2:00PM Water Cooler 11/5/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


UPDATE See below for PDF updates.

“What To Look For When the Trans-Pacific Partnership Text Is Released” [Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future]. Nice round-up.

“New Zealand has put the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) online, offering the first detailed look at the world’s largest free trade deal, the most ambitious effort in years to remove barriers to commerce” [Guardian]. Here is the site. Unfortunately, when I try to download the zip file of the text, I get this message:


“In other words, the TPP means that America will write the rules of the road in the 21st century. When it comes to Asia, one of the world’s fastest-growing regions, the rulebook is up for grabs. And if we don’t pass this agreement — if America doesn’t write those rules — then countries like China will. And that would only threaten American jobs and workers and undermine American leadership around the world” [Barack Obama, Medium]. Here’s the trade dress:


Party like it’s 2008, and “Obey Giant” was still a thing. Obama continues: “That’s why I am posting the text of this agreement here for you to read and explore” [link]. Which is a brilliant promise of transparency without performance, since (a) the text is not available for download, and (b) Medium’s search function is abysmal:


The full text is also available online at the USTR [United States Trade Representative]. Unfortunately, (a) the text is not available for download, and (b) The USTR’s search function is broken:


Yes, the three browsers I tried all support TLS Server Name Indication. So, the text has indeed been released because transparency, except in such a way that nobody can process it. Well played, global post- and transnational elites!

So, readers, if any of you can figure out how to download the text, please post in comments. (You can use the contact form to send any zip files to me.) And if you find a site that has a reasonable search function, please post.

* * *

Where the sausage was made: in the “Party Specific” annexes to each chapter:


These were not downloadable, at least from the New Zealand site, so that’s another blow to transparency.

And speaking of sausage, here’s the list of Democrat trade traitors who voted for TPP.

* * *

“The White House is likely to formally notify U.S. lawmakers on Thursday that the president intends to sign deal, a senior Obama administration official said” [US News]. “The earliest the TPP could come before Congress is March, just as the U.S. presidential primary season is heating up, creating the risk that the deal becomes a campaign issue.” Risk?

“‘Enactment of TPP is going to require the administration to fully explain the benefits of this agreement and what it will mean for American families,’ Ryan said. ‘I continue to reserve judgement on the path ahead. But I remain hopeful that our negotiators reached an agreement that the House can support because a successful TPP would mean more good jobs for American workers and greater U.S. influence in the world'” [Market News].

“The nations also pledged to abide by International Monetary Fund commitments that bar countries from artificially depreciating their currencies for competitive purposes, and they agreed to meet for annual consultations on the issue” [Wall Street Journal, “Details of Pacific Trade Pact to Fuel Debate”]. Hmm. In a fantasy world where Greece had left the Euro for the drachma and then devalued it, would that be “artificial”?

“Chevron’s Star Witness Admits to Lying in the Amazon Pollution Case” [Vice]. And Chevron had used ISDS to get a ruling favorable to them.

* * *

Alert reader synoia grabbed the PDFs and zipped them. They are here.

Here’s the directory of files in the zip, which as you can see, includes the Annexes:

TPP-Final-Text-Japan-Appendix-B-2-Forest-Good- Safeguard-Measure.pdf


Hopefully people will find this useful…


Readers, TPP threw me back a little; I’ll update this section shortly.


UPDATE “Republicans are openly feuding over whether to seek drastic changes to Medicare, Social Security and other entitlement programs, risking a potentially damaging intraparty battle ahead of the 2016 elections” [WaPo]. “The rift was exemplified this week by the GOP stars of the moment. Newly installed House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said he plans to pursue a ‘bold alternative agenda’ that would include major revisions in entitlements. At the same time, leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump railed against proposals to end or significantly change Medicare.” So, Ryan signals help with a “Grand Bargain” in exchange for TPP support?


UPDATE “A new Iowa survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP) puts Jindal in the top five, ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and businesswoman Carly Fiorina” [The Hill].

UPDATE “The share of Republican primary voters who said they are open to supporting Mr. Bush has dropped 10 percentage points since September. The drop has been twice as steep among self-described tea-party Republicans, with just 36% now saying they would be open to voting for him” [Wall Street Journal, ” GOP Voters Find Jeb Bush Likable, But His Challenges Run Deep “].

Democratic (2015) Debacle

UPDATE The usual alibis, #1: The other faction is teh suxx0r:

UPDATE The usual alibis, #2: The voters are stupid: “400,000 People Could Lose Their Health Care Because No One Turned Out To Vote” [Think Progress].

UPDATE On Kentucky: “But the loss challenges Democrats’ assumption — one also touted on this blog — that they can win on hostile political turf by successfully demonstrating how government programs can help people and pointing out that Republicans will take all that away from them” [Greg Sargent, WaPo].

But “demonstrating how government programs can help people” via ObamaCare is not what happened in Kentucky. Yes, some were helped by Medicaid expansion. I’m happy for them (at least the ones who won’t lose the family home to Medicaid Estate Recovery.) And the others? Besides failing co-ops, rate hikes (“13.8% likely, 15.2% maximum”), and the rather unhelpful advice to “SHOP AROUND, FOLKS”, how were they helped?

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of those Kentucky voters: They go through a complex, time-consuming, and risky “shopping” process to get a narrow network, high-deductible, high co-pay product. Then, assuming those voters weren’t among the two-thirds of ObamaCare shoppers who had to pay the Feds back at tax time, they’re asked to pay a big rate increase — as usual — and told to “shop around” if they don’t like a higher price for a lousy product. A party that tries to frame that process as “how government programs can help people” will fail. In fact, it will deserve to fail.

UPDATE More on Kentucky via [Daily Kos (!)].

Let’s start with this: Barack Obama has never been here. OK, he’s been to Louisville because that’s where all the votes are. And maybe he flew out of the airport in Northern Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati. The point is he’s never been to Appalachia, and I can speak only for Kentucky but I’m confident it’s true of much of the region.

Not once that I can remember.

Not just Obama. Major candidates don’t come here. Not at all. Not ever.

Why does this matter? The Tea Party has an energized base. They appear to be winning (surely they won last night), and so their base is growing. We Democrats…we don’t count. The national apparatus has looked at our region and said, “Yeah, not enough votes, and we can’t win there.” And so they don’t spend their resources here. I mean, sure, they spend money, just to piss off Mitch McConnell and friends.

But they don’t send serious national candidates our way. They spend no time in this region. They make it clear they simply don’t care. There aren’t enough of us, we don’t donate enough money, we’re not important.

C’mon, let’s be reasonable. The Acela doesn’t go through Kentucky. And you can’t get a good latté there. More to the point, these Kentucky voters are the voters the Democrats (including Donna Brazile) threw under the bus in 2008. And why should they vote for the guy if he never shows up in their state?

The Trail

“How I Would Reaffirm Unbreakable Bond With Israel — and Benjamin Netanyahu” [Hillary Clinton, Forward]. Idea: Why not give Bibi the “King for a Day” treatment in the chair behind the Oval Office desk? None of this penny ante stuff, like letting him direct US foreign policy from the floor of Congress. And on the anniversary of Rabin’s assassination, too. Meanwhile, Bibi picks the guy who called Obama an anti-Semite his chief of diplomacy [New York Times]. Oh, and Clinton’s head fake to the left lasted about thirty seconds, didn’t it?

Sanders: “People should be suspect of candidates who receive large sums of money from Wall Street and then go out and say, ‘Trust me, I’m going to really regulate Wall Street,'” [Wall Street Journal, “Bernie Sanders Takes Gloves Off Against Hillary Clinton in Interview”]. The last paragraph (!) of the story.

“New Hampshire official is coy about whether lifelong [Sanders] independent will make ballot” [Wall Street Journal, “Questions Loom About Bernie Sanders Qualifying for First Democratic Primary “].

“Marco Rubio to Release Records for Controversial Card Charges in a ‘Few Weeks'” [ABC]. Chump change, when compared to an entire foundation peddling influence while laundering money.

UPDATE “It has become legend in Florida political circles, a missing chapter in Marco Rubio’s convoluted financial story: two years of credit card transactions from his time in the state House, when he and other Republican leaders freely spent party money” [Tampa Bay Times]. “Details about the spending, which included repairs for Rubio’s family minivan, emerged in his 2010 U.S. Senate race. But voters got only half the story because the candidate refused to disclose additional records.” So did the Mittster know what was in the other half?

Turns out reporters can’t verify Carson’s heartwarming bio when they talk to people who knew him at the time [CNN]. I’m shocked.

Stats Watch

Productivity and Costs, Q3 2015: “Lower output pulled down productivity growth and pushed up unit labor costs in the third quarter” [Econoday]. “A look at year-on-year rates shows how soft productivity growth is, at plus 0.4 percent in the quarter vs plus 0.8 percent in the second quarter and vs a post-war average of plus 2.2 percent. Labor costs are up a year-on-year 2.0 percent vs the second quarter’s plus 1.6 percent. Low productivity is consistent with full employment and an aging economic cycle.”

Challenger Job-Cut Report, October 2015: Layoff announcements fell [Econoday]. “Challenger estimates that just a little more than 1/4 of October’s announcements were tied to oil prices.”

Jobless Claims, week of October 31: “Initial claims shot 16,000 higher in the October 31 week but still remain very low” [Econoday]. “The rise for initial claims is unexpected but would have to be repeated in subsequent weeks before downgrading what is still a very favorable outlook for the unemployment side of the labor market.”‘

“This month’s employment proxies are nearly evenly split with 7 positive vs. 6 negative.  However, the positive data points are especially relevant, namely Initial Claims, ISM non-manufacturing, and ADP.  On the other hand, the negative anecdotes include ISM and Empire State.  It’s worth noting that at just +182k the bar for an upside surprise is lower than it’s been since February 2014″ [Across the Curve].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of November 1, 2015: “The consumer comfort index fell a steep 1.7 points in the November 1 week to 41.1 for the seventh straight decline” [Econoday].

Chain Store Sales, October 2015: “Chain stores are reporting weaker rates of year-on-year sales in October, a month when unseasonably warm weather held down sales of seasonal goods” [Econoday].

“A survey of over 1,000 online U.S.-based shoppers by and JDA Software Group Inc. shows that, of 35% who opted to buy online and pick up goods in a store in the past year, 50% encountered problems getting their purchases” [Wall Street Journal, “Retailers Struggle Getting E-Commerce Goods to Customers, Study Says”].

The Fed, headline: ” Fed May Proceed With December Hike If Payrolls Rise as Projected ” [Bloomberg]. No pressure on the Labor Department, though!

The Fed: “The last time the Fed flagged its next meeting for possible action was in 1999, as JPMorgan economist Michael Feroli pointed out. It resorted to calendar-based commitments of ultra-easy policy during the global financial crisis and recession, but ended that practice three years ago” [Yahoo Finance]. “Yet Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her deputies got so frustrated that investors virtually ignored their message that a rate rise before the year end was probable that they decided last month it was a risk worth taking, the interviews show.”

The Fed: ” Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday pointed to a possible December interest rate “liftoff” but said rates would rise only slowly from then on to nurture the U.S. economic recovery” [Reuters]. Nurture?

The Fed: “Fed Officials Are Attending Big Bank Board Meetings?” [Wall Street On Parade]. Asked this question at the House Financial Services Committee, Yellen said she’d have to “get back to” them on that (!).

The Fed: “Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., told Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday she should hold off on raising rates next month as it would go against “God’s plan” [CNBC]. “‘As I argued … back in the summer, God’s plan is not for things to go rise in the autumn. As a matter of fact, that’s why we call it fall. Nor is it God’s plan for things to rise in the winter through the snow,’ he said.” This Maine bear agrees!

Ag: “Food prices recorded their biggest rise in three years, led by the biggest surge in sugar values since 2010, the United Nations said, even as it raised further expectations for wheat inventories” [Agrimoney]. What could go wrong?

Honey for the Bears: “Web Summit Dublin: Start-ups give 10 second pitches” [BBC]. Froth.

Honey for the Bears: “Shunning outside capital meant that Everlane could pursue a strategy outside the standard venture-backed playbook” [New York Times]. But wait. The VC playbook is the best playbook EVAH! So why is this news?

“Tesla’s showing all the signs of a company in trouble: bleeding cash, securitized assets, and mounting inventory. It’s the trifecta of doom for any automaker, and anyone paying attention probably saw this coming a mile away” [Bob Lutz, Car and Track].

Today’s Fear  & Greed Index: 72 (-2); Greed [CNN]. Last week: 71 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed)

The 420

“Although Issue 3 was handily defeated, the debate and conversations about the issue have convinced [Ohio] House Speaker Cliff Rosenberg, R-Clarksville, and other state lawmakers who were staunchly opposed to legalization to now say it may be time to move ahead with medical marijuana” [Columbus Dispatch].

“Ohio’s failure to legalize marijuana tells us little about reform, and less about the future”  [Brookings]. “The forces of defeat had more to do with timing, referendum language, demographics, and other ballot initiatives than it did with public opinion on the issue.”


“Experts ‘amazed’ by tapeworm that spread tumors to man” [France24]. No, not the FIRE sector!

Guillotine Watch

“It turns out it’s impossible to block Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook” [Short List].

Class Warfare

“Always aim for a monopoly,” says Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder and billionaire venture capitalist. The drive for monopoly has become the de facto goal for most venture-backed tech companies, which, because they largely give away their products for free, must scale relentlessly, attracting as many users and as much data as possible” [New Republic]. And, as we saw Peter Thiel say yesterday, it’s all the money sloshing about from QE that’s inflating the venture bubble. Take a bow, Janet!

“[Facebook’s] ad business now generates $9.86 for every user in the US. That’s a sharp jump from the $6.64 average revenue per US user that the ad business generated at this time one year ago” [Facebook].

News of the Wired

“Salt handgun is designed for non-lethal defense” [Gizmag]. Like Tito’s gun in Spook Country?

The history of the color blue in oil painting [Zocalo Public Square].

Twitter’s stupid new heart for favoriting is red, which doesn’t work for the color blind (8% of men) [Tech Insider]. Another sign this change didn’t come from the engineers, or any study of the audience, but from stupid money and/or stupid executives at the top.

Existential comics [Existential Comics].

* * *

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 (Stephen):


Stephen writes:

We might get our first frost this weekend: 3 weeks late! like most everybody else I suspect.

Find attached a pic of my last ripe figs picked today…

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. And thanks so much for the donations during the annual fundraiser. They are much appreciated, both practically, since I immediately socked them in to infrastructure, and as signs that you enjoy the work.


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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. Ian

    It downloaded for me I believe, from my link in comments today. Have yet to open it to confirm, but will email once I get home if its valid.

      1. Ian

        Annexes aren’t but full text under text link at bottom 3.1mg in zip file. Just downloaded an annex file though on annex links in annex section.

      2. Vatch

        As far as I can tell, the downloadable zip file does not contain the annexes. But they can be downloaded individually, which is rather annoying. At least I was able to download one of them. I haven’t tried to download any of the others.

    1. Ulysses

      From chapter 25 of the TPP text:

      “The Parties hereby establish a Committee on Regulatory Coherence (Committee)”

      The only author, who has words available for me to adapt to this momentous occasion, is J.R.R. Tolkien:

      One committee to crush them all,
      one committee to find them.

      One committee to rule them all,
      and in the darkness, bind them.

        1. Ulysses

          Thanks! The reviews from the world of the internet-savvy are also starting to come in:

          “Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said, “Now that we can read the final TPP text, it’s obvious why it was kept in total secrecy for so long: this agreement is a wishlist for powerful special interests and multinational corporations. The Intellectual Property chapter confirms our worst first about the TPP’s impact on our basic right to express ourselves and access information on the Internet. If U.S. Congress signs this agreement despite its blatant corruption, they’ll be signing a death warrant for the open Internet and putting the future of free speech in peril.”

    1. Nigelk

      “Raise up thine children to be uneducated buffoons with a persecution complex and a bunker mentality, and they shall not depart…”

      It’s been a while since religion class for me, forgive me if I misremember the exact text…

    2. Stephanie

      Good to know that Muslim children are meaner than secular or Christian children, and are so in spite of nationality or socio-economic status. Nobody is ever going to use THAT finding for anything other than altruistic purposes.

      1. cwaltz

        I’m curious to know if we’re comparing apples to oranges anyway. Let’s ask a child in South Africa(and yes South Africa was on their list of places studied) who has known want their whole life if they are willing to share today knowing that they may possibly have nothing tomorrow is not anywhere near the same as asking a child from one of the richest nations in the country with safety nets if they are wiling to share.

        Was socioeconomics even considered with this study or did they just decide to take a random sample and not take into consideration that every factor with the exception of religion be similar? It also appears that in sample the Muslim religion was over represented. You had almost as many Muslim children surveyed as there were Christian and secular kids combined. I’m pretty sure that would skew things as well.

        All in all I wouldn’t be surprised if this “study” found exactly what the person who was conducting it wanted to find. It doesn’t come off as very scientific to me.

  2. Carla

    @Paul Ryan, how would the TPP create good jobs for Americans when it opens up trade with countries whose consumer populations make $0.65/hour? What are the items Americans manufacture that they’re going to be able to buy? Congressman Ryan, President Obama, can you please explain this to us?

    Oh yeah, I heard: under the TPP, Vietnam is going to have to permit union organizing. So after the Vietnamese unionize, maybe they’ll go from $0.65/hour to $1.25/hour. And then they’ll be able to buy — what?

    1. James Levy

      It seems to me that America sells to governments and major corporations (weapons, aircraft, machines and machine tools, construction equipment, computer components, and software) plus processed and unprocessed food and some raw materials (wood and pulp paper plus coal and gasoline). The vast majority of people outside the US simply are not a market for what we sell (excluding corn, soybeans, wheat, and their bi-products). So we have to see US trade policy in that light. It has nothing to do with most people here or overseas. Even our financial sector only deals with a tiny fraction of most nation’s populations (except in the context of foreigners as taxpayers who service their nations’ debts). Anyone who talks about jobs in the context of these trade agreements is either lying or doesn’t know what the inside game that counts really is. My guess is most rank and file Congressmen and Senators really don’t know or care much about any of this, so long as those in on the game fork up the campaign contributions. It’s one reason they are vulnerable on this issue. Most of them haven’t a clue why this is any good, and that lack on knowledge and conviction is coming through loud and clear to the American electorate. Question is, will the system allow them any choice in the matter at the polls?

      1. hunkerdown

        Of course not. So the next question is, why delude ourselves with the false conceit that liberal democracy isn’t authoritarian fraud?

      2. Crazy Horse

        The Empire of Chaos
        Looking at a table for global arms sales in 2011, the US market share was 13 times that of any other country.. That’s right—-$ 66.3 billion dollars. The second largest was Russia, with sales of only $4.8 billion. Now that is market dominance!

        Which most deserves to be called the Evil Empire?

        If you compare total military budgets, # of oversees bases, number of wars fought, or number of governments overthrown the US “success” as the dominant merchant of death is equally overwhelming.

        At least the USA still has one viable export industry—- .

  3. ChrisFromGeorgia

    RE: TPP – I’ll just point out that Indonesia, who was allowed to become a party to this deal, is burning down their rain forests at a rate that makes any debate about “carbon pricing” about as relevant as arguing about which Chicago Cubs player was MVP of the World Series.

    Put that in your legacy and smoke it, Obama.

        1. Ulysses


          Here’s a gem from chapter 28 of the TPP text:

          “Compensation and the suspension of benefits and the payment of a monetary assessment shall be temporary measures. None of these measures is preferred to full implementation through elimination of the non-conformity or the nullification or impairment. Compensation, and suspension of benefits and the payment of a monetary assessment shall only be applied until such time as the responding Party has eliminated the non-conformity or the nullification or impairment, or a mutually satisfactory solution is reached.”

          Translation: The unaccountable corporate lawyers– who will adjudicate our lives in this new TPP regime– won’t rest until the entire world is safe for wealth extraction. You can pay fines because of your labor, health, or environmental protections that limit corporate profits. Yet simply doing that once won’t get you off the hook. You will keep on paying– until you run out of money, or eliminate your “non-conformity,” whichever comes first.

  4. Carla

    From a Cleveland Plain Dealer story entitled “4 reasons why Ohio Issue 3 failed”

    “Per state law, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted sets the ballot issue title that appears before the ballot summary language and the yes or no question for each measure. Issue 2, which appeared on ballots ahead of Issue 3, was titled the “anti-monopoly amendment.”

    After voting on Issue 2, voters saw Issue 3’s title: “Grants a monopoly for the commercial production and sale of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes.”

    Dan Tokaji, an elections law expert and professor at Ohio State University’s law school, said the ballot title and language amounted to free advertising for the no on 3 campaign.

    “No amount of money on the yes side could possibly have saved Issue 3,” Tokaji said in an email. “It’s no stretch to say that the Ohio ballot board — and specifically the controlling vote of the Secretary of State — decided the fate of Issue 3. This is a big victory for Jon Husted.”


      1. Carla

        You are very welcome, Lambert. There’s nobody I’d rather share Cleveland and Ohio news with than Naked Capitalism readers!

    1. Screwball

      I’m in Ohio too. Tin foil hat on, but can we really think a pot bill would be allowed to pass when the sitting governor, a presidential candidate, and potential VP choice, with the GOP convention held in Cleveland, allow this go pass? Tin foil hat off.

  5. ChuckO

    That Salt handgun would appear to be a two-edged sword since it would appear to be the perfect weapon for muggers and the like who want to avoid the possibility of a more serious charge if they are apprehended.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘it would appear to be the perfect weapon for school security’

      Just blind the little buggers instead of cuffing them.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Awesome. Can you send it to me using my contact form?

      (What I really want is some sort of text-based form to optimize for search and annotation, but PDF is better than a poke in the belly with a sharp stick.)

      1. hunkerdown

        They’re legit annotated PDFs, not images. If your favorite conversion tools don’t work, copy-and-paste works fine.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Cool, thanks very much. Of course, tools like Lucene will index PDFs, but I feel it’s always nicer to have the actual text as text. Maybe I can get people who understand these things to do a little scripting…

          1. Jeff W

            Adobe Acrobat (the “pro” version) lets you export to or “save as” various formats (MS Word, RTF, etc.). I just tried it now, using Adobe Acrobat X, with one of the smaller TPP files to MS Word and it was pretty clean in terms of formatting.

            According to this page, you can do bulk conversions using the Action Wizard found in Acrobat Pro DC, which is available on a 30-day free trial basis without a credit card.

  6. allan

    “New Hampshire official is coy about whether lifelong [Sanders] independent will make ballot”

    Wow. The NH Sec. of State – a Dem, naturally. That phrase from a recent USG filing in a student debt case should really be the slogan of the Democratic Party: The Certainty of Hopelessness.

    1. Jeff W

      I think the kicker from the WSJ article is this:

      Mr. Sanders’s campaign aides say there is no way he could be a “registered Democrat,” even if he wanted to be, because his home state, Vermont, doesn’t register voters by party.

      which means, if New Hampshire officials want to be technical about their “only-registered-Democrats-can-run-in-the-New Hampshire-Democratic-primary” rule, no one who is registered to vote in Vermont can ever be a candidate in that primary.

      1. Synoia

        Delete that first email. It is unusable.

        Archive in winzip formation coming for first batch of docs.

        Second email will contain the annexs

  7. Steven D.

    So while Bill is euloging Yitzhak Rabin on the 20th anniversary of his murder, Hillary is fluffing up Netanyahu, Rabin’s most ruthless opponent and the biggest beneficiary of his murder. And she says she’s our friend?

    1. curlydan

      Holy $#!+! She must be really feeling her oats now because that was one sloppy kiss to the Israeli government and one giant extended middle finger to Palestinians.

  8. Ranger Rick

    Got to love all the handouts to business in the TPP. Why, they even rewrite immigration rules for business travelers so they can get their visas ahead of the rest of us.

  9. allan

    About that “Made in America™” logo for the TPP:

    Matt Stoller: The #TPP would allow a car with a majority of parts made in China to be labeled as Made in America.

    But at least the new car sticker in the window would be printed in America.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Revenge of the geocentrists:

    Exxon Mobil Inc. is under investigation in New York about whether the oil giant lied to the public about the risks of climate change, or to investors about how it would hurt the energy business, the New York Times reported Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the probe.

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena late Wednesday to the company, seeking documents, emails and other papers, the paper reported. It quoted Exxon spokesman Kenneth Cohen as acknowledging that the company had received the subpoena and was still deciding how to respond.

    The probe will look at Exxon’s activities in the 1970s, including a period during which it funded groups that tried to undermine climate science, said the Times.


    ‘Undermining science’ is not a crime. That’s what Galileo did, to the fury of the scientific consensus of the day, as interpreted by ecclesiastical lawyers. Secular lawyers won’t do any better.

    Can you spell ‘S-H-A-K-E-D-O-W-N’?

    1. giantsquid

      Perhaps not, but lying about the dangers associated with your product is considered fraud, I believe.

    2. Synoia

      Not so much::

      Undermining science’ is not a crime. That’s what Galileo did, to the fury of the scientific consensus of the day

      Galileo undermined Dogma. A much more serious crime..

    3. different clue

      Galileo didn’t “undermine” science. Galileo practiced science. Do you even know the difference?

  11. optimader

    Before I rest for the night, let me explain the election results. When you run away from the President of your party, you lose. Period.

    A good illustration why people shouldn’t post things on Twitter.
    Or maybe it depends on how you define “you”? (Is it code for amoral court mandarins??)

    1. curlydan

      To Donna: When your President runs away from everything his party stands for, his party loses–LOSER!

      1. edmondo

        “You didn’t clap hard enough and now Tinkerbell is dead! I hope you can live with yourself, you murderer!”

        Donna Brazille

  12. fresno dan


    “The day or so after that first column about Gliniewicz ran, some of the cops I talked to had thought it over. They still felt under siege, but their investigative minds took over. “This one smells,” said one veteran who spent decades working homicide. And other homicide cops with hundreds of murder investigations under their belts said the same.

    They pegged it as a suicide. The task force in Lake County pushed it as a homicide. The whispers began to build that G.I. Joe wasn’t a hero. And one official stood up.

    Dr. Thomas Rudd, the Lake County coroner, refused to say it was a homicide. He revealed that the bad lieutenant was killed by his own weapon, a simple fact that should have been told earlier, though the task force investigators refused to make it public and froze Rudd out for a time.

    But it wasn’t homicide. It was suicide all along.

    “Our intention was never to mislead the public. We completely believed that this was a homicide,” Filenko said Wednesday.

    So you completely believed it was a homicide until you completely believed it wasn’t?

    Tribune reporters had heard the suicide rumors early on and scrambled to investigate them before the funeral. But the task force stonewalled.

    If only the task force had come clean — and at least publicly allowed for the possibility of Gliniewicz’s suicide — then the people of Fox Lake wouldn’t have had to go through that shameful public spectacle of the funeral.

    A friend reminds me that truth is a cleansing thing. And, that when truth is kept from the people, only bad things can happen:

    Like distrust of public institutions, or the protection of criminals.”

    I would presume that the investigators were not Gliniewicz’s friends. Which means those who delayed release of public information were doing what people do in groups – protecting the group reputation. But this is law and justice – and as they say, justice delayed is justice denied.

    If police wonder why people don’t trust them, this is it. No, not Gliniewicz’s deed (no institution can be composed only of saints) – but the delay afterwards in releasing the truth….the public’s truth.

  13. edmondo

    The voters are stupid: “400,000 People Could Lose Their Health Care Because No One Turned Out To Vote”

    Wait until they see how many Democrats don’t turn out to vote in 2016 if the Dems join Speaker Ryan in pushing TTP and Social Security cuts through Congress!

  14. allan

    The Sierra Club, not exactly a far-left hotbed in recent decades:
    TPP Text is “Concrete Evidence” of Toxic Deal

    “The words ‘climate change’ don’t even appear in the text, a dead giveaway that this isn’t a 21st-century trade deal. It sets us back further, empowering fossil fuel corporations to challenge our public health and climate safeguards in unaccountable trade tribunals while increasing dirty fossil fuel exports and fracking.

    “Many provisions in the deal’s environment chapter are toothless and fail to offer any of the protections proponents of this deal have touted. Some provisions even fail to meet the minimum standards of environmental protection established in the ‘fast-track’ law and included in past trade deals negotiated under the George W. Bush administration.”

    1. Ulysses

      At least one presidential candidate, Senator Sanders of Vermont, has told the nation his initial reaction to the release of the TPP text:

      “Now that the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has finally been released, it is even worse than I thought. It is clear to me that the proposed agreement is not, nor has it ever been, the gold standard of trade agreements.

      This trade deal would make it easier for corporations to shut down more factories in the U.S. and ship more jobs to Vietnam and Malaysia where workers are paid pennies an hour. The TPP is a continuation of our disastrous trade policies that have devastated manufacturing cities and towns all over this country from Newton, Iowa, to Cleveland, Ohio. We need to rebuild the disappearing middle class, not tear it down.

      The TPP would allow foreign corporations to sue federal, state and local governments in an international tribunal for passing an increase in the minimum wage or any other law that could hurt expected future profits.

      The agreement would threaten American laws that protect the safety of the drugs we take, the seafood we feed our families and the toys our kids play with every day.

      At a time when prescription drug prices are skyrocketing, the TPP would make a bad situation even worse by granting new monopoly rights to big pharmaceutical companies to deny access to lower cost generic drugs to millions of people.

      Outrageously, the proposed agreement includes violators of international human rights, like Brunei, where gays and single mothers can be stoned to death and Malaysia where tens of thousands of immigrant workers in the electronics industry are working as modern day slaves.

      I will do everything I can to defeat the TPP. We need trade policies in this country that work for the working families of our nation and not just the CEOs of large, multi-national corporations.”

      Any word on Secretary Clinton’s reaction to the release of this text? Will she pledge to push Congress not to approve this disastrous accord under any circumstances?

      1. edmondo

        Hillary will have a statement for you shortly, right after they poll the donor list to the Clinton Foundation to see what they want her to say.

    2. Oregoncharles

      “fail to meet the minimum standards of environmental protection established in the ‘fast-track’ law ”

      That could be extremely important; we can demand that our legislators deny it fast-track status.

  15. sleepy

    Thanks for the tip on the Flux download that reduces blue light on a monitor. I’m using it and it might just be a placebo effect, but it seems more relaxing and easier on the eyes for sure.

  16. petal

    Hillary Clinton is having a do at Dartmouth soon, but one is required to register through her campaign web site to attend. I cannot stomach doing that, so I won’t be going-sorry I won’t be able to give a little report. Every other candidate that has been here has had their events open to anyone with no prior registration-even Lindsay Graham (who I am not a fan of) had an event where you could just show up (90 people did even after campus-wide publicity). They are really wrapping her in cotton wool-it’s obvious she cannot handle anything. And as for NH dems being coy about not letting Sanders on the ballot-to them I say I’ll still be going to vote for anyone but Clinton and there will be a lot of others doing the same thing.
    Thank you to everyone working on the TPP downloads today!

  17. Barry

    The devil is in the detail. Vietnamese tariffs for Rhinoceros horns and ivory will go from 3% to EIF which is 0%!

  18. geoff

    The Tesla story is from Road & Track, not Car and Driver ; ) (There is a difference!)

    Also, amazing work from Lambert and readers on the TPP.

  19. JTMcPhee

    It ain’t enough to get pissed off after carefully cataloging all the ways ordinary people are being screwed by better organized tapeworms and tumors. At least not if it’s not going to just be a walkover for the Vampire Squids and brigands…

    1. Ulysses

      “It ain’t enough to get pissed off after carefully cataloging all the ways ordinary people are being screwed”

      Very important point!! As Joe Hill said: “Don’t mourn, organize!”

  20. Ulysses

    All of the lies, that USTR Froman has spewed to sell TPP as having robust labor protections, are now revealed by the actual text as nonsense.

    This is the reality:

    The commitment to “discourage” trade in goods made with forced labor is not equivalent to a commitment to prohibit trade in such goods. It could be met by hanging a poster, for example.
    The commitment to have laws regarding acceptable conditions of work fails to set standards for such laws. The minimum wage in Brunei could be a penny an hour, for example.
    The commitment not to waive or derogate from laws implementing acceptable conditions of work in an Export Processing Zone leaves most TPP workers unprotected. The commitment is too narrow to be of clear value to workers.
    Too much of the new text (vis a vis “May 10”) relies on legally imprecise language like “may” and “endeavor to encourage”. Such language, which is aspirational rather than obligatory, does not provide the clear protections workers in the region need to organize, collectively bargain, and raise their wages in a safe and just working environment. Aspirational language will not help build new markets for U.S. products”

    Much more analysis here:

    1. JTMcPhee

      Kill the “region” in the womb. Do not accede to its imposition, to the death of nations and sovereignty. For once the vast majority of us humans have a clear and common enemy — no need for Reagan’s Martians, the Neos have landed and stalk among us.. Resist! Repel!

  21. JTMcPhee

    And I thought I was done, when i got back to what GIs called “the world” in August 1968, having to fear death at the hands of the hated evil sneaky VC. Now we got ’em again, but it ain’t Viet Cong, it’s Vulture Capitalists…

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