2:00PM Water Cooler 11/17/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


Searchable full text of TPP [Wikileaks]. (That’s a pretty keen search box, though one could wish for facets.)

While past agreements have contained similar enforcement provisions for the environment chapter, no Party has ever brought a formal case based on the environmental provisions of any U.S.A. FTA — despite documented violations” [Center for International Environmental Law]. Remember that the “parties” in TPP are states.



“VIDEO: Trump doubles down on bombing ‘the s—‘ out of ISIS as crowd chants, ‘Trump! Trump! Trump'” [Business Insider].

“Trump: We Should Strongly Consider Closing Mosques” [Informed Comment].

“Sanders: We will not turn our backs on Syrian refugees” [Politico].

“Bernie Sanders: World is paying the price today for the ‘tough, but stupid’ policies of Cheney and Bush” [Raw Story].

“Top Clinton Adviser Says Wealthy Should Pay More in Taxes” [Wall Street Journal]. The words I want to hear are “steeply progressive effective rate.” Which I’m not hearing.


“Why Hillary’s Wall Street Problem Won’t Go Away” [The New Republic]. “Even the savviest candidate in the Democratic field can’t answer a simple question about her big money donors.” That Democratic debate is the gift that keeps on giving, so hats off to Debbie Wasserman Schultz for keeping those ratings low. When questoned about her relationship with Wall Street donors during Saturday night’s Democratic debate:

[CLINTON] You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, I am very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent. (APPLAUSE) So I—I represented New York. And I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked.

My jaw dropped, along with the rest of the country. And the famous tweet that CBS called out with their follow-up to Clinton: “Have never seen a candidate invoke 9/11 to justify millions of Wall Street donations.” And that’s what I saw, too; just like Giuliani, also from New York: “A noun, a verb, 9/11.” Read the article for how Clinton blames the Twitterer for getting the same impression that millions of other people got. Here’s the bottom line:

Clinton and her campaign, which is composed of some of the savviest, most experienced political strategists around, surely knew none of this would hold water. Yet it’s also almost certain, given her team’s experience, that this was a pre-fabricated answer to an issue one would expect to arise in a confrontation with Senator Bernie Sanders, who has made refusing big money donations a cornerstone of his campaign. Which raises the question: Why would such a smart, skilled politician deliver such a clumsy, frangible answer, especially the sort that would open her up to the PR nightmare of appearing to exploit 9/11 immediately after the heinous Friday night attacks on Paris?

Ouch, TNR! Because there’s no good answer to this.


“Hillary Clinton has lost her key fundraising liaison with Silicon Valley’s tech sector, a blow to the campaign in that important donor region” [The Hill]. “Emanuel Yekutiel confirmed to The Hill in a telephone interview that he resigned from Clinton’s presidential campaign, saying he “just came to the realization that I didn’t want to be in political fundraising at this time in my life anymore. Yekutiel was an important recruit for the campaign, as he was previously chief of staff for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s political advocacy group, FWD.us.”

“At her first official campaign event back in April, Hillary Clinton promised to make reducing the influence of big money in elections a “pillar” of her campaign for president of the United States. Seven months later, the pillar appears to still be under construction” [US News].

The Trail

“Clinton ‘often confused’ says staffer in email.” That would be Huma Abedin [The Hill]. Here’s the trove (PDF), FOIAed by Judicial Watch. The trove also contains mail on how Clinton will recognize a political contact “if prompted.”

With friends like Axelrod… [WaPo].

“The GOP Clown Car Rolls On” [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone]. Not quite “Fear and Loathing” quality, but Thompson lived and wrote in a more innocent time.

“You might not like Republicans calling for a ban on refugees. But it’s smart politics.” [WaPo].

“According to media buyers and a POLITICO review of TV ad purchase data, Bush and his allies are on pace to spend $5 million more than Team Rubio on broadcast, cable and radio ads through the first four voting states – but for that sum, they will put fewer ads on the airwaves” [Politico]. “That’s because the vast majority of Bush’s ads are paid for by his super PAC – roughly 85 percent for Bush versus only 40 percent for Rubio – and super PACs get far less bang for their buck.

Stats Watch

Industrial Production, October 2015: “In a deceptive headline, industrial production fell 0.2 percent in October but weakness is in utilities and mining” [Econoday]. “Boosted by construction supplies, manufacturing, which is the core component in this report, rose a very solid and higher-than-expected 0.4 percent to end two prior months of decline.”

Housing Market Index, November 2015: “The housing market index from the nation’s home builders shows weakness, at 62 for November and missing the Econoday consensus by 2 points” [Econoday]. “[I]f weaker commodity prices don’t de-rail risk sentiment, then we get left with deteriorating fundamentals across a swathe of emerging market assets with no compensation from the Fed.”

E-Commerce Retail Sales, October 2015: “Growth in e-commerce sales remained strong in the third quarter, at 4.2 percent vs an upward revised 4.4 percent in the second quarter” [Econoday]. “As a percentage of total retail sales, e-commerce continues to climb to records, up 2 tenths in the quarter to 7.4 percent.”

Consumer Price Index, October 2015: “Consumer prices are showing some lift but not wide pressure nor accelerating pressure, at least yet. The CPI rose 0.2 percent in October with the core also up 0.2 percent, both hitting expectations” [Econoday].

Food: “[F]ood experts said protein prices are likely to subside in coming months as production increases, offsetting recent supply shortages” [Market News]. (I like that generic “protein,” there.) “[John Anderson, deputy chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation] argued that, rather than focusing on food prices themselves, a better guide to the CPI’s latest behavior might be the ‘food away from home’ component which rose an annual 2.9%, or more than three times the 0.8% gain in the ‘food at home’ category.” Gig economy means more “food away from home”?

Ag: “Hedge funds turned bearish on agricultural commodities at the fastest pace in more than two years, encouraged by bigger-than-expected upgrades by US officials to their estimates for domestic supplies of the main grains” [Agrimoney].

Shipping: “The [nation’s largest container port, The] Port of Los Angeles handled 358,602 containers loaded with imported goods last month, a decline of 3.3% from the same month in 2014 and a drop of 12% since August, when import volumes peaked earlier than usual at several of the Pacific ports.” [Wall Street Journal, “Los Angeles Port Sees Weak End to Peak Shipping Season as Imports Drop “]. “October is usually a busy month as goods arrive to stock shelves during the holiday season. However, this October was the second-slowest for imports at L.A. in the last five years.”

Retail: “Michael P. Niemira, chief economist of The Retail Economist, LLC, observed ‘Warm weather relative to last year may have curbed the consumers’ appetite to shop over the past week, but with the holiday season upon us, consumers will begin their annual ‘Bargain Friday’ shopping – even though it may be on every day of the holiday season, including Thanksgiving Day.'” [Market News]. “Bargain Friday”?

Retail: “The Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Retail index has almost doubled in the past seven years to include debt with a face value of $183 billion. The growth came on the heels of the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented stimulus efforts, which suppressed benchmark yields and allowed some companies to survive simply by pushing back their debt maturities” [Bloomberg].

“[T]he new corporate debt is largely going towards stock buy backs, substituting debt for equity on the balance sheets, leaving corps more leveraged than otherwise” [Mosler Economics].

The Fed: “The steady and remorseless weakness of major commodity prices is possibly a bigger story [than Paris]. Especially if it fails to feed back into bigger global worry through equity markets. I saw a poll yesterday showing an even 50-50 split on whether the Fed is likely to hike in December, as people saw yet another reason for the Fed to delay. But if equity markets remain resilient and there are no surprises in the CPI data today, for starters, then the market will slowly become more confident again of a December lift-off. [SocGen, Across the Curve].

“Third quarter fixed income revenues across the ten biggest banks fell 18% against a year ago, according to [analytics company] Coalition” (handy charts) [Business Insider].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 51 (+1); Neutral [CNN]. Last week: 66 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed).

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“51 arrested in protests after black man shot by Minneapolis police” [USA Today].

“Major donors consider funding Black Lives Matter” [Politico]. One watches the creation of a new Black Misleadership Class with interest.

Our Famously Free Press

“Haven’t got your flu shot? Uber is offering one-day, on-demand vaccinations to your doorstep” [WaPo]. The real question is why WaPo is running advertorials for Uber, a company in which its squillionaire owner, Jeff Bezos, is an investor.

Health Care

“The badge” [Doctor Grumpy in the House]. This is awesome. I’m sure readers will have had similar experiences.

“One of the most detailed plans to replace Obamacare this year comes not from a Republican critic, but from a group in swing-state Colorado that is proposing to scrap it for a single-payer model long sought by liberals” [Politico].

“Should Colorado voters enact a state single-payer health care system? (5 letters)” [Denver Post].

“Affordable Care Act leads to single-payer” [Tyler Morning Telegraph]. I can assure my friends on the right that Obama, and the career “progressives” who ran interference for him, did everything possible to make sure single payer would never happen, as was indeed the goal of the Heritage Foundation, in proposing the plan on which ObamaCare was based.


“[Julian Castro] was in office barely two months when he met with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, a Democrat, and then pulled the plug on a four-year HUD investigation that had found Dallas in violation of the law in how it spent hundreds of millions of dollars in HUD grant money.  Rawlings declared victory at that point and publicly thanked Castro for his help, but it’s fair to ask in retrospect exactly what kind of victory it was for a self-respecting Democrat” [Dallas Observer]. Castro is said to be on Clinton’s short list of Veep.

Class Warfare

“Pinboard on the Next Economy Conference” [Story]. Mordant commentary from the @pinboard guy. And more signs of froth than you can shake a stick at. And apparently the taxi driver panel stole the show. Anyhow:

News of the Wired 

Why Andrew Carnegie is like ancient microbes [The New Yorker]. Good article, but the oddest squillionaire hagiography I’ve ever read. And speaking of squillionaire hagiography….

“When I meet with COO Sheryl Sandberg, she shares a personal story of a family gathering involving the making of s’mores. It captures several of Zuckerberg’s preternatural gifts.” [Fast Company]. 

“[T]here is only one thing worse than a reputation system that doesn’t work, and that’s a reputation system that does work: Reputation systems promise a dystopic future for service providers, in which their careers are being shaped by reputation systems that are not working as advertised, but are working to compel compliance” [Whimsley].

“This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost” [Live & Learn].

* * *

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 (MG):

Herbal Teachers  Garden, Mullingar (5)

What an inviting space!

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. Winter has come, I need to buy fuel, 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. cwaltz

      I personally think she’s doing an amazeballs job decimating what’s left of the brand, why in the world would I want to recall her?

      Oh wait, you want to SAVE the brand that kept it’s powder dry during the Iraq war and gave us the Heritage plan for health care?

      Yeah, sorry I’m saving my time and energy for things that I consider important(and saving a clueless party will be slightly below defrosting my self defrosting freezer.)

        1. Jagger

          Funny the names, in 2007, that formed the great white hope, the heros, of the democratic party such as Kerry and Feingold. Little did we really know them then.

      1. Nigelk

        This is the level of fight that (what passes for) progressives in this country have.

        No wonder we get crushed in every local election all over the country and have to play electoral college chess to avoid losing the presidency (and when we do “win” the presidency, it’s yet another neoliberal wolf in progressive sheep’s clothing to sell us all out – every time).

        I’m sure you’ll be right here to moan about everything Empress Clinton does with a “tut, tut, I totally called it” while not actually trying to *do anything* to make anything better.

        The oligarchy persists not because of nefarious actors but because of the cowardice of the general population. These people are weak and ready to be kicked over. But you’re even weaker.

        1. cwaltz

          For the record, the job of the Democrats was supposed to be to fight for people like me(instead they were more interested in AT&T goodie bags.) They didn’t. So why in the world should I waste my energy on them again?

          It’s not the job of the electorate to save political parties, it’s up to political parties to give people a REASON to save them.

          1. hunkerdown

            Or not, as the case may be; some of us believe the job of the electorate is to pitilessly destroy any obstacles between themselves and the levers of power.

            1. cwaltz

              I’m really not interested in DC political power plays.

              That being said I do think it’s kind of cute that the poster thinks ousting DWS will solve the Democratic party problem.

              A single voter hasn’t voted yet and we’ve already got superdelegates(who coincidentally are supposed to be representing us) telling us who the nominee should be and the Democratic Party already trying to figure out how to rig things in primaries(will Sanders be allowed on the ballot or not in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, where he just so happens to lead and just so happens to be one of the early states.) Yeah, as far as I’m concerned the oligarchs of the DNC can count me out as one of their useful idiots.

        2. wbgonne

          The oligarchy persists not because of nefarious actors but because of the cowardice of the general population. These people are weak and ready to be kicked over.

          Those are interesting assertions. As I see it, the problem is that both political American parties are corrupt to the core and there is no viable political alternative because the two parties have a stranglehold on the political process. If you disagree please say how. If you agree, what actions do you think “the general population” might take to “kick[] over” the oligarchs? At this point, I see people in the streets as the only viable option but I would to see another path forward because insurrection will be ugly, quite probably very ugly.

          1. Nigelk

            Punishing corrupt actors serves notice to other corrupt actors. I choose to try and be part of the Sanders revolution and help actual progressives take over the democratic party precisely for the reason you mentioned – “both political American parties are corrupt to the core and there is no viable political alternative because the two parties have a stranglehold on the political process”.

            Absent starting a new political party (anyone got a couple hundred million dollars to spare?), those of us who are getting a raw deal — which is most of us — must demand something along the lines of, oh I don’t know, a NEW DEAL or something (hey that’s catchy, someone should put that on a bumper sticker…). That involves taking over a political party. If I knew how to do that, absent attempting to remove bad actors like DWS, I’d be doing it. I’m open to suggestion.

            Re: “weak and ready to be kicked over” – We haven’t been conquered by Alexander, or Subedei, or Frederick the Great. We’ve been conquered by *bankers* and *businessmen*. Unelected, never-worked-a-day-in-their-lives financialists. If the people ever took to the streets, one hopes at least some of the Praetorians would understand who the real enemy is.

            What I can’t abide is zeroes like the guy above talking down to those of us actually trying to DO something as opposed to telling me why I *shouldn’t even try*.

            Franklin said patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it. I’ve lived under Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama. I’ve never had a government that deserved my support. But I refuse to throw my hands up and capitulate. That’s what cowards do.

            Defeatism only ensures defeat. But at least you get to be right all the time, right cwaltz? And in reading your posts it seems that’s what’s really important to you.

            1. wbgonne

              I hear you and I wish you and Bernie well. Try to understand, however, that some people have concluded after many shocking disappointments that the Democratic Party is beyond reform.

              Capitulation takes many forms. Sometimes it means refusing to recognize the truth because it is too painful. Sometimes it means persisting in a failed course because the alternatives are too frightening. Sometimes it appears as false hope. I don’t have the answers for anyone but myself … and often not even for myself.

              I don’t know how to take over the Democratic Party. In fact, I no longer believe it can be done, not in any meaningful time frame. You apparently disagree and, frankly, I still hope you’re right and I’m wrong. But time is running out in the most important ways and the course is not being corrected. Should Sanders’ candidacy collapse, I urge you to consider that the Democratic Party is indeed unreformable. What happens then, and what you might want to see happen then, is when things may become difficult. But it doesn’t mean capitulation, not necessarily at least.

              Go Bernie!

              1. Nigelk

                I completely understand why people feel that way. My “hope” died in ’08 about 4 days after the election when he announced who his cabinet would be and it was a Goldman Sachs alumni meeting.

                I’ve been registered independent my entire life, and have never belonged to a political party. I caucus with the democrats when they deserve it (much like Sanders himself). Most of the time they don’t.

                While our ’08 mirage only served to reinforce lack of faith in the system (myself included), I’m not yet ready to concede that the anger of the American people can’t be tapped into for political change. We are not so unique from other countries in this way. Maybe it will take 61% of the population making under $30K/yr instead of the 51% it is now. Obviously we’re not there yet but we’re on the road to the set of circumstances necessary for the rage to boil over.

                Come next year, Sanders is the only person I’ll have ever voted for that I didn’t hold my nose whilst doing it.

                If Clinton wins the nomination we deserve whatever comes to us.

            2. cwaltz

              Whatever dude. How’s that fixing the Democratic Party going? Let’s recap. You got rid of Lieberman during primaries(which by the way wasn’t during DWS reign)and the leadership supported him as an Independent. Your activists in Maine nominated a candidate and the Democratic Party leadership threw it’s weight behind King. Yeah, it’s going swimmingly. All you need to do is oust DWS.

              Perhaps you’ve got nothing but time and energy on your hands, I’ve got better things to do then waste my time on a lost cause. But hey don’t worry if you manage to drag Sanders over the finish line despite the leadership then I might vote for him. So there’s that. Yay you!

              1. Nigelk

                I’ve never been part of the democratic party, much less an apologist for its apparatus. You may notice I called for real progressives to take over the party, rather than attempt to excuse its many undemocratic actions.

                I also never said that removing DWS was a cure-all or that “All you need to do is oust DWS”. I merely posited that publicly punishing someone who has failed so spectacularly at her job (hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dem seats lost in local/state elections) while simultaneously being so shamelessly in the tank for HRC would serve notice to others who may be inclined to act the same way.

                Evidently it’s impossible for you to respond to someone who disagrees with you without condescending to them, so I’ll go ahead and round off our conversation here and wish you the best. Glad we could spend a chunk of our afternoon together having you explain to me why spending 10 seconds clicking on a symbolic middle finger to democratic party leadership we both loathe is a waste of your precious time. Sanders ’16.

                1. Massinissa

                  “You may notice I called for real progressives to take over the party”

                  You mean like the Populists tried to do a hundred years ago? That worked out so well.. Or even more recently, in the 60s.

                  The Democratic party is called the graveyard of social movements for a reason. Trying to take it over has always proven futile. History has shown this repeatedly. Its never worked before how would it work now?

        3. Strangely Enough

          when we do “win” the presidency, it’s yet another neoliberal wolf in progressive sheep’s clothing to sell us all out – every time

          This seems self-refuting. And, the scare quotes probably belong aroung we, rather than win.

      2. Vatch

        Having thought about this for a little while now, I think that Nigel has a point. The Iron Law of Institutions states that Democratic operatives like DWS care more about preserving their position of power and prestige within the party than they do about actually helping Democratics candidates to win elections. The value of supporting her removal isn’t that this will save the Democratic Party, it’s that her removal is the sort of thing that big shots fear most: the loss of power and prestige.

        1. cwaltz

          The question becomes do you honestly believe that when that power vacuum empties that there are any/enough people within the Democratic Party that will actually represent democracy or will it just end up in the hands of another person meant to protect political capital rather than people or policies?

          DWS was not around when activists stomped for Ned Lamont and got him on the ballot in place of Joe Lieberman. The problem with the Democratic Party predates her. She’s a symptom, not the disease.

          1. Vatch

            If someone replaces DWS, that person might realize why he or she got the job, and will make some changes. Big changes? No. Aside from that, this would weaken Hillary. I think that’s a worthwhile goal.

            1. cwaltz

              Based on the superdelegate count and the whisperings of whether or not Bernie qualifies for the ballot in NH I suspect it will just slow her coronation down. The Democratic oligarchy has spoken and it’s Hillary’s turn since she was such a good little soldier and fell on her sword in 2008.

              I haven’t entirely given up on Bernie but I am preparing myself for Plan B(which doesn’t include worrying about Hillary or the Democratic Party.)

      1. allan

        And low and behold, in my mailbox when I got back from work: a fundraising letter from DWS herself,
        stating that

        President Obama urgently needs your help to counter intensifying Republican efforts to obstruct his agenda and roll back his accomplishments.

        You mean there’s somebody out there willing to fight against the TPP and repeal CISA? Where do I donate?

        1. Massinissa

          You know, I find it strange that fundraising letters like that never actually list the persons agenda or accomplishments. Its like youre supposed to already know what great things Obama has done or something.

  1. NeqNeq

    re: Reputation Systems

    I have never understood the facination with rating systems like Yelp, ebay, Siskel & Ebert. Especially once it became well known people were getting paid for reviews (which might explain Wobegon effects).

    The piece does make me think that actively sh*tting up the existing systems (via fake reviews) might be beneficial in the long run…. or maybe thats just a post-hoc rationalization of my impish desires lol.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Background on the Spectre of 1937:

    In 1936–37, the Federal Reserve became worried about the large level of excess reserves in the banking system [sound familiar? — JH], and considered them an inflationary threat.

    The Fed [increased] reserve requirements … on August 16, 1936 … again on March 1, 1937 and a third and final time on May 1, 1937. After the third increase, reserve requirements had doubled.


    Here are the 12-month changes in CPI at the time of these three tightenings (values for the previous month, since CPI is reported with a lag):

    Aug. 1936 — 1.46%
    Mar. 1937 — 2.17%
    May 1937 — 4.38%

    According to the NBER, the economy entered a recession in May 1937 that lasted until June 1938. Stocks dropped about 50% between early March 1937 and end-March 1938.

    In today’s report, CPI rose 0.17% over the past 12 months, while leading commodity indexes have been smacked for losses of more than 20%.

    Hike rates? As this chart shows, commodity prices were rising sharply as the Fed implemented its 1936-1937 tightening (and turned on a dime as recession began in May 1937):


    This time round, they’re proposing to tighten with CPI at zero and commodities in freefall. Believe in the Goddess!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      German-Dutch soccer game cancelled.

      We can’t let the bad guys win.

      A small setback perhaps, but patriots must go shopping. Roubini – Eurozone economy to get boosted.

      The Fed might have to put aside monetary sovereignty once more…this time, for the Europeans and the rest of the world as well.

  3. Paul Tioxon

    Investment bankers have the Donald dead last, preferring Bernie Sanders above one of their own? HAH! there is a tell if ever I saw one!!! This fraudulent scumbag of a deal maker has no friends, and no illusions dance around their heads when this walking gangrene sore of a human being, this ambulant pus on the body politics opens his mouth to infect eyes and ears of the American Citizenry with his pestilent politics. He is not a clown car passenger, he is petri dish container of diseased despair, and cheap fast talking NYC bullshit salesmanship of the lowest, common denominator.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s not that we are not content with their ostracizing one of their own, but why do investment bankers prefer Sanders?

        1. Jerry Denim

          Ha! Good one! +++

          Perhaps those are the few investment bankers who actually bother to read history.

        1. lambert strether

          To put this another way, there are plenty of smart finance people who help NC out, a lot.

          And to put that another way, splits can, will, even must go all the way to the top. So you’d expect a chart like that. See Crane Brinton.

          1. ekstase

            I like it when people who have consciences employ them. Sometimes, all it takes is the spark of someone else going first. Otherwise it’s easy to get despairing that you are swimming in a sea of sociopaths, and that is unpleasant.

      1. Vatch

        They aren’t necessarily investment bankers. Investment banking firms also employ people who aren’t extravagantly paid partners, executives, or traders. Some of those people probably support Sanders.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Sorry to be boring, but my understanding is that he isn’t fund-raising, plans to self-finance. At least until the nomination.

    3. Paper Mac

      Not that I’m a fan of The Donald, but I was pretty sure one of his most signfiicant selling points was “can’t be bought, doesn’t take money from anyone”, so you would expect him to be at the zero mark.

  4. wbgonne

    While past agreements have contained similar enforcement provisions for the environment chapter, no Party has ever brought a formal case based on the environmental provisions of any U.S.A. FTA — despite documented violations” [Center for International Environmental Law]. Remember that the “parties” in TPP are states.

    This is a good and necessary piece of work. I’ll summarize the TPP environmental protections: No viable mechanism for enforcement, no substantive provisions to enforce anyway, and no actor charged with monitoring environmental impacts in the first place. Oh, and no mention of global warming.

    As the report drily concludes:

    The history of U.S. trade agreement enforcement on the environment —or lack thereof—shows that any minimal gains from new commitments on the environment under the TPP pale in comparison to the negative human and environmental effects of the commercial and investment provisions.

    Oh, and Clinton surrogate Terry McAuliffe is out touting the TPP now, sending the dog-whistle permission the Democrats want to support this travesty. Isn’t there a word for political leaders who betray their people and sell out their nation’s sovereignty?

  5. Daryl

    It’s actually interesting that Sanders has a couple bucks from investment firms (is this one of those things that includes donations from individuals who work for these firms?) and Trump has none.

    1. DJG

      Often confused: So the decaying empire would have a figurehead emperor or empress as the barons fight with one another for the spoils. I’m certainly not nostalgic for Reagan’s staffers, but I doubt that Arne Duncan and Penny Pritzker (and their many likenesses waiting in the wings) are an improvement. Fortunately, the Democrats hate their base, so we don’t have to fear an end in class warfare and austerity.

      What gives pause is that someone with delicate health would insist on carrying on, even when it makes no sense to do so. Is it a sign that so much power corrupts absolutely? Or does the gravy train stop for hundreds if she admits to wanting to retire?

      1. Daryl

        > What gives pause is that someone with delicate health would insist on carrying on, even when it makes no sense to do so. Is it a sign that so much power corrupts absolutely? Or does the gravy train stop for hundreds if she admits to wanting to retire?

        Well, one response to having serious health issues is to deny them. Who knows what’s going on in her head, I wouldn’t presume to know, I just wish she would pull out.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      I know nothing about the medical issues. But she looks pretty mentally agile in the debates. Of course, a stroke is a stroke.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I don’t agree on agile. See above on how she totally muffed the banks talking point, for which her staff must have prepared her. Her answer on health care was also dreadful.

        I don’t think she reacted well when pressed.

    3. petal

      Might it explain why everything for her (like the appearances, for example) has been so choreographed/tightly controlled?

        1. petal

          With this coming out, I wish I had bit the bullet and gone to her appearance at Tuck-just to maybe get some kind of a feeling.

  6. DJG

    Lambert Strether: The words I want to hear are “steeply progressive effective rate.” Which I’m not hearing.

    The words I want to hear are > Taxes are the price of civilization, and years of bipartisan austerity have undermined all government functions, except for the budget and slush funds of the military, which is now engaged in blowing up things worldwide. To celebrate the steeply progressive effective rate, we will be arresting various profiteers and miscreants, including Dick Cheney, John Brennan, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    [Imagine having a fully funded justice system.]

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      They are not the price of the civilization in the sense that Federal taxes do not fund spending. They are the price of civilization in that steeply progressive effective rates would:

      1) Help prevent the 1% from buying the government with their loose cash;

      2) Prevent or mitigate the development of an aristocracy of inherited wealth;*

      3) Improve the mental health and spiritual welfare of the children of wealthy families.*

      ** Antithetical to civilization

      ** This has the merit of being true, but also has a nicely snarky “for the children” component.

      1. DJG

        More on tax policy, please. These days, neither party even breathes a word of progressive taxation. As on so many matters, you and Yves may have to take the lead.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yes, that’s what Bill says. But then he would say that, wouldn’t he? But if the situation were other than what Bill says, would we be told? The email argues no. Would HillaryLand keep Hillary in motion regardless? The email argues yes. That’s just not a good situation.

    1. wbgonne

      One thing I despise is people who won’t stand up for themselves. Maybe these labor “leaders” think the minimum wage is too high and that’s why they didn’t endorse Sanders. As if Hillary is going take care of them now because they endorsed her. Idiots. Sellouts.

        1. 3.14e-9

          Late in the conversation here, big wind storm knocked out power for seven hours …

          I got an e-mail alert yesterday from Progressive Democrats of America about the impending SEIU endorsement of Hillary, with a request to call the SEIU head office or leave a comment on its FB page. Well, when I pulled up the page, I read dozens of irate messages from SEIU members, which has now turned into hundreds. Many write that they were never asked who they preferred. Someone said their survey just arrived in the mail today. Some are threatening a recall of union leadership and calling for a movement to withhold dues.

          Of course, the pro-Hillary people are in there, calling the mutineers “Bernie bots,” whiners, butt-hurt losers. But it’s pretty clear that the Bernie supporters vastly outnumber those supporting Hillary and the endorsement in no way represents the rank and file. Ironically, the union’s FB posts prior to their big Hillary roll-out were calling for membership action for a $15/hour minimum wage.

          I read a couple of comments by members saying that their locals have rejected the endorsement. Haven’t verified it, but if true, that would be a very big deal. When union leadership blatantly ignores their membership, whatever pretense of democracy existed is stripped bare.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            If you have any links on SEIU locals rejecting this, I’d really like them. (I remember SEIU from the health care battle very well. They funded one “blogger” who wrote a daily health care policy wrap-up and never mentioned single payer, not once. No integrity there at all.)

            1. 3.14e-9

              Election 2016: Key Labor Union Endorses Hillary Clinton, Defying Rank-And-File Critics (IBT)

              IBT labor reporter Cole Stangler: “Is SEIU going to release polls that show the membership favors Hillary Clinton? Haven’t seen them yet.”

              SEIU Endorses Hillary Clinton, But Rank-and-File Activists Say Push for Bernie Sanders Isn’t Over (In These Times)

              Bernie Sanders receives endorsement of SEIU Local 560 (The Dartmouth)

              I’m sure there will be more in the days ahead…

  7. Tulsatime

    Corruption You Say?? NEVER in dem circles, or around her illustrious majesty HRC . I will have to keep the Castro name in the back of my mind for future ref.

  8. allan


    Federal prosecutors are pursuing criminal cases against executives from the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co for allegedly selling flawed mortgage securities, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

    In the end, as hard as it will be to believe, the SOL will have run out.
    But DOJ will have tried. Really, they tried.

    1. Massinissa

      I don’t know if theyre good, but I decided to check Amazon for one, and you can get ones for 40-50$

      If not Amazon cause you want to starve the beast, probably any agricultural supply store?

      1. JustAnObserver

        Be careful of those cheap Chinese pitchforks on Amazon. They’re known to break on first contact with an Armani belt-buckle.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          The Chinese pitchfork and the Armani buckle probably came out of the same factory. Just as politics has become about identity, branding and messaging over substance and policy, so it is as well with putatively luxury consumer culture. The policy/bauble isn’t selling? The problem is always the marketing, never the product.

  9. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thanks for the observations regarding “Money” in the 2016 presidential campaign. Yahoo posted an article this morning by Rick Newman that included a table that also purported to show total financial industry funding of each presidential candidate of both legacy parties, as well as the percentage of their respective total fundraising through September 30, 2015, over a month and a half ago. The amounts in that table substantially exceeded the amounts stated by Mark Calabria above.

    The principal source of the difference appears to be that Newman included contributions from people in “Misc. Finance” (presumably hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, etc.), although there could well be other reasons for the reported differences. Newman also noted that even his totals could be understated. Staggering amounts for this stage of a presidential campaign.


  10. JCC

    The Gate-A-4 story was a nice break.

    But now for the dark side of “News of the Wired”

    If your supplier shipped you products full of asbestos, they would soon find themselves gone, but ship
    Police Body Cams with a 6 year old virus that every anti-virus engine has covered for years and all you get are reasons why it’s no big deal:


    And, fear not, you will be tracked, and in ways you never imagined:


    to include:


    (Yikes! – time to charge the iphone down in the cellar)

  11. Ernesto Lyon

    If you’re dumb enough to get a flu shot do yourself a favor and get it at an actual doctor’s office. You don’t want to risk anaphylactic shock at a drug store.

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