2:00PM Water Cooler 12/21/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente



“Campaign 2016: Hillary Clinton Understates Her Wall Street Donations At Democratic Debate” [Business Insider].

The Voters

Sanders from the Democratic debate: ” I believe we stand together to address the real issues facing this country, not allow them to divide us by race or where we come from” [Vox]. In other words, Sanders, unlike and equally threatening to both legacy parties, isn’t playing identity politics.

He doesn’t just want to mobilize the far left — his dream is to unite lower- and middle-income Americans on economic issues, winning their support to challenge the rich. Sanders doesn’t just [?] want to condemn Trump’s supporters as racist — he wants to convince them that Trump is misleading them, and perhaps win their support for himself and his economic policies.

Which gives me an opportunity to comment on Trump’s supporters as well. Trump has been called a fascist, most recently by Martin O’Malley. Trump’s polymorphically perverse views matter less than whether he’s able to collect a fascist following. At least three fascist movements I can think of — the Nazis, Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, and the former Confederate South — rose from what we might call severe “organic damage”; World War I in the first two cases, and the Civil War in the third. (Two other recent movements, at least, ACT-UP, and #BlackLivesMatter, have arisen from similar levels of trauma.)

Speculating freely, I’m guessing we’ve got several overlapping subsets in Trump’s following, with damage common to them all. First overlap: The cohort described by Yves in this post: “‘Stunning’ Rise in Death Rate, Pain Levels for Middle-Aged, Less Educated Whites”; “488,500 deaths would have been avoided in the period 1999‒2013,” had the death rate continued to fall at its previous rate of decline. That’s a lot of organic damage. Second overlap: The “working class whites” whose jobs and communities were destroyed by the neo-liberal dispensation that began in the mid-70s, given that “less educated” is a proxy for working class. More damage there. Third overlap: Military personnel who were sent, by elites, to fight and lose the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, many of whom (thanks to the wonders of modern battlefield medicine) came back to their families and communities terribly wounded (not to mention with post-traumatic stress). More damage. Fourth overlap: The “bitter”/”cling to” voters (explicitly) thrown under the bus by Obama’s faction when it took control of the Democratic Party in 2008 (with results that we saw in the failure to ameliorate the foreclosure crisis, and the administration’s successful shrinkage of the workforce, as shown by the labor force participation rate). More damage. So Democratic apparatchiks can recycle 2008’s racism tropes all they want — identity politics is all they know, after all — but at best they’re over-simplifying, and at worst they’re destroying the dream of “uniting lower- and middle-income Americans on economic issues.” Again, add up the decades of organic damage. My anger would be bone deep. And justified. Wouldn’t yours? Trump, and maybe Sanders, are speaking to that anger. Today’s Democratic establishment is not. With bitter irony, this is the constituency that Clinton claimed in 2008, when she won the popular vote (if all the votes are counted) and all the big states. That was then. This is now.

“The old system began to change only after the war with the rise of the Populists, a genuine people’s movement that challenged single-party dominance in Democratic Texas and the rest of the South — and in Kansas, Nebraska and other Republican strongholds on the Great Plains. The Populists were eventually lured into the Democratic Party by William Jennings Bryan, but the Progressive movement soon gave the Republicans their own house radicals” [New York Times].

The Trail

“Poll: Clinton leads in Iowa; Sanders leads in NH; Democrats like both [CBS]. Iowa: Clinton 50%, Sanders 45%; NH: Sanders, 56%, Clinton 42%.

And then there’s this:

Granted, this is Twitter, and Sanders supporters are very active there. On the other hand, this is #BlackLivesMatter’s @deray.

“Hillary Clinton drops the mic to end debate: ‘May the Force be with you'” [Yahoo]. Product placement for Disney, who owns ABC, the debate sponsor, and the Star Wars director, a major contributor.

“For the most part, Mrs. Clinton reserved her sharpest criticism for the Republican candidates she might face in a general election next fall” [Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Clinton Keeps Rivals at Bay in Democratic Presidential Debate”] “Clinton no longer sees Sanders as her real adversary” [Mic]. Picking out the White House drapes already, I see.

“Here’s what happened with NGP VAN, the Sanders Campaign, and the Clinton Campaign” [Amy Dacey, DNC CEO, Medium]. Oddly, or not, “what happened” doesn’t include the Sanders lawsuit. (Here’s a link to an image of the Hillary Bus “powered by NGP VAN.”)

“Insiders: DNC data flap is overblown” [Politico]. And Clinton is, of course, the debate winner.

“Sanders says DNC’s timing of Saturday night’s debate was meant to ‘protect’ Clinton” [WaPo]. Water is wet…

“At the time, it struck me as curious that the local Democratic Party—particularly one in a key early voting state—would allow a primary candidate to run a campaign from their office, sharing resources and space in a place where caucus voters might come with the expectation of balanced information on all of the party’s candidates” [Vice].

Hillary Clinton claimed ISIS used Donald Trump in a video. Her campaign is walking that back” [Vox]. “So far, according to a social media expert I spoke to, no one has been able to point to use of Trump videos on official ISIS accounts” [Reuters].

“Data Science Ethics: Who’s Lying to Hillary Clinton?” [Another Word For It]. On encryption.

Stats Watch

Chicago Fed National Activity Index, November 2015: “Subdued inflation pressure over the coming year” [Econoday]. “The negative reading is consistent with below average economic growth, in a reminder that the Fed is raising rates at a time when the economy is far from booming.” What punchbowl? And: “Econintersect considers the CFNAI one of the best single metrics to gauge the real economic activity for the U.S. – and puts the entire month’s economic releases into their proper perspective, although it is almost a month after the fact. It correlates well and historically has lead GDP – however its correlation post 2007 recession (New Normal) is uncertain” [Econintersect]. “[B]elow the historical trend rate of growth (but still well above levels associated with recessions).” Still bumping along the bottom…

Shipping: “Strong November volumes were apparent at both the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB)” [Logistics Management]. “POLA imports, which are primarily comprised of consumer goods, were up 7.6 percent to 358,423 TEU, and exports declined 5.7 percent to 142,020 TEU. Empties increased 16.5 percent to 209,525 TEU…. POLB imports in October were up 4.3 percent annually to 306,654 TEU, with exports–still impacted by the strong U.S. dollar-were down 4 percent at 124,717 TEU. Empties rose 19.5 percent to 188,328 TEU in November.”

“It would appear that the consumer psyche has not fully recovered from the financial near death experience of the Great Recession” [Across the Curve]. The dog won’t drink the cheap gas…

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 32 (+2); Fear [CNN]. Last week: 29 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed).


“Brave Lady’s Guns Seized For Shooting Into Crowd, How Is That Even Fair?” [Wonkette].

Heatlh Care

Health Care’s Price Conundrum [The New Yorker].

“Feds say Iowa not ready, must delay Medicaid privatization until March 1” [Bleeding Heartland]. One hopes the Democratic campaigns have something to say about this.


“Five troubling aspects of the University of Iowa’s no-bid contracts with Matt Strawn” [Bleeding Heartland]. The blogger comments: “I am guessing we haven’t heard the last about the University of Iowa’s no-bid contracts with the former Iowa GOP chair.” Hopefully, the Democratic campaigns work out a way to weave these local corruption story into a larger narrative.

“Harry Reid Directly Solicited Contribution From Private Equity Giant Before Controversial Rider” [HuffPo]. Christmas came early in the Omnibus budget bill.


“The North Carolina town that’s scared of solar panels, revisited” [Vox]. They’re ticked off because it’s straightforward extraction: All the profits go out of state, and all the downsides are local. Exactly like Big Wind in Maine.

Our Famously Free Press

The Rise And Fall Of Venture-Backed News Readers In One Chart [CB Insights]. VCs fund aggregator parasites sucking content from real creators, lose a packet. More like this, please.


Kurt Russell, actor: “We had our civil war. If that Second Amendment hadn’t been there, those people wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do what they considered defending their life, their way, their style of living” [The Hill].

Class Warfare

“Artificial-Intelligence Research Center Is Founded by Silicon Valley Investors” [New York Times]. Relentless self-promoter and squillionaire Elon Musk has thoughts:

[Mr. Musk] said that he has had longstanding concerns about the possibility that artificial intelligence could be used to create machines that might turn on humanity.

He began discussing the issue this year with Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Thiel and Sam Altman, president of the Y Combinator investment group.

“We discussed what is the best thing we can do to ensure the future is good?” he said. “[Door #1] We could sit on the sidelines or we can encourage [Door #2] regulatory [i.e., democratic] oversight, or we could participate with the right structure with [Door #3] people who care deeply about developing A.I. in a way that is safe and is beneficial to humanity.”

So if you want to “ensure the future is good,” you pick Door #3: Hand everything over to a small group of squillionaire oligarchs. Clearly, that’s The Right Thing.

News of the Wired

“A pause to refresh the Web?” [O’Reilly].

“The Discovery of Roscoe Holcomb and the “High Lonesome Sound” [The New Yorker].

“How children lost the right to roam in four generations” [Daily Mail] (2007). This is old, but classic. My British railfan magazines are full of reminisences from boys who were taking the trains alone at 11, sneaking into railroad yards, catching rides with kind engine drivers, and trainspotting. Now they would be transfixed by tiny glass screens.

“Miss Philippines Crowned Miss Universe 2015 After Steve Harvey Mistakes Miss Colombia as the Winner” [E!] Harvey’s apology: “I want to apologize emphatically to Miss Philippians…” And Miss Colossians. And Miss Corinthians… Subsquently corrected. An illustration of the idea that when things start going wrong, they keep going wrong. But anybody can have a bad day. And to be fair, the ballot might as well have been designed by Theresa LePore.

* * *

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 (RS):


Another pleasant view of that Seattle food forest. RS writes:

On an additional note re city backed development, when I started landscaping in Seattle in the late ’80’s the utilities and city hired gardeners for substations and vacant corners, traffic circles, all those small plot urban landscapes that nobody notices, and each gardener was given a certain square footage and a plant budget and a truck and tools and within their prescribed time, 7-3 or whatever, not on your own schedule in other words, they would design and tend these plots pretty much autonomously. The jobs paid well and we at the nurseries were always a little jealous, really a great job. I’m not sure but I don’t think those jobs survived the budgetary shredder. Right now the city pays to mow that huge lawn, buys pesticides and applies them, etc… The city could easily budget a crew to oversee a volunteer army but as learned on NC the gov’t would have to take the lead and make the extreme move of spending money into the economy and re purposing that massive west facing hillside (great solar exposure, gets the late light in the summer) into a real forest with nut trees, fruit trees pathways, workstations, material repositories, rock piles and all that. Right now that looks to be not happening, instead a little token garden, albeit an obviously well designed young garden, whoever is doing it is doing it nicely, I would just like to see a lot more trees considering they take the longest time to be established.

One thing a Jobs Guarantee might take care of.

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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. Uahsenaa

    The margin of error on those cbs/yougov polls is huge, meaning they either didn’t bother asking all that many people (sample size) or the standard deviation is so large as to indicate a great deal of variance. Either way, the predictability of such a poll, even before you take into account how inaccurate early polling often is, borders on worthless.

  2. Steven D.

    That Impressive Young Man in the White House still can’t talk about the working class without being condescending and dismissive. He had an interview this morning on NPR in which he said Trump exploits working class fears about the economy. As if he had nothing to do with those fears and is doing nothing about them. The working class to him are people to talk about, not to. Wish I had a link but my crack iPhone is thwarting my attempts to copy one. If the iPhone can’t do it, you don’t need it. Just ask Tim Cook. We’ll tell you what you need.

    1. Inverness

      Good comment. I find Obama unbearable. It is essential that real progressives communicate their solidarity with all working class voters. Before the civil war, the Southern elites were brilliant at making sure poor whites didn’t bond and identify with the slave. The same playbook applies today. Obama is even more toxic in some ways as Republicans, since he hides under a liberal facade.

      1. GlobalMisanthrope

        Thank you. Unbearable is good word. So, too, insufferable.

        Friends of mine call him a liar. I always insist that it’s much worse than that. He actually believes he’s the meritocratic magical negro liberal elites who picked and groomed him for the Presidency flatter themselves that he is.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I like to think of Obama as not merely the object of devotion for the Obots but an Obot himself.

    2. Dino Reno

      Well said. Here’s the money quote:

      “I do think that when you combine that demographic change with all the economic stresses that people have been going through — because of the financial crisis, because of technology, because of globalization, the fact that wages and incomes have been flat-lining for some time, and that particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck — you combine those things, and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear.
      “Some of it justified, but just misdirected. I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign.”

      Lambert’s comments about damage above are spot on.

      Obama’s “blue collar” reference is stunning. The man has developed a tin ear, a fondness for Martha’s Vineyard and lost his common touch completely.

      1. jrs

        A perspective from the ivory tower.

        “I do think that when you combine that demographic change with all the economic stresses that people have been going through — because of the financial crisis, because of technology, because of globalization”

        unsaid: that they ought to be able to adjust to but sadly (shakes head) aren’t able to (perhaps due to some unfortunate flaw in character …). Who says they ought to? The entire cultural edifice really, people are supposed to adapt, adjust, roll with the punches, its the ideal here in these United States.

        “the fact that wages and incomes have been flat-lining for some time, and that particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy”

        do blue collar women have it much better? Granted they might be less likely to vote Republican.

        , “they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck”

        he makes it sound so spoiled, a deal to support a family on a single paycheck, but who expects that these days anyway. In many cases they probably can’t support a family on two low wage paychecks.

        “you combine those things, and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear.”

        from the ivory tower, these are how these forces interact, he might as well be talking about the impact of gravity on a ball rolling down a slope, academic.

        But really these rich people like Obomber and the money that backs him, have NEVER been on anyone who works for a living’s side.

    3. GlobalMisanthrope

      Can’t find the “blue collar” reference in the transcript in today’s links. Do you have a link? Thanks!

  3. WanderingMind

    On Sanders and unity –

    I have lately been considering it likely that the racial system has a life independent of any particular economic system.

    By that I mean that, in what is now America, Virginia planters and other elites invented the idea of white vs. black (and other) almost 200 years before capitalism took hold in this hemisphere.

    Also, there are different racial systems on display in different parts of this hemisphere, the one at work in the U.S. being the most bizarre, certainly, but not the only one.

    It is my understanding that there are racial issues in Cuba, despite the change in economic system there 50 years ago, for example.

    If that analysis is correct, then persons who do not qualify as “white” in the U.S. have good reason to be concerned about a politics which seeks to resolve all issues through economic change.

    While it is true that a rising tide will lift all boats, that is not a complete answer to the boats which need the most lifting.

    So, I am not as quick to condemn the so-called identity politics of the Democratic party. It may be a recognition of a persistent reality in our country, as uncomfortable as that may seem to those of us who still qualify as “white.”

    1. cwaltz

      This is somewhat anecdotal but my experience is that the genuinely poor tend to not be nearly as white vs black as those that are in the middle. When I lived in a trailer park I was exposed to a variety of ethnicities and for the most part didn’t notice blacks vs whites vs Hispanics. We all were doing the best we can. Some were more dysfunctional but it had less to do with ethnicity and more to do with addiction issues.

      We are a sum of our experiences and some of our experiences definitely are impacted by our identity, I think however though that where we fall economically IS part of identity. For example, I suspect that Barack Obama an his family would not find it easy(nor do I suspect that he’d want to) to fit in with the AA families in the trailer park. I would also hazard the poor white people in the park would have more in common and understand prejudice better than many AAs would expect(and certainly better than the POTUS, who has all the advantages class and power can offer.)

      1. WanderingMind

        Interesting observation, which may square with a wider sampling. My own experience growing up in a working class, segregated neighborhood in a large city was that there was a lot of racism. Many or most of those I grew up with haven’t changed.

        1. cwaltz

          I think segregation is a large part of the problem. I also generally think even though the middle class may feel poor what they really are is stressed from being stretched rather than actually poor. The act of being able to live in a neighborhood which is out of reach of poor AAs, Hispanics, and whites is a perfect example of a luxury that I doubt many recognize as a LUXURY.

          I do think it is interesting that the rich have managed to pit the middle class against the poor while at the same time eroding some of the benefits of middle class labor(and thus creating an environment where a middle class person’s chances of experiencing poverty increases.)

          A perfect example was when the administration proposed getting rid of a tax shelter that can be utilized to send middle class kids to college(and provide yet another way for the rich to get out of paying taxes) in favor of a more egalitarian system that would have allowed not just middle class kids to benefit but those that aren’t that lucky with having parents of means. Despite the fact that the numbers showed that it was an upper income benefit the pushback and calls of “communism” were immediate which led to the idea being scrapped.

          I find the screams of socialism over community college for free interesting. The pilot program is based on commie pinko Tennessee’s program, implemented by their Republican governor. I imagine it was implemented because businesses actually want educated labor and one way to entice them into your region is to ensure you have that labor, job ready. Or I guess we could all become truck drivers(like my home state was eluding when our state was Republican run.) *shakes head*

      2. fresno dan

        Agree 100%. There is a lot of advantages to dividing people by race, and no advantages to the 0.1% to dividing them by class, as it would point out that those with money agree completely on f*cking those without money….

    2. snackattack

      Agree 100% WanderingMind.

      BLM has a leftist current (as demonstrated in deray’s poll), in addition to a more pro-TFA/pro-Hillary/centrist current. The left would be better off building solidarity with BLM, rather than complaining about “identity politics”. Racial & economic injustice are both hugely important issues, and while there is a big overlap, they do not totally subsume each other. We need to work on both.

      Also, I found this a bit offputting/jarring:

      At least three fascist movements I can think of — the Nazis, Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, and the former Confederate South — rose from what we might call severe “organic damage”; World War I in the first two cases, and the Civil War in the third. (Two other recent movements, at least, ACT-UP, and #BlackLivesMatter, have arisen from similar levels of trauma.)

      May I advise…please be careful about comparing BLM with these fascist/racist movements. Even with good intentions things can be misconstrued, especially when there is little explanation of the comparison.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        No, that’s not the comparison. I’m saying that the similarity is the reaction to organic damage. I’m not saying anything about the form the reaction takes, at all. (Readers know that NC’s coverage of BLM was early, by media standards, and comprehensive.)

    3. neo-realist

      In the present political environment, where attempts at remedying racial equality are met with criticisms of “takers”, “affirmative action”, and “thug culture” directed at you know who by much of the righty corporate media that dominates much of the airspace, It might be made easier to deal w/ the race inequality if we can prioritize bringing a better economic situation or system to the 99% and along the way or near the end of successful economic policy implementation, you deal with the racial inequities. Creating a economic situation where all boats of a variety of hues are doing well potentially makes for an easier sale of policies to the critical mass that rectify racial inequality. As a matter of fact, creating economic policies that benefit all will, in all likelihood, require dealing with the racial inequities along the way, e.g., discrimination in education, educational resources, employment, housing, etc.

      1. WanderingMind

        Well, I guess the counter-narrative that the racial system has its own dynamic, independent of economics, is what I was getting at above.

        There is evidence of such an independent existence is all I am saying.

        To take the Progressive Era as an example, Progressivism did not prevent Wilson’s segregation of the federal civil service or the persistence of the barbarism of lynching. Oppression persisted within reform.

        In the current situation, does Sanders or Clinton have a specific policy of transferring control over the police to community organizations? If so, I have not heard of any.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          I’m not sure any of us S types argue that race doesn’t matter. But, speaking for myself, our beef with the identity politics of the D party is not that they are overly focused on making life better for the “worst off of the worst off.” Just the opposite. As long as the meritocracy works for a handful of privileged white women and (relatively) privileged minorities, they are more than willing to turn a blind eye (being charitable) to policies that screw ALL poor and working class people. Our argument isn’t that good economic policies will cure racism and sexism but that there is no cure for racism and sexism that doesn’t require good economic policies.

      2. jrs

        Yes but what is needed for justice of course would be additional attempts to help those who have long been victims of racial prejudice (yea mostly African Americans but native Americans also have a case, other minorities much less so).

    4. Martin Finnucane

      Virginia planters and other elites invented the idea of white vs. black (and other) almost 200 years before capitalism took hold in this hemisphere.

      Before industrial capitalism “took hold.” But industrial capitalism didn’t spring Athena-like from the thigh of feudalism. Rather, it is predicated logically and historically upon Western global imperialism, or what Sven Beckert calls War Capitalism in his book Empire of Cotton. (Recommended reading!)

      Race is integral to the development of capitalism as a system of production, because race is integral to the imperial divide between the West and rest, and that divide is the foundation from which the industrial revolution grew. Absent its place within the concrete, historical development of capitalism, the appearance of race as a motivating ideology and everyday reality doesn’t make any sense. Stated differently, 17th century Virginia was every bit as much the seed-bed of capitalism as 18th century Manchester.

      The genius of the English, which set them apart from the other nations of the world in the rush to “first world” preeminence, was not technical, scientific, or even legal. It was the invention of race, the social technology indispensable to birth of our modern world.

    5. dk

      Certainly granted, the economic change is not a cure-all for more extremely disenfranchised groups.

      However, enfranchisement of such a group into an economic class that is itself increasingly disenfranchised is not much of a victory.

      The problem with identity politics is that it offers/promises incremental change towards (or beyond?) parity relative to some existing norm. If the norm is deficient (and the deficiencies are increasing), the increment of the change is going to be smaller, and may even be easier to accomplish… for example, stasis when other groups see losses could be interpreted as a win.

      But is it?The purely political answer is “Yes! Oh, absolutely yes, you won! And now, you owe us loyalty! Here’s a [trade deal/military intervention/corporate subsidy/”moral issue”/etc] you need to back us on now, because you owe us!”.

      All of these things are double-edged, none come without a price (economic change is going to increase somebody’s taxes, and alter somebody’s precious business-as-usual, no getting around that). Identity politics offers dignity, but when politics lacks any real dignity, it can’t really deliver much of it, if any.

      If you want to get the low down on this from a group that sees the some of the starkest illustrations of this dynamic, talk/listen to the Native Americans. Democratic carpet-baggers appear like clockwork in the months leading up to a national election, and disappear, along with their assurances, like morning dew the day after. And they stay gone, for the following three and a half years. (Some Indians call them “grasshoppers”, and they’re not being cute; it’s a reference to locusts).

      So, agreed, that disenfranchised identity groups need to look out for their needs, be they particular or common; and they must continue to do so. But subordinating common needs to particular ones is a net loss, in power politics and in life in general.

  4. desmoinesdem

    Regarding Democratic candidates and Iowa’s ill-advised Medicaid privatization plan, both Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley were out with comments right away, welcoming the decision by federal officials not to grant waivers (yet) for Iowa to shift to managed care for Medicaid recipients.

    I did not receive a statement from Bernie Sanders’ campaign, but I’m sure he feels the same way and will double-check with them.

  5. Anon

    Re: Vice

    I wonder if that headline falls prey to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines. That said, let’s turn our attention to the staffer that was fired. From the stories flying around (and boy, are there a lot!), it seems as if testing the exploit/missing firewall/vulnerability was the goal, not malice or anything similar. The implication that I’m getting at here is that if he was able to access Clinton’s database, then that means that during the period where the firewall magically went down, Clinton could’ve accessed Bernie’s database, but aside from NC, that implication has been largely lost on a lot of people.

    1. Pat

      Oh, it hasn’t. But the company did an audit and concluded that only ONE campaign accessed anyone else’s data, and that the number of times it did so was egregious for ‘testing’. They did produce logs of those queries. They also confused the issue because the way the logs are formatted indicated this information was downloaded which the company also claims cannot be done. Mind you it isn’t as if they do not have any interest in promoting one candidate over another. NOT. So frankly their internal audit means diddly to me. It may be true that no one from the Clinton campaign or the O’Malley campaign accessed any other candidates’ data but frankly I no more believe them on it then I can fly.

      For me the more troubling aspect of this is that apparently the Clinton campaign has spent millions amassing this data. Which, surprise surprise, is being used to market the candidate to the voters. God forbid the damn candidate actually interact with a few not well chosen people to find out why so many of us do not trust as far as we can throw her and let her meet the humans she is willing to sacrifice to her “I only protected them because of 9/11” financial industry donors.

  6. Jim Haygood

    You fight fourteen years and what do you get?
    Another year older and deeper in deaths:

    KABUL, Afghanistan — In one of the deadliest attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan this year, a Taliban suicide bomber on a motorcycle drove into a military convoy near Bagram Air Base, killing six people, at least some of whom were said to be Americans, Afghan officials said.

    The United States military command, as a matter of policy, refused to disclose the nationalities of the dead.


    Bad news is secret. Plausible deniability is the new radical transparency.

  7. nigelk

    “Again, add up the decades of organic damage. My anger would be bone deep. And justified. Wouldn’t yours? Trump, and maybe Sanders, are speaking to that anger.”

    My anger IS bone-deep. However, unlike most Americans, I’m not absolutely terrible at knowing who my real enemy is.

    Sanders ’16

  8. nigelk

    “Clinton no longer sees Sanders as her real adversary”

    Strange. The fundraising email she sent me asking for $1 (trying to get those small-donor numbers up I suppose) said ” We could lose this thing.”

    Different departments of the Oligarchy not on the same page?

    1. Pat

      I think the campaign does see him as an adversary. The current strategy is to play it as if he does not matter at all, continue to amass the super delegates, and use outside disrupters to rat fuck his campaign. The most recent attempt backfired, but there will be another one.

      But if you continue to be invincible, the media narrative is to ignore the usurper.

      1. nigelk

        I expect the entirety of the Clinton dirty playbook to be utilized. 2020 and 2024 are too far away if she gets Baracked again.

        1. different clue

          She and her owning-Party plan to do the Baracking this time. How will the Sanders side respond to overt and obvious Barackization attempts?

      2. RUKidding

        I agree with your analysis of the situation. I think HRC is worried at least “enough” about Sanders, and DNC Chair Wasserman-Schultz made sure that the D Debates were few and mainly on Sat night when few would tune in.

        Immediately following the debate, the usual VIPs inside the Beltway immediately declare HRC the “clear winner” and the “strongest candidate.” Why? Oh bc Clinton…

        I agree that there will be more disruptions before we’re through. Sanders presents a clear challenge to the inevitability of HRC, who no-likey. But HRC is smart (I give her that), and her playbook is that Sanders is of no concern or importance. She’s good at playing the role.

    1. fresno dan

      Is that because they think its a “real” city, or they think the “toons” are causing our problems???

      You know, I always rooted for E Wiley coyote – I never could stand that Road Runner…and while we’re at it, let’s slow roast Porky Pig….hmmmm South Carolina barbecue.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I wonder what the numbers would be if the question was “do you agree with President Obama’s decision to bomb Agraba and stop the Russian leader, Darth Rasputin?”

  9. PQS

    Notes from the homefront:
    During last night’s television viewing, a clip of Donald Trump came on wherein he mentioned “the small loan my father gave me of about $1M….”
    My 11 year old daughter looked up and smirked, “A small loan? A Million Dollars?!” I am not making this up, and yes, she’s an only child with older parents who talk politics all the time, but it still made us laugh.

    When you’ve lost the 11 YOs…..

    1. RUKidding

      Interesting. I don’t have a tv, so I miss these “moments.”

      Eh? Not discounting your daughter’s smarts and insights, but…

      For the average conservative, hearing the Donald mention his $1mill loan will serve to make them feel like they are just moments away from somehow scoring a cool $1mill themselves, so … good for the Donald! Go, dude.

      For the less well off conservative… ditto.

      For those who are wealthy? Well, they just laugh and laugh and rub their grubby little mitts with glee as they race to their off-shore bank accounts with their filthy untaxed lucre.

      What the Donald did there will enhance his standing, not reduce it, I’m sad to say, with the majority of his “constituents.” Clearly your daughter is not in that category.

      1. PQS

        I do sincerely try to not engage in the politics of personal destruction, but really, I have to wonder if many of T’s supporters have a full taco plate sometimes…

        1. jrs

          Well it could be an attempt at humor as well (though self-deprecating humor and a narcissist are usually not found together), not having the full context, but just a clip.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Voters are simultaneously stupid and savvy. Part of Trump’s appeal is a response to the bipartisan agreement since the summer about what a clown he is. People know the system Is rotten. Obviously Trump isn’t the answer, but Nader has long argued any random billionaire would dominate the media if one entered the race as an independent, regardless of positions because there is growing outrage. Trump supporters recognize Jindal, Graham, Jeb, Christie, Clinton, etc. as the problem.

          If Obama wasn’t perceived as such a cartoon villain among right wing voters, I suspect the GOP would have attracted a fraction of their total vote. From a cycle to cycle basis, the GOP didn’t even do well in 2014. Team Blue was just simply dysfunctional.

  10. PQS

    More Media Blackouts?

    So I missed the Demo Debates on Saturday night, and thought that perhaps I could get them “on Demand” from my Cable Provider. No such luck. NONE of the Democratic Debates are available. Strangely, ALL of the GOP debates are available “on Demand” for re-viewing. Every single one.

    Interesting. Comcast acknowledged this in a chat with them, but won’t provide any hard answers as to where this directive comes from. Of course.

    1. Anon

      It’d be nice to see a screencap/chat log of that, to be sure. Could possibly start off a media blitz or at least paint a not-so-rosy picture of things.

      1. PQS

        Yes, I copied and pasted it into a Word document…..the representative told me he would “open a ticket” so those debates would be available. Which I plan to check on over the next few days and bug them again if it doesn’t happen…..

  11. DJG

    Lambert and the Four Overlaps. A good analysis. I think that Trump, a media creation, also knows exactly how to get out his message instantly, whereas the rogue’s gallery of Republican candidates is mainly old fogeys who can’t figure that out. (Cruz’s ability to ooze sleeze nationally notwithstanding.)

    So Trump isn’t a fascist, yet like all Americans, he is hardwired to go racial, which means that his economic populism has a covering of xenophobia and racial fears. And Americans are a fearful people indeed.

    A worrying trend, though, that could lead to fascism is the militarization of daily life. Americans spend much time genuflecting to the TSA, to police, to the Boots on the Ground serving the endless war, and it grinds down the democractic (small D) mindset.

    Then add Gunz (which is a subset of Fear):
    –Kurt Russell, actor: “We had our civil war. If that Second Amendment hadn’t been there, those people wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do what they considered defending their life, their way, their style of living”–

    Has Russell never been in a northern graveyard to see the graves of the Union dead, so often buried by their platoons? Down to the drummer boy? When you throw away any knowledge of history–hell, you don’t have to be Confucius to figure out that a knowledge of history matters. You could just try reading Robert Lowell.

    1. curlydan

      On Kurt Russell: No, but he was in “Tango and Cash” where the gunz just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger as the movie went on. Who needs history when you’ve got late 80s Reagan propaganda movies?

  12. Vatch

    The NGP VAN / DNC / Clinton scandal reminds me of the even more dangerous scandals involving computerized voting systems. Remember when the CEO of Diebold was an active fundraiser for Dubya Bush? Just a wee conflict of interest. Fortunately, Diebold is no longer in the business, but there are still big problems in the industry. For example, see this:


    Just a small list of the problems:

    Among the goodies VITA found:

    The wireless connection uses WEP (which we knew). What we didn’t know is that a few minutes of wireless monitoring showed that the encryption key is “abcde”, and that key is unchangeable.

    The system hasn’t been patched since 2004 (which we knew). What we didn’t know is that the system is running a whole bunch of open ports with active services. The report specifically notes that ports 135/tcp, 139/tcp, 445/tcp, 3389/tcp, 6000/tcp and 16001/tcp are all running unpatched services. (Layman’s explanation: the voting machines aren’t just voting machines, they’re also servers happy to give you whatever files you ask for, and various other things, if only you ask. Think of them as an extra disk drive on the network, that just happens to hold all of the votes.)

    [and there’s plenty more…]

    1. Strangely Enough

      And also the spirit, and in the aftermath of 9/11, made patriotism, or jingoism, so acceptable that no reporter, nor did his newspaper or network, want to be anti-American. That took some of the sting out of it as well. Self-censorship, or self-limiting, not asking the tough questions. Believing what they told you, meaning the Defense Department. This weapons of mass destruction bullshit. All that.

      So I’m answering, but I’m not answering. I believe the cronyism between people in power within journalism, or the ruling forces within areas of government – the State Department, the Defense Department, the White House – where people had an understanding of one another. They were, like, from the same class. There was no underclass! You know what I mean? They swim in the same pools, they belong to the same clubs. Their wives and everyone goes to the same fucking cocktail parties.

      Sums it up quite nicely. Thanks.

  13. Ron

    Trump does not reflect a new anger within the working class white’s it just more of the same cultural war that the country started experiencing in the 60’s and its still very much alive and bitter. The Right wing has fought hard and long over the liberation of the American way of life from abortion,minority voting,safety net, social security,science,education its a long list and driven home every day via the integrated right wing media print,internet,cable and main stream media. The only aspect of this election cycle that is different or interesting is the percentage of non establishment Republicans such as Trump,Cruz and Carson that are a majority in the popular polling vs traditional main stream Republicans.

    1. PQS

      Don’t forget the activist preachers and the fundies. The Moral Majority has been rebranded about five times since then, but they’re just as angry and full of ideas. They are the main drivers on the abortion/gay hatred/anti-science fronts, and they get front row seats every Sunday to spew their garbage, plus television.

      1. Vatch

        Aren’t the evangelicals and fundamentalists more likely to prefer Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, or Rick Santorum over Donald Trump?

        1. PQS

          My understanding is they are very heavily into Cruz, who not only speaks their language (his dad is a rabid fundie preacher), but who is also a recalcitrant heel digger (as in shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood). Cruz is positioning himself to take over Trump’s people if and when he totters. (Which may happen over these very same issues and voters, since Trump has a yuuuuge mouth and history of not being ideologically pure by any stretch of the imagination, and my understanding of the fundie crowd is they are out for blood this time around, having been played for far too long.)

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            That’s why I thought Walker would do well; a preacher’s kid. Boy, was I wrong.

            I wish I understood what differentiates Walker from Cruz in the minds of these voters.

            1. PQS

              I think Cruz is about 100 degrees smarter than Walker, who was really just a patsy for the Kochs and other like minded billionaires. Cruz has a real intellect and the narcissistic drive to succeed. Walker just had the drive and some money, but he was a terrible politician with no brains and little appeal beyond his very small circle in RW Wisconsin politics.

              Although, I will note my RW relatives at first liked Walker and are now into Cruz.

            2. GlobalMisanthrope

              I think it’s visceral.

              For all of his “success” in Wisconsin, Walker comes across as weak and mealy-mouthed. His demeanor lacks conviction. When he gets on his bike he looks like a wimpy wannabe.

              Cruz is brash, crafty, cynical, polished. He has all the qualities that the GOP base thinks successful politicians share and is willing to put those dubious talents to work for their causes. The Lord moves in mysterious ways.

        2. ron

          Carson,Trump,Cruz,Huckabee reflect the modern Republican Party which has strong social conservatives ideal core beliefs. It has the potential to expand the Party beyond its present base in the South/Bible belt which can be seen in many of the House districts that have been carved out for that purpose. No more compassionate conservatives welcome or appealing to the independents at least for this election cycle. The Republican Party regulars which are Southern and primary have regional economic interest are losing power to this new group which is not motivated by economic regional interest as much as gaining what it considers important restoration of traditional social values.

          1. Vatch

            this new group which is not motivated by economic regional interest as much as gaining what it considers important restoration of traditional social values.

            The similarity between this phenomenon and the surge of Islamic sharia law in other parts of the world is very disturbing.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      The form and the language may be the same; it’s certainly very similar.

      That doesn’t mean the content is the same; after all, the labor aristocrats of George Meaney’s day in the 60s are gone where the woodbine twineth.

      Indeed, if the form is no longer adequate to the content, then that is very interesting, no?

      (Another way of saying this is that the most racist person imaginable still deserves single payer health care.)

  14. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Gaia, solar panels.

    I do have a lot of sympathy for the people who feel they have no control over their locality, even when its for something ostensibly ‘good’ like solar panels. Five years ago when I passed through the town of Moffat in Colorado I heard similar things (its allegedly the sunniest county in the US). But I think that article is wrong to make local poverty an excuse. I’ve heard the same craziness about wind farms and solar panels in very well heeled places. In South Wales a few weeks ago I saw nonsense anti-solar posters in a very wealthy little village, and in Ireland people in big houses were claiming that reflections off solar panels into their bedrooms would stop them sleeping.

    But whether rich or poor, people need to have a share in development which effect them. I think the wind industry in the past made a huge mistake in not encouraging/forcing developers to put in place co-operative schemes in communities, and the solar industry seems like it is making the same mistakes. Ironically, they could learn from the nuclear industry, especially in France, where they never hesitated to give substantial grants (bribes) to local communities before setting up. I fear that a backlash from rural communities might become one of the biggest obstacles to scaling up renewable energy.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      OTOH, people shouldn’t have to become subject matter experts on technology that’s randomly dropped into their communities. Although for effective resistance, they generally must become so, and also subject matter experts in the regulatory process of their own states.

  15. Tom

    About Sanders: Ok for lot´s of folks here I might as well be Satan incarnate. I am Catholic and don´t believe in gay marriage and certainly not in any of the PC crap which is constantly being paddled by the Democrats. Still I would vote for Sanders any time. Why? Because he made it quite clear that identity politics is not his mainstay. He has his believes and seems quite happy to leave me my own. I find his stance on guns eminently reasonable. The US is a big country and certain things should be left to more local levels to decide. But he is clear on what really matters: and these are economic issues and not these kind of Ersatz issues with which Hillary et al try to appear “progessive”

    1. Titus Pullo


      Thanks for sharing your opinion. I really appreciate it. I think Progressives need to hear that and prioritize economic issues in their discussions. I live in a red state, and I really think Sanders message of economic populism (and justice) would resonate well here with people, who like you have more conservative beliefs.

      I also think if people are aren’t afraid of being thrown on the trash heap if something goes wrong in their life, it can make living with each others’ differences more tolerable.

      1. different clue

        An evidence of genuine economics-prioritization on the part of Progressives would be if Progressives reduce their own identity-buttressing cultural-sneering or cultural-persecution behavior against whole non-Progressive demographic-loads of people.

    2. cwaltz

      I’m pretty sure no one intends to make you gay marry. All the people on the left expect you to do is tolerate those that want that right. You may consider that PC but for people who are gay it’s called having a right to live their lives.

      For the record, the hypocrisy on marriage among the religious community is unbelievable. Marriage was not between one man and one woman originally. God spoke regularly to men with more than one wife and seemed to be just fine with it. He changed his mind in the New Testament and called it between one man and one woman and declared divorce to be only allowed when one was cheated on. If you divorced for any other reason than that according to the Bible you are an adulterer. Despite that most Catholics are fine with divorce and they even recently decided to give divorced folks the ability to receive communion. I personally feel sorry for the lot of you because for all any of you know God changed His mind yet again and your treatment to your fellow humans will condemn you to the same judgment without mercy that you offered them during this lifetime.

    3. Goyo Marquez

      Pretty much.
      Unfortunately for the 99% of us, most progressives, if forced to choose between solving America’s economic woes or poking a finger in the eye of religious believers, would choose the second.

      1. wbgonne

        I very much doubt that. Do you have any evidence? Perhaps you are confusing liberals and progressives.

  16. RabidGandhi

    “At least three fascist movements I can think of — the Nazis, Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, and the former Confederate South…”

    Could someone break this down for me? I thought fascism was militarised demagogic statism. I have a hard time seeing how the confederate economy could be analogous to Franco’s Spain or Mussolini’s Italy.

    My suspicion is that the term fascism is getting diluted, where it now just means racist dictatorship.

  17. Oregoncharles

    ” The Populists were eventually lured into the Democratic Party by William Jennings Bryan, but the Progressive movement soon gave the Republicans their own house radicals” [New York Times].”

    Does that first clause perchance ring any bells? Remind you of anyone?

    And the second reminds us that “Progressives” originally were Republicans. (Granted, personally I use it as a catchall for more-or-less left or at least liberal.)

  18. Oregoncharles

    “Who do you think has told Secretary Clinton there is a way to have secure encryption and at the same time enable law enforcement access to encrypted data?

    That would be a data scientist or someone posing as a data scientist. Yes?”

    No. That would be Hillary’s speechwriter Dreaming the Dream.

    (Caveat: we have commenters far more informed than myself on the subject.)

  19. Vatch

    “Campaign 2016: Hillary Clinton Understates Her Wall Street Donations At Democratic Debate”

    In addition to the points raised in this article, there’s also the matter of $7,000,000 donated to Clinton by lawyers and law firms. I strongly suspect a significant number of those lawyers do a lot of work for the financial industry.

  20. flora

    re: Product placement for Disney, who owns ABC, (HC’s star wars motto product placement)
    I remember the very first Star Wars movie where Luke Skywalker stumbles onto a Princess hologram projected from C3PO. “Help us Obi Wan.”

    OMG. Hillary is a Disney/ABC/WallSt. hologram. How did I not see this before?

  21. Jagger

    At least three fascist movements I can think of — the Nazis, Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, and the former Confederate South

    I am a little confused by this statement. What definition of fascism are we using to lump in the confederate south with Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy?

      1. Jagger

        The ability to own people.

        If so, then most countries throughout history would be considered fascist countries. The US would also be considered a fascist country from formation until 1866 as slavery was legal. Not to mention that neither Germany nor Italy would be considered fascist countries as slavery was not legal during Hitler’s or Mussolini’s time in power.

        BTW, where did you find a definition of fascism that includes slavery?

        1. cwaltz

          Owning slaves most definitely benefitted corporate interests.


          It’s also interesting to note that the lawyers who successfully sued swiss banks on behalf of Holocaust survivors apparently also agree with the comparison since they sued on behalf of AAs. Apparently Aetna has even gone out of its way to hold symposiums on race and given money to AA organizations to make up for the fact that insured the lives of slaves for slave owners.


          1. Jagger

            Good point. Perhaps slavery was not legal, at least in WW2 Germany, de facto slavery existed within a fascist system. Although owning of slaves was not allowed by individuals, the government had, for all practical purposes, slaves performing work for the state. Regardless slavery is not a part of the definition of fascism whether it benefits corporations or not.

            I wonder if a similiar argument could be made for state prisoners in the US today. They work for practically nothing but I believe have an option out. Don’t work, don’t get paid or work and get paid a pittance. Does pay of a pittance or the option not to work, when the power is so disportionate, truly define the difference between determining whether a person is for all practical purposes a state slave or not? So are we still a slave state?

            1. bob

              The comparison is completely without merit.

              Prisoners = slaves = jews in nazi germany.

              To begin with, prisoners get a trial, and are still entitled to rights as “persons” while they are in jail.

              The south, and Hitler, never even proposed such radical ideas. They were not persons, they were property, to be used, abused and killed as need be.

      2. Carolinian

        Might want to check a dictionary before opining on words. From my Encarta dictionary–the full definition:

        fas·cism [fá shìzzəm]
        or Fas·cism [fá shìzzəm]
        dictatorial movement: any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism

        Maybe those people out in the boondocks like Trump because he doesn’t call them “folks.” And sorry Sanders fans but they aren’t much interested in Denmark. They do watch tv, where Trump is a star.

        1. Jagger

          dictatorial movement: any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism

          Yes. I definitely don’t see the resistence movement in post-civil war South meeting that definition.

          States rights may not have been the primary driver in the civil war but was a significant factor in governance of the south during the Civil War. The CSA national government was very weak, definitely not dictatorial. And I am unaware of any support for a dictatorial national government during or post Civil War.

    1. different clue

      I think it is POST-WWI-defeat Italy, Germany, and post-defeat Confederacy that are being described as zones of people so genuinely damaged at all levels that they were made ready for a fascist movement that would offer some kind of relief.

      1. Jagger

        Yes, I can see your point although bear in mind, Italy was amonst the victorious powers after WW1. The depression made many countries vulnerable to extreme ideas. And then we have to consider many countries have lost devastating wars and faced occupation, yet resistence movements are not considered fascist movements. Brutal upheaval of a society due to war definitely makes people susceptible to extremes such as the Russian revolt during WW1 which went left rather than right due to existing ideas. With failure of the ruling elite in a brutal war, both right and left ruling extremes become acceptable options.

        I am just having difficulty understanding how the resistence movement post Civil-War would be considered an ideological fascist movement. Fascism as a concept didn’t even exist in the 1860’s/1870’s. I would much more compare the resistence to ISIL today or any number of nationalistic type resistence movements than a fascist movement. It appears to me more an attempt to regain lost power rather than an ideological movement.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          “Italy was amonst the victorious powers after WW1”

          My thought was that the battle of Caporetto and all the other failed offensives were sufficient to discredit the Italian elites.

          1. ambrit

            Indeed. Mussolini started out as a Socialist. Italy has always had a strong Communist movement, along with an equally strong Conservative Traditionalist one. That Mussolini felt compelled to make a pact with the Vatican says a lot.

    2. Jim Haygood

      It’s an anachronism to project 20th century fascism back on the 19th century U.S. South. It doesn’t fit very well:

      Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.


      This is quite the opposite of the free-trade oriented South, which needed to export its cotton to the U.K. Thus, the Confederacy objected to U.S. protective tariffs and “internal improvements” advocated by northern states, to the extent of incorporating this distaste into Article I, Section 8 of the Confederate constitution:

      “… nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States.”


      Mussolini woulda puked.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Actually, I’m not trying to project back; I’m aware of the checklists. It seems to me that the Civil War, in many ways, anticipated the European convulsion of World War I. In the realm of military tactics, we have trench warfare, the lack of a single decisive battle, the centrality of rail communication, total war (by Sherman). In the realm of politics, we have the “lost cause” (cf. the dolchstosselegende), state-sanctioned and murderous paramilitary organizations in the form of the KKK (cf. the SA), aktions in the form of lynchings (cf. Kristallnacht etc.), and of course Jim Crow (cf. the Nuremburg Laws). Fortunately, no Hitler figure emerged in the post-Confederacy, or there might have been real trouble. So I think the parallels are suggestive.

        1. Carolinian

          But then you could probably find suggestive “parallels” in any society. I’m with Haygood. Words have meaning. It’s fine to use them loosely as an epithet….not in a serious discussion.

      2. cwaltz

        Free trade for the owner class perhaps, however, the forced labor for they advocated for AAs was very much protectionist. As a matter of fact, I’d offer that the reason cited in seceding from the Union was the labor portion of their enterprise when the writing was on the wall that the country was moving away from slave labor(and yes slavery is cited in the case of places like Texas and South Carolina.)

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I intended that statement to be a mite provocative; see discussion elsewhere on the thread. (However, if we’re going to talk about Trump being a fascist, and his followers potentially forming a fascist movement, we’d better get clear on the history, if any, of fascism in this country.)

      1. bob

        Slaves were “industry” in the south.

        Not provocative enough. All these treasonous confederate apologists should go back to the Reason and tea-tard circles where they belong, plotting an escape from the US again.

        The most heinous group of awful MEN ever in the history of the world. But, we have to let them tell their side of the story. To be fair.

        FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

        1. cwaltz

          Personally, I’d love to see one of these idiot states from the South always threatening to secede to actually do so. It would be an exercise in how much the federal government contributes to the well being of their citizenry. I’d give it a year before they’d be begging to be allowed back, if that.

          1. ambrit

            Never underestimate the ability of the governing elites’ of any state to endure the suffering their poor people are experiencing.

        2. Jagger

          Not provocative enough. All these treasonous confederate apologists should go back to the Reason and tea-tard circles where they belong, plotting an escape from the US again.

          The most heinous group of awful MEN ever in the history of the world. But, we have to let them tell their side of the story. To be fair.

          FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

          Reality, or as close as you can get, is very important. Without it, you start wandering into fantasyland. Once in fantasyland, all sorts of things start going wrong. Fortunately, not everyone believes we should just shut up, forget history and live in fantasyland.

        3. Jagger

          The most heinous group of awful MEN ever in the history of the world.

          Why are they the most heinous and awful group of Men ever in the history of the world? Because they owned slaves or because they conducted a rebellion? Be careful, because neither action is unique to the CSA. Just trying to understand your logic.

  22. different clue

    One wonders if that Woodland science teacher even really thinks that the solar panels will suck laterally towards themselves the sunlight that is falling somewhere else. Or if she just has trouble expressing herself. Detailed interviewing would get the answer, perhaps.

    Perhaps she meant that covering a bunch of land with a solid spread out layer of solar panels would light-starve all the plants directly underneath them . . . as indeed they would.

    1. joe renter

      I agree on the lack of clarity on the Woodland science teacher. The picture taken is .5 miles away from my residence. The spot is Jefferson Park in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. The food forest is a teaching center for children and a community resource and is a fairly new addition to the park.

    1. optimader

      Apparently that roomful of T&D makers have been busy?


      December 21, 2015 at 7:51 am

      Marketwatch article on Apple, Tim Cook says:

      “The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills,” Cook explained. “I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.”

      Just for that, he’s a fuckwit.

  23. JTMcPhee

    Speaking of nothing in particular, I emailed an old colleague from the US EPA that sort of used to enforce environmental laws (Dow, Dupont and Monsanto were three of our “projects”) and asked him in the marriage of Dow and Dupont, who would be on top?

    He immediately shot back “Dow, of course, and their offspring will be Damian LLC…”

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