2:00PM Water Cooler 2/12/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Trans-Pacific Partnership: Written by and for the rich to further enrich themselves at our expense” “[Jim Hightower, Salon]. “The basic problem facing the corporate and political powers that want you and me to swallow their Trans-Pacific Partnership deal is that they can’t make chicken salad out of chicken manure.”

Doctors Without Borders says that the TPP would be “worst-ever trade agreement for access to medicines.” If passed, the TPP would lock in policies that not only allow price gouging, but essentially require all TPP-signatory governments to provide monopoly rights allowing drug companies to charge whatever they want. This would block access to essential life-saving medicines for many people with cancer” [Lori Wallach, HuffPo].

“Overall, the TPP’s chapter on the environment is weak. Many provisions are framed as ‘best endeavour efforts’ which can be easily neglected. Strong and binding rules are needed to restore, protect and enhance marine, aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity. It is likely that the TPP’s rules will be too feeble to have an impact and it remains unclear how they will be enforced” [New Zealand Herald]. “Recently, Canada and Germany’s governments have been sued [under ISDS] for placing restrictions on coal burning, and temporarily banning hydraulic fracturing. These are more than just ominous signs that the TPP may end up undermining government efforts to protect the environment.”



Stephen Colbert to Sanders: “‘Now that sounds like class warfare,’ Colbert said. ‘If you’re saying that most of it’s going to the top one percent and they want fairness, how do you achieve fairness? Because the top one percent has a lot of influence with the government and they’re just not going to give it up'” [Esquire]. No, they aren’t.

“It is the lack of any attempt at active fiscal policy — in the US, UK, Germany or Japan — that has forced central banks to enter the gap. Now monetary policy seems to have lost efficacy, maybe it is time for politicians to agree on measures like recapitalising European banks, or rebuilding US infrastructure” [John Authers, Financial Times, “Many suspects behind murderous markets”]. This is the election-relevant policy takeaway frm Authers’ column, which starts with the “Murder on the Orient Express” trope. Well worth a read.

The Voters

An good explainer on superdelegates [Paste Magazine]. Here’s the bottom lineL

Superdelegates have never decided a Democratic nomination. It would be insane, even by the corrupt standards of the Democratic National Committee, if a small group of party elites went against the will of the people to choose the presidential nominee.

Democrats win when turnout is high, and if the DNC decides to go against the will of the people and force Clinton down the electorate’s throat, they’d be committing political suicide.

The important thing to know here is that Superdelegates are merely pledged to a candidate. We know who they support because they’ve stated it publicly, or have been asked by journalists. They are not committed, and can change at any time. If Bernie Sanders wins the popular vote, he will be the nominee. End of story.

I certainly hope so, although the Iron Law of Institutions argues no.

A good “theory of change” post, apparently the first of a series [emptywheel].

While you can defend the claim that Obama’s insurance reform was all that was possible, that doesn’t mean — even with the many benefits it has brought about — that it was a sound compromise, much less policy that served the interest of the majority or the country as a whole. Similarly, while you can claim (even more dubiously) that foaming the runway to give the banks a soft landing was necessary, real Americans know we all would be better off with Lloyd Blankfein in prison.

The “half a shit sandwich is better than none” talking point works. Until it doesn’t.


“DNC rolls back Obama ban on contributions from federal lobbyists” [WaPo]. Let me just rewrite that headline: “DNC to Sanders small donors: Drop dead!”


“In the two years between resigning as secretary of state and launching her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton personally received $4.1 million in fees from financial institutions for closed-door talks that attendees described as friendly and light.[Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street Talks Were Highly Paid, Friendly”]. Ka-ching.

Democratic Debate

I dunno, but Clinton’s outfit looked like gold to me, not yellow (video) [Wall Street Journal, “Democratic Debate in Two Minutes”]. Shouldn’t some staffer have thought of the symbolism?


And then there’s the Lannister connotation…

“Why Sparks Flew Between Hillary and Bernie During the 6th Debate” [Teen Vogue (!!)]. This is a fine wrap-up:

But when Clinton responded to Sanders that just like Obama, who also received campaign financing from Super PACs and Wall Street, she would stay independent minded and crack down when needed, Sanders became incensed and said:

“Let’s not insult the intelligence of the American people. People aren’t dumb. Why in God’s name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess just for the fun of it; they want to throw money around. Why does the pharmaceutical industry make huge campaign contributions? Any connection maybe to the fact that our people pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs? “

Oh, and Clinton looks like she’s wearing gold in the photograph that accompanies this article, too. The fabric is shiny.

“The Daily 202: Hillary Clinton won last night’s debate by making it all about Barack Obama” [WaPo]. A less nuanced view.

“Sanders distanced himself from the President on his immigrant-deportation policy during the debate. ‘I disagree with his recent deportation policies. And I would not support those,’ Sanders said. The Vermont Senator went on to attack Clinton for her support of Obama’s policy to send back refugee children from Honduras and Central America trying to enter the U.S. in 2014” [Time]. Which the Hispanic vote in Nevada will probably like. Good wrap-up of Clinton trying to claim Obama’s “legacy” and Sanders walking the line between criticism and attack.

“Bernie Sanders promises to free half a million prisoners in first term” [Yahoo News]. I dunno. Aren’t a lot of prisoners at the state level?

CNN blows fact-check: “‘Who denies that African-American youth unemployment, real, is over 50%,’ Sanders said in Thursday night’s Democratic debate. There is certainly an employment crisis among minority youth. But it’s not just an issue of unemployment, but of underemployment. It’s an inaccurate claim Sanders has made many times” [CNN]. What CNN leaves out: “[G]overnment statistics like poverty and unemployment rates do not include incarcerated people. … When Clinton left office in 2001, the true jobless rate for young, non-college-educated black men (including those behind bars) was 42 percent” [Michelle Alexander, The Nation]. And I doubt very much the figure has improved much beyond 42%, given the crappy economy after 2008. Clinton, wisely, didn’t quibble over 42% vs. 50%.

Clinton: “‘I know a lot of Americans are angry about the economy. And for good cause. Americans haven’t had a raise in 15 years. There aren’t enough good-paying jobs, especially for young people. And yes, the economy is rigged in favor of those at the top” [Des Moines Register]. Shorter: It’s not the economy, stupid. Because 7 of those 15 years happened on Obama’s watch, and here we are. So either Clinton is criticizing Obama, or the economy is just one of many things to worry about. And we all know Clinton never criticizes Obama, except when she’s running against him, as Sanders deftly pointed out.

“Sanders believes the primary work of the next president is to break the oligarchs who are responsible for rigging our economy and paralyzing the political system from doing anything about it. Clinton believes the main obstacles to progress are also rooted in anti-government ideology and prejudice, and the ability of conservative politicians to successfully exploit those forces to advance socially conservative goals and to get people to vote against their economic interests” [Greg Sargent, WaPo]. Seeing a phrase like “break the oligarchs who are responsible for rigging our economy” delivered without a knowing wink or a nudge shows the discourse, and the country, in motion. It’s quite remarkable.

The Trail

Trump tweets: “How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?” [The Hill]. I hate it when Trump is right…

“Cruz campaign yanks anti-Rubio ad after viewers spot adult film actress” [Raw Story]. “Amy Lindsay, the star of several softcore porn films, plays one of the voters, saying, ‘Maybe you should vote for more than just a pretty face next time.'” Indeed! I wonder if the Cruz campaign released their new “Office Space” ad to kill that story? Spoiler: A Hillary figure — pantsuit, pearls — smashes a server with a bat. It’s funny, because who among us has not wanted to take a blunt instrument to a computer, but “Morning Again in America” it’s not. I’m not sure whether the lack of narrative is due to haste, or incapacity.

“Here’s What Bernie Sanders Actually Did in the Civil Rights Movement” [Mother Jones]. “Sanders was, in his own right, an active participant in the [Civil Rights] movement during his three years at the University of Chicago…. In August of 1963, not long after returning to Chicago from the March on Washington, Sanders was charged with resisting arrest after protesting segregation at a school on the city’s South Side.”


John Ralston: “The Clinton folks are saying it could be close and distorting Nevada’s demographics (suddenly we are as white as Iowa and New Hampshire!) because they are worried about the Bernie surge. And I think they should be. Team Clinton has an infrastructure advantage, and its staff here is first-rate and knows the state. Some worked here in ’08. They also arrived six months before Team Sanders, whose folks do not know the state nearly as well. But he is outspending her on TV — this may be changing — and same-day registration on Feb. 20 may allow a lot of new, Sanders voters to change the course of the election. Hillary knew a long time ago she would need a firewall in Nevada; that’s why she set up here so early. The firewall isn’t breached yet, but it may be buckling soon” [Chris Cilizza, WaPo]. Ralston: “If she loses here, it indicates organization cannot defeat enthusiasm, that her flaws as a candidate may be great enough to overwhelm her campaign’s inherent advantages. That could be ominous going forward. If she loses, the Bloombergmania will resurface, and even if he doesn’t run, talk of a third-party candidate will start again. She needs to win here.”

“Sanders overwhelmingly won the youngest caucus-goers and voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. About 44 percent of eligible Latino voters in the country are millennials, 18-35 years old, so the youth vote and winning it plays a big role in capturing the Latino vote overall” [NBC]. Sounds reasonable, but I’d like more evidence….

“In an interview with CNN, Reid said that the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton shows no signs of dying down, even as the former secretary of state had hoped the upcoming Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primary would be her launching pad to the Democratic nomination” [CNN]. Reid has not endorsed a candidate.

Best anecdote ever: “Yvanna Cancela, political director of the powerful culinary workers union, said she was at a bar in Las Vegas recently and noticed that a young man sitting next to her was doodling on his cocktail napkin. “Bernie Sanders is the future,” he had written” [Wall Street Journal, “Nevada Caucus Offers New Test for Democrats”].

South Carolina

“Gov. Nikki Haley’s aides haven’t said whether she’ll back a candidate” [Wall Street Journal, “Coveted Endorsements Up for Grabs in South Carolina”].

Stats Watch

“The sparse data calendar this week likely exacerbated the significant amount of market turmoil as there was no counterpoint to growing fears that the US economy was either slipping towards or already in recession” [Across the Curve]. And pursuant to this…

Best headline ever: ” Timeliest U.S. Data Show Economy Not at Risk as Stocks Crumble” [Bloomberg].

Retail Sales, January 2016: “Vehicles are back on top, helping to lift retail sales to a 0.2 percent gain in January. Excluding vehicles and pulled down by falling gas prices, sales inched only 0.1 percent higher” [Econoday]. “General merchandise sales, which have been soft reflecting price contraction for imports, rose a sharp 0.8 percent in January. Building materials rose 0.6 percent…. Non-store retailers, reflecting building strength for e-commerce, are once again a standout, up 1.6 percent for a year-on-year 8.7 percent gain.”

Import and Export Prices, January 2016: “Import price pressures are negative and severe but are increasingly centered in oil-based goods. Import prices fell 1.1 percent in January but fell only 0.2 percent when excluding petroleum imports. Year-on-year, total import prices are down 6.2 percent, which is steep but still an improvement from prior months” [Econoday]. A bit less gentle: “Trade prices continue to deflate year-over-year, and energy prices again drove this month’s decline” [Econintersect]. But: “There is only marginal correlation between economic activity, recessions and export / import prices.”

Business Inventories, December 2015: “Business inventories rose 0.1 percent in December which however was still too high relative to sales which fell a very sharp 0.6 percent” [Econoday]. “This mismatch drives the inventory-to-sales ratio to 1.39 from 1.38. By contrast, this ratio, back in December 2014, was at a much tighter 1.33…. Businesses are struggling with inventories right now, in general trying to keep them down as sales slow. Looking ahead, if inventory growth adds to first-quarter GDP, it will very likely be unwanted inventory growth.” But: “With inflation adjustments, business sales is now in contraction. The inventory-to-sales ratios remain at recessionary levels” [Econintersect].

Consumer Sentiment, Feburary (p) 2016: “The consumer may be feeling some uneasiness from all the market dramatics but not much” [Econoday]. Slightly under consensus….. Retail sales for January, outside of gasoline, proved solid and together with the limited softness in this report, should support FOMC expectations for consumer-driven strength in the U.S. economy.” Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin: “[C]onsumers anticipated the lowest long term inflation rate since this question was first asked in the late 1970’s. No one would have guessed forty years ago, when high inflation was the chief cause of pessimism, that consumers would someday base their optimism on ultra-low inflation transforming meager wages into real income gains” [Econintersect]. And then there’s this on inflation expectations: “If I were still hawking bonds to the unsuspecting I might ask you how many 10 year notes you want me to offer you!” [Across the Curve].

“Deutsche Bank AG plans to buy back about $5.4 billion of bonds in euros and dollars as it seeks to allay investor concerns about its finances” [Bloomberg]. “Deutsche Bank is seeking to bolster confidence after credit-default swaps insuring its subordinated debt rose to the highest since at least 2002…”

“How Negative Interest Rates Could Remake the Global Financial System” [Neil Irwin, New York Times]. “Banks could cease to be viable businesses, eliminating a key way that money is channeled from savers to productive investments. Money market mutual funds, widely used in the United States, could well cease to exist. Insurance companies and pension funds could face their own major strains.

“A group of hedge funds, convinced they have found the next Big Short, are looking to bet against bonds backed by subprime auto loans. Good luck finding a bank willing to do the trade” [Bloomberg]. “Banks’ reluctance to help investors bet against subprime auto loans signals that trading desks may be paying more attention to how their activities will play with regulators and in the media, after having been criticized for crisis-era transactions.” So reputational damage works if you give it eight years?

Honey for the Bears: “It’s one thing when prolific angels who don’t have much skin in each game, like Calacanis, get snowed. It’s another when both Ben Horowitz, and Sam Altman — head of Y Combinator, the top incubator in the world — could be so staggeringly wrong about Zenefit” [Pando]. (Note also that VCer and Facebook board member Marc Andreesen had a very public meltdown on the Twitter; see “Facebook and the New Colonialism” under Class Warfare.)

The Fed: “In a striking shift, just 9% of the business and academic economists polled by the Journal in recent days said the Fed would raise its benchmark federal-funds rate at its March 15-16 meeting, down from 66% who last month were predicting an increase then” [Wall Street Journal, “WSJ Survey: Economists Now See Fed on Hold Until June, or Later”]

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 21, Extreme Fear (previous close: 19) [CNN]. One week ago: 19 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 12 at 11:39am.

The 420

“What happens when you get stoned every single day for five years” [WaPo]. “[Y]ou can smoke weed every single day for five years, and not have it impact your problem-solving abilities or your ability to focus at all. These findings also need to be understood in relation to what we know about the severe cognitive effects of persistent, heavy alcohol use, which include irreversible brain damage.”

” Girl Scout sells cookies outside pot dispensary: 117 boxes in 2 hours” [Los Angeles Times].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Among advocates campaigning to reduce the country’s bloated prison population and invest in rehabilitation, there is a growing sense that a) Congress is unlikely to pass anything this year worthy of being called reform, and b) it might be better to start over in 2017” [Bill Keller, The Marshall Project]. In Congress, “one potential poison pill is an amendment requiring the government to prove intent, or “mens rea” (Latin for “a guilty mind”), when it tries to convict someone of a crime, a measure the administration fears would make it harder to prosecute white-collar crimes.” (The Times, doubtless thinking of its elite of amoral supermen on Wall Street, recently published on Op-Ed supporting such measures.)


“The question I’ve been trying to raise, here and elsewhere, isn’t whether or not sun and wind are useful power sources; the question is whether it’s possible to power industrial civilization with them, and the answer is no” [The Archdruid Report]. “Thus the conversation that needs to happen now isn’t about how to keep power flowing to the grid; it’s about how to reduce our energy consumption so that we can get by without grid power, using local microgrids and home-generated power to meet sharply reduced needs.We don’t need more energy; we need much, much less.”


“Four years ago the Gerkes took a payout from Australia’s federal government to quit logging. They are now gambling on another commodity: water.” [The Economist, “Water into wine”].

Imperial Collapse Watch

“US Air Force Major General Faints During News Conference at the Pentagon briefing” [YouTube]. Briefer at 0:32, mike on: “That’s what the F-35’ll do to ya.” Indeed!

Great metaphor!

Class Warfare

“Facebook and the New Colonialism” [The Atlantic]. Zuckerberg’s “Free Basics” debacle in India. Of course, “free” is — to put it charitably — a misnomer, since as all of us know, when a product is free, you are the product.

“Stock market crashes provide the regular reminder that central banks are much more in tune with Teh Markets than they are with labor markets. Unemployment? No big whoop. Stock market down? PANIC!!!!!!!!” [Eschaton].

Uber driver: “They call us partners, but they’re treating us like slaves” [Triple Pundit]. That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

“How the United States built a welfare state for the wealthy” [WaPo].

Q: You say that the U.S. welfare state is “European in size but not in spirit.” What does that mean, and is it ever likely to change?

The United States government spends more on social welfare programs per capita than most European countries once we include both traditional public spending and tax subsidies. But contrary to European welfare states, benefits are not concentrated on the poor in the U.S.

In essence, there are two American welfare states. A public one built primarily by Democrats that serves the elderly and the poor and a private one built by both parties but expanded by Republicans that provides welfare to the wealthy.

News of the Wired

“My Little Sister Taught Me How To ‘Snapchat Like The Teens'” [Buzzfeed].

“Mammal brain frozen and thawed out perfectly for first time” [New Scientist]. “He’s ridin’ around in the back of a staff car, his body’s gone but his head’s in a glass jar…”

“Meanwhile, news and entertainment site Mic said it now publishes 100% of its content to Instant Articles, largely because it’s able to ‘monetize’ that content at a similar rate to its own mobile and desktop web traffic.” [Wall Street Journal, “Facebook’s Instant Articles Advertising Fixes Win Over Publishers”]. Facebook doesn’t have a monopoly now. So it has no reason to squeeze.

“Titanic II launch pushed back to 2018” [CNN]. Well, let’s hope so.

* * *

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 (Chet G):


From Central Pennsylvania: Ice pops! Accompanied by vegetal matter, so within the meaning of the act…

* * *

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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. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Obots I have known hate Hillary.

      Obama was defended by different people for different reasons, but it was fairly nasty out of the gate. Critics were labeled as racist, but I suspect Obama isn’t that we’ll liked by his supporters who in many ways enabled Obama to be a lousy President. Obama’s “racist” critics from the left didn’t force Obama to attack social security after his reelection and effectively destroy his second term even before the inauguration. After all, there are no Obama Democrats. There wasn’t even speculation outside of Biden, and Biden was the driver of that.

      1. Ray Phenicie

        The intellectual dishonesty of strident Obama supporters wends down to haunt us all. There can be no honest discussion in the larger venues like the debates now when it is needed because the avenues of real discussion were choked off over the past seven years. Few people outside of ardent progressives who read NC, or Truthdig or listen to the likes of Bill Black really understand how corrupt the Obama administration is. Now Bernie Sanders can’t lay into Obama the way he should because he would lose the Obama supporters (there’s millions) who support him.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think it’s hard for a politician to be critical of voters if they voted for him based on his ethnicity, religious belief, or what not.

          Take the votes.

          Jam tomorrow.

          Don’t lose those Obama supporters.

          That’d be a consistent approach, and feminists expect this time to be no different, unless it is, because women.

    2. NoOne

      Does she realize his favorables are underwater? All the GOP has to do in October is show ads with her saying “I’m with Obama!”

      Instant President Trump.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There was a moment for Bernie to step up last night, to reject Obama completely.

        Instead, he called Hillary’s claim a ‘low blow’ about his calling Obama weak.

        1. Dale

          Right. I expected Sanders to point to TPP, which Pres Obama favors and Clinton (recently) disfavors. “Mme. Sec., do you agree with the President on TPP, or do you oppose him?” Looked like a way to kill two birds with one stone.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Well, “the dog won’t eat the dogfood” applies in a lot of places in a lot of ways.

          Sanders (thank Heavens) is a politician. If rejecting Obama completely loses him the election, in his mind, he shouldn’t be doing it. The best he can do is slowly recontextualize and let people change their views (drag the Overton Window left a millimeter at a time). I think he’s doing that. In the beginning, no critique at all. Now, it’s “Well, this happened between 2008 and 2016….” Let’s see how it goes.

          Even ObamaCare: Some people have been helped; they’re bound to be grateful, and they should be. (Interestingly, letting young people stay on their parents’ insurance policy doesn’t seem to have helped the Dems much in that demographic.) And let’s not forget, either, that the entire ObamaCare apparatus of websites, marketing brochures, call centers, navigators, and all the rest of it, is walking around money for Democrat apparatchiks supplying those services, and they, especially the owners, will be vociferously in favor of retaining their diversion from the rental stream.

          1. Ruben

            You’re right in more ways than you think. In many dynamic, feedback-full, nonlinear processes (and the amount of people supporting a politician [turning out + vote for] is the result of such a process) you cannot go from A to B in any way you like it, especially not in a straight trajectory. It’s not just the speed, as in millimeter by millimeter, it’s also the route. You need to start from certain initial positions, navigate nonlinearly to certain intermediate positions, move fast when the landscape is flat, slow down when it is complex, to finally succeed in getting there. We do a lot of that efficiently but in politics, since it still is about talking and talking incessantly, about moving minds in the mindscape with semi-quantitative carriers, then it takes a talented, intelligent intuitive and careful talker to succeed. Long story short: yes, Bernie shall not reject Obama straight out, he should explore the mindscape like a blind rambler.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            25 year olds should have jobs and lives free of their parents, and 25 year olds aren’t health care users. Yes, there will be exceptions, but it’s a policy that doesn’t accomplish anything politically and likely undermines the “exchanges” as such as they are by pulling healthy people out of the pool. When you are 26, you are on your own still without a job.

            Politically, this would only be useful to silence critics and appease older bourgeois types who know there is a problem but don’t want to change their opiate supply system.

  1. grayslady

    I can’t imagine using marijuana to make myself feel better; but a couple of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies? That’s something else.

    1. jgordon

      Personally I wish more states would make magic mushrooms legal rather than (or in addition to) pot. I can’t list the number of positive impacts and insights I’ve gained from mushrooms, but pot only ever made feel dull and slow.

      1. Spring Texan

        Agree — I’ve never tried them, but really want to. Want mj to be legal, but not because I want to use it.

      2. barrisj

        OK, as a long-time follower of Carlos Castenada, I can attest to the pharmacogenic and hallucinatory powers of peyote…I’ve been there, and it’s totally the real deal. We’ve tried to make synthetic mescaline, got there, but, very impure…nonetheless, it’s…well, read Aldous Huxley’s “Doors of Perception”…nuff said.

        1. ambrit

          As I’ve mentioned before, been there, done that. The biggest take away from those experiences is the need for a helpful ‘shaman’ to guide the ensorcelled acolyte.
          Huxleys’ “Doors of Perception” is bedrock reporting about it. James’ “Varieties of Religious Experience” fleshes it out and adds rigour. All those who blithely expect “Rainbows and Unicorns” will recoil in horror from the ghastly visage of heartless life arrayed in its’ parti-coloured “Suit of Darks.” Few are willing to proclaim that humans are not just the matadors, but the bulls as well.

      1. thoughtful person

        I checked out one of the participatory economics links above. Maybe these are a couple examples of very small scale implementation: links below to a relatively recent article about Twin Oaks, link to Twin Oaks Community website, and wiki page on the Federation of Egalitarian Communities.

  2. MRLost

    Regarding the Yellow Jacket …

    Many (many) African-American Women can wear yellow to great advantage. They look fabulous in yellow. Personally, I look awful but that’s just me.

    If there was any “intent” or “message” in the color of Clinton’s clothes, I would expect it was no more than a nod to African-American Women.

    Now about what Clinton said during the so-called debate … Clinton lies and lies and lies and then she lies about lying.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I was thinking the same…the colors in, say, Bahia, Brazil.

      To defeat your opponents, you have to think like them.

      Are we thinking just from our own perspective only?

      Also, I think the Queen Mother wore that color at least once…maybe I am confusing that with something else.

  3. Tertium Squid

    That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

    Seems like you say that often enough that it should have its own section on the Water Cooler.

  4. diptherio

    This talk from Aaron Tanaka of the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Impact Initiative is pretty good. Tanaka provides a comprehensive vision of what a truly democratic society would look like, along with ideas for how to get there and anecdotes from his numerous projects that are currently instantiating those aims. He mentions, in passing, one of my pet ideas, which is that we desperately need to remake our political system in such a way as to deprive representatives of personal power to make decisions.


    The name of the talk is Solidarity vs. Solitary. Enjoy.

  5. rich

    DNC rolls back Obama ban on contributions from federal lobbyists

    The Democratic National Committee has rolled back restrictions introduced by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees.

    The decision was viewed with disappointment Friday morning by good government activists who saw it as a step backward in the effort to limit special interest influence in Washington. Some suggested it could provide an advantage to Hillary Clinton’s fundraising efforts.

    “It is a major step in the wrong direction,” said longtime reform advocate Fred Wertheimer. “And it is completely out of touch with the clear public rejection of the role of political money in Washington,” expressed during the 2016 campaign.


    Roll-over the citizen’s interests.Hmmm…wonder who this helps?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      So, wait. I thought Citizens United was one of the terrible things the Supreme Court did, and that it’s got to be overturned, because of the corrupting influence of money in politics.

      But now, apparently, Citizens United is no longer important. Therefore, retaining the Supreme Court is no longer important (at least not for that reason, but that was a big reason). Funny how often Democrat establishment actions undercut their talking points, if you pay attention.

      1. Jen

        It would be irresponsible not to speculate that the Clinton campaign is running low on cash and this is how they play to replenish their coffers, all the while repeating that she is too pure to be influenced by her corporate sponsors.

  6. EmilianoZ

    I for one believe the superdelagates will tip the scales in favor of Hillary. The only reason they haven’t influenced a nomination so far is that they’ve never had to. They’ve never been confronted with a dangerous revolution-loving socialist interloper threatening to win the nomination. But the superdelegates were created precisely to deal with a situation like this. Otherwise they wouldn’t even exist, the whole concept would be scratched. It wouldn’t make any sense. It would be like buying a gun to protect yourself, then being attacked and not using the gun.

      1. Brindle

        So, Madeline–“What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it”–Albright has a special place in hell for Superdelgates that don’t vote for Hillary.

        1. Optimader

          Special place along the lines of a three legged stool w/ one short leg snd madaline giving a lap dance into eternity?

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Blind idealism, like blind anything is just like all other denial. The superdelegates, approx 1/3 of count needed to secure the presidential nomination are there expressly for party control by the party. For some strange reason, these reserved slots occupied by mostly elected officials from the local, state and federal levels, as well as party officials not currently occupying public office, are all controlled by the party, that is the party as it currently functions put these people in this exalted position. Are they legally bound by statute, contract or morality, much less a loaded gun to their heads, no, something more compelling, having the entire apparatus of the party at your side when you need it to get signatures on the ballot for the office you seek or seek re-election to. Civilians, those outside of working closely day to day with a political party like to think they know whats going on, but don’t vote, don’t register to vote or register independent and then make pronouncements about how the party functions. There are reasons why commitments mean something in politics, but if you sniff your nose up in the air because you are too icked out by people seeking power not playing fair then stick with what you’re currently doing to remain anonymous, powerless and frustrated, don’t worry, you have plenty of company.

      I agree with Jill Stein who calls the superdelegates of the democratic party the kill switch. Hillary walked into the nomination process before one vote cast with almost 400 super delegates. My guess is she will almost 700 on March 2nd. And, she will have as many other delegates as she needs to complete the count to get her the nomination. A little drama gives her some free publicity that was typically reserved for The Donald talking like everyday people in front of the stuffed shirts of the news corps. A little drama and watching her sweat may not be what she would prefer, but it looks whole lot better than Chuck Todd and Lester Holt sprinkling rose petals in front of her on her way to the democratic convention this summer in Philadelphia. Just think of it as the Jungian Archetype of Rocky, that plays so well. Let her take a little beating by the old guy, let the old guy have his day in sun, and we’ll all go home feeling that warm glow that somehow in this mixed up crazy old world, there’s still the possibility of a Hollywood Ending for Hillary. Of course tinsel town is all magic, makeup and lighting but that warm glow is real. Then, the lights go up, the crowd shuffles out of the theater and it’s back to reality. The reality where superdelegates all vote for Hillary, because that’s just the way it is.

      1. sd

        In the end, if Sanders wins the popular vote by a large majority But the super delegates swing the nomination to Hilary Clinton, just who does she think will vote for her, disappointed Republicans who don’t like Donald Trump?

        Sanders voters will not shift to vote for Clinton if they feel the nomination was stolen. It just won’t happen. They’ll either stay home or vote third party.

    2. neo-realist

      The Democratic Party would be risking a divided party and sparse support for Hillary in the general election if the superdelegates hand her the nomination, assuming Bernie gets the majority of votes in the primaries. But I guess as a few have said on NC, the power structure of the party may be willing to risk/lose an election to the GOP to maintain third way corporatist hegemony and prevent lefty populist uprisings from taking over the Democratic Party.

      1. Uahsenaa

        They have to retain control of the party, otherwise they have nothing to sell their souls with. Time and again, in midterm elections, the more progressive reps have kept their seats while New Dem types lose theirs. Yet, time and again, Steve Israel and his ilk keep saying the elections were lost because they didn’t compromise enough. They’re not interested in winning, as far as I can tell, if it means doing anything to even remotely displease where the money comes from.

    3. dcblogger

      I can’t believe that the super delegates would be stupid enough to go against the expressed wishes of their constituents. A nomination gained in such a fashion would be worthless. Not only would Hillary lose the general, every congressman and senator dumb enough to cross their constituents would lose all their volunteers. It would mean the complete implosion of the Democratic party and its replacement by the Green Party. Now arguably that would be a good thing, but it does not become Hillary or the super delegates to say so.

      1. cwaltz

        It would mean the complete implosion of the Democratic party and its replacement by the Green Party.

        I think it definitely would erode more support for the party but I don’t think we’ve necessarily hit the tipping point where it meant people would turn to the Green Party. Although I definitely think the left should consider the Green Party as a potential third party solution to the Democratic Party if they decide that the elite get to be our decision makers.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It may usher in a new era – good by the Republican party and good bye the Democratic party.

      2. vidimi

        i think they’re bargaining on the fact that if she’s up against trump, most people will hold their nose and vote for her to keep trump out. if not, they would absolutely rather lose than have bernie take over.

        1. cwaltz

          I wish them luck with that strategy. I suspect it will be a “who could have imagined” moment when it doesn’t work and Donald Trump wins.

            1. cwaltz

              Not really.

              It was the Democratic Party that made it about Hillary Clinton. For many of us it wasn’t about the candidate, it was about fairness and believing in the concept of the people getting to determine the results of the primary rather than the elite rigging it to maximize the results for the Democratic Party.

              It should be absolutely no shock that someone who donned a uniform for over a decade would be disgusted by the idea that a select few are determining the direction of the country rather than the “we the people” we’re taught.

        2. mk

          It’s Bernie or nothing (as in no democrat) as far as I’m concerned. I will vote for Trump if the choice is between him and HRC. Then I will change my voter registration from Democrat to Independent.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        That’s why we need a hostile takeover. The Democrats have assets with value that should be seized:

        1) Ballot access

        2) Laws and regulations written on the assumption that there are two parties, Democrat and Republican

        3) Lists, lists, lists

        4) Lingering good will

        The Greens have none of those assets. And again, I’m only one person, but I have been affirmatively dispersuaded from Green support in my own state (and they made a respectable run for governor in the last decade, too, then disintegrated).

        * * *

        Of course, a great many rice bowls will be broken. That’s a good thing.

        1. Paul Tioxon

          This is the conclusion reached by Domhoff. It is also the Quixotic attempt to influence the Democratic party from within by entering it as bloc. The Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, DSOC, was a group from the Socialist party lead by Michael Harrington to go inside of the party and influence policy. And lot people went in, got involved in local, state and federal politics but did not do much on the national/global scale to stem the tidal wave of change from neo-liberalism.

          Since that period from the early 1970s, the Democrats transformed by the wholesale defection of Southern politicians that just switched parties and became the Republicans we see today from the Bible Belt. No worse example of the massive abandonment of the Democrats was John Connolly, Texas Democrat, wounded with JFK when he was assassinated who upped and went to the Republicans. Unthinkable! But who cares?

          Because as Domhoff points out, finally the reactionary, racist, right wing stumbling block within the Democratic Party was GONE! It left open the power vacuum for a coherent party platform that could build upon the New Deal/Great Society reconstruction of America at long last. Unfortunately, instead of a DSOC mindset we got the DLC and the neo-liberal policy of Bill “I passed Nafta and got rid of Welfare” Clinton, completing the tasks Reagan and Bush failed at because they were fought against by Tip O’neil!

          The Democrats are divided, so it seems, because no one really took command or completely purged the incoherent elements out of the party. The DLC still had to contend with a Progressive Caucus and the Black Caucus, but the party still seems a house divided, just as it did with Southern Plantation Democrats in the past. I think the DLCs day has passed and they could be pushed aside, with a fight, a real fight, but it would remold the Democratic Party a coherent party with a standard that everyone could understand to distinguish themselves completely from the lower taxes, privatize the public, lock up the women first for abortions, then the all of the young minority men for good measure, limited vision of government.

          The Public interest needs to be promoted when appropriate, and the long standing success of social insurance programs for unemployment, health care, retirement and education from kindergarten to state universities are the two pillars of political power for the democrats. They also are the pillars of the social order for the citizenry in the face of uncertainties from capitalism. Expanding them, funding them, and making them better and stronger is enough work for a lifetime, among many of the other challenges including cleaning up the air, the land and water from carnage of out of control industrialization. The Democratic Party will fade away by aping the conservatism of the right, as the defection of its former Southern Conservative membership has shown.


          ” social-psychological studies of small groups show that “moral exemplars” — those who stand outside the general consensus and at first are labeled as “extremists” — can often be very effective, but with one important qualification: they can’t be too extreme or else they will be ignored. Thus, the trick for any social change agent is to be just extreme enough to be an “effective extremist.”


    4. Chibboleth

      The delegates will hand the nomination to a losing Hillary Clinton if the primaries continue to be as close as they have been. Their doing so looks more like a palace coup the farther ahead Sanders is, but if he ends up on top by like 2% or less they can at least halfway plausibly say they think he’s not electable in November and so have to play the grownups in the room.

    5. kj1313

      Hmm interesting Donna Brazile had a series of tweets explaining the super delegate process. While the explanation is pure establishment BS I do think there is a feeling of trepidation that the electorate is in an anti establishment mood.

    6. notabanker

      “They’ve never been confronted with a dangerous revolution-loving socialist interloper threatening to win the nomination.”

      No they haven’t. And they will be brazen enough to piss off the revolution-loving socialist voting base that supports him. Will be interesting if it becomes a tipping point.

      This is where it’s headed.

    7. Lambert Strether Post author

      If Sanders can raise $6 million in 18 hours after winning New Hampshire, what could he raise if the DNC tried to snooker him? Double digits, obviously. Enough for a serious assault on the entire process, including lawsuits (which he’s already shown he can, er, pull the trigger on).

      I still remember staying up late for the 2004 election, when it came down to Ohio. Went to bed thinking Kerry would challenge on election fraud — entirely legitimately! — since that’s what his press secretary said. Then woke up, and the war hero had rolled over. And that was that.

      My point is that Kerry had actually raised money for an election fraud challenge. And caved anyhow. Somehow, I don’t think that Sanders would do the same.

    8. thoughtful person

      Lamberts link to the iron law of institutions is worth a look here. I think if Sanders did, manage to overcome the many hurdles ($, voting fraud, etc) in his way to a successful presidential run, we’d see something along the lines of the Allende treatment unless he caved and compromised quite a bit.

      Not to say that the efforts are not worthwhile. Change is already happening in our collective mindscape as someone said here.

  7. jgordon

    Along with the Archdruid’s latest post, I was also admiring Gail Tverber’s post this week.

    Right–“sustainability” does not mean powering all the stuff we do now with new sources of energy. It means dramatically cutting back our energy use by about 95% or so. If we can rearchitect our living arrangements to voluntarily accomplish that we could have a good quality of life in the future. On the other hand if we blithely ignore reality and blindly go about our lives without thinking too much about things, then things are going to suck for most of us.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I settle for the world average energy usage here, as a first step.

      Maybe later by 95%, but the whole world would have to be in on it.

      Will they, the poor nations, go along? Do they have room? How much room?

    2. Steven D.

      The equivalent of a 50 cent oil tax on carbon would change a lot of habits. It could be equitable if combined with a zero-percent marginal rate on the first $50,000 of income.

      This is the kind of thing Obama could have done in 2009 if he wasn’t into all that kumbaya wankery.

  8. dk

    …Clinton’s outfit looked like gold to me, not yellow…

    No, see, it’s an allegory! It’s yellow, and it’s shiny (and it was, really shiny), but it’s “not GOLD”! Just like Hillary can get paid in the cumulative millions by the most corrupt richest Wall Street firms, and not be influenced by them at all! Gold never touches Hillary, because when it comes to Hilly, shiny+yellow≠gold!

    Newsflash: Climate-change-hoax-exposing scientists discover that real gold is actually the dark blue color of Bernie Sanders’ suit! IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!

  9. Mav

    I wonder why Sanders hasn’t gone after the private prison lobbyists in the Clinton camp. And also ask her why did she stop accepting money from them when they don’t influence her at all.

  10. Katiebird

    Hillary might think we are tired and done with that divisive Health Insurance issue but the rest of us are pretty going nuts trying to figure out how to deal with the mess.

    Every month I wonder how long we can continue to pay one fifth of our take home pay to health insurance companies. Luckily my husband isn’t as hot headed as me so we’re sticking with it. But I honestly feel think it’s extortion and I deeply resent it.

    And now, being sneered at by old on-line friends for wanting Free Stuff and Ponies — Well Hillary, you’ve made me feel like a complete idiot for supporting you last time.

    1. James Levy

      Equating the ability to see a doctor with having a pony is about as stupid as you can get.

      As for free, well, no, it won’t be–but it will be paid for and shared equitably, which I guess is anathema to people who feel a deep need to be able to use their money to have something better than the other guy, even if that something better is a chance to be restored to health or have your life saved. But hey, what good is having your heart ailment treated if everyone can? Where’s the satisfaction in that?

    2. grayslady

      Anyone over 50 years old pays an absolute fortune for health insurance. Your figure of 20% (more, if you have children at home) is about right. I’d love to see Bernie address how much money could go back into the rest of the economy without these egregious premiums and deductibles. A union worker I’ve become friendly with at the local grocery store, who is over 60, told me he had pretty good insurance–only a $12,000 deductible!

    3. ProNewerDeal

      I similarly regretted voting for 0bama in 2008, especially when 0bama reversed his 2008 campaign promise & killed Medicare Public Option in 2010 IIRC. I voted Dr Jill Stein in 2012, too disgusted with both 0’bamneys.

      I recall reading some comments from Hillary 2008 voters who also bashed 0bama for killing Medicare Public Option in 2010. But now that Hillary is anti MedicareForAll, anti Public Option, & pro-ACA status quo with a vague promise of “improving the ACA”; that same group of Hillary voters is OK with this Hillary 2016 health policy. I guess authoritarianism can also occur among D voters, not only for the R voters.

      Kb, If your “friends” bash you “for wanting free stuff”, ask them why Exceptional Murica cannot deliver what Canada & other OECD nations have in MedicareForAll. Perhaps it is the Sickcare Mafia that is extorting Free Stuff, in terms of Corp Welfare, of charging/extorting ~2X+ the rate of Canada/OECD

      The latest “Free Stuff” anti-MedicareForAll propaganda “take” I heard is “UK (or Denmark, etc) only has 64M people, USA has 320M, so MedicareForAll is not feasible in USA”. If anything, I would think the cost per person would be flat at worse, if not decline given quantity discount bargaining power, & spreading fixed Admin costs (such as the info system) over a larger amount of patients. Am I correct, or am I missing some idea here?

      1. Katiebird

        Sadly, I was rendered speechless at the very idea that I wouldn’t support the one person running for president in my entire voting life (except maybe George McGovern) who has a clear plan for giving every single person in this country access to health care. That something called BernieBros invalidates his campaign.

        So I just glazed my eyes and backed away.

        How many gazillion personal dollars are being spent on Health Insurance Extortion in this country? And when are we going to realize that demanding those payments for access to medical care is just as horrific as those old stories about firemen who’d let your house burn down if you didn’t have the right badge on your door?

        Toss in the fact of fiat money and it is evil.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            His plan later in life was to expand medicare by 5 years at intervals until there was universal coverage. I don’t remember the proposed interval lengths.

        1. lindaj

          What about presidential candidate Ralph Nader. He was for single payer. http://votenader.org/issues/single-payer/

          Why didn’t people support him? Stein is for single payer. Why don’t people support her?

          Because they weren’t/aren’t democrats?

          So no one would have supported Bernie if he ran as an independent? Too much “Free Stuff and Ponies”?

          Having a real third party just too much responsibility for us, I guess.

          I don’t get Americans.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If you want Free New Fiat Money, you are not an idiot.

      Perhaps the indoctrination is we can’t have Free Stuff, but don’t give up the struggle to claim ownership, The Little People’s ownership, of all New Fiat Money.

  11. diptherio

    Something tells me that the same person is in charge of picking colors for Hillary’s wardrobe and Donald’s skin…yellow!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      So Hillary’s doubling down. She’s sending a message, and may even genuinely believe, that she’s done nothing wrong. (And I notice that Mediate says gold, so I’m not insane. Could be the blue background doing some sort of contrasty thing on different devices; the advance peanut gallery says the blue was a terrible choice.)

      * * *

      Can’t resist quoting this from Dune:

      Paul [Sanders] spoke to the Fedaykin at the telescope. “Watch the flagpole atop the Emperor’s [that is, Clinton’s] ship. If my flag is raised there – ”

      “It will not be,” Gurney said.

      Paul saw the puzzled frown on Stilgar’s face, said: “If the Emperor recognized my claim, he’ll signal by restoring the Atreides flag to Arrakis. We’ll use the second plan then, move only against the Harkonnens. The Sardaukar will stand aside and let us settle the issue between ourselves.”

      “I’ve no experience with these offworld things,” Stilgar said. “I’ve heard of them, but it seems unlikely the – ”

      “You don’t need experience to know what they’ll do,” Gurney said.

      “They’re sending a new flag up on the tall ship,” the watcher said. “The flag is yellow . . . with a black and red circle in the center.”

      “There’s a subtle piece of business,” Paul said. “The CHOAM Company flag.”

      “It’s the same as the flag at the other ships,” the Fedaykin guard said.

      “I don’t understand,” Stilgar said.

      “A subtle piece of business indeed,” Gurney said. “Had he sent up the Atreides banner, he’d have had to live by what that meant. Too many observers about. He could’ve signaled with the Harkonnen flag on his staff – a flat declaration that’d have been. But, no – he sends up the CHOAM rag. He’s telling the people up there [the 1%] . . . “ Gurney pointed toward space . ” . . . where the profit is. He’s saying he doesn’t care if it’s an Atreides here or not.”

  12. James Levy

    I’m still trying to figure out how the Archdruid intends to downsize the way he insists we must. He’s always a bit hazy about the “here-to-there” aspects, other than assuming that everyone is fit, mechanically inclined, very industrious, inured to repetitive labor, and content to do without. What worries me is how unrealistic that is, and how much people like him seem to me to relish the fact that those who don’t meet the criteria for their brave new world are going to die in droves and the Archdruid and his minions seem kind of happy with that. Pardon me but I’m from a subgroup on the left that doesn’t worship at the church of Only the Strong Will Survive.

    1. subgenius

      He’s pointing out some home truths. Many people refuse to hear, and pray to science to deliver a tokamak/pebblebed reactor/prove oil is abiotic and co2 is beneficial/etc.

      Sadly people refuse to contemplate it, so no answers are forthcoming.

      What’s unrealistic is to expect the current format to continue for much longer…

    2. rusti

      I’ve always scratched my head about that too. I don’t think people would just keel over in place if all the supply chains broke down to the point where the masses couldn’t feed themselves. You’d probably have to set up an elaborate defensive perimeter around your Eden and be prepared to turn away refugees by force.

    3. tejanojim

      The Archdruid’s series on “green wizardry” (now a book) discussed practical steps in detail. Is there any way for you to reduce your reliance on money and fossil fuels? Is there anything you can make or do that would be of value to your neighbors? Is there any luxury you can give up? Anything you can do along those lines is better than nothing. I don’t relish the fact that millions of people are going to die untimely deaths in the coming centuries, but there doesn’t seem to be any way around it. It’s also got nothing to do with The Strong. A tiny old lady who keeps a few chickens, grows some vegetables and herbs and makes medicinal ointments to sell and trade is likely to do much better than some prepper in the woods with a bunch of guns and canned goods.

      1. James Levy

        Except the people with the guns will come kill her and take everything she has.

        Again, he’s assuming a set of skills and physical and mental abilities that millions of people don’t have and are not taught. It’s like listening to an Economist: assume X.Y, and Z and everything is the best in the best of all possible worlds.

        And I don’t think millions of people have to die. We’ve got the resources right now to transition to something less complex and more sustainable. The question is getting people on board, not writing them off as casualties on the way to a “better”, more emotionally satisfying future for the ubermensch who have properly prepared for a future 95% of the people have never been told is coming.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I agree, something less complex, simpler, and more sustainable, like reducing consumption here in the Land of the Exceptional to something close to world average.

          We’re at 7164 kgoe per capita per year, according to Wikipedia (2003 data).

    4. Starveling

      I don’t think that Mr. Greer is particularly smug or happy about it- he is just matter-of-fact and speaking truth as he sees it. Reality doesn’t change because we wish it so, no matter how much the neocons insisted on such. I think that if we listened a little more to old school prophets (in the Old Testament tradition) like the archdruid and a little less to profits of Wall Street we might have a less unstable future ahead of us.

    5. jgordon

      The Archdruid says the things he does in the hope that some people will be impacted enough to voluntarily change their lifestyles (by recognizing just how unneeded things like supermarkets and motor vehicles are) so that not just survival but with a good quality of life. This isn’t about schadenfreude. It’s about being an adult and dealing with reality as it is rather than living in a childish fantasy world of tooth fairy progress and Santa Claus science.

      1. James Levy

        I’m sorry, but the contempt for the masses who like cars and supermarkets and science is showing. Kind of like what I sense from Mr. Archdruid. I guess like the capitalists and those neocons you deride, you worship at the alter of the Tough Guy Telling It Like It Is. No faggy concern for your fellow humans need apply. We’ve got to get hard and return to those good old Neolithic values like patriarchy and bone-breaking labor and worshipping trees. All the mamby-pamby crap like sonatas and sonnets and Quantum Mechanics was for those squishy city folk. Tomorrow belongs to the brave woodsman and his compliant wife.

        1. James Levy

          OK, this stuff cheeses me off. It’s like the Churchill worshippers. Yes, he was an effective leader but he loved war: I mean, he liked conflict and violence, really got off on it, thought it was all a grand adventure. You never hear a line in a Churchill speech about the victims, about the casualties, about the death and destruction. And the Archdruid strikes me a person who so hates modern society and its denizens that he is happy at the prospect of its destruction, with about as much concern for the cost as Churchill felt in 1939 when the war came–it was a chance for personal vindication and glory, and fuck the fact that it was going to cost 54 million people their lives.

            1. polecat

              You get the second thought stopper award Plenue……kill the messenger,…. right? ….because clowns……er…. SQUIRREL !!

              1. Plenue

                Anything he has to say that isn’t complete nonsense I can get from other, less crazy sources. Usually ones that aren’t smugly self-obsessed and that don’t think a constant stream of walls of text are the best way to convey an idea (and be sure to buy one of his 50 bazillion books!).

            2. Mark P.

              Plenue is correct.

              Teh Dunning-Kruger is strong in ‘the Archdruid.’ Greer is deeply ignorant; disproportionately verbose given the trite little formulations he labors to put over; and inordinately pleased with those formulations.

          1. jgordon

            Well your interpretation is wrong. The dichotomy is not between cold-hearted vs. good-hearted. It’s the difference between an adult perspective and a non-adult perspective. In the adult world life is tragic, and mother nature does not care a whit for our beliefs and feelings of entitlement. If an asteroid knocked into the earth tomorrow and wiped out every human being on the planet that would be neither be right nor wrong, it would just be. Likewise if we do stupid things as a species, despite us fooling ourselves into thinking that we aren’t acting stupidly, then it’s very well possible that we’ll go extinct for that mistake. And no one will cry for us.

            I do not like how detached from reality you are, and I think that your attitude decreases our chances of survival because it rationalizes and forgives the truly heinous mistakes we’ve been making as a species, and allows the psychological room to keep making them, right up until we all go over the cliff.

            And I take issue with you characterizing me as someone who does not like science. In truth, I’ve found that most people in America, except for people who actually do science for a living, have no idea what science is. Rather, they have a blind worship of science much like other believers who worship God or Allah. I don’t believe that you know what science is, and so shouldn’t be speaking on the subject of whether someone is for or against science.

            1. James Levy

              By your logic your vote should go to Hillary Clinton, because she is “adult” enough to see that it is all about her and in a world of finite resources, one would have to be a child to think in terms of helping everyone; looking out for anyone but Number 1 you reduce to childishness.

        2. Skippy

          As NC Bob’s reply to a comment I made not long ago surmised… Druids are just old testament prophets with out the monotheism…

          Skippy… whilst Greer might have some points of order one must always reconcile the reality optics he sees everything through and how it bends it…

        3. hunkerdown

          He’s responded to many of his commentariat with the same objection that, contrary to popular belief, a technological reversion does not obligate a social reversion. Why would it? Whig Theory lacks agency and is therefore a terrible tool for considering the future.

          1. Plenue

            It doesn’t obligate it, but it’s very likely. Of course, the guy who fancies himself a Druid likely envisages himself high up the totem pole in some sort of leadership role. So a social devolution isn’t a big worry for him.

            1. Ulysses

              Not just a run-of-the-mill Druid, he has proclaimed himself THE ARCHdruid! A very sad case of megalomania, indeed.

        4. Mark S.

          James, I think you’re misunderstanding Greer. He comes out of the appropriate technology movement, which is largely about simplicity and community building. No “Tough Guy” stuff and deep concern for fellow humans.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            That’s how I read him; the Whole Earth Catalog 50 years on.

            If you think humankind is approaching an evolutionary chokepoint, his perspective is entirely rational.

            1. James Levy

              Only if you are solely interested in yourself and those you know around you. If you are interested in the Commonwealth, you have a different set of interests and objectives. I want to save as many people as possible and retain the Enlightenment and as comfortable a standard of living as we can. He wants to go back to some prelapsarian world that I don’t believe history teaches us ever existed. He is in many ways the Gaia-worshipping doppleganger of Farnham in Farnham’s Freehold.

        5. clincial wasteman

          Can’t find the ‘upvote’ button, largely because I don’t know exactly what that is, but please take as many such (implied) votes as you care for, James.

    6. hunkerdown

      “Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.”
      – Gen. Robert H. Barrow, USMC

      First off, the Archdruid, unlike the Al Gore environmentalists, lives lean, not that there were many transatlantic flights for him to cut in the first place. So demonstration of faith through abstinence isn’t an argument that applies here.

      Second, if I may be so solicitous, I don’t believe that you agree that physical constraints don’t respond efficiently to human desires. With more and more available energy going to debt service — energy acquisition, environmental remediation, uncountable Nm expended moving things from where they are to where they need to be — the “laws” of nature such as Liebig’s law of the minimum and Maslow’s hierarchy of basic human needs don’t provide for the bottom line. Mr. Greer therefore focuses on salvaging and preserving what he deems the most practical staples of human societies — literacy, republicanism, human-scale technologies, the scientific method, and so on — in order that they may be reclaimed on the other side of a predicted imminent dark age (where the knowledge of what human knowledge has been lost has itself been lost). His stance is one of triage and leaving to the future whatever of use can be extracted from a totalled now. Here’s hoping we won’t see the last CRC Chemical Handbook burned for heat.

      It’s not a matter of devotion. It’s a matter of coming to terms with truth and leaving behind the “irrational exuberance” that deficits in net available exogenous energy can be made up through unlimited human desire or intentional sacrifice of living standards (cf. Garrett Pace). Citation, prediction, observation, etc. are not endorsement; to believe so is to believe in the power of denial.

    7. different clue

      The God of Selection is a callous God, and its first true prophet was Darwin.

      “Only the Strong Will Survive” isn’t a church, it’s a fact. Reality doesn’t care what you or any other subgroup leftist may think. And neither do I. Reality will just carry on regardless.

  13. Propertius

    If Bernie Sanders wins the popular vote, he will be the nominee. End of story.

    Then explain Barack Obama in 2008 (who lost the popular vote but won the nomination anyway after an incredible amount of arm-twisting and backroom dealing).

    1. Amateur Socialist

      I keep seeing this clunker bandied about – hasn’t it been discredited by now? AFAIK Madame secretary only wins the popular vote in the 2008 primary if you include Michigan where Obama didn’t appear on the ballot!


      There are other problems with sorting it out – No official numbers were reported in caucus states of Iowa, Nevada, Washington and Maine. But giving her 328,309 votes (to 0) for MI which was not an officially sanctioned primary is at best problematic I would think…

      1. cwaltz

        He didn’t appear on the ballot because he chose not to. He made a political calculation and there was a huge push there to get people in the uncommitted group. So let’s not pretend he was some unknown faction to Michigan.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        The mechanics are complex, but the bottom line is that Obama chose not to run in Michigan, and so nobody voted for him there.

        In the fullness of time, the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democrat* Party decided, in a process marked by procedural violations, to take Michigan delegates away from Clinton, and give them to Obama.

        So how to count that when taking a popular vote total? One answer would be to depend on polling data to allocate the popular votes. But that way lies madness, because (a) then we get down in the weeds on polling accuracy, and (b) where does it stop? I think the simplest answer is to count the actual vote, period. We don’t elect Presidents in the subjunctive, do we? (“I woulda won if I’d run…”)

        NOTE I can’t speak for anyone else, I’ve had trust issues with the DNC ever since.

        * When the red-baiting stops, I’ll revert to “Democratic Party.”

    2. meme

      He only lost the popular vote if Michigan was included. Hillary was the only candidate to receive votes in the January 15th MIchigan primary, since the rest of the Democratic presidential candidates already had pledged not to campaign there because the state had broken DNC rules, which allowed only Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina to have 2008 primaries before Feb 5. Hillary explained her decision to keep her name on the ballot there during an interview with a New Hampshire NPR call-in program “The Exchange”:

      “It’s clear, this election they’re having is not going to count for anything. But I just personally did not want to set up a situation where the Republicans are going to be campaigning between now and whenever, and then after the nomination, we have to go in and repair the damage to be ready to win Michigan in 2008.”


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Did she know it would make the difference in popular vote early on?

        Should Obama have to done the same, defied the DNC, and tried to contain the Republicans?

        Did she have other motives?

        1. meme

          Doesn’t really matter, does it, since the DNC said before any primaries were held that it won’t allow Michigan’s delegates to vote at the national convention because the state violated party rules by holding its primary before Super Tuesday, Feb. 5. How could she know? The time for Hillary to contest this decision was BEFORE the primary, which she did not.

          And, in hindsight, Obama won by a wide margin in the general election and Democrats won contested House contests, so containing the Republicans was not an issue.

          What other motives could Hillary have, other than, in hindsight, a desire to rewrite history and try to scramble up some votes after she realized the race would be tight.

      2. cwaltz

        Are we really saying that a state shouldn’t count because it didn’t do what the DNC wanted?

        They literally took votes that Hillary earned and handed them over to Barack Obama. How can anyone not consider that dirty pool?

        1. Katiebird

          I’ve always wonderd about this myself. I kind of get that the DNC can determine caucus order. But how does a private club get away with telling 50 state legislatures when they are allowed to have an election. And in Florida, didn’t a Republican majority decide the date?

          Who were the people supposed to vote for once their electd officials jumped the order?

        2. meme

          I am saying that counting Hillary’s Michigan votes would have been unfair to the process. The candidates who took their names off the ballot and did not campaign in Michigan were playing by the rules of the DNC. Hillary did not contest these rules until she realized the race would be close.

          1. hunkerdown

            Because the imaginary friend of process is more important than the will of the people? How Democratic.

            1. meme

              How could the will of the people be known in Michigan, since all candidates were not participating because most chose to follow the rules? Rules which, as I pointed out previously, were not contested by Hillary until AFTER she realized the race would be close.

              Personally, I don’t like the DNC rules. I don’t think caucuses and giving early states unfair weight are fair. But changing the rules midway through a contest is even more unfair.

              1. cwaltz

                How could the will of the people be known?

                I don’t know. Maybe because they actually VOTED(and Edwards and Obama made a conscious political choice to have themselves taken off the ballot.)

                As far as rules go, it’s also unfair when a select group of people get to pick and choose what the rules process is. As it was the change in date was meant as an attempt to change those rules and allow Michigan more say in the presidency instead of giving IA and NH all the say.

                Personally, I think the primaries should be held simultaneously. Individual states shouldn’t be weighted based on their primary dates.

                1. meme

                  How about the 238,168 Michigan voters, 44%, who voted “uncommitted” in the primary, or the 30,000 write-in votes that weren’t counted, effectively voting against Hillary. Don’t their votes count?

                  Also,the primary drew in less voters than the Republican party in a majority Democrat State, in a year when the Democratic voters were outnumbering Republicans in primaries almost 2 to 1. It seems there were a lot of people who stayed home because they weren’t able to vote for their candidate, The fair way to include those who were disenfranchised from the process would have been to hold another primary, not give just Hillary votes because her name was the only one on the ballot.

                  1. cwaltz

                    I had no problem with him getting some of the uncommitted votes. They didn’t just do that though. They literally decided to give him delegates from the delegates she would have earned. (she would have earned 73 delegates to 55 for uncommitted) If you split those numbers in half you get 36.5(they allotted her 34.5) and 27.5(they gave him 29.5.)

                    If you choose to stay home then that is your CHOICE, I’m not going to feel sorry for someone who disenfranchises themselves(particularly when as you point out UNCOMMITTED was an option.)

                    1. meme

                      Exit polls showed a significant number of those who voted would have voted for Obama over Clinton if given the choice.
                      And people who believed the DNC was not going to count their votes believed they WERE disenfranchised, so not voting was a reasonable thing to do.
                      Too many variables to come up with a logical plan on how to fairly divy up the votes of those who were disenfranchised, IMO.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            And I am saying that not counting Hillary’s Michigan votes is unfair to the voters whose votes went to a candidate they opposed! Which is more important: Being “unfair to the process” (not sure how that can be, since a process is not sentient and has no agency) or being unfair to voters?

            And Obama wasn’t forced not to run in Michigan; he made his own tactical decision, just like Hillary, whose motives aren’t really important.

            1. meme

              I consider those who did not show up because they thought their votes would not count, those who voted for Hillary because Obama was not on the ticket (a significant number, according to exit polls), those who voted “uncommitted” because Obama was not on the ticket (a much higher than usual number were in that category) and those who wrote in their choice to be voters too, and the process was not fair to them.

              The decision not to run in Michigan was because the DNC said the votes would not be counted. I call not running there logical, not “tactical”. It was playing by party rules, even if you feel the rules are not right.

  14. DakotabornKansan

    If Bernie Sanders wins the popular vote, he will be the nominee. End of story. [Paste Magazine]

    Both the Iron Law of Oligarchy and the Iron Law of Institutions argue no.

    Iron Law of Oligarchy: all forms of organization, regardless of how democratic they may be at the start, will eventually and inevitably develop oligarchic tendencies, thus making true democracy practically and theoretically impossible, especially in large groups and complex organizations.

    Iron Law of Institutions: the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

    Robert Michels formulated the “Iron Law of Oligarchy.” According to Michels, the German sociologist who wrote about the political behavior of elites, eliminating elite rule was impossible; representative democracy was a façade legitimizing the rule of elites, and that elite rule was inevitable.

    Inverted totalitarianism finds expression in the anonymity of the Corporate State.


    BAR’s Glen Ford writes, Bernie Sanders’ supporters think they can transform the Democratic Party “from below.” They are wrong. Bernie Sanders, the Democrat, does not represent some kind of turning point in history, although his supporters seem to think so. The turning point in history comes with masses of people in the streets, fighting BOTH Rich Man’s Parties. Power to the People!”

    Both the Iron Law of Oligarchy and the Iron Law of Institutions argue against this happening.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      The thumb that can be put on the scales in any putative modern democracy is very finite in an era of unprecedented access to information. You can cheat in a thousand ways better than cheaters have ever cheated before and still at some point a clear and united majority cannot be denied. All the possible cheating combined probably couldn’t buy you fifteen points. People generally like the idea of democracy, mess with that too much at your own peril.

    2. Darthbobber

      Depends. Many of the superdelegates are, and will feel, vulnerable if their states or congressional districts go overwhelmingly against their declared support. State party chairs are susceptible to unseating as a result of hard feelings, and congressfolk from the gerrymandered districts fear only Democratic opposition, not Republican opposition. Some of them would stick and stay, but others will either flip or retreat into neutrality.

      In any case, there’s a lot of work yet to be done to make this question relevant. Sanders winning the popular vote is hardly something we can pencil in as a “done deal” at this point.

  15. ambrit

    Is it just me department. I keep seeing Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard” whenever I see Hillary Clinton on the ‘trail.’ Those eyes and those tight, sharply delineated eyebrows.

    1. Carolinian

      Groucho: “Last time I saw a mouth that big it had a hook in it.”

      Referring to Swanson of course. Actually HRC isn’t quite angular enough to evoke Gloria Swanson imo. That said, Bill better watch his step or he may wind up face down in the swimming pool.

      1. ambrit

        Good catch. I was indeed ‘Bill’ Holden who was the floater. The other Bill had better stay away from the Reflecting Pool.

    1. rusti

      In my experience (having lived in Scandinavia since 2010) this isn’t exactly true. The so-called “Center Right” parties in many European countries are card-carrying neoliberals intent on dismantling the welfare system, but hold fairly liberal positions on social issues. The equivalent of Evangelicals can vote for parties like the “Christian Democrats” who obediently follow others on economic issues.

      I just finished an interesting book about the recent success of the “Moderate” Party here in Sweden, who managed to hold power for 8 years from 2006-2014 after over 80 years of seldom-interrupted Social Democrat victories. The author’s contention was that under the leadership of Fredrik Reinfeldt they underwent a successful triangulation / re-branding where they implemented a successful divide-and-conquer strategy of turning the employed against the unemployed, stoking fears that people were exploiting generous unemployment benefits and sick leave. Combined with other Orwellian tactics like re-branding “Privatization” as “offering a multitude of choices” they managed to break labor more successfully than they ever had before. The second election victory (2010) coincided with the Social Democrats having taken a particularly neoliberal direction themselves which didn’t exactly enthuse the base.

      Perhaps some Swedish commenter can add more nuance, but I wouldn’t romanticize European politics too much. Lots of other parties have lost their way in the fight for economic justice and have lost influence as a result. The rise of the extreme-right in numerous countries isn’t unlike the widespread support for Trump.

      1. vidimi

        europe has, as a continent, built up a respectable social security system, one might even call welfare state, in the post war period, which ranks among its greatest ever achievements. however, as you point out, every country is dominated by parties eager to dismantle it. so it’s not so much the politicians in europe that are to the left of their american counterparts – they’re cut from the same cloth – but the framework in europe limits them a bit more. you can say the overton window is to the left, not the politics.

  16. vidimi

    there’s a reprise of the GFC coming and it promises to be bigger and badder than the first installment. the problem with that, if you’re an elite, is that it would invigorate the sanders campaign even more. but what would stop the sanders candidacy dead in its tracks? a war. a real one with real enemies. it would also bring about fascism full stop as the operating political system.

    why the pessimism? well, the americans, eager to bring about peace in syria but not happy with the latest ceasefire agreement, have warmly invited the saudis to wade in. the saudis have generously accepted and we can expect to see confrontation soon. also, the israelis just bought american refueling planes.

    no one needs refueling planes for defense. what could israel need them for? seems like bombing iran is back on the agenda. of course if syria escalates into a world war, why wouldn’t it?

    am i reading too much into it?

  17. none

    Can anyone explain why there’s such a thing as a fanatical Hillary Clinton supporter? I can understand (without agreeing) if someone holds their nose and supports Clinton on the idea that she’s the more practical candidate, and I could see voting for her as the lesser of two evils in November if I were in a swing state (as it is, I’ll vote for Stein if Clinton is nominated). But how the hell does HRC get a personality cult like the one she has? She’s reasonably good on some narrow policy issues and “meh” to horrible on everything else, and her personality is repulsive. Please can someone explain this.

      1. none

        That’s what I mean though. Obama gave all those soaring bullshit speeches that impressed the uncritical, and wore a cloak of idealism that wasn’t called out as a chameleon skin. One could say he had a personality cult because he conveyed having a personality. Clinton has none. So what’s the deal? She just comes across as 100% sociopath as far as I can tell.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          One speculation is that politics is a lot like religion, even politics in a democracy.

          You can’t explain it. The believers will believe.

          Indoctrination everywhere.

        2. Daryl

          Just lots of PR, news spin. Think about it. There are people out there who were probably just as fanatical about Lindsey Graham or Carly Fiorina or whatever. Hillary has more money, more name recognition, and most importantly the backing of the corporatocracy, so she gets attention from people who believe what they hear on TV news and what not.

    1. Chibboleth

      I’m fairly sure it’s just straight-up sexism. I only know one Hillary supporter, and his (!) explicit reasoning is he thinks she won’t start any more middle east wars because she’s a woman.

      It would also explain the really sharp age divide between hers and Sanders’ supporters. Younger voters understand that electing a female president is a totally foregone conclusion and it’s just a matter of time, so there’s no particular reason to get behind an awful candidate just to see a woman in the white house.

      1. none

        Thanks, maybe you’re onto something there regarding the sexism thing. Clinton has been a big supporter of middle east wars though! And so was Sarah Palin come to think of it.

        Shirley Chisholm was before my time but I’d gladly support her if she was running now. Clinton, not so much.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I believe a good portion of Hillary supporters don’t like to recognize people, Bill and Hillary and their entourage, they have defended or applauded over the years are such obvious grifters. How could such smart and sophisticated Democrats have been swindled? Hillary and by extension Clinton Inc just needs one more Friedman Unit to prove everyone was right about them.

    3. notabanker

      Great comment. I don’t get it myself. From Vince Foster to Benghazi and everything in between, she should be completely unelectable, yet is still the front runner. At least Trump has the trainwreck waiting to happen gawker appeal. I can’t stand watching her, it gives me the creeps.

  18. NotTimothyGeithner

    We won’t have Jim Gilmore to kick around.

    Having once discussed college baseball with Jim for 15 to 20 minutes outside Newcomb Hall, I feel I was very likely Gilmore’s biggest supporter. Maybe it’s my fault he ran. If random a person recognized him in 2011ishmwithout a name tag or sign indicating he was a former governor, what else would he conclude other than it was the start of the Gilmornium.

    Oh well…I suppose It won’t be Gilmorning in America.

  19. Kim Kaufman

    “I dunno, but Clinton’s outfit looked like gold to me, not yellow (video) [Wall Street Journal, “Democratic Debate in Two Minutes”]. Shouldn’t some staffer have thought of the symbolism?”

    It was an unfriendly yellow. At least on my computer screen and on my TV last night. And it was unflattering on her. It looked as poisonous as her clenched jaw when the she was watching Bernie speak.

  20. Tom Denman

    It was interesting to watch Hillary Clinton spend much of last night’s debate hiding behind President Obama, presumably to ingratiate herself with African-American voters in South Carolina. It’s an odd turnaround from her 2008 campaign in which she argued, in an inexplicable choice of words, that candidate Obama could not win because he failed to sufficiently appeal to “hard-working Americans, white Americans.” [1] And now her campaign is saying that Bernie Sanders can’t win primaries outside of heavily white states.

    It is also it surprising that so far in this campaign there has been no mention in the press of Madam Clinton’s bizarre reference in 2008, on two occasions, to the assassination of Robert Kennedy to explain why she continued to run in the primaries when she had no realistic chance of winning. [2]

    But if Hillary and her spin masters assert and insist that she is BFF with Mr. Obama and that she’s African-Americans’ true champion, we’ll just have to accept it as truth.

    [1] http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-05-07-clintoninterview_N.htm


  21. Skippy

    No… no, no, no… it can’t be… just say its not so… phulease….

    Hillary’s wearing Kill Bill agent Beatrix Kiddo aka Black Mamba yellow bike leathers to pinch Bernie’s millennial’s….. either that or her wardrobe people were all high the night before doing a Tarantino marathon…

    Skippy…. whichever… were devolving into a genre movie…. halp…

      1. Skippy

        The only other explanation is she actually is Booji Boy who is the son of General Boy. Which as history tell us Booji Boy was Obsessed with the idea of genetic mutation and submitted to a botched operation in an effort to land a media deal with Big Media. Viola! Boogie Boy – a bizarre adult infant freak with pre-adolescent sexuality and Yoda-like wisdom.

        Skippy… this is all covered in “The Truth About De-Evolution” – The intent of the figure is to satirize infantile regression in Western culture.

  22. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    We must take our signs where we find them: GHW Bush vomiting on the Japanese minister, Jimmy Carter being attacked in his canoe by a rabbit, Michael Dukakis riding the tank, Dick Cheney shooting his hunting pal in the face.
    So now we get the Air Force general in charge of the pinnacle of death technology, the F-35, in a dead faint when he even just tries talking about his baby. His problem? His trillion-dollar death tech doesn’t work. The whole out-of-control taxpayer extraction technical complexity fear machine has given birth, deus ex machina, to a grotesque stillborn monster. And in his deepest recesses, this career expert death purveyor, just years away from a comfortable retirement (presumably looking back with pride on the new death efficiencies he brought into the world), some unused vestigial morality organ fires up and just shuts down the host.
    If this were Japan his slow motion slump could be interpreted as a bow of shame, guilt, and remorse. But it’s not.

  23. Synoia

    If the DNC decides to go against the will of the people and force Clinton down the electorate’s throat, they’d be committing political suicide envoy the benefits of being Congresspeople and Senators without the responsibilities, real policies and results.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Republican witch hunts wouldn’t face any kind of popular push back. If the rank and file Republicans thought they could get away with it, they would put every Democrat in gallows.

  24. fresno dan

    “In the two years between resigning as secretary of state and launching her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton personally received $4.1 million in fees from financial institutions for closed-door talks that attendees described as friendly and light.[Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street Talks Were Highly Paid, Friendly”]. Ka-ching.

    I’m less interested in what Clinton says in a speech, than what the Banks tell Clinton to do….

  25. fresno dan

    ” Girl Scout sells cookies outside pot dispensary: 117 boxes in 2 hours” [Los Angeles Times].

    Nobody thought to sell brownies?????

  26. ballard

    The following link shows commenter sd struggling to come to terms with a comment (posted after midnight a few days ago that strayed off topic, without issuing a parental guidance or X-rated warning in advance:


    So unless you are sadistic and enjoy watching commenter sd’s poor little head explode, please stay on topic and make sure every comment is in direct response to one of the articles linked above.

  27. norm de plume

    ‘Competition watchdog investigates Apple iPhone-killing Error 53 bug’

    ‘The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) is investigating Apple to determine whether a security measure that can transform an otherwise healthy and fully functioning iPhone into a thousand-dollar paperweight contravenes consumer protection and competition laws.
    At the heart of the matter is whether Apple had given its customers enough warning about this potentially phone-killing feature and whether it is deemed to be part of a strategy to stifle competition in the iPhone and iPad repair market’

    ISDS-bait, if ever I saw it.

    Two out of three anonymous corporate lawyers can surely agree that preventing Apple from cornering 100% of the repair market for items manufactured by them which customers paid $800-$1000 for the privilege of ‘owning’ – and from enforcing this aim by destroying those items which evince non-Apple repair work, in order to intimidate other owners into cowering obeisance, not to mention a huge repair bill for a minor fix – is an unconscionable restriction upon their God given right to harvest the future windfall profits which would flow from such a monopoly.

    This being written on a Mac Air, I am now wondernig if when I succumb to the inevitable need to update, I will get an unpleasant surprise. Error 54, perhaps.

  28. Elliot

    Eh, yah, the archdruid and some of the superpreppers I know here in the land of them have that streak of really wanting to be 1) able to say “I told you so”, 2) able to live better than their neighbors and rub their noses in it, 3) able to do some picking and chosing of who gets to survive, and 4), actively wishing for collapse and relishing the thought of the wreckage to come.

    I grew up around that bs, the communists were just over that hill, dammit, build a bomb shelter and gather your supplies! Well, the survivalists (what they were called 50 years ago) worshipped Skousen and gabbled about their survival skills and how they were the elite and their peculiar brand of home schooling would make for great people to survive the collapse of civilization. And a few states over, Marxists did the same only they thought the capitalists were going to destroy their empire. I met some kids from those families when we were adults, funny how the paranoias were diametrically opposed but the other details were the same.

    Oh and that guy who wrote books about underground houses. He never mentioned the unpaid labor he used, did he?

    Those things should sound familiar, they don’t just belong to the Archdruid, a basketful of people with that in their hearts have been rightfully hauled off to jail this week from Oregon.

    If society is going to be worth living in, it’s got to be WE, not mymymymymy.

    I can also tell you that 1) canned fruit will eventually leak or explode, dried milk sort of fossilizes, buried guns rust eventually; 2) the children you were sure were your legacy will run from your apocalyptic dreamworld as soon as they understand it, and 3) when granny’s hip gives out and she can’t gather eggs from the henhouse, or gramps can’t cut firewood anymore, then what?

    I choose not to live that way, nor to take any satisfaction in others’ harm or lack.

  29. none

    This is interesting, though suspicious that it’s posted by “GOP War Room”:

    MSBNC Host Reid Talks With African American Voters In SC, And Finds No Clinton Supporters

    Summary: Joy Reid talks to South Carolina black voters, finds some Bernie supporters and some undecideds, but no HRC supporters. She interviews a couple of Bernie leaners on camera. #NotYourFirewall

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