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2:00PM Water Cooler 10/1/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

TPP/TTIP/TiSA

In Atlanta, “knotty differences persist, and antitrade blasts from American presidential candidates have not eased prospects for any deal” [New York Times, “Pacific Trade Deal Talks Resume, Under Fire From U.S. Presidential Hopefuls”]. Not to toot my own horn overmuch, but NC readers who read the Levin memo in Monday’s Water Cooler are better informed on the actual “knotty differences” than the Times reporter.

Here’s a handy chart on ISDS:

“A Commission status report, obtained by POLITICO, shows that on 10 of the 24 chapters of the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, the two sides haven’t yet exchanged their positions, much less started to negotiate.” [Politico].

2016

Policy

Hillary throws gays under the bus while at State [Los Angeles Times]. More email. This from 2011, however, is not a drip but a splash:

An email involving passport applications was notable for the raw nerve the issue of gay rights seemed to touch. Clinton expressed anger that the application form had been changed from its reference to traditional parents, and she demanded to know who was behind it.

“Who made the decision that State will not use the terms ‘mother and father’ and instead substitute ‘parent one and two’?” she wrote.

“I am not defending that decision which I disagree w and knew nothing about in front of this Congress. … We need to address this today or we will be facing a huge Fox generated media storm led by Palin et al.”

The form was changed.

Beyond the gays-as-unterbussen-yet-again aspect, by 2011 Palin was so over. And I thought the Clintons were about fighting the “vast right wing conspiracy,” not caving to it. More pragmaticallly, I wonder how many of those not-necessarily-in-cash Clinton campaign contributions are from gays, especially activists, and what they feel about this.

The Voters

“Nations in which the president and the legislature have separate but equal claims to power and legitimacy have a bias for crisis. A government divided between a president of one party and a Congress of another may reach an impasse for which, as political scientist Juan Linz has written, “There is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved” [Harold Meyerson, WaPo]. The “Linzian Standoff.”

Money

“Bernie Sanders’s $26 million cash haul is a major problem for Hillary Clinton” [Chris Cilizza, WaPo].

Clinton held 58 fundraising events to raise her total; Sanders held seven. As of the end of September, Sanders had brought in 1.3 million total donations from 650,000 individuals since he began running. Clinton’s campaign did not release how many total donors she has. And Sanders ended September with $25 million in the bank; Clinton did not release how much money her campaign had on hand.

Read between the lines, and you get this: Sanders is drawing huge amounts of small-dollar donations via the Web. That means two important things: (1) Sanders has been able to concentrate on meeting and greeting potential voters rather than spending his time courting donors, and (2) He has been able to conserve money because he isn’t spending cash on lavish events for donors.

I guess laundering money through the Clinton Foundation is, by definition, about options on influence, rather than actual influence?

The Trail

Tavis Smiley interviews Jill Stein [PBS].

“Per­haps the most mem­or­able ex­change in the new email cache is one in which Clin­ton com­plains to aide Huma Abedin about a White House op­er­at­or not be­liev­ing they were ac­tu­ally talk­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton” [National Journal]

“Right now I’m fight­ing w the WH op­er­at­or who doesn’t be­lieve I am who I say and wants my dir­ect of­fice line even tho I’m not there,” she wrote in the 2010 email. “I told him I had no idea what my dir­ect of­fice # was since I didn’t call my­self and I just hung up and am call­ing through Ops like a prop­er and prop­erly de­pend­ent Sec­ret­ary of State—no in­de­pend­ent di­al­ing al­lowed.”

Classic complaint from an entitled celebrity: “Don’t they know who I am?”

Too meta [@mmasnick]. More Clinton mail:

“[Biden] is not preparing for the first Democratic debate on October 13 in Las Vegas and is not expected to participate, people close to him say, because he feels no pressure to reach a decision by then. He is likely to reveal his plans in the second half of October” [CNN]. “For more than two months, Biden has been studying the mechanics of what it would take to launch a candidacy. He and his team have been inundated by mounds of research and battle plans, but his original end-of-summer deadline passed without him reaching a conclusion.” Biden’s got to study this?

Stats Watch

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of September 27, 2015: “Tuesday’s startling rise in consumer confidence is now being confirmed by solid strength in the consumer comfort index” [Bloomberg]. “Volatility in the stock market and uncertainty over the global economy are apparently not holding down the U.S. consumer, which points to strength in household spending and perhaps the need for the Fed to announce liftoff sooner than later.”

Motor Vehicle Sales, September 2015: “North American-made vehicles are at a 14.4 million annual rate, far above the Econoday consensus for 13.8 million and up from 14.1 million in August” [Econoday]. “Consumer confidence readings have not been lying… This result underscores the two-way economy: domestic-based which is rising and foreign-exposed which is declining.”

Challenger Job-Cut Report, September 2015: “A mass 30,000 layoff announcement at Hewlett-Packard skewed Challenger’s September count upward” [Econoday]. “The layoff count is now heading for the highest total since 2009 with the year-to-date count, at 493,431, already higher than all of last year. Challenger’s data belie what are very low rates of unemployment and jobless claims.”

Jobless Claims, week of September 2016: “Jobless claims continue to point to rare tightness in the labor market” [Econoday]. “In a special positive, continuing claims broke lower in the latest data which lag by a week.”

PMI Manufacturing Index, September 2015: “Markit’s sample is still in the growth column but, relative to its past performance, is signaling trouble in the manufacturing sector” [Econoday]. “New orders and production are slowing as is employment which, at a two-year low, is now slowing sharply. Input prices, pulled down by lower commodity prices and strength in the dollar, continue to fall while final prices, in a sign seen in many other September reports, showing its weakest result in three years.”

ISM Mfg Index, September 2015: “The ISM index, like nearly all other September indications, is pointing to trouble for the factory sector. At 50.2, the index is at its lowest point since May 2013” [Econoday]. “Factory data in the government reports have been trending in slight contraction for the past year and today’s reports point to the risk of accelerating contraction.” But: “ISM employment index is not useful in understanding manufacturing jobsgrowth. The ISM employment index appears useful in predicting turning points which can lead the BLS data up to one year” [Econintersect].

Construction Spending, August 2015: “Construction spending is picking up, at plus 0.7 percent in August for a year-on-year gain of 13.7 percent” [Bloomberg]. “For the economy, strength in construction, including strength in new homes, looks to offset not only unevenness in existing home sales but also what appears to be an ongoing breakdown in the factory sector.”

“The manufacturing sector remains exposed to the global situation, with both the stronger dollar and cooling demand in China and other places dampening activity for U.S. factories. The September ISM survey report recap is attached. Meanwhile, anything exposed mainly to the domestic economy and in particular to the U.S. household sector remains robust” [Across the Curve].

“An uncanny number of people woke up this week with the same thought – it’s time to panic over the size, structure and illiquidity of the junk bond market” [Wall Street on Parade]. Icahn releases a video, IMF, WSJ, Bloomberg, Christine Lagarde, a professor….

“Financial markets may not be alert to the potential damage caused by drops in liquidity, according to stability officials at the Bank of England” [Bloomberg].

“Looking beyond this week’s whipsaw swings in Glencore Plc’s share price, the outlook for the embattled miner-cum-commodity trader will largely depend on the copper market” [Bloomberg]. See Yves on Glencore here.

Fear & Greed Index, October 1, 2015: 16 (+5); Extreme Fear [CNN]. Last week: 22 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed).

Corruption

“Film Review: ’99 Homes’ Is Compelling Tale Of Corruption Around Home Foreclosures” [Shadowproof]. “Like [Florida realtor] Carver says, “America doesn’t bail out the losers. America was built by bailing out winners,” and, “by rigging a nation, of the winners, by the winners, and for the winners.”

“The rail industry is exploiting historic exemptions from state and local laws to build often-massive transfer and processing stations free from virtually any permit requirements and without regard for basic laws protecting the communities in which they are based. The Surface Transportation Board [which regulates the industry] has been quietly creating what some call a “regulation-free zone” and asserting a jurisdiction over railroads that trumps health and safety laws.” [Center for Investigative Reporting]. “10 STB senior staff members had either left to work for railroads or had been hired from that industry and that from its inception to 2007, four of the six former STB board members had themselves left to work for railroads.”

Gaia

“Joaquin Hammers Bahamas; Future Track Still Uncertain” [Jeff Masters, Weather Underground].

“A long-term shortfall in potash application has depleted soil nutrient levels in key markets, and will boost future demand for the nutrient, PotashCorp said” [Agrimoney].

“Children at high risk of getting asthma may be missing some important gut bacteria in their first few months of life” [Japan Times].

Guillotine Watch

“[Elon Musk’s] new vehicle has such an intensely effective air filter for passengers that there’s a ‘bio weapon defense mode.’ It’s a button in the climate-control system, and it’s labeled with the international biohazard symbol” [USA Today]. Is there an optional Zombie Infestation Package with Head Shot Module? If this is what the people who can afford Musk’s cars are worried about… We have the wealthiest, and most panic-stricken elites in the history of the world.

Class Warfare

“Mexico’s Missing Forty-Three: One Year, Many Lies, and a Theory That Might Make Sense” [New Yorker]. Excellent series.

News of the Wired

Silicon Valley: “Something is rotten in tech startup land” [Both Sides of the Table]. Well worth a read. “My concern is that culture of unicorns has created a generation of entrepreneurs & investors looking for short cuts. Do you know how many people I meet these days who are ‘packaging up money in SPVs (special purpose vehicles),’ or raising syndicates or doing secondaries or advising high-net-worth individuals how to get into unicorns? For a fee, of course.”

This article is a froth indicator. And the author pretends that the bourgeois virtues of hard work and discipline are somehow essential to “startup culture,” and all this “fee” stuff, this “packaging up money” crapola, is somehow accidental, a latecomer who crashed the party, as it were. In fact, he has essence and accident precisely reversed.

Sillicon Valley: “Times have changed — going after dollars vs minutes” [Medium]. Whereas the first generation of top-ranking VC-funded firms went after people’s time (FaceBook, Instagram, Pintererest), the second generation is going after people’s money (AirBnB, Uber). Still waiting for Frijjer, the app that will let me rent out a shelf on my fridge to homeless people who have no place to store their food, granted, for change out of a styrofoam cup, but pennies add up….

“The co-founder of Australian online retailer Shoes of Prey, which allows customers to design their own footwear, hopes to one day allow customers to print out pairs at home as technology improves and consumer demand grows for personalized products” [Reuters]. This actually sounds pretty neat. Of course, I’d rather go to the local printer at the post office with my own file….

“Urban mobility at a tipping point” [McKinsey]. “Four major technological trends are converging: in-vehicle connectivity, electrification, car sharing, and autonomous driving. If cities can figure out how to make these elements work together, mobile-productivity solutions could be substantially improved.”

“Why the founder of #ShoutYourAbortion had to go into hiding” [Salon]. She’s lucky her house didn’t get bombed and she wasn’t shot. Again, one-third of all U.S. women have had abortions, and 95% think it was the right decision.

“Among the spectacles of our sports-entertainment complex, there are only two in which people are regularly killed — not accidentally, but directly as a result of that sport’s essential identity and, more ghoulishly, that sport’s essential public appeal. One of them is auto racing. The other is American football. Of the two, there is only one in which children are now regularly killed. That sport is not auto racing. That sport is American football. This weekend, the sport killed another child” [Grantland].

“Your use of time is what defines who you are. Your parents gave you one gift greater than any other, the chance to live a life. Everything past that point is yours to spend as you see fit. Time is the only thing you can use to buy the life you want to live and the stories you want to tell” [Abby the IA]. Both more concrete and thought-provoking than one expects in a time-management piece.

“In Praise of Idleness” [Bertrand Russell].

* * *

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 (Pat):

More backyard mushrooms

Backward mushrooms!

Readers, I’d also be interested in any projects you did this summer (now that the time to put the garden to bed is approaching)….

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.

64 comments

  1. Blurtman

    We all bitch about silly things. This anti-Hillary campaign (and I am no fan) is just plain ridiculous. What next, comments about her shoes?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Actually, no. I’ve strenuously avoided making fun of candidates based on their physical characteristics (and there have been plenty of opportunities). But I reserve the right to make fun of them based on their words and actions!

        1. nippersdad

          Okay, question:

          What is the deal about wearing white shoes here on NC? Off white bucks are the only shoes that really go with seersucker. I’m just not clear on this total condemnation of white shoes……White patent leather shoes with black socks and shorts on the beach (shudder!) are admittedly totally inappropriate, but off white bucks with seersucker pants? I can see a place for them that does not make it into these conversations.

          Sincerely,
          The fashion challenged

          1. optimader

            I like white shoes.. Seersucker shorts, tight tartan plaid shirt, argyle socks and white shoes.. with nice gold flash-plated potmetal buckles.
            The gals love it.

            Casual night? add a hybrid corn baseball cap. It’s a good look in Chicago, people dig it, they always seem to look and smile… good natured envy I think.

        1. Horatio Parker

          OK, I get it. The Clintons engage in conflicted relationships, therefore HRC obsessing over a State Dept. form is evidence.

          How could I have missed that?

          “Clinton corruption” (or anyone else) requires more than “can I get an amen”.

          I’m not out to give the Clintons a pass, but I had my fill of vagueness in the 90’s.

    2. Christopher Fay

      The email thing is a diversion, what I want to know is what is in the emails and follow the relation to contributions to the various clinton foundations

  2. Tertium Squid

    Another Clinton email revelation, about planting questions on an Assange 60 minutes interview.

    https://reason.com/blog/2015/09/30/60-minutes-assures-me-that-they-raised-a

    Staffer who sent it is this guy, fired for complaining about Manning’s treatment:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/pj-crowley-resigns-after-bradley-manning-comments/2011/03/13/AB1CvgT_blog.html

    Interesting at the bottom that the email was designated as unclassified, which to me should mean “available to the public” as a part of governmental operations.

    1. nippersdad

      I would be interested in knowing which of her many State Department initiatives was denominated as FUBAR. There are so many from which to choose that their criteria would be interesting to reflect upon.

      What, in the State Departments’ opinion, represents a fail these days? Don’t they all get a trophy for just showing up?

      1. cwaltz

        I’m going with Vicky Nuland!

        I actually don’t dislike Clinton but seriously, the State Department was almost as bad under her as it was under Rice.

        1. afisher

          You answered your own question – Nuland is one of the political animals that is left over from previous admins (burrowed employees). Add the Peter’s Principal into the mix and you have this GOP operative who can eff-up almost anything. This is like the guy who approved the BP drilling plan in the Gulf – a burrowed employee who promptly resigns after they have created havoc.

          1. cwaltz

            And she didn’t get rid of her because?

            For the record, it says Nuland was chief of staff to the Secretary of State under Bill Clinton in her biography on Wiki and a deputy foreign polict advisor under Cheney(How special!)

            She was only a “special envoy” under Hillary. They didn’t elevate her until 2013 which doesn’t say much about Kerry either.

            1. Jim Haygood

              Kerry is about to be knighted, actually:

              Growing speculation that John Kerry will receive a Nobel Peace Prize for finalizing the Iranian nuclear deal … with the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif.

              Rumors have been circulating for months that Kerry and Zarif will be co-selected for the prize. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a leading Swedish think-tank, recommended in July that the two be selected for the Nobel in 2016.

              http://freebeacon.com/national-security/nobel-prize-rumors-put-focus-on-kerry-iran-coziness/

              Hillary Clinton, John Boehner and Ben Netanyahu cry, ‘Where’s OUR Nobel Prize?”

    2. optimader

      even if she knows..
      This is just another data point on my assessment that’s HRC is one of those walking job title resumes who thinks she’s the smartest (guy) in the room.

      I wonder if she knows what ” so cooked you don’t need to stick her with a fork” means.

      1. Jim Haygood

        It’s hard to pose as a ‘national defense Democrat’ if one apparently has never hung out with military folks.

        Only conversation hdr22 ever had with a soldier was, “Would you please tote these bags to my room … and fetch me a tonic water?”

        1. Christopher Fay

          Hillary hangs with the troops at the General Betrayus and General Magic Crystals level

    3. MikeNY

      Testify.

      It’s like smoking pot. If, in this day and age, you haven’t smoked pot, you have no business running for national elected office. You’re a freak.

  3. Vatch

    “…antitrade blasts from American presidential candidates…NC readers who read the Levin memo in Monday’s Water Cooler are better informed on the actual differences than the Times reporter.”

    No kidding. People who are opposed to the TPP and its ilk aren’t “antitrade”. We’re in favor of fair trade, national sovereignty, environmental protection, safe food, et cetera.

  4. Bill Smith

    “The rail industry is exploiting historic exemptions from state and local laws”

    Found that interesting.

    Saw close up a railroad work to build an intermodal facility. One of the bigger problems was the federal and state support for the railroad. Both were signed up to give the railroad money to build the facility.

    1. cwaltz

      You’re actually getting an intermodal? They’re now insisting that the county hire the workers for ours despite the fact that they got millions(70 percent of cost was provided by state) in state incentives for “jobs” where I live and forced the county to accept where they decided to locate it. Meanwhile NS just moved their corporate offices from Roanoke to Atlanta. I’m guessing they are doing the ol’ tax break shuffle. how much you want to bet when those incentives expire that they’ll come here asking for incentives to bring the jobs back?

      http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/montgomery_county/road-to-norfolk-southern-intermodal-rail-yard-still-rough/article_4238366d-fabc-5193-9c76-4cc9f1ce568b.html

      http://virginia-appeals.com/norfolk-southern-clearing-the-way-for-elliston-intermodal-site/#.Vg2SYdFdHIU

      http://patch.com/georgia/midtown/250-norfolk-southern-employees-relocating-midtown-0

      Here’s some more reading for you.

  5. Tertium Squid

    When my wife and I lost a pregnancy it was like we joined a secret society, and many couples we’d known for decades told us they’d had the same experience.

    #shoutyourmiscarriage

    1. cwaltz

      They actually have support groups for that.

      Interesting information by the way is that a miscarriage is called a “spontaneous abortion” in medical terms and the procedure they use to make sure you don’t get an infection after having a miscarriage is called a D & C(which also happens to be the procedure they use for abortions that aren’t spontaneous.)

      There are reasons to support #Shoutyourabortion even if you want all your pregnancies. It ensures that when if your spouse has a miscarriage and contracts an infection that she’ll have access to a trained individual that can perform a procedure that may save her life.

      Anyway the song “Held” by Natalie Grant is a beautiful song that has brought me some comfort when I’m missing my son that died from SIDS back in 1995. I hope time heals you and your wife.

  6. optimader

    “Among the spectacles of our sports-entertainment complex, there are only two in which people are regularly killed — not accidentally, but directly as a result of that sport’s essential identity

    Surely football, surely boxing (which is not mentioned), but need a Link on the claim –not accidentally…sports essential identity as applied to auto racing. Even in the more primitive forms, they go to great lengths to make crashes survivable.

    1. Tertium Squid

      Even in the more primitive forms, they go to great lengths to make crashes survivable.

      Like putting governors in the engines that cap the speed at 35?

      Even that is dangerous fast though.

      1. optimader

        Like putting governors in the engines that cap the speed at 35
        Might as well just have a track & field event then.

        Rules perpetually change to limit speed and improve survivability, particularly in F1.

        1. Jess

          Actually, F1 is only so-so on safety. Periodic spurts of improvements after each tragedy. The best are really NHRA drag racing and NASCAR. Between the roll cages, HANS devices, custom-built to fit the driver semi-wrap around carbon fiber seats, SAFER barriers, etc., those two sports are by far the safest. (Even with the top drag cars exceeding 320 mph.) I personally know of one driver who walked away from a crash where the G-meter on the car registered 160 G’s.

          1. Tertium Squid

            Driver is essentially ballast anyway, take them out of the car and give them a remote control. 100% safety!

            Then the only danger is a tire spinning into the crowd.

  7. Massinissa

    Maybe the bio-defence button in Musks tesla car is for people who are driving in Chinese cities? Are they even going to sell Teslas there?

    Because that would be a great thing to have in a place like Beijing or other smoggy cities in China.

    1. optimader

      IMO too much harsh on EMusk. Do note that the stereo in the SUV volume knob goes to 11 as well.

      The guy has a very dry sense of humor that the more literal take offense to. Think what you may of the guy, he has a fertile mind and is successful. He could easily go to the dark side and focus on ultra-violence weapon contracting. Instead he’s working on clever stuff and employing people with decent paying jobs.

      So the car as a decent activated carbon filter and he likes to fck with media shills, I probably would too in his position.

      “If there was a bio weapon attack, all you would need is to get inside your car,” Musk told a reporter.
      Musk sounds serious, but remember, the Model X and Model S also have a “ludicrous mode” to denote its highest performing acceleration, an improvement on the previous “insane mode.” Also, the Model X’s stereo system can be cranked to 11. Not 10, but 11.

      1. low_integer

        The ‘turn it up to 11’ thing was made popular by one of the guitarists from Spinal Tap in 1984, who had a Marshall amplifier on which the volume dial went up to 11. Less well known, and which I only just found out, is that dials from 0-11 were in use in the locomotive industry approximately 40 years earlier. No big deal though.

        Perhaps I am one of the more literal people you mention, however I find descriptions like ‘ludicrous mode’ to say a lot about the perceived intelligence of their target market.

        1. Optimader

          At least you recognize a hat tip to Spinal Tap.
          I applaude ludicrous mode. Youre borne you live for awhile, then you die. No honor in being more dour then neccesary during that interm bit. I have zero interest in owning a any Tesla vehicle, but i hope he’s successful with the brand and people line up to buy them

          Velocity of money

          1. low_integer

            When it comes to technical things, I guess I just prefer more formal descriptions. To be fair, it is probably wrong of me to assume that it says anything about what Tesla thinks of their target market. In any case, I’m certainly not adverse to having fun, and I’m sure it would be fun to push one of those new Teslas to it’s limit (in a controlled environment of course), whatever the mode is called.

        2. ewmayer

          BTW, if anyone reading this hasn’t already done so, have a gander at the IMDB user rating for This Is Spinal Tap.

          (Fittingly, I am facing the “Presenting England’s Loudest Band” poster on one wall of my bedroom as I type this.)

          No page in history, baby, that I don’t need
          I just wanna make some eardrums bleed…

    2. Oregoncharles

      It’s a marketing ploy – “see how great our filter is? It’ll even filter out biowarfare bugs! Poison gas would be more impressive, but much more difficult.

  8. DJG

    Re: Hillary throwing gayfolk under the bus. She was evolving. And as many writers in the gay press have pointed out (just a brief search of Michelangelo Signorile’s work will prove the point), the evolving by Obama and Clinton was punctuated evolution. Very often, gayfolk have had to threaten to shut off the contributions. Signorile has pointed out often that the Human Rights Campaign is especially loyal and ensures its access by channeling money to the Democrats, who then produce very little, other than showing up at wedding showers to get themselves photographed.

    1. MikeNY

      It just reinforces my perception of her as a poll-driven weathervane. No, thanks. SV probably already has an app for that.

    1. nippersdad

      That is a funny article! They should have let someone that was not working for the Koch brothers proofread it for political effectiveness. That they have not yet heard that the WSJ article on health care expenditures, for example, was loudly debunked in the press says worlds.

      1. Vatch

        …the WSJ article on health care expenditures, for example, was loudly debunked in the press says worlds.

        Maybe they do know that, but they also know that if a lie is repeated often enough, people will believe it. So they’re doing their part by repeating the WSJ lie.

        1. nippersdad

          “if a lie is repeated long enough….”

          However, in an electorate that pretty thoroughly feels like it has been lied to for a very long time, anything that was so immediately debunked is going to be viewed with suspicion. I suspect that, this being the WP, it was a toadying exercise in futility written to project the supposed fears of a captive audience within the Washington bubble, and as such will have no effect outside the confines of the already converted or coopted….which leaves most of the electorate free to make its’ own judgments.

          We will probably soon see a point by point takedown of this one, just as we saw one of the WSJ piece. Fearmongering just isn’t as effective as it used to be.

  9. DJG

    The biohazard filtration system in the Muskmobile brings to mind Julianne Moore’s performance in Safe by Todd Haynes. Everyone into the isolation tent!

  10. OIFVet

    Lavrov’s Grade-A trolling: “We are polite people, as you know. We don’t come if not invited.”

    At this point I begin to get the feeling that the Ruskies have very little respect left for the Euro-Atlantic “value” peddlers.

  11. hunkerdown

    Bold move! PJ Crowley actually put “balance” in scare quotes. They know exactly what they’re doing. The whole “misinformed idiots” narrative has just been blasted to flinders.

  12. Anon

    Just when you think your data is safe at the moment, this happens:

    Highly Personal Data for 15 Million T-Mobile Applicants Stolen by Hackers

    The breach was the result of an attack on a database maintained by credit-reporting service Experian, which was contracted to process credit applications for T-Mobile customers, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement posted online. The investigation into the hack has yet to be completed, but so far the compromise is known to affect people who applied for T-Mobile service from September 1, 2013 through September 16 of this year. It’s at least the third data breach to affect Experian disclosed since March 2013.

    Now, seeing as how I’m on a month-to-month basis, I wonder if I’m screwed over or not.

  13. Jay M

    “in-vehicle connectivity, electrification, car sharing, and autonomous driving. If cities can figure out how to make these elements work together, mobile-productivity solutions could be substantially improved.”

    Didn’t they call these streetcars?

      1. different clue

        Not just alleged. Proven in court. High and highest level executives were convicted of this conspiracy. But since the judge did not disapprove personally of the conspiracy, he fined the convicted principals a few pretty pennies, or maybe a couple of shiny dimes.

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