1% or more of their already small monthly income, according to the EBT Working Group.”

“Literary Magazines for Socialists Funded by the CIA, Ranked ” [The Awl].

“Starbucks CEO Asks Baristas to Be ‘Sensitive’ to Customers as Stock Market Plunges” [Time].

News of the Wired

“The Koreas on Tuesday once again proved their mastery at pulling back from the brink — this time with an accord forged in two marathon negotiating sessions over three days” [Japan Times].

“Uber Is Laying The Groundwork For Perpetual Rides In San Francisco” [BuzzFeed]. Uber CEO Travis Kalanieack’s dream: “It’s the perpetual trip, the trip that never ends. The driver picks one passenger up, picks another passenger up, drops off the first passenger, but then picks up passenger number three and drops off passenger number two.” That dream is called a “bus.” Kalanick and his funders are stunned by the brilliance of “Smart Routes” because they don’t take public transportation.

 “A series of studies by researchers at Columbia Business School, Harvard Business School and Insead, a European business school, published online this month in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, asserts that people who are able to understand sarcasm are more creative and better able to solve problems. But, to avoid conflict, sarcasm is best used between people who trust each other” [Wall Street Journal, “People Love Your Sarcasm, Really”]

“DOJ Dismisses Case After Court Explains That Feds Can’t Just Grab Someone’s Laptop At The Border” [Tech Dirt]. Good!

* * *

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 (Jon):


Oranges (?) and tomatoes! I just ate my first ripe tomato yesterday; I’m guessing people in Florida are on their second or third crop!

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. This is turning into a tough month, and I need to keep my server up!


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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. Vatch

    Equating Trump and Reagan is a sign of normalizing Trump. Watch out for that.

    But they really are similar! Reagan’s hair was almost as unrealistic as Trump’s! Reagan was in his seventies, yet we couldn’t see a single gray hair.

  2. Eric Patton

    Paul Street (Sanders: Great White Hope or Hype?) is a friend. He and I talk on the phone periodically, though I have not talked to him in a couple months.

    I’ve been reluctant to call him because of the Sanders thing. I am a huge fan of Paul’s work. I have a ton of respect for Paul. And I have known him (as in, talked on the phone with him and actually visited with him in Iowa City once a few years ago. Of course, I was actually in Iowa City to see a girl at the time, but I took time out of my romantic activities to meet Paul while I had the chance).

    But his views on Sanders are difficult for me to understand. As I said, I truly love Paul. But basically I’ve had to ignore most of what he’s said so far about Bernie.

    Paul, if you read this: You and I are still boys. But you’re killing my buzz, dude. Bernie’s not Obama. Bernie may not be Noam (although he had Noam in to Burlington once to speak while he was mayor, so that should count for something), but he’s still pretty damn good.

    Bernie is this generation’s FDR. No, FDR was not an anti-capitalist (as Paul and I both are), but he did help a lot of people. Yes, he was just trying to save the capitalist system.

    But here’s the thing: Even if Bernie is just “saving the system” (which I actually don’t believe — I think Bernie could actually be pressured on the issue of our prevailing economic system more easily than others who might occupy the presidency), still, people who desperately need some help are going to get it under a Sanders administration.

    People are suffering. Right now. They need help, right now. Bernie represents the best, most immediate chance for that, in my opinion. That’s why, despite still being an anti-capitalist, pro-pareconist (participatory economics) — I’m still a Sanders supporter.

    And I still like Paul, too, even though I just think he’s wrong here.

    1. Brindle

      I was able to listen/watch to about the 4 minute mark–at that point it was obvious this was your basic hit piece and no more reason to waste my time. Why wasn’t Hillary mentioned as the Great White Hope/Hype?
      The whole Sanders and African Americans storyline seems like the perfect non-issue to ensure he fails in the primaries.

      1. Michael

        I’m actually super-stoked about it. Here’s a ready-made crisis that he really does need to handle, early and before the media really cares, and while he’s still staffing up.

        This is the stress test that startups dream about. All the drama, none of the consequences. Handle this and you can handle anything. Let’s go!

        1. Dr. Luny

          So far I think he’s done a solid job of responding, though that’s not going to get him any positive play in the media. Pulling whole-hearted endorsements from the likes of Cornel West will help him, as will his participation in the Civil Rights movement, and his solid platform released a couple weeks ago. As the media coverage goes on and intensifies I don’t think they’ll be able to succeed in this line of attack. What it may accomplish, however, is to retard Sanders’ early momentum among politically aware blacks and give cover to black establishment politicians who are almost certainly going to fall in line behind Clinton. It’s a moderately effective early attack, but it’s not going to torpedo his campaign.

          The real attacks are being saved up for later in the race. “He never had a real job until he was elected Mayor”. “He couldn’t hold a job as a carpenter and has no executive experience”. “He’s too old and decrepit to survive a long, exhausting campaign” etc…

          People have been overly dismissive of Sanders so far, and I’m confident his support will snowball as he gets more time to air his ideas. I’m sure he’ll get ambushed in the debates in a comparable way to Trump, but he’s a sharp guy and he may be able to turn that to his advantage as Trump has.

    2. lambert strether

      I’m hoping that TRNN wrote the headline, and not Street. Street may take the position that there is nothing to be achieved through the electoral system, but that is most definitely not what the headline conveys.

      1. Vince in MN

        Kind of a “gotcha” headline to be sure. I am wondering if they aren’t playing a bit to the home town with that one.

    3. Sam Kanu

      But here’s the thing: Even if Bernie is just “saving the system” (which I actually don’t believe — I think Bernie could actually be pressured on the issue of our prevailing economic system more easily than others who might occupy the presidency), still, people who desperately need some help are going to get it under a Sanders administration.

      I suggest you catch up on what Lessig is saying, to understand why this is pure delusion.

  3. Steve

    Uber Is Laying The Groundwork For Perpetual Rides In San Francisco”

    And likely to use existing public infrastructure such as bus routes & stops, along with associated publicly funded data channels.

    1. Goyo Marquez

      Hate to defend UBER but I think the point is to arrange the “bus route” around the riders instead of arranging the riders around the bus route.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        From the article, the routes aren’t dynamic:

        The ride-hail company began experimenting with a new ride option called Smart Routes. The idea is drivers will be able to both pick up and drop off passengers along a specific route, which in turn allows them to quickly pick up their next passenger. For now the company is experimenting with only two routes: Fillmore Street between Haight and Bay, and Valencia Street between 15th and 26th.

        Uber Smart Routes are similar to traditional bus routes in that they follow a predetermined path between two points, but they differ by allowing passengers to request rides on demand.

        So the difference is in requesting rides on demand? Idea: Get a bus schedule. In my town, I can “request a ride” by holding up my hand when the bus is in sight. And at least in cities of some scale, public transport adjusts for peak times by laying on more vehicles (and without, incredibly, increasing fares (at least that I know of)).

  4. Michael

    I still don’t know how Trump is meaningfully different from the other GOP candidates, policy-wise.

    1. RUKidding

      Do you mean that any of them actually have such things as “policies”? Why how very last century of them! I thought it was all about showing who could be the biggest, most insulting, racist, bigoted, sexist and disgustingly bullying troglodyte ever. Boy, I’m gonna have to catch up somehow.

      1. Sam Kanu

        Look, even Bernie does not have policies. He is quite reactive and his story does not sew well together. There is no money to do much of what Bernie says without dismantling a huge amount of the apparatus we have today e.g. the war machine And there is no mandate to do the latter.

        This is why the criticism of Bernie is valid: he has no grassroots organization. And therefore will haev zero impact in the end

        1. todde

          There is money…. ask a banker or a general.

          There is always money. There is no will to spend it in something that is not a war or a bank.

    2. Vince in MN

      It’s all about the fight over who gets to be the alpha dog. “Policy” is the excuse to stage the battle royale, the circus maximus. In the Age of Personality Cult, substance will always play second fiddle to spectacle.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      I don’t think Trump has much beyond grand statements, he has hammered the treatment of Veterans. Otherwise, he is just a crass and less hawkish version of the GOP candidates.

    4. jrs

      I don’t think many of the GOP would follow Trump’s policies, but then I sometimes doubt Trump would. For instance putting tariffs on goods in violation of NAFTA. No, GOP who is likely to win is going to do that.

  5. DJG

    WaPo column by Barbara Reynolds:
    From its midde: “What Young is selling — discipline, respect for elders, restraint — is badly needed in the movement. But right now, BLM isn’t buying.

    “’BLM rejects the usual hierarchical style of leadership, with the straight black male at the top giving orders,’ Lightsey said. The BLM also gives special ‘attention to the needs of black queers, the black transgendered, the black undocumented, black incarcerated and others who are hardly a speck on today’s political agenda.’”

    What Reynolds doesn’t recognize here is that black America has become much more secular. That’s a good thing. The idea that the only institution that black Americans have is the black church no long holds. I noticed in DeRay McKesson’s bio in Wikipedia (McKesson of Campaign Zero) that he went to Bowdoin. (Hell, by traditional American standards, his degree from Bowdoin makes him whiter than I am.)

    Further, as Lambert notes by indirection and discretion, Bayard Rustin was kept out of the spotlight because he was gay. So much for the restrained viewpoint of churchmen (and there were very few female clergy involved).

    So Black Lives Matter represents a kind of maturation. I’d say that the dividing line is Occupy Wall Street. For all the carping from liberals (and there was plenty) and for all the disdain about hygiene and such from rightwingers, OWS and its repression by the Obama administration taught a powerful lesson.

    [And just a few years before: There was a further lesson in the secularization of black America in the misadventures of the church-seeking and evolving Obama–as in Rev. Wright and the sermons about the treatment of black Americans. The same Rev. Wright who knew enough to dismiss Obama later as “just some politician” after the parting of the ways. That’s healthy, too.]

      1. Jim Haygood

        An Australian knighthood and $2.75 will get you a bus ride in New York City.

        Sucking up just don’t pay no more.

  6. Irrational

    Re. DOJ dismisses case…
    But that still just refers to US citizens, right? The rest of the citizens of the world are probably still fair game!

  7. diptherio

    One of my colleagues posted a blog on the BLM meeting with Hilary:

    Black Lives Matter: transformational politics and mainstream politics

    I want to begin by commenting on the Julius-Hilary conversation in terms of the kind of communication that was and was not possible between them. I want to begin there so I can build the ground for a rather subtle discussion of change processes down the road.

    First of all, it seems to me that Julius and Hilary were having two different conversations. Both of them did well in terms of being there for the interaction in spite of the unique challenges each of them had in the situation. Hilary was genuine and quite human within the constraints of her chosen role as a politician. Julius was genuine and looking for a transformational conversation with her, one in which people come together in their respective vulnerabilities as humans in order to work with issues that challenge the kind of person one is at a given moment and could become different as a result of such conversations. He was clearly confronting her, but he did it with and without attacking. This is highly unusual when someone is in an emotionally charged situation like this one. However, I think Julius and his comrades were reaching for something that is simply beyond the space of a mainstream political conversation. Jonses’ observation to CNN after the conversation with Hilary makes this clear:

    “…as for the arena of the heart, she was not willing to go there.”

    From my perspective Hilary, as a mainstream politician could not go into the transformational space that Julius was asking her to come into. (At the end of my blog I post Cornel Wild’s very different view on what is possible ion mainstream politics.) She’s running for president and she could only get into a mainstream political conversation in that kind of public space. And she said this very clearly and openly:

    I don’t believe you change hearts…I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. That’s what I’m trying to put together in a way that I can explain it, and I can sell it — because in politics, if you can’t explain it and you can’t sell it, it stays on the shelf.

    And, yes, there were things she didn’t do or say that she would have been better, etc. The same for Julius. But this was an existential situation. The kind in which people come out with what they’ve got on the spur of what has been said to them, not with what they have prepared in a polished way.

    1. lambert strether

      You don’t get a royal audience often. My recommendation would be to “prepare in a polished way,” as opposed to “coming out with what they’ve got on the spur.” The opportunity costs are quite high, in other words.

      Progressives spent a good deal of time worrying what was in Obama’s heart post-election, pre-inaugural. He revealed that soon enough by appointing Tim Geithner to Treasury. In my post on this topic I quote a Times source to the effect that they believed that “Bill Clinton was against capital punishment in his heart” even though Clinton had just executed a brain-damaged black man immediately before the New Hampshire primary.

      I would urge that it’s pointless to talk about “transformational space” without taking into account transformational time, and the forces operating within that space. Hearts change in a cultural time over lifespans; very different from the much faster political time, or the even faster financial time.

      If Jones and his colleagues seriously believed that Clinton was going to experience some sort of “Road to Damascus” conversion experience on the basis of a single private meeting, that’s not how the power structure works. I can only lament, again, the missed opportunity to forward actual policy, and lament even more what you have convinced me was a strategic failure.

      NOTE As far as Clinton being “genuine and quite human,” well… Sounds like special pleading to me. Although granted, dodging questions, distracting and deflecting, lawyerly parsing, and straw manning are human, all too human. If the poster genuinely believes this, it goes to show that Clinton is good in small groups, no more.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        All these people were elected. By their very nature, they are affable at a level. I like Jim Gilmore and a bunch of Republicans in person when discussing other issues. One of the real villains in Virginia put a stop to a pet peeve of mind when I brought it to his attention. He even personally got back to me.

        I’m always shocked by people who seem amazed that John McCain doesn’t eat babies at lunch or have vampire fangs. If they weren’t friendly, they wouldn’t be elected. Wow, a successful politicians is charming. Next I’ll hear how one shouldn’t drink salt water.

      2. Lexington

        If Jones and his colleagues seriously believed that Clinton was going to experience some sort of “Road to Damascus” conversion experience on the basis of a single private meeting, that’s not how the power structure works. I can only lament, again, the missed opportunity to forward actual policy, and lament even more what you have convinced me was a strategic failure.

        This isn’t hard. If the black community wants Clinton and the Democrats to support their agenda they have to prepared to withhold their support until they get something concrete in return. That’s politics. It’s also exactly what the gay community (finally) did to move Obama off the fence and to open support of gay rights. To put it bluntly it’s the height of nativity to think the Democrats are going to buy the cow when they’re getting the milk for free.

        Of course the Democrats are skilled at co opting the community’s leadership by offering access, recognition, and perquisites as rewards for playing by the rules. The Democrats and community leadership take care of each other, everyone else loses.

    2. Vince in MN

      I get the impression that BLM is more a conglomeration of angry people than an organization with specific political goals and a plan to get there. They are like novice chess players, who know how the pieces move and are eager to play, but the strategies and tactics necessary to win are beyond their ken. Up against a Grandmaster like Killary, they will be crushed in the opening.

  8. Andrew

    So, will Howard Schultz be telling his baristas to sooth and calm his customers nerves with phrases like ‘The Fed’s got your back’ or ‘Buy the dip’, to go with their morning triple skinny decaf latte to go? Or maybe they’ll be told to pass on tips on which stocks to buy to. I don’t really understand why he’d ask his staff to behave in this way anyway, as I can’t imagine a trip to your local Starbucks would involve being mocked by the people making your coffee about losses you’ve suffered on the stock market. Has anyone ever faced a maniacally laughing barista, tauntingly shouting in your face ‘ Hahahaha..lost all your money on the stock market, eh? Loser ! Why don’t you go and get a proper job.. like working as a barista in Starbucks! ‘. No, I didn’t think so either..

  9. John Merryman

    Is it possible for the Fed to make an 1/8 point move? It seems they are between a rock and a hard place.

    1. griffen

      They can buy UST. Would be like QE all over again.

      They really should let this work out, and also they’re fresh out of the usual options.

    2. MikeNY

      Yeah, because our oligarchic central planners are more omniscient than the Chinese.

      **bangs head on desk**

      1. open

        “In the judgment of the Committee, that is a trust which it is unreasonable to expect that the Directors of the Bank of England should ever be able to discharge. The most detailed knowledge of the actual trade of the Country, combined with the profound science of all the principles of Money and Circulation, would not enable any man or set of men to adjust, and keep always adjusted, the right proportion of circulating medium to the wants of trade…If the natural system of currency and circulation be abandoned, and a discretionary issue of paper money substituted in its stead, it is vain to think that any rules can be advised for the exact exercise of such discretion”.
        House of Commons Bullion Committee, 1811

  10. PQS

    “Kalanick and his funders are stunned by the brilliance of “Smart Routes” because they don’t take public transportation.”

    Or, like so much of our “sharing economy” – they see the public resource (roads, in this case – and probably bus stops, too, once they get around to it!) as easy plunder.
    There must be credit in those fancy schools for “Monetization”. (AKA Piracy/Profiteering/Always Be Closing)

  11. ProNewerDeal

    Lambert & fellow commenters, I have a “report” on the ACA Individual Mandate.

    I internet-searched for some stats on the ACA Individual Mandate, thinking that there should be some more data now in Aug 2015, 4 months after the Apr 2015 tax filing deadline.

    I found this link

    This IRS doc refers to the ACA Individual Mandate as ISRP, Individual Shared Responsibility Payment.

    6.6M paid the ISRP. The insufferable arrogant ignorant sycophant 0bamabot MS-DNC host Lawrence O’Donnell, had he any desire to be a journalist & not a 0bamabot propagandist, would be profusely apologizing for his on-air claim that “paying the ISRP is optional”. Ditto 0bama himself. Ditto the R-Team for not making a political issue out of this, instead repeating their Fake Scandal Du Jours TM incessantly like Benghazi TM. Ditto the BigMedia politics journalists at NYTimes, CNN, etc for ignoring this issue. Ditto even “progressive talk” like The Young Turks, Sam Seder, Thom Hartmann, etc preferring to ignore this ISRP issue. Props to NC/Yves/Lambert for being a rare media organization that actually coversthe ACA fairly, both its positive & negative aspects (such as the ISRP).

    10.7M filed “Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions” as an exemption from paying the ISRP. Per Lambert’s wise saying, this cohort still paid a tax, the time tax. From what I understand, some exemptions required talking to an IRS live-person & providing whatever proof said IRSer requires to obtain the given exemption document. This same IRS article notes how the IRS call center was badly understaffed, such that many people were rudely hung up while waiting in the automated on-hold condition without ever talking to the live IRSer.

    0.3M “overpaid the ISRP”, the majority of this cohort being those that did not owe ISRP whatsoever. Perhaps some in this cohort were not able to ever talk to a live IRSer, couldn’t pay enough time tax, so just surrendered & paid the ISRP money tax?

    I was wondering if the ISRP harassment issue, with the direct ISRP money tax, & the indirect tax on time, was going to enrage sufficient USians to be an issue in the 2016 elections. However, the R Team has seemed to kill their stopped-clock-ish, for once actually correct, promise of the 2014 election of repealing the Individual Mandate, and seem to ignore this issue now. IIRC, none of the 17 Repub Pres candidates mentioned this issue in their talking point spewing session aka “debate”.

    Furthermore, consider this quote from the IRS doc “Since the majority of taxpayers use paid tax return preparers”. I had no idea on the USian tax-filing method stats. It turns out those of us that are software-buying, self-preparers are a minority cohort. I would imagine that the majority of the cohort that pays a tax-preparer, does not ask or dwell on the details of their return, beyond the bottom line of what the amount of refund is, or how much money they will have to pay the IRS. I would guesstimate that this cohort finds tax preparing excessively boring &/or complicated, and thus do not wish to sweat all the details. Keep in mind that of the cohort of USians (the 50%?) “wealthy”/”fortunate” enough to save any money in investments in accounts like Roth IRAs, a subcohort finds it excessively boring &/or complicated to follow a John Bogle-type asset allocation strategy of 50% stock index fund, 50% bond index fund, rebalance once a year/quarter if necessary; and as a result, would prefer to be extorted by worse-performing, much higher expense ratio-extorting, active stock fund investments. Tax prep is definitely more boring/complicated than Bogle-esque asset allocation. Thus, I would guesstimate that many of the 6.6M ISRP payers, are not specifically aware they paid ISRP. For instance, they know they got a refund of $1600, not that their refund would have been $1900 if not for the ISRP extorting off $300 of their refund.

    Thus, I fear that the faction of ISRP money & time tax victims, that self-prepared & are consciously actually aware of their ISRP extortion, and also are consistent election voters, are too small a faction such that the D & R team BigPolitrickians are sadly probably safe in continuing to ignore this issue in the 2016 Campaign. After all, there are other aggrieved USian factions, that are
    1 larger in number of USians affected
    2 have an organized social movement, such as BlackLivesMatter, & FightFor$15 minimum wage
    3 whose grievance is worse (sometimes extremely worse, even including life in the case of Terist Cop Murder of ~1K innocent civilians/yr) than the ISRP money/time tax grievance
    and despite this, most BigPolitrickian, and sadly even many actual USian voters, continue to not care about, & ignore these issues.

    I would love to read your take on this ISRP issue. Cheers.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        Yves, my apology for my misattribution of your brilliant concept of the ACA’s indirect Time Tax.

        Yves/Lambert, thanks again for your excellent ACA reporting. BigMedia & “progressive talk” seems to be willfully ignoring any actual negative ACA aspects, especially these actual compliance/paperwork/tax issues faced by Actual Real USian individuals, in these 3 cohorts: ACA subsidized private insurance, ISRP money/time tax due to not being able to afford health insurance, & ACA Adult Medicaid.

  12. ewmayer

    Re. ‘U.S. stocks jumped Tuesday” – They did? Maybe at the open, but not by the close.

    I blame evil short sellers – especially those shameless ones of the buck-nekkid variety. ‘How dare you conspire to undermine our hard-won misplaced confidence?’

  13. Lambert Strether Post author

    People should really consider listening to the Mark Ames video. Roger Stone [waves] is a horrible human being, and that Trump employ[s|ed] him should be cause for concern.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Childhood trauma, comrades:

    With the stinginess in her early years, Hillary has no intrinsic talent for dressing well and never learned.

    She hasn’t escaped the pants suits routine but she also doesn’t believe it matters how she dresses anyway, the author surmises. She was ‘the drab girl nobody gave a second look at until Bill Clinton came along’.

    Dr. Bond believes Hillary is lonely at the top and craves a female equal. But not finding one, Hillary is accepting that her loneliness is the price she has to pay to be at the top of the political world.


    Still time for Hillary to have a sex change and become a woman!

    1. Bridget

      I don’t care for her politics at all, but she was, and is far from drab. Physically and otherwise.


      1. Optimader

        I agree with you, For all the valid opportunities for critisism and revulsion, her appearance is a vacuous choice. Ive always thought she was a reasonably attractive younger woman who i would now describe as haggard looking. I couldnt give a flying f what she chooses to wear, no less now at 67.

        If she wore a dress the same barca lounger crowd who i doubt are Adonis reincarnates would offer superficial critisisms of that.

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