2:00PM Water Cooler 9/18/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


The Voters

“The increasingly ugly tenor of such clashes [between Trump supporters and detractors] has brought even sharper focus to Trump’s rhetoric, which Republicans and Democrats alike have described as divisive and even racist. It has elevated the anxiety of Republicans trying to grow the party’s appeal — not shrink it. And it has left many of them wondering whether the conflicts could get worse before they get better” [WaPo]. 

The Pennsylvania Senate race is getting more interesting than it already is [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer]. Will Bunch meets “Mayor Rust” in Braddock, PA. One, two, many Jesse Venturas? Except with degrees in public administration from Harvard?

The Trail

Republican debate: Annotated transcript [WaPo]. (Via RapGenius, interestingly enough.) On vax, I was wrong on my hot take. Carson:  Link to autism “not demonstrated,” though he airbrushes the anti-vax movement (“not adequately revealed to the public what’s actually going on, i.e., what the studies say), and says that “certain” vaccines, “smaller doses over a longer period of time,” are “very important,” “[but, you know, a lot of this is — is — is pushed by big government.” Trump: Buys autism, says “I am totally in favor of vaccines,” wants “smaller doses over a longer period of time.” Paul also wants the doses “spread out,” and points out that the smallpox vaccine was “done voluntary.” “So I’m all for vaccines. But I’m also for freedom.” I don’t have my winger talking point manual to hand, so I don’t know what spreading the doses out means in concrete policy terms.

Republican debate: “But the truly awesome moment came when she asserted that the videos being used to attack Planned Parenthood show “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” No, they don’t. Anti-abortion activists have claimed that such things happen, but have produced no evidence, just assertions mingled with stock footage of fetuses. [Paul Krugman, New York Times].

Republican debate, Paul to Jebbie on marijuna: “In the current circumstances, kids who had privilege like you do don’t go to jail, but the poor kids in our inner cities go to jail. I don’t think that’s fair. And I think we need to acknowledge it” [Vox].

“‘We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims,’ an unidentified man who spoke at a question-and-answer town hall event in Rochester, New Hampshire asked the mogul at a rally Thursday night. ‘You know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American'” [CNN].

A seemingly bewildered Trump interrupted the man, chuckling, “We need this question. This is the first question.”

“Anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us,” the man, wearing a “Trump” T-shirt, continued. “That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”

“We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things,” Trump replied. “You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We’re going to be looking at that and many other things.”

The high-pitched warbling sound seems to have thrown Trump off his stroke. Or not!

Sanders on the above exchange:  “This nonsense has got to end.” [@BernieSanders].

Kasich, of Hispanics: “That’s why, in a hotel, you leave a little tip, you know?” [Columbus Dispatch]. I know Kasich is trying to be nice…

 Biden insider and Draft Biden operative Joe Alcorn, overhead on Amtrak, presumably accidentally “I am 100 percent that Joe is in” [National Review]. Yes, but in what? Anyhow, that’s why the sensible people take the quiet car: To avoid loudmouthed buffoons yammering into their cellphones about matters of no importance to anyone but themselves. Apparently, Alcorn didn’t reveal a reason for Biden to run. Odd, that.

Clinton’s accomplishments, as seen by Democratic loyalists [Politico].

Stats Watch

Leading Indicators, August 2015: Growth isn’t likely to pick up any steam going into year-end, at least based on the index of leading economic indicators which came in at only plus 0.1 percent in August following a revised no change reading for July.  [Econoday]. “Working hours are down and new factory orders have been weak.” Crazy talk. This is the greatest recovery ever. Slow and steady, to be sure, but still the greatest.

Puerto Rico: “On Capitol Hill however, the imminence of the first U.S. VAT tax [as part of Puerto Rico’s five year planf for fiscal sustainability] is only now becoming common knowledge. Whether its existence provides some leverage for the island to extract bankruptcy protection from Capitol Hill or whether it will just trigger negative consequences from the Republican leadership has yet to be decided [Market News]. Why wouldn’t the Hill like it? It’s regressive.

The Fed: Tim Duy called it, though granted, on the morning [Economists View].

IRS refused to give advance blessing to Yahoo plan to spin off Ali Baba [Bloomberg].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Positive Change, the report of [The Ferguson Commission].

“New York City police union chief Patrick Lynch said Tuesday it’s “irresponsible, unjust and un-American” to criticize cops for wrongfully slamming retired tennis star James Blake to the ground outside his Manhattan hotel” [HuffPo]. “Un-American.” Haven’t heard that one since the age of the dinosaurs.

“Constitutionally, Slavery Is No National Institution” [Sean Wilentz, New York Times]. Well, except for the three-fifths of a man thing. “Yeah, the Dred Scott decision… I can see if going either way!”

“From 2013 to 2014, the median income for black households in the state fell 14 percent. In constant dollars, that was a decline from about $31,500 to $27,000 — or $4,500 in a single year. Only blacks saw a worsening of income and poverty”  [Star Tribune]. “Among the 50 states, along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., Minnesota ranked 45th in median black household income. Mississippi ranked 44th.”


“The Wall Street Journal reported last week that officials in Abu Dhabi were trying to understand why a $1.4 billion transfer that the fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., said it made to a counterparty in the Middle Eastern emirate wasn’t received. Now, those officials are questioning a further $993 million that 1MDB reported it paid to the Abu Dhabi fund, the International Petroleum Investment Co., but which also appears to be largely missing, people familiar with the matter said” [Wall Street Journal, “Malaysia Fund 1MDB’s Missing Money Problem Grows”]. To lose one billion may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness.

“Labour Donor Assem Allam Says He Will Fund Breakaway MPs To Defect From Jeremy Corbyn” [HuffPo]. Admirably simple and direct tactics. And they certainly worked with the Blairites!

Our Famously Free Press

“For many journalists, Twitter remains the go-to source for following along with breaking news and major events in the world in real time. If there’s a major story, you can usually count on tweets being embedded inside the text. But Facebook desperately wants some of that spotlight” [The Verge]. “Signal starts by showing news gatherers what’s trending across the social network, and allows them to dig into public posts (in “unranked, chronological order,” Facebook notes).:” I can’t believe that it’s anything other than loathesome, but I suppose I’ll have to look at it… 

Dear Old Blighty

“One of the influences that is said to be important for John McDonnell (the new shadow Chancellor) and his advisors is Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).” [Mainly Macro].Can’t find confirmation. Readers?

“It is no surprise that Corbyn has faced trenchant hostility from the Tory and Murdoch press since they oppose the politics he espouses. This week, however, even the coverage of him on the supposed fair or left of centre media has been over the top. Frankly, some of it has been disgraceful and undemocratic. It is as if the Oxbridge university elites, who dominate much of Britain’s political media, as they do much of Britain’s establishment politics, have determined that Labour is not entitled to elect a leader of his views” [IrishTimes]. “As if”?

“[T]e best satire kicks against the strong, not the weak – given the volume and virulence of the establishment attacks being directed at him, Corbyn clearly falls (in satire terms at least) into the latter category. It’s revealing that one of the most popular cartoon images of the Labour leader so far doesn’t depict him with Y-fronts over his trousers or a mad, staring eye, but as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Venerable, wise, unflappable, soon to be destroyed by the forces of darkness, but whose spirit will live on. Satire will find worse to throw at Corbyn, but – for him, at any rate – that’s a pretty encouraging start” [Guardian].

“Kevin Slocombe, a veteran trade union communications officer, was appointed as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s press adviser Thursday” [Politico].

“Jeremy Corbyn predicted that the Euro would lead to ‘a bankers’ Europe'” [Independent]. Well, he got that right, didn’t he?

“Jeremy Corbyn ‘snubs’ rugby world cup opening ceremony” [Torygraph]. You tell ’em! Paste ‘im one for me!

“Jeremy Corbyn’s Dangerous Fantasies” [Anne Applebaum, Slate]. Unlike, say…. Um…. Oh, wait…

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Top Ten Ways That Iran Hawks Became Their Own Worst Enemies” [Lobe Blog]. Familiar to anyone who’s paid attention for the last decade or so, but impressive when collected in one place.

If Ahmed the clock student had been in Yemen, he probably would have been whacked by one of Obama’s drones in a “signature strike” [Gawker]. Because, when you think about it, that’s what all the mouthbreathers in Irving were advocating when they would say stuff like “a circuit board looks like a bomb, so what’s the problem?” Signature strikes. With, naturellement, skin color and religion being part of the signature.

Pentagon’s top weapons tester on #FAIL-35:  “Not only did the six F-35Bs used in the demonstration, referred to by the Marines as Operational Test 1, fail to achieve the number of required flight hours necessary to be declared combat-ready, but, in fact, the DOT&E found the trials, “did not — and could not —demonstrate that Block 2B F-35B is operationally effective or suitable for use in any type of limited combat operation, or that it was ready for real-world operational deployments, given the way the event was structured” [CNN]. ZOMG. The Marines ran a dog and pony show for “distinguished visitors”? Say it’s not so!

Aerospace nation“: “How the Air Force Association and various Air Force officials refer to the collective culture around the military aerospace community” [Ars Technica]. “If you were to accidentally stumble into the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference, wrapping up here on Wednesday, without any sort of context whatsoever, you might think you’d landed in the midst of something between a very large family reunion and a mild-mannered evangelical tent meeting. That is, until you saw the static displays of bombs and drones and aircraft mock-ups in the exposition hall.” In another age, we’d simply say “mercenaries.”

Wretched Excess

“But a birthday cake loaded with diamonds and hand-sculpted fondant just smashed the record for the most expensive dessert ever created” [CNBC]. $75 million:

It took more than 1,100 hours to make, since all of the tiny edible figurines were hand-sculpted with [British designer Debbie] Wingham’s couture clothing and accessories, including sunglasses and handbags.

But much of the value [sic] comes from the bling. The cake has 4,000 diamonds, including a 5.2-carat pink diamond, a 6.4-carat yellow diamond and 15 five-carat white diamonds. Those 17 stones alone are worth more than $45 million.

And that, my friends, is the story of aggregate demand today.

“What I Wear to Work: Nayssan Properties’ Jay Ezra Nayssan”  [Bloomberg]. Nayssan: “I try to express myself through objects with history.” Unlike the workers on-site. Or, alternatively, like them.

Class Warfare

An amazing must-read on the trailer where Dylann Roof stayed [Washington Post]. Plenty of trailers in rural Maine like this. Talk about intersectionality…. 

“The white-man effect: How foreigner presence affects behavior in experiment” (abstract only) [Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization].     

Honor culture, dignity culture, and micro-aggressions [New York Magazine]. “For now, when I read these anonymous posts, I see college students venting — in much the same style college students always have.”

“About 2.3 million people applied for the 368 jobs with the government of Uttar Pradesh. Hundreds of candidates with doctorates and other advanced degrees applied for the jobs that pay about 16,000 rupees ($240) a month and require a fifth-grade education” [AP]. Underemployment not unique to the US, I guess.

“Why a resurgent, unapologetic left is on the rise globally” [Matt Yglesias, Vox]. “[A] large younger generation of progressive voters are demanding a less apologetic approach that does more to hold to account the cross-party conventional wisdom that led the world into economic disaster early in the 21st century.” And some old codgers too — accepting, arguendo, Yglesias’s sloppy analysis, which assumes that generations have agency.

News of the Wired

“A Guerrilla Bike Lane Made With Flower Pots Forces A City’s Hand” [Fast Company]. Mass Ave.

* * *

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 (Kurt):


An Abutilon from Kurt’s back yard.

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. Winter is coming, I need to fix my laptop, and I need to keep my server up, too.


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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

    $75 million birthday cakes are conspicuous consumption. Getting the entire Ferrari car company for your 16th birthday is wretched excess.

    The cake was purchased by an UAE oil sheik. Some refugee options left untapped, methinks.

      1. cnchal

        The sheik would probably be happier if the price were $175 million, but draws the line at $250 million. He wouldn’t want to be seen as a wasteful spender by his buddies.

    1. nippersdad

      Still not working, try this:


      Clinton quote:

      “I’m very proud of the (economic) stabilization and the really solid leadership that the Administrations’ provided that I think now leads us to be able to deal with problems like Ukraine because we’re not so worried about a massive collapse in Europe.”

      Where does one even start to critique something like that?

      The only person quoted who appears to know his base was Reid. I suspect that Brazile is about to get a call from BLM….

  2. cm

    Audit of King County’s titles show problems w/ MERS: https://theintercept.com/2015/09/18/leaked-seattle-audit-concludes-many-mortgage-documents-void/

    “A Seattle housing activist on Wednesday uploaded an explosive land-record audit that the local City Council had been sitting on, revealing its far-reaching conclusion: that all assignments of mortgages the auditors studied are void.

    That makes any foreclosures in the city based on these documents illegal and unenforceable, and makes the King County recording offices where the documents are located a massive crime scene.”

    report here:

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is everything having anything to do with MERS, not just mortgage assignments, void?

      Can an owner sell his/her home legally in that case? Are the victims more than just those who have been or are being foreclosed?

      1. alex morfesis

        no it is not “void” nor voidable…a MERS problem is a problem with the ability to bring suit and “force” payment…it does not make the note just magically go away…mers is not the note/debt…it is the security for the debt…even if one got a ruling to push aside the security as some type of error at closing, the bankster lawyer would simply move to “reform” the security interest and there would be no window for a sale…also remember…there are only really 4 title companies in america…none of them will sign off on such a plan…so you can maybe run out the statute of limitation depending on which state you are in…but you won’t just get a free house…and before anyone goes and tries to correct me…mayhaps you should track down who the real person was who uncovered the MERS corporate problem with signatures in Delaware for a non stock corporation (which the now deceased Biden arranged to be fixed soon after it was exposed)

        1. Oregoncharles

          Not clear how that relates to the statements in the Intercept article (by David Dayen).

          You’re saying, I take it, that the promissory note is the real debt; but very often they don’t have that, either, and are trying to fake a foreclosure without it.

          I really wonder how bad this could get; some say the entire title system could go down. A little hard on those 4 title companies – do they have a legal position on this?

          I think the severity of the potential damage is the reason judges so often just ignore challenges based on MERS or lack of a note: accept that once, and all hell breaks loose.

          1. different clue

            I remember Guy Fawkes in a comment discussing how to re-discover and make-very-plain the real ownership of all aspects of ownership of a physical house and the physical yard it sits on. But I have no idea how to go back and find that comment among all the millions of words archived here.

          2. alex morfesis

            derivatives and prime brokerages…there are no missing notes…they are pledged…and repledged, and relent out as lent collateral for counter party positions…

            that is why if one is in the support side of legal defense work, every once in a while the other side slips up and you end up with a copy of the bailee letter…

            Florida A/G Pam Bondi fired two women(and forced one guy to quit) since they knew there was something wrong with the process…there was a purported “explanation” as to how a corporation could allow a third party to execute documents even if they do not conform to any records held by the entity in whose name the documents are being executed…

            in plain english..robosigning…

            Pam Bondi and Gov Dred Scott did a phony investigation and no one questioned it…well, no one but maybe me…it turns out that Jeff Atwaters Office of Inspector General did NOT in fact investigate what everyone thought he was investigating…turns out he did not even fake an investigation…if one bothered reading the 80 plus pages of nonsense, you would have asked the question I asked them…

            excuse me…but there is nothing much here about the mystery MERS letter that Bondi used as an “excuse” to fire Clarkson and Edwards…

            yup they said, that is right…

            but wasn’t the issue that Clarkson and Edwards were fired because they thought Bondi was covering up for a Jacksonville Florida based company…

            well…that might have been but that was not what we were asked to investigate…

            oh…what were you investigating…

            if the firings were “politically motivated”…

            oh..and what did you find…

            “no credible evidence”…

            ah…so did you investigate about the details…

            no ?

            well how did you draw your conclusions…

            oh, you asked the people in the office of Pam Bondi who actually fired Clarkson and Edwards…hmmm…

            so does that usually work, the asking the accused to confess over the phone ??

            didn’t think so…

            anyway, how can I get a copy of the mystery letter from MERS attorney that “proves” robo-signing is “Legal”…

            hmmm…ask Pam Bondi..hmmm…ok…

            hello Pam Bondi FOIA person…yes I was asking about…

            what was that ?? go to where ??? get a frikin federal court order ???

            Aren’t you in charge of protecting the people of Florida…???

            Oh, your job is 2 protect jobs in Jacksonville

            I see, so if a bunch of Miami mobsters ask you not to prosecute because it might cost some “Floriduh” Jobs, you might go on another honeymoon then huh…???

            Thought so…

            Well there you have it…sorta…No use going in a circle until someone in the Justice Department decides the two larger title companies are walking talking Sherman Act Violations…

            The article is stretching a bit…

            MERS is not a Freddie/Fannie creation…

            it was put together by GMAC and the title companies…and they forced everyone else to climb aboard…

            in fact, MERS webname, if you did a whois…is, I am pretty sure, is still held in the name of EDS…yup there it is…

            Domain ID: D129358045-LROR
            Creation Date: 2006-09-22T16:05:20Z
            Updated Date: 2015-08-21T09:29:53Z
            Registry Expiry Date: 2016-09-22T16:05:20Z
            Sponsoring Registrar:MarkMonitor Inc. (R37-LROR)
            Registrant Name:EDS DNS
            Registrant Organization:EDS, an HP Company
            Registrant Street: 585 South Boulevard
            Registrant City:Pontiac
            Registrant State/Province:MI
            Registrant Postal Code:48341
            Registrant Country:US
            Registrant Phone:+1.2483658600

            can’t blame carly for this…she was gone by then…but EDS was there at inception…

            The system is over complicated by design to insure that it will be hard to get 12 “average” citizens on a jury to absorb the possibility of the designed corruption…

            or as the esteemed Prof. Bill Black might more properly put it…

            banking in the modern era…

            Look, I don’t believe in free houses that will then allow someone to remortgage or sell and cash out…sorry…I think that those who designed this criminal enterprise should at a minimum be required to start thinking about life as a greeter at bullmart…and be permanently banned from the industry…and make sure the kids are not allowed to either…took down the “dean” of the Chicago Bankruptcy bar for having gotten interesting in a couple of cases I was working on back in the days of the S&L crisis…but his kids got to warm up his seat years later…and all he got was a give back the cash and give up your law license…

            anyway…you win some, you lose some, you keep fighting…

            enough commenting on an article that was not officially placed into the NC queue…

  3. Nicholas Cole

    “I don’t have my winger talking point manual to hand, so I don’t know what spreading the doses out means in concrete policy terms.”

    I think it just means Trump and Paul are trying to pander to the vax and anti-vax votes simultaneously. You can’t break a dose of, say, Hep B, up into five separate shots and expect it to work. From Forbes:

    Vaccines are very precisely manufactured to include only what is absolutely necessary to induce enough of an immune response that the body can protect itself against those diseases. So a smaller dose wouldn’t protect a child. It would stick a child with a needle for no reason at all. And spreading out vaccines? That just increases the risks to the children, including leaving them more susceptible to the diseases for a longer period of time. Trump is not “totally in favor of vaccines” if he doesn’t want children protected from the diseases above as early as possible.

    But Carson’s pandering response was worse: “But it is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time, and a lot of pediatricians now recognize that and, I think, are cutting down on the number and the proximity in which those are done.” Again, the CDC schedule is calibrated to give children the most protection from the most diseases as early and safely as possible. And that second part? That’s flat out false.

    Trump and Paul both know how thoroughly the anti-vax position is now ridiculed in the media, but they also know there are votes out there. So Paul tries to reframe the issue being about freedom, and Trump twists himself into a balloon giraffe saying that he wasn’t anti-vaccination right before he started referring to an autism epidemic and telling anecdotes about signs showing up post-vaccine.

    1. Praedor

      NPR did a piece on this yesterday. The CURRENT vax schedule is THE schedule. It isn’t one of several alternatives and it is based on massive study (2013) on what schedule is SAFEST and MOST EFFECTIVE. The current schedule is THE best and safest schedule based on best data (analyzed by non-industry scientists and organizations, so no profit motive).

      They speaker (can’t recall who it was) stated that what these (know nothing at all) politicians were doing was trying to find some (ineffectual and baseless) middle ground with the anti-vaxxers.

      1. Oregoncharles

        This appears to answer my speculative concerns below, but we’d need to see the study itself. For instance: how long-term was it? Has anyone considered a link to auto-immune disorders – which remain unexplained?

        I’ll grant your characterization of the politicians.

    2. different clue

      When I was a kid, pertussis was a single vaccine given by itself. Diptheria was another different vaccine given at another different time. Such is my memory, though that is decades ago.

      Perhaps “spreading out” refers to the concept of giving one vaccine(s) per disease at different times from eachother, rather than 2 or 3 or more diseases being included in one vaccination at one time.

      1. Oregoncharles

        That is my understanding, as I explained below. I see some intuitive/precautionary problems with the present schedule, especially the multiple inoculaltions at one time. Can’t back it up technically, though.

      2. cwaltz

        I suspect it may also have something to do with administering them later instead of at 2mos, 6 mos, 1 year as well.

    3. David

      Yes, public ridicule is always the best arbiter of merit. Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, the peace movement, organic food, diplomacy, MMT, the notion of a revolving door (even in public health agencies), Snowdon,Manning, Assange, “whistleblowers,” “truthers” – all thoroughly ridiculous. After all, the media has said so.

      1. Nicholas Cole

        All of these things are “ridiculed” by different segments of the “public.” I’m not entirely sure of the point you’re trying to make. Don’t trust or distrust something because there’s a feeding frenzy on it in the media, obviously. Look at the data from which the criticism originates, make your own judgements about the subject, and keep in mind the systemic nature of the issues.

        The “public” ridicules both organic food and GMOs depending on who you’re talking to, so the idea of media ridicule as a homogenous block isn’t especially useful.

    4. Furzy Mouse

      Spreading out the doses is a suggestion to pace the delivery schedule of these vaccines…the MMR one, for example, inoculates against measles, mumps and rubella in one dose…why not make these separate doses, extending the inoculations over weeks or months? Some, perhaps only few, very young children’s systems might be overwhelmed with the need to produce multiple types of antibodies for these diseases after receiving their shots. To be fair, I am not a doc, but reading up on this does suggest that these multiple vaccine doses have been devised, at least in part, for the sake of efficiency for the the docs and pharmaceutical companies, and not for the kids. And I don’t think pacing the delivery of these vaccines has been tried or studied at all as an alternative. Perhaps the vaccines have nothing to do with the higher incidences of autism that we see, but in fact, liability payments have been made to families who were able to demonstrate that the vaccines were the cause of their child’s onset of autism. Here is one example, of many, and please note that, as usual in these cases, pertinent information is being withheld:


    5. Danny

      Regardless if other options are given, 90+ percent of Americans will likely use the current vax schedule. Reasons: convenience – it’s more convenient to give one shot than four – and that’s what the doctor recommends.

  4. allan

    Patrick Lynch. When you absolutely, positively need a corrupt police force. One from the files:

    Officers Jeer at Arraignment of 16 Colleagues in Ticket-Fixing Investigation

    A three-year investigation into the police’s habit of fixing traffic and parking tickets in the Bronx ended in the unsealing of indictments on Friday and a stunning display of vitriol by hundreds of off-duty officers, who converged on the courthouse to applaud their accused colleagues and denounce their prosecution.

    As 16 police officers were arraigned at State Supreme Court in the Bronx, incensed colleagues organized by their union cursed and taunted prosecutors and investigators, chanting “Down with the D.A.” … The assembled police officers blocked cameras from filming their colleagues, in one instance grabbing lenses and shoving television camera operators backward. … Prosecutors said the bulk of the vanished tickets were arranged by officials of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union. All the officers charged with fixing tickets are either current or past union delegates or trustees. …Patrick J. Lynch, the union president, said in a news conference that the officers had been arrested on something “accepted at all ranks for decades.”

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      You mean I can’t believe all those #copaganda shows on TV?

      (Especially the over-the-top sanctimonious “Blue Bloods” with Tom Selleck.)

  5. tg

    Re Wilentz: I’m actually not sure that he is saying anything different than what Frederick Douglass did. Douglass argued that “the constitutionality of slavery can be made out only by disregarding the plain and common-sense reading of the Constitution itself; by discrediting and casting away as worthless the most beneficent rules of legal interpretation; by ruling the Negro outside of these beneficent rules; by claiming that the Constitution does not mean what it says, and that it says what it does not mean; by disregarding the written Constitution, and interpreting it in the light of a secret understanding. It is in this mean, contemptible, and underhand method that the American Constitution is pressed into the service of slavery.” At any rate I’d like to think that those fighting for racial (and for that matter, economic) equality can seize the Constitution and make it theirs; I don’t think we should give it up without a fight to the other side. And it’s worth reading Douglass’ entire speech on this topic.

      1. tg

        Douglass was not, in this instance, appealing to our better angels; he was making a practical argument about whether the Constitution, and the apparatus of government and the electoral process it establishes, should be embraced, not rejected, by abolitionists. This was an important debate at the time and one in which Douglass stood in opposition to the anti-slavery crusader William Lloyd Garrison, who believed the Constitution an inherently pro-slavery document. Douglass was (as I am) fully aware of the fact that the Constitution was written by men who in many instances were slaveholders, were unquestionably racists, and who hoped to use the Constitution to bolster the profitable institution of slavery. But, Douglass argues, the fact that they were unable to secure language that specifically did that was significant and thus allowed those who wanted to end slavery the ability to employ the Constitution to their own ends. There is no question that America’s founding was steeped in racism and that the Constitution reflects that. Where this comes into play today hearkens back to the Douglass/Garrison debate: is the Constitution inherently racist and so irredeemably tainted? And (deeper, and related to your reference) is the nation’s founding document too inextricably linked to an unjust economic system (one skewed by class and race) to be usable by those who would fight for justice today? I’d argue no, though I have sometimes (depending on what I read last) argued on the opposite side as well.

  6. peter

    I am wondering about Puerto Rico. Can someone help explain to me why they have not become a state? I don’t really trust my ability to find out accurate information.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Washington is too complex to be navigated. Adding two more Senators and removing congressional districts from the 50 states is a chore no one wants.

      There was an article a few months ago about Democrats not approving of Nancy Pelosi but that Nancy avoided a rebellion because no wanted the job.

      Let’s just consider the Speaker’s job and who they deal with:
      -at least 217 Representatives
      -the Senate, an archaic body of slave holding days
      -the White House
      -the home district
      -the party apparatus
      -the media

      Who wants to add two Senators and remove house districts from other states? Since they don’t vote, who cares? A President might drive the issue if one was motivated to, but there are other more pressing issues.

    2. alex morfesis

      no room left on the flag for a 51st state,,,we probably should go for a 51st, 52nd, 53rd, 54th and 55th…this country seems to have hit a road block once we stopped adding stars to the flag…

  7. RabidGandhi

    Now that i’ve seen the photos, just the fact that it was designed by the same artist who did Mr Bill (ohhh nooooo!) should account for at least 50 of the $75 million.

    1. Oregoncharles

      the DIAMONDS accounted for 45 of the 75 million, and I don’t think they ate them. Hell, they’re recoverable even if they did.

  8. Ben H

    Re McDonnell/MMT – following the links, it looks like this is just a reference to Richard Murphy, whose connection to Corbyn is well known – not sure there is any other channel between McDonnell/Corbyn and MMT

  9. Oldeguy

    Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist take on GOP Debates :
    1 ) Trump is only a ploy to gin up viewership early in the process and make the real intended nominees appear sane, realistic by contrast.
    2) The real intended Presidential nominee is Gov. Kasich of Ohio ( repeatedly elected from must have state and obviously being pushed as most “qualified” and electable by MSM ).
    3) The real intended Vice Presidential nominee is Sen. Rubio of Florida ( represents the other large must have battleground state and is a nod to Latino voters ). The MSM meme of his being “so very attractive, but not quite ready” is a sure lead-in to the second spot.
    4) Establishment spokesman David Brooks’ cringe inducing paean of Joe Biden definitely indicates something is going on in those stratospheric levels halls where our fates are decided. I can’t believe they are really afraid of Bernie, so it must be some weakness in HRC not yet made public.
    5) The actual contest ( i.e. the one without pre-determined outcome ) is therefore on the Dem side.

    1. allan


      A group of prominent Democratic Party fundraisers on Friday began circulating a letter to encourage a hesitant Vice President Joe Biden to enter the 2016 race for U.S. president. … It calls the Obama-Biden administration a “spectacular success.” It cites job creation, a lower unemployment rate, new health insurance policies for nearly nine million Americans and the end of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. … The letter offers some insight into how a Biden campaign might make its appeal to voters, arguing that a Biden run would provide continuity with President Barack Obama’s administration, serving as an unofficial Obama third term.

      The world looks very strange from K Street.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Biden joins the race and Hillary stays in, splitting the party tribalist vote, how then does Bernie not win the nomination? Unless they are really expecting Hillary to be somehow removed from the race, putting Biden in at this point seems crazy–at least from a DNC perspective. I’m frankly flummoxed by it all, it makes no sense either strategically or tactically. The hard core right wing cabal controlling the DP I’m pretty sure would far rather lose the White House to the Republicans than to have Sanders occupy it. I don’t think they are thinking straight, I think they are maybe panicking. Corbyn has set a very bad example of what can go wrong. The difference is–besides Sanders being a centrist compared to Corbyn–is that if Sanders wins the nomination he very easily could win the general election as well. I’m guessing there is no real chance of Corbyn setting up at Downing Street. Or is there? Imagine the old Anglo-American alliance with those two as leaders. The world would wobble in its orbit.

        1. nigelk

          I’d settle for just President Sanders. One can’t expect a country with a damned monarchy in the year 2015 to join us in this century.

    2. Praedor

      The analysis I’ve seen is that Hillary’s numbers are flat or declining because of hold-outs in the “moderate” to conservative side of the “Democratic” Party withholding their support to Hillary as they wait to see if Biden will enter. If he doesn’t, then the expectation was they would jump in full with Hillary.

      No matter what, Biden is not a valid replacement for Hillary. He is the reason college students are permanently buried in student loan debt (He made it impossible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy). He is DEEPLY in bed with the MPAA and RIAA, being a MAJOR force behind DMCA. He is literally the reason the encryption program PGP was created and released for free. It was his anti-privacy legislation and language that got the dev to create it and release it at the time. Biden is the source for the core of the PATRIOT Act, having written it in 1995 before the Oklahoma City bombing. His draft legislation was used, cut-and-paste fashion to VERY QUICKLY create the PATRIOT Act we all know and love. He even bragged about it at the time the PATRIOT Act was passed!

      Biden sucks worse than Hillary, if that’s possible.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Conspiracy theory:

        Biden is meant to scare people back to Hillary.

        Taking off my tin foil hat, Hillary is losing votes when people look at her record. Even the politico article lists the Iran sanctions as impetus for the Iran deal. The Europeans were going to lift sanctions. Obama is just trying to get out of the way.

      2. RabidGandhi

        Biden is not a valid replacement for Hillary.


        I see your student loan corruption and patriot act fascism and raise you the destruction of Libya, the prison industrial complex and a coup in Ukraine.

        Biden fits into the “Sucky Establishment Sellout Candidate” slot on the Dem ballot just perfect, like crisp hundreds into an envelope.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          It depends on what the meaning of “valid” is. In terms of sheer bad legislation, I think Biden has the decisive edge with the PATRIOT Act and student loan debt. On the other hand, Clinton helped set the Middle East on fire (again), and of course, there’s the pivot to Asia and TPP*. It’s a tough call!

          NOTE * Not sure what Clinton’s role in the Iran deal was, as opposed to Kerry’s, Obama’s, and the Europeans’.

    3. Left in Wisconsin

      Not sure who the agents are here but analysis seems plausible. The question is, do these PTB need a Dem president to say no to an insane Rep Congress or do they think Kasich can rein in their worst instincts? I don’t think Kasich (or any of the others) can, which to me explains the push for Biden.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Kasich was meant to get votes for people who despise monarchy so they wouldn’t go to an anti-Jeb coordinated movement. Jeb is the golden boy of the GOP elite, and they have no plan B. There are stories going around about Mitt 2.0.

        1. Massinissa

          Mitt 2.0? Baloney. Even McCain would make more sense than that. People actually voted for McCain: If as many people showed up for Mitt as showed up for McCain, Mitt would have won against 2nd term Obama. But the crazies thought Mitt was either not ‘conservative’ enough, too Mormon, or both.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          What to me is plausible is the intent, not the ability to ensure the intended result. I’m still a sucker for elections. (Though the data on how few contribute how large a percentage of campaign contributions does suggest that a small number of people have a disproportionate influence on who gets elected.)

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, as usual, lack of agency. The “real intended nominees” are intended by whom? As usual, the theories prove too much and too little. Too much by attempting to account for every detail; too little because if a cabal has this much control, they ought to be able to do a lot more with it than they have. Why even go through the charade, and just nominate their guy?

      1. Oldeguy

        OK, Lambert, not having been a “fly on the wall” when the strategy was discussed for the 2016 election among the network of very senior corporate executives, very senior Wall Street Banksters, very senior members of Washington Lobby Firms, major “Defense” contractors, the editorial boards of the NYT and WSJ, I can’t name names or cite dates and no, none of this was videotaped.
        The “real intended Nominee” are intended by those un-nameable but very real folks listed above whose primary concern is to make damn sure that their enormous Wealth, Power, and Privilege will be well protected by BOTH of the nominees of the Parties in order that whoever wins, they do.
        “if a cabal has this much control, they ought to be able to do a lot more with it than they have”
        Lambert, they are in full agreement with you there: attempting to micro-manage Planet Earth from the U.S. State Department is hardly an example of excessive modesty.
        Viewed from The Top, elections aren’t, of course, about having the People choose their Leaders- We’re going to place our Wealth and Power at risk so a faceless mass of beer addled Homer Simpsons can tear themselves away from TV long enough to “make their choice” ? No, Thank You Very Much.
        Rather elections serve the dual purpose of legitimizing those chosen by the Elite and channelizing discontent into harmless activity.
        To paraphrase the Bard “to busy giddy minds in election quarrels”.
        Take that, Lambert !

  10. Jay M

    I always sort of thought of Biden as the dumbass from Delaware, seat of many mighty corporations. But if he was responsible for the core of the Patriot Act, his craftiness and guile perhaps need to be reconsidered.

  11. shinola

    Re. the Wapo article about life in the trailer, er, mobile home where Dylan Roof stayed (Class Warfare):

    If the Maine location wasn’t mentioned, I would have thought it was right here in the midwest. I have been to similar places more than a few times. Even the names sound familiar. Always made me think “There but for the grace of god go I”.

    The cruel local vernacular for people in this situation is “trailer trash”. I think that pretty well sums up the attitude of a large portion of Americans who seem to look down on people caught up in an unfortunate situation.

    The money quote: “…after a while, Christon says, “I have no sympathy for people. Nobody has any sympathy for me. I care for me and me only.” (Well that is the basis for Thatcherism isn’t it?)

    What a great society we are building…

    1. Uahsenaa

      I grew up in just this sort of rural midwest environment, and I have to add that there is also a brutal form of tribalism that Daniel Woodrell’s novels depict very well. People’s lives are terrible, and as a result, it leads them to become suspicious of everyone else, so much so that you start to go straight up nuts. Except, everyone around you is like that as well, meaning you have a community of crazies with no asylum.

    2. jgordon

      Why didn’t anyone do anything?

      What a stupid question. The lives of poor people are filled with a thousand big and small things causing anxiety and pain on a daily basis, and then these rich middleclass mfers have the nerve to ask why someone wasn’t paying attention to the lunatic in their midst? News flash: probably half the people in those places are drug addicts, criminals, psychotic, racists or something. Acting weird/violent/crazy/whatever is not something worth commenting on or taking particular note of in that environment.

      In case anyone would be inclined to look down on these people, I’d just like to point out that they’ll be among the few surviving when tshtf. Being very familiar with misery and deprivation will have some significant survival value in the not too distant future for Americans especially.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I’m not so sure that’s true. Familiarity with misery and deprivation will help, but that’s not enough without organizing (the skill to organize and the skill to be organized). The — sorry for the word, but I don’t know another one that meets the case — lumpenproletariat are notoriously hard to organize.

        1. jgordon

          Well it sure can’t hurt. People are used to luxuries such as medical care and reliable electricity are going to be at extreme risk for suicide/ODs/alcoholism as soon as they lose their cushy office-plankton jobs. Granted some organization can help, but people living high on the hog today aren’t too likely to want to hear about the dire predicament we’re all in, and thus and good candidates for participating in such organizing. Poor people however will survive whether they organize or not, since their living arrangement won’t materially change. Actually their lives might significantly improve, since they’ll be cut off from access to television, cigarettes and junk food.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      What struck me was the sheer quantity of trauma. IIRC, a threatened shooting, and a suicide in the recent past. And the “house rules,” apparently, are that they take anybody in (I read the money quote as bravado; in fact, I see people trying to take care of each other with zero skills — negative skills in doing it).

      The psychic numbing must be considerable; no wonder Roof seemed normal. And the search for meaning, any meaning, too; apparently Roof latched onto the most powerful and virulent ideological construct available to him; he would have had virtually no resistance to it.

          1. LifelongLib

            Or (like millions, white and otherwise) they’re below the threshold where the notion of privilege has any meaning…

            1. lambert strether

              Well, ya know, the cops bought Roof lunch after he whacked nine people. That’s not a lot of privilege, but privilege it is. I understand your argument, but really, (1) isn’t it pretty to think so, and (b) it’s generally used very tendentiously.

            2. cwaltz

              I agree. At some point the stress and trauma on poverty wear to the point where there essentially is no benefit to skin color.

              I actually lived in a trailer park for over a decade. The reality of it was there were whites, AAs and Hispanics all living there and when the police rolled in for drug busts or domestic disputes it didn’t matter what color you were, they treated you like dirt (there was one exception where I once watched a deputy spray down a neighboring trailer while waiting for the volunteer fire department to show up.) I finally left after the sheriff’s deputies shot the guy across the road from us(6 months prior they raided the next door neighbor’s house for a drug bust and used flash bangs. They blatantly stood in our yard and threatened my husband with arrest for filming their “undercover drug task force.”) Needless to say I was exhausted and appalled by the excessive displays of force(and completely tired of having to call people to ensure that the police understood we weren’t going to be walked over. We handed the shot guy (white by the way)our security footage that showed the deputies working on their story leaning on our truck and moved on.

              1. Jay M

                one wonders about the property relationships in these communities
                is there a “master tenant” who has their shit together enough to collect the loose change from the couch cushions for the rent?
                trailers seem all plastic and just spray off

        1. Oregoncharles

          “Poor whites” are almost as much of a discarded class, especially in the South, as blacks.

          They latch onto racism because blacks are the ONLY people they can feel superior to.

          Old anecdote: a young woman from the Appalachians was just as offended by the Bell Curve hypothesis (earlier version) as any blacks, because everybody assumed she was stupid, too.

          Very theoretical privilege gets you only so far.

  12. alex morfesis

    maybe the donald can fire everyone running on both sides (including himself) and a slate of only women candidates from both parties run…(no hillbill and no plaster/spakel-face)

    on the democratic side…a few roosevelt girls…Caroline Boovee-yea and Elli Warren…maybe throw in Polly Baca from Colorado…

    on the repub side…guessing one of fidel castros former in-laws in miami would be a start…not real sure who else is out there…you folks do realize that the miami hate castro elected crowd used to be Fidel’s in laws…they didn’t send you a copy of the memo…strange that…

    none of the existing candidates is worth farting at, let alone voting for them…

    this could turn out to be an interesting opportunity for some real electoral change…

    nah…time to get back to the fixxx network sports bowling seniors league championship…be careful gramps…don’t tear out a rotary cuff…oh damn..gutterball…

  13. Oregoncharles

    ” I don’t have my winger talking point manual to hand, so I don’t know what spreading the doses out means in concrete policy terms.”
    It might actually make sense in biological terms. Vaccines are one of the most valuable medical technologies – but powerful technologies generally come at a price. In this case, I worry about auto-immune diseases, one of our biggest problems. Personal stake: my son nearly died of one – had to have a bone marrow transplant. And yes, he was vaccinated, and vaccinated again after the transplant.

    It’s speculative, but my concern is this: vaccines imitate the immune effect of childhood diseases, but without the getting sick part (usually). But childhood diseases come one at a time; if a child got three or four at a time, they’d die. What happens to the immune system when it’s exposed to multiple diseases at once? As far as I know, no one knows; but we have an epidemic of auto-immune diseases. There are quite a few volunteers for the not-vaccinated arm of a study, so I think someone should try to find out. In the meantime, I think it would be precautionary to spread out the shots, even though it’s less convenient. And that’s just one potential issue.

    (I know at least one person who is medically trained – as a naturopath – and refuses to have her daughter vaccinated. I’ve never asked her reasons; I guess I should do that.)

    It’s extremely important not to treat science and technology as dogma; it’s anti-scientific, and especially dangerous when large financial interests are at stake.

    1. Yves Smith

      I suggest you read up on the work of Tom Brown on auto-immune diseases. He’s a board certified rheumatologist who became frustrated by the fact that all he could do was manage symptoms of so-called auto-immune diseases, and that the treatments worked only for 2-3 years, and then he’d have to move on to drugs with lower efficacy and more side effects.

      He looked into the research history and was stunned to find that there were promising studies before WWII based on the notion that the ailments now called “auto-immune diseases” were caused by a pathogen, and they had isolated mycoplasma, which I gather sits somewhere between bacteria and viruses. Note that normal clinical labs can test only for three very narrow types of pulmonary mycoplasma, and that’s because HIV positive patients are vulnerable to them.

      Brown was shocked to find that the “auto-immune” theory was completely made up after WWII. There is no clinical evidence to support it. It was just a label used to justify the use of the drugs discovered after WWII that suppressed symptoms

      Brown started investigating mycoplasma and developed a protocol to treat it using tetracycline. Tetracycline is just about one of the least pernicious drugs out there. But because it’s an old, off patent antibiotic, there’s also no money for clinical trials.

      Brown and like minded doctors did a number of small scale studies, and they’ve also treated patients. Basically, the tetracycline protocol produces no improvement in the first six months or so because the patient is getting a Herxheimers’ reaction (symptoms due to pathogen die-off). They start getting better after six to nine months, and most report that they are symptom-free after two years. But most clinical trials are four to twelve weeks. It’s monstrously expensive to run large-scale tests over a two year period.

      My father had a rare auto-immune disease. He was very much cowed by his doctors who said the Brown thesis was bunk. He nevertheless wanted his blood tested for mycoplasma to be sure. But he lost six months to finding a lab that could run the tests and then getting his blood sample transported across state lines (a huge bureaucratic process). The doctor that helped him get the tests (an old friend that had moved out of state, hence no skin in the outcome), called to give him the test results: “Your blood is swimming in it [the mycoplasma]”.

      By that point, the symptoms had gotten so bad (mouth ulcers, so he could not eat; severe weigh loss; difficulty in sleeping due to the number of bruises he had due to his skin thinning so severely; mood effects due to taking prednisone) that he shot himself. I blame his doctors for discouraging and therefore delaying him in seeking the tetracycline protocol.

      1. tegnost

        That’s sad, I’m sorry for your loss, spent the last couple of days with a friend navigating the hospital and tests, luckily negative. Western medicine ain’t all it’s cracked up to be… for us it seemed kind of like “hey lets see if we can find something here”, for you they just didn’t care to know…Also had something 2 years ago that tetracycline would have cheaply treated but the hospital physicians computer insisted on something new that cost a lot more.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Without getting into too much detail, my son’s medical history strongly supported the autoimmune hypothesis; that is, that’s what he was treated for, and it worked – for a while. Eventually he relapsed and wound up getting a transplant: seriously heroic medicine. OTOH, he had aplastic anemia, a very rare illness, sometimes caused by chemical exposures (eg, benzene, toluene, and some medicines.)

        After the transplant, tetracycline proved very toxic to him. Fortunately, he’s healthy now. I’ll look into Brown’s book. I have several friends with MS. It wouldn’t be the only example – remember when they discovered that ulcers were microbial?

      3. Roger Bigod

        Very sad. It was good of you to share the painful story. Knowing about the mycoplasma issue could be helpful to others.

  14. Oregoncharles

    “But a birthday cake loaded with diamonds and hand-sculpted fondant just smashed the record for the most expensive dessert ever created” [CNBC]. $75 million:

    Did they eat the diamonds? Seems like they’d be hard on your teeth.

  15. barrisj

    The Donald’s latest “campaign speech/townhall meeting” post-“debate” in NH featured some loony in the audience raving on about “…getting rid of all Muslims…Obama is a Muslim…”, yadda-yadda. The guy’s rant is all over cablenews and social media, and the Trumpster’s lame response about, “…we’ll be looking into things…” is the beginning of the end of this minor epiphenomenon. Fiorino was the designated attack-dog by the Repub elite at last debate, sent out to savage the Donald, and did her job…she of course will be dumped shortly and the elite’s preferred candidate Jeb! will eventually receive the coronation. Many of us predicted this way back…there is NO way the Repub grandees and billionaires would EVAH let this fool and his racist/nativist/white nationalist/30% of the Republican “base” define the party for 2016…he gone.

  16. Ben Johannson

    Corbyn will be gone within the next year. The establishment media can and will destroy him by simple repetition he is a failure.

    Works every time because we’re programmed to believe what we hear the most.

    1. Massinissa

      On the other hand, people develop a resistance to noticing repeated stimuli, like certain sounds.

      Maybe if the Media says hes a failure loud enough, people will just get used to the whinging and ignore it as ‘just one of those things’. The sky is blue, the sun rises from the east, and the media attack Corbyn.

        1. Skippy

          “people develop a resistance to noticing repeated stimuli”

          See what happened to Tony Abbott [Oz PM], the Conservative [young earth sorts], Murdoch posse, after their repeated messaging devolved into contextual white noise. Even the liberal / labour right and center are under duress due to proximity.

          Skippy…. the narrative is glitching wildly now….

      1. wbgonne

        Not only that but there are now a lot of people who don’t care what the corporate media says. Yes, some people still internalize the propaganda but an increasing number have simply tuned out and get their information in alternative venues like NC or Facebook. And I think a growing number actually recoil at the corporate media propaganda so the harder the media pushes the further they get from their desired outcome. Corbyn may be indeed destroyed but change is afoot and the plutocrats are terrified. The writing is on the wall and they are stuffing their pockets while they can.

    2. Yves Smith

      The British are not as deferential to authority or the media as Americans are. A sustained attack is not as sure a winner as here, and if it is seen as screechy and hysterical (which it sure seems now), it could backfire.

  17. different clue

    About Blake and Lynch . . . I assume NYC is too big for “all the people in the world” to be able to force NYC into compliance with something through some kind of brute-force boycott. But are there sectors and groups in NYC who could be humiliated in public and denied access to “all the best parties in all the best places” by the right kind of targeted boycott against certain culture and fashion sectors of NYC until the policeman who attacked Blake is fired and until Lynch is somehow destroyed as a visible focus of power?

    1. Ulysses

      I think that if enough prominent entertainers refused to work in the city, the media would be forced to report on it. and the political establishment would feel compelled to look like they were doing something.

      Sadly, I’m skeptical that you could find enough people to stick their necks out on this :(

      1. different clue

        Well, there is something for Mr. Blake and other pro-black people of money and means to begin working on, perhaps. What if Big Liberal Hollywood Stars refused to make any more movies until they could be guaranteed that their movies would not be allowed to be shown anywhere in the Greater New York City area until Lynch and the policeman in question were legally and economically and reputationally destroyed?

  18. Wayne Harris

    Just a second of Lambert’s recommendation of An American Void – the WaPo portrait of the family and friends living in the trailer where Dylann Roof last stayed, by Stephanie McCrummen. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2015/09/12/an-american-void/ Absolutely haunting.

    It did make me wonder about the relationship between the Meek family and the reporter. It feels like McCrummen actually spent 24/7 time with the Meek family for a period of weeks. In that regard, An American Void brought to mind James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Thirty years later, a writer whose name I can’t call up revisited the sharecropper families immortalized by Agee, and wrote about them for the now long defunct St. Petersburg Times Sunday feature magazine, The Floridian. They were uniformly bitter at how little they had benefited from being the raw material for an acclaimed masterpiece. Great writers move on. The marginalized poor don’t.

  19. Danny

    Your links about the military reminds me of the following Vice piece I read today http://motherboard.vice.com/read/low-and-slow
    The WWII-Era Plane Giving the F-35 a Run for Its Money
    “Like other American combat troops in Afghanistan, the SEALs sometimes found that high-tech gear couldn’t reliably get the job done, or that cheaper, lower-tech solutions worked better. This is how the US military almost adopted the A-29 Super Tucano, a $4 million turboprop airplane reminiscent of WWII-era designs that troops wanted, commanders said was “urgently needed,” but Congress refused to buy.” Now that plane not good enough for our military is being given to Afghanistan and Iraq as a superior aircraft.

    Worth a read

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, judged on performance, it’s clearly not our military’s purpose to win wars, ka-ching. So what did we expect? At some point — possibly with our F35, but who knows? Maybe a carrier group — our weapons systems will become so complex and baroque that we start losing battles with them, and can’t bring in replacements because we have so few and they so darned expensive, ka-ching. Maybe we can hold of the resulting collapse with drone strikes from trailers in out in the desert, but somehow I don’t think so…

      1. different clue

        I wonder why this “not our military’s purpose to win wars” trope keeps being trotted out? Especially after it is repeatedly pointed out that “our military” won the Afghan War and the Iraq War and only after that did the Bush Administration very carefully and deliberately throw the victories and the peace away in order to inspire new insurgencies which our military then lost.

        Firing Garner and replacing him with Brenner in order to get the order given to fire and disband the Iraqi Army was not an inevitable force of nature. It was a deliberate Bush Administration initiative designed to inspire the sort of disgruntlement and then hatred which would support an insurgency. Preventing the old king Zahir Shah from returning to Afghanistan to symbolically oversee a Grand Jirga to work out who/what would be the post-Taliban government . . . so as to manipulate Karzai into the “presidency” instead . . . was also a deliberate policy and not a force of nature.

        But if the silly “not our military’s purpose to win wars, ka-ching” trope is rolled out again, I or others can point out again that our military won both wars, as you know. And that the civilian leadership then proceded to carefully throw the victory away, as you know. Just as President Andrew Johnson very carefully threw away the Civil War victory after the Union Army won that war.

        1. ambrit

          I would aver that the Copperhead faction of the Republican Party threw away the “victory” of the North in the American Civil War. Johnson wasn’t as politically adept as Lincoln. He was almost removed from office for trying to carry out Lincoln’s vision of the peace. Yes the Union Army won that war, but Lincoln was always in charge. The armed forces, until they enter ‘coup’ territory, are subservient to the civilian authority. Grand strategy is always political in nature. The militaries purpose is whatever the civilian authority tells it to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

          1. different clue

            I realize I don’t know very much detailed fact about the Civil War and its aftermath. I had thought that the Lincoln approach would have involved treason trials against the political instigators and leaders of Confederate Secession. I had further thought that Lincoln would have tried to strip as much land as feasible from as many “treason-labelable” Southern plantation owners as possible in order to make that land available for Homesteading by landless and near-landless black Southerners and white Southerners.
            Whereas Johnson allowed all the biggest Plantation owners and Confederate leaders to keep their land and reclaim their US citizenship with wink-and-nod declarations of loyalty to the United States. How was this Johnson approach in keeping with Lincoln’s vision of the peace?
            Or am I entirely wrong in what little I thought I knew? What books if any have described what Lincoln’s plan for the peace would have been?

          2. different clue

            But your last few sentences appear to support my point. The Union Army won the war and then civilian leadership threw the victory away.

            Just as in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US armed forces won the wars and then the Bush Administration conspired on purpose to throw the victories away and destroy the peace in order to inspire insurgency into existence. This would fit in with the Bush Admin’s goal of high-profit exploitable chaos. The ka-ching was all Bushite, not U S Army.

  20. different clue

    Sic Semper Tyrannis , which is sometimes a source for linked articles here, had a very interesting thread exchange about that young teenager with his clock.

    Matthew said in reply to turcopolier…
    Col: Notice the decline. In 2008, John McCain answered that question with “No, he’s not.” And now one of Ted Cruz’s teen flunkies is throwing feces at the President for supporting an innocent Muslim teen. See http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/09/18/ga-teen-blasts-white-house-invite-ahmed-mohamed/72385964/

    Trump’s right about one thing: we have a lot of work to do at home. Who are we becoming?

    Reply 18 September 2015 at 09:59 AM

    responded to with . . .

    jld said in reply to Matthew …
    The Muslim teen is indeed innocent but his father probably not (of media propaganda manipulation)

    and this . . .

    Fred said in reply to Matthew …

    Yeah we can’t really expect USA Today to do any investigation of just what kind of “Clock” a thirteen year old who’s father keeps returning to Sudan to run for President might build. Sure can’t point out poor victimized immigrant from attention whoring family builds something to guarantee attention. Let’s trash some white kid – from Georgia – instead of pointing out the obvious.

    Here’s the “Clock”:

    Here’s the rest including an embeeded link to the Dallas Morning News:

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