2:00PM Water Cooler 9/2/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


The Voters

Dynasties: “If Americans have lost their taste for cross-generational political transfers of power, the broader map of US power is still strikingly dynastic. According to data cited by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, “intergenerational elasticity of income” is 47 per cent in the US — parents pass almost half their income to their children. That figure compares with 15 per cent in Denmark and 19 per cent in Canada. (The UK should not gloat: its level is 50 per cent.)” [FT, “Clinton and Bush test America’s appetite for dynasties”]. At this point, we might remember that Trump, too, belongs to a dynasty.


“Since the housing bubble burst and construction jobs dried up, more unauthorized immigrants have left the United States than have come in” [New York Times]. It’s the Crash wot did it.

The Trail

Check this out [McClatchy]. From the latest Clinton email dump:

And she had to look good doing it all. Even though she confided to an aide in December 2009 that she had “collapsed” with fatigue after a speech, Clinton was discouraged from letting on that her demanding job took a human toll. An April 23, 2010, email from outside adviser Sidney Blumenthal appears to chastise her after unspecified remarks for “stepping all over your story by saying you are tired.”

“Tired.” I know there are people who hate Clinton, but I am not among them, not least because hating is bad for me; to me, these exchanges present the tragic picture of a smart, experienced, and above all resilient woman, driven by a complex mixture of ambition, cupidity, and duty, while she single-handedly drags a massive entourage of networked hangers-on like Blumenthal behind her, when what she would rather do is… forget the dynasty, and just…. rest. But she can’t. They won’t let her.

And check this out. I know “body language” is mumbo jumbo, but just read [Reuters]. Forget the interpretation –it’s a presser on the email saga — and look at the detail:

In Las Vegas, however, her expressions were more like a tired boxer’s, slightly off-balance and woozy.

For relatively long stretches, given that she was holding a news conference, Clinton repeatedly closed her eyes. By itself, that facial muscle activity is a sign of sadness. But add to this how often she also raised her eyebrows, in ways not necessarily emphasizing her comments. This was unusual for her. And it usually signifies both sadness and anxiety.

“[L]ike a tired boxer’s.” Hmm.

Woz endorses Sanders [@stevewoz]:

Trump Unbound [@billmon]



Trump cheats at golf [WaPo]. That’s not the issue. The issue is playing golf at all. I mean, where do you think all the deals get cut? On the breezy and open golf course, far away from recording devices, that’s where.

“[Walker]’s launched his most direct hit yet against a competitor with the release of a video this week critical of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for not more forcefully opposing the nuclear deal with Iran” [Bloomberg]. Kicking down, since it’s Trump that’s killing Walker, not Bush.

Iowa, local poll: “With five months to go before the 2016 Iowa Caucuses, a pair of unconventional candidates top the large Republican field. For the 502 likely Republican caucus-goers polled statewide, billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are leading the field by a relatively wide margin. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is in a distant third place, and is the only other candidate with double-digit support as a first choice candidate” [Loras College].

Trumka to walk with Biden on Labor Day [Boston Globe]. Playing hard to get? Leaving the sinking ship?

Stats Watch

Because I had to miss these yesterday, a double ration.

The Fed, latest FOMC release: “By putting the discussion of the mechanics of raising rates and shrinking the balance sheet first the Fed clearly wanted to focus attention on it. But Big Media ignored all of it, proving that the Fed can’t even control the message” [Econintersect]. “If the Fed can’t even control its message in the media, how can it hope to influence the securities markets, the money markets, and the US economy?” To me, this makes sense. Can readers more knowledgeable than I am in Fedspeak, the money markets, and reflexivity generally comment?

“When in graduate school many decades ago we often discussed what we called “Brunner’s Rule”, named after the late pre-eminent monetary economist Karl Brunner.  At its core, Karl taught us that a [Central Bank] does not influence overall monetary conditions unless it buys or sells an asset” AND “to have an impact on their balance sheet the CB needs to NOT undertake offsetting domestic money market operations to “sterilize” the impact of the asset purchase or sale” [Across the Curve, “Draining the Liquidity Pool”]. “[I]t is NOT correct to assume that the full $12 trillion drop in measured reserves represents a drain of liquidity from global markets as there is no estimate of offsetting sterilization through domestic monetary operations.” Any gentlemen who prefer bonds out there and have a mind to comment?

Motor Vehicle Sales, August 2015: “The auto sector helped lead the economy in May through July and extended the string to August” [Bloomberg]. “Strength in imports was centered in light trucks… North-American made vehicles slipped.”

ISM Mfg Index, August 2015: “Lower-than-expected” [Bloomberg]. “[S]ignaling the slowest rate of growth for the factory sector since May 2013. And the key details are uniformly weak.” 

PMI Manufacturing Index, August 2015: “Growth in Markit’s manufacturing sample is as slow as it’s been since October 2013” [Bloomberg]. “Failed to pick up the auto-led rebound for the factory sector in June and July.”

Factory Orders, July 2015: “Pulled down by petroleum and coal products, orders for non-durables fell a sharp 1.3 percent, offsetting a very strong and upward revised jump of 2.2 percent in durable goods orders” [Bloomberg]. But check out the chart. And: “US Census says manufacturing new orders improved. Our analysis says new orders crashed. Unadjusted unfilled orders’ growth is now in CONTRACTION year-over-year. No matter how you cut the data, it is bad. The headline analysis is extremely misleading this month” [Econintersect]. 

Construction Spending, July 2015: “Led by strength in single-family homes, construction spending rose 0.7 percent in July while an upward revision to single-family homes added to a sharp upward revision to June” [Bloomberg]. “In gains that belie concerns over weakness in business investment, manufacturing was very strong.”

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of August 28, 2015: “A sharp drop in Treasury rates early in the August 28 week, tied to the global stock market rout, triggered a surge of mortgage applications” [Bloomberg].

ADP Employment Report, August 2015: “calling for a sub-200,000 flop on Friday” [Bloomberg]. “However spotty ADP’s record is [and it has been], today’s result is very likely to raise talk of a lower-than-expected report on Friday and a December, not a September, FOMC rate hike.” It would be terrible to stop giving the 1% free money over the holidaze; I say January.  And: “The rolling averages of year-over-year jobs growth rate remains strong but the rate of growth continues in a downtrend” [Econintersect].

Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index, August 2015: “Unchanged” [Bloomberg]. “This is the best level in the 7-year history of the report and suggests that hiring activity is strong and has not been interrupted by volatility in the global markets.”

“[R]eal wage growth more recently has not been commensurate with observed declines in the unemployment rate” [Liberty Street]. “[T]he survey evidence suggests that workers who do not experience a spell of nonemployment fare better than those who do in terms of job quality… These findings support the idea that perhaps we should explore the importance of job-to-job transitions—rather than movements in the unemployment rate alone—when thinking about the recent dynamics of wage growth.” A Jobs Guarantee would fix that.

Productivity and Costs, Q2 2015: “The upward revision to second-quarter GDP gave a strong lift to nonfarm productivity” [Bloomberg]. “But year-on-year data tell a different story with productivity up 0.7 percent in the second quarter and labor costs up 1.7 percent. These readings reflect prior weakness in productivity tied to weak output in the first and fourth quarters.”  But: “I personally do not understand why anyone would look at the data in this series as the trends are changed from release to release – and significantly between the preliminary and final release” [Econintersect]. On the brighter side: “[T]his methodology does track recessions. The current levels are well above recession territory.”

Mr. Market

“How Tethered to China are the Wall Street Banks?” [Wall Street on Parade].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“As my colleague Brentin Mock points out, to observe that homicides began increasing in St. Louis before the protests is not to make a subjective interpretation, but to offer a knowable and verifiable fact. If the “Ferguson Effect” is real, how can it be that it started before the Ferguson protests?” [Ta-Nahesi Coates, The Atlantic, “There Is No Ferguson Effect”].

Police State

“776 People Killed By Police So Far in 2015, 161 Of Them Unarmed” [Shadow Proof]. For comparison purposes, that puts us on track to comfortably exceed the highest number of Coalition troops killed in Iraq, 961 in 2007. Mission accomplished!

Health Care

The Republican alternative to ObamaCare [Wonkwire].


“Japan and some other countries participating in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are trying to arrange a plenary ministerial meeting in late September, informed sources have said” [Jiji Press]. Since the Japanese August 29 deadline slipped…. 

“‘If we cannot hold a ministerial meeting in August, it is natural to consider September. Who would offer (concessions) when there is no (deadline for negotiations)?” [Japanese Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari ] said” [Market Pulse]. Perhaps an Asia hand can translate that Japanese diplo-speak? But to me, sheesh, why would the Japanese not want negotiate? Last time, Obama gave Abe remilitarization without getting anything in return! Sweet!

Auto: Look like the US made a side deal with Japan on auto, but did tell Canada and Mexico, who are understandably ticked off [Establishment Post].

“No News is Good News: An Update on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement” [Health and Human Rights Journal]. “The government negotiators and the advocates that have resisted the US agenda for TPPA during years of negotiations—including Médecins Sans Frontières, Public Citizen, and Knowledge Ecology International, among many others—deserve the appreciation of the public health community.”

“A Conflicted Liberal Explains How Obama Is Making Trade Deals So Hard To Support” [HuffPo]. Headline wins the Internet! (That whole slavery thing; so deeply troubling.)

“Holy Thomas Paine, I thought, [TPP looks like] a coup d’etat by the jefes of CorporateWorld! Surely this couldn’t be. If it was true, wouldn’t Obama and even the corporate-hugging, Boehner/McConnell Tea Party Congress be in an uproar? No, explained [Lori] Wallach [of Public Citizen]. They’re in on the deal” [Jim Hightower].

I can tell you from experience that we populists win big legislative battles not by going inside capitol buildings, but by going out to the countryside. I learned this 30 years ago when, as Texas agriculture commissioner, I took on the prodigious clout of the chemical lobby by proposing strong pesticide protections for farmworkers, farmers, and consumers. Facing a wall of opposition from industry-funded legislators, I said to a group of allies: “You realize the odds are against us, don’t you?” To which one replied: “Some of the evens are against us, too.”

We ended up winning, but only because we got the hell out of the capitol city, took the issue directly to the grassroots, and rallied the outsider majority to stand against the self-dealing insiders. That approach, on a larger scale, is how we’ll stop the global elite from hanging this TPP albatross around democracy’s neck.

Our Famously Free Press

Why “The Donald is called ‘The Donald'” [WaPo]. Spy Magazine!

“As giant platforms rise, local news is getting crushed”  [Nieman Labs].

News of the Wired

“27 Worst Charts of All Time” [Business Insider].

“Cooper Union’s Free Tuition May Return After Lawsuit Settlement” [Gothamist]. Sometimes the good guys win!

“The Timothy Hunt Witch Hunt” [Commentary (RS)]. 

* * *

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:


Heuchara, Maine Coast Botanical Gardens.

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. Jim Haygood

    Victory over AIPAC:

    President Barack Obama locked up enough U.S. Senate votes to protect the Iran nuclear deal in Congress as Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski said Wednesday she will support the agreement.

    Mikulski’s backing guarantees that if Congress votes to disapprove the deal this month and Obama vetoes that measure as he has said he will, the president will have the 34 Senate votes to keep Republicans from overriding his action.


    It’s a great day for America when a foreign lobby that believes they own Congress is shown that they do not rule us.

    Now let’s enforce FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act), starting with John Boehner.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The Republicans being what they are, no doubt they will bring Bibi back again, doubling down.

      But yes, I’m pleased that AIPAC lost, and kudos to Obama for achieving a minimal level of sanity in at least one policy area, after seven years in office.

  2. allan

    “Joyce, Faulkner, Trump — the acknowledged masters of the fictional stream-of-consciousness English prose style.”

    Rank amateurs who are not fit to lick the spittle off of this former half-term governor’s microphone:

    Things like that: it must change. Things must change for our government. Look at it. It isn’t too big to fail. It’s too big to succeed. It’s too big to succeed, so we can afford no retreads, or nothing will change. With the same people and same policies that got us into the status quo—another that word, status quo, and it stands for man, the middle-class everyday Americans are really getting taken for a ride. That’s status quo. And GOP leaders, by the way—you know, the man can only ride you when your back is bent.

    1. hidflect

      Reminds me of the story about the PM of Japan, Obuchi. After he delivered a long-winded, salutatory greeting to the French PM all eyes turned expectantly to the translator who burst into tears saying she was unable to translate a single sentence (since it was an endless string of nebulous and mish-mashed honorifics).

  3. Oregoncharles

    2016: http://www.salon.com/2015/09/02/bernie_sanders_reality_check_why_progressives_shouldnt_be_getting_their_hopes_up_yet/

    Unusually (at least for Salon) sober and informative report on Sanders to date.

    “The Democratic establishment, in contrast, is actually pretty comfortable with Sanders, which makes sense, since you don’t get to be a senator without making some sort of accommodation with the elite. The sneaky truth about Sanders is that the political system has been able to make room for him quite easily.” With details. You should read it.

      1. Jess

        When you stop to consider the sheer magnitude of the restructuring of society that would result from single-payer (including the ripple effects of unemployment among current HCR workers), bringing it about would be an enormous accomplishment. (And probably have more direct impact on families since the canceling of the draft.)

        1. JTMcPhee

          So our “trade masters” who have dislocated and demolished individuals and families and communities and while freaking nations, onaccounta Markets, are telling us that as part of the screwing “we” get to put public money into some “retraining program” called as I recall “TAA,” which proves to be just another neolib con job Superglued ™ or cut-and-pasted from Sucking Sound NAFTACAFTACAAETC and was sold as the fix for all that Destructive Destruction, are telling us to Be Very Afraid Of Single Payer because dislocation and destructive creation Oh The Lost Jobs! The Sickness UNsurance spokesfolks don’tont mention the billions of person-hours going into staffing up (and down, to “contoll costs and we all know what that really means) to adapt to electronic medical records and ICD-10 and all the other lost-motion, cruelty-born bullsh_t the Current Reality is imposing, all the medical bankruptcy and non- and maltreatment and perverse incentives of Current Standard of UNcare.

          What possible real justification, dismissing out of hand the disgusting fetid self-serving miasma that reeks out of what gets shorthanded as ” K Street,” is there for not employing all those ordinary working people who at least have a nodding or better acquaintance with a little or a lot of actual health care, as in humane treatment of our fellow humans, in the salutary task of building something of a structure that looks like Medicare For All with elements of the VA (arms length mass purchase of medications and equipment, etc)? Even something as good as Canadian Medicare was before their neoloberals started f(((ing it up cuz Markets!

      2. Oregoncharles

        According to issue polls, single-payer has had solid majority support for a long time. That’s pretty mainstream. The real problem is corruption.

        Bonus: Trump appears to support it, too, though he’s being sneaky about it.

    1. Vatch

      Another quote from the article:

      “The only thing that will change any of this chumminess is if Sanders actually starts winning. A senator from Vermont is more easily contained than a presidential candidate with the wind at his back.”

      In other words, the establishment tolerates Sanders when the bills that he sponsors in the Senate fail to become law, and when he hasn’t won any Presidential primaries. If either changes, watch out!

    2. Oldeguy

      Good article- well worth the read.
      I think the Bernie Boomlet is at least as much a case of severe Buyer’s Remorse re Obama as it is re Bernie himself. Bernie’s policies are the type of deal that the non detail oriented public ( like me, for shamefaced example ) thought they were buying in 2008.
      Bernie himself, far from being a Socialist , is a sort of mild FDR Democrat- it’s only the truly scary corruption fueled push into imperial Neo-Feudalism over the last few decades that make him appear at all fringe.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Interesting, yes, but I think it gets wrong both the division between the Democratic Party apparatus and their “base,” AND globalization. It’s true the latter was made possible by technological advances, but in fact it consists of government policies – for which Slick Willy Clinton was directly responsible, and which the Democratic Party still supports (though a lot of their congressmembers are getting nervous about it).

        The “base” is way, way to the left of the party on almost every issue; heck, the great majority are. To a great extent, it’s the party leadership uses “social” issues as a distraction from their peculation. I do think the huge social changes drove a wedge between the middle-class and working-class Democrats, though. But I was very much part of that whole phenomenon, so I can’t be impartial.

        1. Oldeguy

          I, also, found the writers use of “base” to be confusing in what I otherwise found to be in what I to be a very perceptive analysis.
          What I believe he was in fact referring to was not the mass of the current Democratic voting public, but rather those Special Interest Groupings that constitute a large part of the Party activists- Black ( e.g. BLM ), Latino immigration, GLT, Abortion Rights, NEA and AFT, etc.
          The writer’s evaluation of Bernie as pushing a sort of FDR New Deal #2 that while indirectly benefiting all of these groups, transcends them directly fronting for none and therefore can recapture the White working class I believe to be spot on.

      2. Vatch

        I’ve noticed that a surprising number of things that Trump says actually seem to make sense (once one makes allowances for the grammatically exotic stream of consciousness, as others have already discussed). Or maybe I’m hallucinating. Anyhow, there’s plenty of bombastic foolishness as well. I’m not emotionally prepared to become a Trump supporter; fortunately, most of what Sanders says makes plenty of sense, too. Whew! That was close!

  4. JerryDenim

    “776 People Killed By Police So Far in 2015, 161 Of Them Unarmed”

    But how many of the 615 “armed” police murder victims had a ‘drop-weapon’ planted on them post-slaying?

  5. Ed

    OK, I am curious about the first item. For the countries where parents pass only 15% of their “income” (its wealth, right? or is the author describing something completely different to what I think he is describing) to their children, who gets the other 85%? My guess its the government and the article is really capturing different inheritance tax treatments. Though some of the difference could be due to a higher percentage of childless people in developed countries outside the US.

    1. Lee

      The study which the article cites is here: http://www.oecd.org/els/38335410.pdf

      Having just returned home from having been wonderfully anesthetized for medical procedure, I’m a bit too looped to comprehend it at the moment. So, if you are of a mind to, be my guest and report back in easy to understand terms. Cheers

    2. sleepy

      Yeah, it seems a difficult comparison to make. Perhaps in other nations it’s more customary to donate family assets to children before death than in the US.

      In many countries, capital gains are heavily taxed upon death-up ro 50% tax in Canada. In the US, the appreciated asset becomes the basis for the heirs and the only capital gains owed would be when the heirs sell it at a price above that basis. Of course if the estate is large enough there would still be estate tax owed on the value of those assets.

      So, without more digging, it’s hard to make a real comparison.

  6. Lee

    Maybe the the Republicans should play an identity politics trump card and go with a Fiorina/Carson ticket.

  7. craazyboy

    “FedSpeak” is when the Fed says they are gonna raise the overnight interest rate and then someone like Bill Gross sells all his bonds, then announces to the press everyone should go to cash.[after he’s done doing it] Or China.

    But FedSpeak has no impact on short term money markets. That is just driven by FOMC trade volume to wherever they want. Usually a important goal of FedSpeak is to control long term inflation expectations – ie they won’t get too loosy goosy wid da money supply. This keeps the long term cost of money down. But after manipulating long rates with QE, bond holders know they will get some selloff when the Fed reverses. So any bonds will likely sell for less than they paid for them, unless they hold them all the way to maturity. So a lot of people don’t want to be locked in to a 2% nominal gain for 10 years or so. (they can still sell at a loss whenever they want) Then again, some people think 2% is the best we could do over the next 10 years.

    Across the Curve article

    There is no such thing as a hot bond right now. They are high maintenance and are risky business to boot. I read the whole Across the Curve article after reading the excerpt above [with far to many double negatives] and concluded he shouldn’t have wrote that paragraph, and maybe not the article either. I’m pretty sure his conclusion is wrong – I think what he calls “sterilization” does get included in the balance sheet.

    Where it really gets hopeless is mixing up domestic CB monetary ops with global CB FX ops. And its done in all sorts of currencies too. (or sovereign bonds)

    Take this hypothetical micro case. A Chinese Oligarch sells what’s left of his stock portfolio and receives yuan. He goes to the Chinese corner bank and exchanges yuan for dollars. The corner bank has to get them from the PBoC. The PBoC sells some Treasury bonds to get the dollars. The Oligarch wires $100 million dollars to his Singapore Bank because he thinks the Chines will slap capital controls on his HK bank eventually.

    At this point the Treasury bonds are in someone’s account, and the Chinese oligarch hasn’t decided what to do with his dollars yet.

    So global CB reserves did go down, global liquidity not (depending on what Ogi does with his dollars), US liquidity went down in the short term (Ogi’s dollars may find their way here someday)and no one really knows exactly what is going on. As usual.

  8. Lee

    “and no one really knows exactly what is going on. As usual.”

    Thank you for making me feel less alone in my befuddlement as regards things financial.

  9. Crazy Horse

    The USA is not only an aristocracy (or kleptocracy if you want to be more precise) but it is a hereditary one as well. Extreme concentration of wealth, low rate of upward mobility by the standards of other advanced countries, and high correlation between race/ethnicity and extreme wealth. Is it any wonder that the sham presidential elections offer up candidates from the same two families who have a proven history of producing docile presidential actors?

    Since I’m Crazy Horse I offer up a definitive solution to the problem of inherited wealth and power.

    Simply outlaw the transfer of wealth between generations— beyond some nominal amount. When you play your final Trump card all of your accumulated jet planes, trophy buildings, gold plated toilet seats, and Wyoming buffalo ranches would revert to the nation and be sold. At age 24 every citizen would recieve an equal share of the proceeds to serve as a nest egg to build their future fortune or blow up their nose as they choose.

    Bill Gates kid and the crack dealer in the Bronx should all receive an equal chance of success in a real economic democracy.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s the best reason for a steeply progressive effective tax rate, IMNSHO; to prevent or destroy an aristocracy of inherited wealth. So taxes are critical even though they do not “pay for” Federal spending.

        1. JTMcPhee

          As are non- taxes, un-taxes, de- taxes, and all those lovely subsidies to the Corporate Piggery Real Welfare Queens I’m talking about you, Corn and F-35 et cetera ad nauseam…

  10. tommy strange

    With respect, I think all your coverage of this coming election is great, and I love it, but again with respect. I have no problem hating both clintons, and obama and all the republicans. They are all corporate fascists that have supported an incarceration state, as well as constant ramping up of what is sure to be an asset bubble that will destroy all my working class friends lives. Then will come vicious austerity.
    I have no problem hating fascists. Nor should you.

    1. jrs

      Yes hate is a healthy emotional response to the harm they do as I see it, just that, nothing more than that.

      1. Jess

        I’m of the understanding that when the late Alexander Cockburn was interviewing prospective new reporters one of his key questions was:

        “How pure is your hate for the elite?”

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        No, it isn’t. I can’t imagine a more perfect recipe for “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” than hate, if for no other reason that strategic hate management, as practiced by the elite, is highly skilled and very expensive. Go ahead and fight the enemy on the ground of their choosing with their weapons if you so choose!

        1. jrs

          If the idea of the kind of hate I’m talking about is free-floating, I don’t think it is. Anger at one’s circumstances, one’s experience, one’s past say could be used on many different targets if one isn’t careful. Maybe anger and general unhappiness and so on could become free floating. But the kind of moral abhorrence sparked by I don’t know, lets say W starting a war with Iraq, that one believes is wrong to the very core of one’s being say, while the bodies pile up, isn’t easily transferred to hating immigrants or something (for one thing even an immigrant actually did take your job the *intent* isn’t there, the deliberate infliction of suffering etc.). If one can not after reading about a white phosphorous attack in the Iraq war bear to look at W’s smirking face – if in fact if asked what they feel one would respond “I *HATE* THE GUY!”, well that’s a healthy normal reaction IMO. And you can think of your own examples for Obama etc. I can’t stand to look at his face either.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I think elites create hate deliberately, and regard hate in the body politic as an asset to be managed. For example, the hate that the conservatives created for the Clintons in the slow motion coup that culminated in Bush v. Gore was seamlessly adopted, down to the very talking points and tropes, by Obots in 2008. I don’t think that’s got anything to do with “a normal healthy reaction” (whatever that means). “Of all the works of Sauron the only fair…”

            Adding… I don’t want a surgeon cutting out a cancer to be filled with hate for the cancer. Rather, I want their mind and heart cool and collected. The same with a general on the battlefield.

        2. Oldeguy

          We are all quite imperfect human beings, and the older I become, the more inclined I am to “grade on a curve” in my evaluation of others:
          1) if I were in his/her position, I might very well be acting as they are acting.
          2) a lifetime of blunders and misjudgments have left me open to the possibility that it just might be I , and not they, who are in error.
          3) I believe it to be safer and more effective in the long run to focus on counter-productive systems, rather than evildoers as targets. This is not to excuse evildoers in the slightest- a major Wall Street investment bank CEO doing a perp walk would have a hugely beneficial effect on Wall Street’s ethics- but removing the evildoer while leaving in place the evil nurturing System is futile.
          4) Last, but certainly not least, Hatred is lethal to the Spirit.

    2. Vatch

      Perhaps anger is more appropriate than hate. There’s overlap between the two emotions, but there is a difference, and the difference is significant.

  11. Ian

    It feels from a cursory look of a good chunk of the MSM that they are using the released emails to humanize Hillary. Any thoughts.

  12. Jim Haygood

    NYT background on Obama’s sweeping victory over the Sheldon Adelson Republican Party(TM):

    WASHINGTON — Just before the Senate left town for its August break, a dozen or so undecided Democrats met in the Capitol with senior diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia who delivered a blunt, joint message: Their nuclear agreement with Iran was the best they could expect. The five world powers had no intention of returning to the negotiating table.

    “They basically said unanimously this is as good a deal as you could get and we are moving ahead with it,” recalled Senator Chris Coons, the Delaware Democrat who lent crucial support to the deal this week despite some reservations. “They were clear and strong that we will not join you in re-imposing sanctions.”

    For many if not most Democrats, it was that message that ultimately solidified their decisions, leading to President Obama on Wednesday securing enough votes to put the agreement in place over fierce and united Republican opposition. One after another, lawmakers pointed to the warnings from foreign leaders that their own sanctions against Iran would be lifted regardless of what the United States did.

    Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat, was one of just two in the party, along with Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, to publicly declare opposition.


    1. Oldeguy

      This might also be an indication that in the 21st Century the U.S. will be, at best, the “first among equals”.

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