2:00PM Water Cooler 2/24/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“France seeks guarantees for national sovereignty in adoption of TTIP” [Euractiv]. “Paris has argued that the transatlantic trade deal should have to be approved by the EU’s national parliaments before it can take effect, not just the European institutions.”

“The European Union’s trade commissioner told the multinational oil company ExxonMobil that a major free trade deal being negotiated with the US would help remove obstacles to fossil fuel development in Africa and South America, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal” [Guardian].

“[Sandor Levin, a] senior House Democrat who is among his party’s top voices on trade came out against the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership on Thursday, further darkening the congressional outlook for the landmark agreement” [New York Times].

“But as members of the Obama administration can attest, Clinton was one of the leading drivers of the TPP when Secretary of State. Here are 45 instances when she approvingly invoked the trade bill about which she is now expressing concerns” [Jake Tapper, CNN].



Sanders: “I believe that in my whole life, that we are in this together. The truth is, at some level, when you hurt, when your children hurt, I hurt. And when my kids hurt, you hurt” [HuffPo].


“The Hillary-leaning economists featured in the NY Times article who roundly derided Sanders’s Medicare for All plan as far too expensive might have pointed out these facts. Other developed countries provide universal healthcare at a national cost that is a 6 to 8 percentage-point lower share of GDP than what we spend. Furthermore, the quality of their care, as measured by health outcomes, is often higher” [Forbes]. “These economists could have also prefaced their remarks by saving, ‘Gee, if we just run our healthcare system like the Swiss run theirs and call it Medicare for All, we could certainly pull off what Bernie is advocating.’ They didn’t do this and the NY Times reporter failed, it seems, to ask them about the Swiss or any other healthcare system that delivers excellent care at the far lower price that Sanders is referencing.”


“Hill Democrats are scrambling to figure out how they can capture some of Sanders’ magic — and his ability to conjure up campaign cash, seemingly out of thin air, from an apparently endless stream of supporters” [Politico]. BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!! Now the Ladies of Negotiable Affection want to sing in the choir!

$202,892: What Ready PAC, the supposedly defunct super PAC formerly known as Ready for Hillary PAC, earned by selling or renting supporters’ personal information to three other entities: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic operative-led PAC End Citizens United and Infogroup, which promotes “using big data to drive your business” to its clients” [Center for Public Integrity].

“Meet the fossil-fuel loving hedge fund billionaire behind Hillary’s surge” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News]. “At this point it should be fairly obvious that close relationships with hedge-funders and other powerful corporations is not a bug infecting the Clinton campaign. It’s a feature. But just who exactly is Clinton donor and Wall Street investor Marc Lasry? … This same nexus — Marc Lasry, Goldman Sachs, and the Clinton family — surfaces again and again, whether in large donations to the Clinton Foundation or the $675,000 in paid Hillary Clinton speeches to Goldman Sachs that have become such an issue in the Democratic primaries this winter.”

Here’s the thing: The financial health of Hillary Clinton’s most enthusiastic Wall Street backer depends on years of renewed high demand for fossil fuels — right at the time when the greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels are threatening the fate of the Earth with catastrophic climate change.

“The [Republican] party’s elite donor class has mostly closed its checkbooks to groups dedicated to stopping Trump, while the outfits that have built massive reserves are increasingly deciding to forgo anti-Trump campaigns, despite widespread fears that he is making a mockery of conservatism and could undermine Republicans up and down the ballot” [Politico]. “A mockery of conservatism.”


The absence of anger as class privilege [Guardian].

Anger isn’t something that Beltway pundits recognize, let alone understand because everyone employed in media or in politics in and around Washington DC is pretty well off. Even ink-stained wretches pull down five-figures – and, unlike everywhere else in America, since journalism is built on documenting nonsense, there’s some real job security in documenting Washington. Television people fare even better, because TV money is stupid money. Thinktank malefactors reap great sums from the aggrieved heartland or from industries looking to build a canon of falsified data, and Congress and the attendant lobbying is a helluva racket.

Anger is pretty easy to miss when it’s something pretty difficult to feel. When you sit at the center of the world and are unlikely to ever lack for the basic materials of self-sufficiency, the idea of blind, gnawing resentment – let alone of feeding that resentment even with irrational aims – is ineluctably beyond your ken.

It’s harder still to understand that there are millions of people in America whose ambitions for a life of steadily improving conditions cratered sometime around nine years ago and have never recovered.

“Black thinkers like Bernie Sanders. They’ve studied the Clintons’ true cost” [Guardian]. Yep. Black pols, no.

Bernie Sanders will take it all the way to the convention. Here’s why. [Greg Sargent, WaPo]. I don’t always agree with Sargent, but he seems to be serious.

“And young voters, according to one recent study, could matter a great deal in a number of key presidential swing states in the general election. If she does win the nomination, Clinton may not need quite the turnout among young voters in the general that Obama relied upon. But she’ll likely want to activate them in a big way, anyway. Clinton knows this. In a recent interview with Rachel Maddow, Clinton made sure to indicate that she is ‘focused on letting young people who support Senator Sanders know I get it.'”

“If Hil­lary Clin­ton wins the pres­id­ency, there’s little doubt that she will have Don­ald Trump to thank. Un­der any oth­er cir­cum­stances, the tra­ject­ory of the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion fight would be wor­ri­some for the front-run­ner. Her mid­dling show­ing with key ele­ments of the Obama co­ali­tion—dis­mal sup­port from young voters, lag­ging en­thu­si­asm among His­pan­ics, and un­der­whelm­ing sup­port among wo­men—would nor­mally be a glar­ing warn­ing sign for Demo­crat­ic hopes in Novem­ber” [National Journal]. I dunno. If enough voters are simply looking to do damage — and I’m not sure the NC commentariat is representative in that regard — then the more fearmongering Clinton does, the better Trump will do.

The Trail

“Bernie Sanders is the Worst Presidential Candidate in History, and You and All Your Friends are Idiots” [Paste].

“NYT Used to Report Delegate Count as if It Was Voters Who Mattered” [FAIR]. But now all that matters is delegates, including superdelegates.

“West Virginia, a lightly-polled state that gave Hillary Clinton one of her biggest victories in the 2008 Democratic primary, is the latest to show evidence of white, working-class voters moving toward Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). In a new West Virginia poll of 208 likely voters conducted for MetroNews, Sanders leads with 57 percent support; Clinton trails with 29 percent” [WaPo].

“Not only has Sanders gotten a lot more things done than Clinton did in her own short legislative career, he’s actually one of the most effective members of Congress, passing bills, both big and small, that have reshaped American policy on key issues like poverty, the environment and health care” [Alternet].

“Inside the Surreal, Sleepy World of a Ben Carson Rally as His Campaign Falls Apart” [Vice]. No matter how odd the royal, the peasants still like to see a royal.

Nevada Republican Caucus

“Trump again ran strong among evangelical voters, delivering another blow to a lagging Ted Cruz. He ran strong across issue areas and education levels, consolidating Republican support in ways his opponents have claimed only they would be able to do” [ABC].

South Carolina Democratic Primary (this Saturday)

Spike Lee spot for Sanders in SC: “‘Wake up!’ the spot begins, over a soul backing track. ‘Wake up, South Carolina! This is your dude Spike Lee. And I know that you know the system is rigged. For too long we’ve given our votes to corporate puppets. Sold the Okie-doke.'” [Guardian].

“Ninety-nine percent of Americans were hurt by the great recession of 2008, and many are still recovering,” Lee continues. “And that’s why I am officially endorsing my brother Bernie Sanders. Bernie takes no money from corporations. Nada. Which means he is not on the take. And when Bernie gets into the White House, he will do the right thing. He adds: “How can we be sure? Bernie was at the March on Washington with Dr King. He was arrested in Chicago for a protest of segregation in public schools. He has fought for wealth and education equality throughout his career.”

Gotta chop that up spot up into 140 character units and get it out on the Twitter. Some heads should explode.

“South Carolina’s black vote leaning Hillary Clinton versus the novelty of Bernie Sanders” [Post and Courier]. “If the current trends continue, Clinton should do even better than that as the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal-Marist poll from last week gave Clinton a secure 60 percent-32 percent lead in South Carolina.”

Town Hall: “Probably the greatest revelation of the evening was that folks in South Carolina like to ask long, slow questions, often with an elaborate preface. One lawyer, asking about the Supreme Court, deserves some type of award for longest question ever asked in a presidential forum” [CNN]. “Missing from tonight’s town hall was any discussion of immigration — surprising, since South Carolina has seen its Hispanic population grow by 154% from 2000 to 2011. Another missed opportunity was any mention of a new Gallup poll which found that the top reactions of the American public to Clinton and Sanders are “dishonest” and “socialist,” respectively.”

Town Hall: “[Sanders:] ‘I am happy to release all of my paid speeches to Wall Street — here it is,’ Sanders said, with a wave of his hands. ‘There ain’t none.” [Fox]. Oddly, or not, there’s no mention of this question from Sanders in CNN’s coverage, above; only a paraphrase of Clinton’s prolix evasions.

Town Hall: “The two candidates appeared separately in a CNN town hall forum” [Bloomberg]. Seperating the candidates is bogus, and allows the moderators to manipulate the outcome by selecting different questions for each candidate.

Town Hall: Clinton said that she was not worried about any issues arising from her decision to exclusively use personal email routed through a private server while she was secretary of state” [Charlotte Observer]. “‘It is just not something that is going to have any lasting effect,’ she said. ‘I am not at all worried about it.'” “Lasting effect”? Boy howdy, is that lawerly parsing!

“Sanders was in Massachusetts Monday night and Virginia Tuesday morning. While he attended a televised town hall in South Carolina Tuesday night and followed with an early morning news conference, his itinerary Wednesday consisted of events in Kansas City, Missouri, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. After that, his schedule called for a trip to Ohio Thursday — with stops in other March-voting states likely to be added, an aide said” [Politico]. “A candidate’s time is a campaign’s most precious resource, so by spending so much of it somewhere other than South Carolina, the Sanders campaign is engaging in the cold calculus of primary politics — making the tough decision to send the senator to the states where he expects to be the most competitive.”

Clinton Email Server Hairball

“U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Tuesday granted Judicial Watch’s request to allow depositions and discovery into how and why the State Department permitted Mrs. Clinton to use a personal email server for government business while she was secretary of state” [Wall Street Journal, “Court Gives Conservative Group Right to Gather Evidence in Hillary Clinton Email Case”] “He also authorized questioning about why the server wasn’t searched as part of requests for Mrs. Clinton’s public records.” Remember that everything we know today about the content of Clinton’s email is from the half of it that she chose to release, redacted. (We already know she’s corrupt, because she’s converted public communications to private use.)

Transcripts of depositions of State Department witnesses or written responses by the State Department to Judicial Watch questions could be made public before the November election, according to University of Arizona law professor David Marcus, an expert on federal civil procedure.

Unless Clinton keeps up with the massive resistance of “drip, drip, drip.” Which she will.

“[Judicial Watch, who iniated the suit,] said it would like to depose top State officials who had oversight of technical issues and some of Clinton’s close aides, including Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, technology guru Bryan Pagliano and lawyers David Kendall and Heather Samuelson” [NPR]. And: “Two more groups of messages are scheduled for release on Friday and Monday, one day before the ‘Super Tuesday’ primaries.” Yikes!

“For six months in 2012, Abedin was employed simultaneously by the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, Clinton’s personal office and a private consulting firm connected to the Clintons” [WaPo]. As I wrote: “[The Clintons] have created a ginormous and ever-evolving hairball of tangled and conflicted personal and institutional relationships, a permanent campaign composed of the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Campaign, and Clintonland, the personal networks that both Clintons have accreted over the years of, er, ‘public service.'” I’d be surprised if Abedin were even Exhibit A.

Stats Watch

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of February 19, 2016: “Boosted by lower interest rates [***cough*** manipulation ***cough***], purchase applications for home mortgages have been very strong this year” [Econoday]. “Gains here point to underlying strength for home sales where trends have been only modestly favorable.”

PMI Services Flash, February 2015: ” In what could be a chilling indication of trouble ahead, the February flash for the service PMI slipped below breakeven 50 to 49.8 for the weakest reading since the government shutdown of October 2013″ [Econoday]. “New orders are still growing but at the slowest pace in nearly six years with contraction in backlog orders the most severe since early 2014…. The declines here do suggest that domestic demand could be on the downswing and falling in line with sinking demand overseas.”

New Home Sales, January 2016: “A downturn out West helped pull new homes sales down a steep 9.2 percent in January to a lower-than-expected annualized rate of 494,000. The level, however, is still respectable given that there is no revision to December” [Econoday]. “The slope for the housing sector has been volatile but is trending upward. Price discounts will help boost sales but will also pull down home-price appreciation which has been a central area of strength for household wealth.” But: “Challenging to put a good spin on this one, but they gave it their best shot, as the wheels are coming off at every turn” [Mosler Economics].

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann: “[Central banks] can in a sense influence prices, we can influence economic activity in the short-term but we cannot create growth. And my feeling is that time and again, central banks are at the spot and at the core of the hopes of many and I think we have to see their limited role and also their limited capacity to influence variables of interest to the broader public [CNBC].

“The OECD set matters in motion. In their latest economic report (here; chief economist Catherine Mann’s slides are good), they urged policymakers to take “collective fiscal action” in the wake of slowing global growth and financial fragilities. The case for such action is now “urgent”.  ”Experience to date suggests that reliance on monetary policy alone has been insufficient to deliver satisfactory growth”. They reject contractionary fiscal policies, and argue instead that low interest rates offer the opportunity to borrow to invest” [Touchstone (TUC)]. “Moreover in making this case the OECD deploys the argument that government spending reduces the public debt.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 42, Neutral (previous close: 51) [CNN]. One week ago: 43 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 24 at 11:12am. Couldn’t flip the needle to greed. Back to fear!


“Judge: Red-light, speed-cam tickets ‘void’; city violated due process” [Chicago Sun-Times]. “[Plaintiffs’ attorney Jacie Zolna] said the city’s decision to thumb its nose at its own due process laws is astounding, considering the fact that the nation’s largest red-light camera program was built on a $2 million bribery scandal.” Obama may not be personally corrupt, but his inner circle — Clinton, Rahm — certainly gives off a strong aroma.

“Goldman banker who advised on U.S. bond sale to Malaysia leaves” [Reuters].

“Signature Bank Sued Over Connection to Ponzi Scheme” [New York Times].

Class Warfare

“The dark side of automated financial regimes” [The Long and Short]. “‘Cashless society’ could be reframed as ‘a society in which every transaction you make will have to be approved by a private intermediary who can watch your actions and exclude you.'” So what’s not to like?

“[I]nequality is the enemy of freedom even in the narrowest right-libertarian sense of the word” [Stumbling and Mumbling].

News of the Wired

“On the growing, intentional uselessness of Google search results” [Neosmart]. Readers, this is a specific complaint, not a generalized rant. Have any of you seen similar, specific effects?

“Comparatively speaking, podcast ad spending is minuscule. The advertising spend for podcasts in the United States is projected to be $36.1 million this year” [Nieman Labs]. That’s a shame. I love podcasts.

“Time Inc buys what is left of MySpace for its user data” [Guardian]. “Though MySpace is a shadow of its former self, Viant [which purchased MySpace for $35m in 2011] claims to have data from 1 billion registered users. Time and Viant say they plan to combine that data with its own subscriber information, providing it with a pool of data which it claims ‘rivals industry leaders Facebook and Google.'”

“Man carrying gnome sparks police alert on M60 in Greater Manchester” [BBC].

* * *

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 (diptherio):

Rattlesnake Creek

Rattlesnake Creek, Greenough Park, Missoula, MT.

* * *

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. Water Cooler would not exist without your support.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

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. Vatch

    Sad but not unexpected news: the Senate confirmed Dr. Robert Califf to head the FDA. Naked Capitalism had an article about this:


    Here’s the Senate vote count (89 to 4):


    The NAYs and Not Voting Senators:

    NAYs —4
    Ayotte (R-NH)
    Blumenthal (D-CT)
    Manchin (D-WV)
    Markey (D-MA)

    Not Voting – 7
    Corker (R-TN)
    Cruz (R-TX)
    Johnson (R-WI)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    Rubio (R-FL)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Warner (D-VA)

    Cruz, Rubio, and Sanders were busy with their Presidential campaigns, of course. Obviously, Sanders could not have altered the result by being present.

    1. timbers

      And more awesomeness is on the way. What a perfect excuse “making it difficult for Republicans to obstruct” is for Obama to put more Republicans on the Supreme Court and keep it solidly pro-corporate:

      “WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican and former federal judge, is being considered by President Barack Obama for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, a source close to the process said on Wednesday, as Obama sought to overcome Senate Republican resistance to any nominee.”

      “The source, who asked not to be identified, said Sandoval met on Monday in the U.S. Capitol with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, at which time Reid asked the governor whether he would be interested in being considered for the high court job.”

      “He said he was interested,” the source said of Sandoval, adding that “a number of people are being checked out” for the job.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In this one of the history’s turning points, will we see new political parties and the number of Supreme Court Justices changed?

          13 wisest men of the land.

        2. cwaltz

          Whatever happened to those cries of “but we need to elect a President so he can appoint Supreme Court nominees that are from the left?”

          Whoopsie, guess that will get rid of that argument.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Whoa, Warner was a no vote. I bet that 2014 finish is eating at him. His local appearance tour of the last week had some rhetorical garbage, but policy wise he has to been terrible.

    3. Carla

      Thank you for this, Vatch.

      As an Ohioan, I’m depressed about Sherrod Brown. He used to be pretty good. But he was never good on single payer, so I guess I should have known. Really a shame.

  2. diptherio

    Has anybody seen the new Quicken loan commericals? They’re pretty bad, especially the “What We Were Thinking” ad that ran during the Super Bowl. Want to get a mortgage? Now there’s an app for that! Makes getting into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt as simple as buying a song from iTunes! What’s not to love?


    And, I guess due to some sense of truth-in-advertising, they’re calling this new app “Rocket Mortgage”…you know, like those things that shoot way up into the sky and then come plummeting back to Earth where they explode and kill lots of people? Like that…

    Besides the recurrence of wacky mortgage ads, like we saw in the early aughties, what I found most interesting about this was the twisted macro-economic lesson it contains. 1) More people buy houses (’cause the app makes it easy), 2) they then have to buy furniture for those houses, which leads to 3) more jobs in the furniture-making sector, allowing the couch-leg makers and such to then 4) buy their own houses which they would in turn need to outfit with furniture and the like, thus driving a virtuous cycle of mortgages and couch-leg making.

    And then there’s Quicken’s new HARP ad:


    No appraisal or income verification required! What could go wrong?

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      I heard that add or something close from same company. Creepy harbinger for sure. At one point it said, “Push a button; get a mortgage.”

      They might also consider, “A bottle of Rocket Wine FREE with every Mortgage.”

      That might be perhaps a little above their level however.

  3. shinola

    From the Paste article above under “The Trail” heading above:

    “In other words, rubes, concede. Concede pre-emptively. Concede now, tacitly admit that your country is fucked beyond repair, and maybe even skip the middle man entirely by liquidating your assets, gathering the cash, and leaving it all on the doorstep of Goldman Sachs before you screw off and die in the streets.”

    Pretty much sums up most MSM articles I’ve read about Bernie.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Anyone who supports Bernie should read that satire. It really spells out why all the talk about Bernie’s run being in trouble is hogwash. Plus it’s funny as h3ll.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They swing from ‘Hillary’s in trouble’ to ‘Sanders in trouble.’

        Whatever that will make them money.

        “Don’t under-estimate and don’t despair.”

      2. RP

        “Your so-called “populist” movement is a slap in the face to the Democratic establishment that has served us so well over the last few decades, and the idea of giving up on the theory of incremental progress for such a fundamental change makes me want to vomit in the street. (In a poor neighborhood, not my own.) ”

        Pretty funny stuff. Because when the youth vote goes 85-15 for the actual Progressive, the response should be “we can keep the lid on it again, the proles will fall in line for the Empress.”

        1. RP

          “Literally none of his so-called “democratic socialist” programs have ever been successfully implemented in any government in world history, except for all the other major nations in the modern world, and also America during our most prosperous period.”


      1. sleepy

        Brock knows dirty and he knows Sanders has not gone anywhere near negative on Clinton, unless you equate exposing her failed policies as negative. I think Sanders should keep pounding away and double down on that.

        I also think Sanders should begin to raise questions about the Clinton foundation.

        1. cwaltz

          After reading comments like this, “I agree and would ask Bernie I-VT Socialist democrat why would you think that you are entitle to become Leader of a party you just joined for convenience?” on this article


          I’ve decided I’m going to enjoy watching Trump slaughter Hillary and giving the DNC the irrelevance they so mightily deserve.

          It takes a special kind of stupid to not understand that 40% of the electorate is Independent and instead of picking up pom poms ,want a candidate not part of the rigged system the DNC and RNC have put in place. But hey since he’s not a Democrat he should have to go state to state with petitions to actually get his platform heard. Bite me DNC party faithful.

    2. Jeff W

      Shorter Paste:

      Bernie’s right and, therefore, can’t win.

      (It’s probably the best thing I’ve read since the interminable campaign season began.)

  4. grayslady

    Re Google search: I’ve found myself bookmarking more and more websites that I come across “by accident” when performing a Google search because I never know if they’ll even appear the next time I search with the same terms. Placing names or terms in quotation marks seems to drive Google crazy. I’ve had better luck finding exactly what I asked for in quotations when I don’t place the names or terms in quotations. I’ve also noticed that different browsers (I use three different browsers, depending on what web activity I’m engaged in) return different results with the same Google search terms, so I suspect that there’s more to the problem than just Google’s dismal algorithms.

    1. sd


      For about five years, I worked with a volunteer group that was into researching corporate ties to various pieces of legislation (among other things). This was before open secrets, etc.

      I personally must have conducted thousands of extremely detailed searches including searching the actual html code on websites. I became very proficient at using googles advanced search functions, inurl:, site:, -subject, etc. I was using Google to search in foreign language sources, through archives, libraries, government records, foreign phone directories, list serv groups, etc.

      Around 2008, I started to notice a deterioration in googles service. It was small, but it was getting more difficult to focus queries and get to the lesser read but highly informative sources. And just in the last year, it’s gotten to the point where I have to put something like “dog” in quotes. It really has gotten that bad.

      Just this morning, I was trying to find information about a recent event. I had more luck going onto Facebook, finding a link, and following it to an outside source that lead me to the information I needed. The irony is that the information was on a blogger account which is of course, owned by Google. So Google isn’t even promoting search results from within its own products.

      And that I think pretty much sums it all up. The Google search of yore, is dead.

      If you want to find pizza in your neighborhood, you’ll be fine. But at this point, that’s about all you’ll get out of Google.

      I would love to hear if there any suggestions for search engines.

        1. sd

          I’ve tried duck duck go and various other search engines. I’m a detail specific search user. So really something more nerd driven like an affordable consumer version of something like Lexis for personal use.

        2. Larry

          I defaulted my browser search to Duck Duck Go for a few months. As bad as I think Google has become over the years, it’s still better than Duck Duck Go. Just type Naked Capitalism into Duck Duck Go and Google and see what each of them return to you. I would think that a better search engine is a business opportunity, even if it’s just Googles crumbs, but nothing else out there seems very good.

    2. Benedict@Large

      I googled “vampire squid” earlier today, and was surprised when the entire first page was devoted to marine biology. Seems that not only can you buy yourself good placement on Google these days, but you can also buy yourself out of it.

    3. Yves Smith

      I used Google a ton when I was writing ECONNED. It was critical to my being able to get it done in 6 months. This was in 2010.

      No way could I use it that way now. The current Google is awful. I haven’t used Bing and may have to try.

      1. HotFlash

        I have tried duckduckgo, Startpage and am currently using Privatelee and liking it very much. All of these search engines claim to not track or analyze your searches. I’m pretty sure it’s true, since I have been using them I am not haunted by ads that relate to past searches, just the usual current-page-content related — I expect that.

        I use Privatelee b/c I find I get the best results, ie current and relevant, better than DDG and *much* better than Startpage. My SO uses Startpage and when I use his machine I feel like I have my eyes poked out — searches don’t give me much, even when I know *exactly* what I am looking for. Give Privatelee a try, it may work for you.

    4. vidimi

      that probably has more to do with the tracking cookies in the browser folders than the actual browsers

  5. bob

    Podcast ad spending- I think a lot of successful podcasts have cut out the ad cartel. Most I’ve seen are listener supported.

    Why assume ads? Another hand in the till that adds zero value, but does, frequently, insist on some sort of editorial control.

  6. ambrit

    I don’t know how relevant this is to the Google search results story, but, we get the occasional Yahoo “News” squib presented in the ‘news scroll’ that is suspiciously related to something we have searched for online, as in to buy, previously. This takes “infomercial” to a new level.
    I have had the odd Google search, tangential results thread before. It may not be scientific, but I have had quite a few “where did this result come from?” moments during Google searches recently.
    What worries me is that, true or not, I do consider myself a fairly observant person, but what about those who don’t practice proactive protection on the web? Plus, what am I missing? I don’t use ‘social media,’ which makes me an outlier of the social norm. I can’t even begin to guess what the fully engaged on social media are being manipulated into.
    Every day, the message, one cannot be too cynical, is reinforced.

  7. nippersdad

    Re Signature bank story: I wonder if this will be a problem for the Clinton campaign. Barney Frank is, after all, one of her foremost economic advisors and he sits on its’ board….Well, one can dream, anyway….

  8. mitzimuffin

    “Hill Democrats are scrambling to figure out how they can capture some of Sanders’ magic — and his ability to conjure up campaign cash, seemingly out of thin air, from an apparently endless stream of supporters”

    Does this mean “our” representatives want free $$$stuff?

    1. cwaltz

      You mean the Hill Democrats that are essentially nominating Hillary with their superdelegate votes?

      I hope every single Sanders supporter tells them to bugger off.

      1. Vatch

        This has probably been suggested before (heck, I might have been the one doing the suggesting!); US residents should see whether any of their elected officials are Democratic Party super delegates, and if the official is pledged to the wrong candidate, let that official know that people are watching. Here’s a list of super delegates (maybe not all of them, but probably most of them):


        Your Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

        Your Senators: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

        You might have to contact some officials twice, since they may send a reply from their government web site saying that they can’t discuss politics with government resources. That happened to me, but they sent me their campaign web site’s URL, so I just resubmitted my comment to the second web site.

      1. vidimi

        i think allan’s point may have been that once trump starts pulling in the establishment endorsements, his goose is cooked.

  9. Carolinian

    Re SC margin: Five Thirty Eight had an article up a week or so ago–have lost the link–which estimated the necessary primary percentages for the Clinton/Sanders race to still be considered tied nationally. It had a handy chart. For SC it was Clinton up by 11. Will be doing my part, but if that new poll is accurate then not looking good.

    Of course among our system’s many biases is the fact that conservative states go first.

      1. ekstase

        You make a good point about the unfairness of conservative states going first. The MSM is pretty anxious to sound the death knell for Sanders, now that they’ve been forced to actually acknowledge his existence. It seems like we the people ought to have more time, and more equality between the states, to determine this. And then there are the problems with the superdelegates, and the flippable electronic voting machines. Sometimes, all you can do is just keep breathing.

      2. curlydan

        Here is a Kansas update from someone who doesn’t watch commercials.

        I’ve gotten 2 Hillary direct mail pieces (color, 8.5×11, and fairly flashy) and just received a phone call from her campaign, trying to tell me where to caucus.

        My wife got an door knock from a Sanders supporter two weeks ago with a black-and-white double-sided letter from Bernie.

        It’s starting to heat up. I think Bernie was in Kansas City, MO today. Hopefully, he ambled over to the Kansas side for awhile, too.

    1. ScottW

      Hillary will pile up lots of delegates in states in which Dems have no chance of carrying. The mainstream press, who want to declare a winner and move on, will characterize them as being representative of America. The super delegates are so dangerous because the MSM will add them on to Clinton’s delegate count giving people the impression her lead is insurmountable. I hope Sanders stays in until the bitter end and we can see how the popular votes tally up in States with real primaries–not just caucuses.

      Hillary’s chronic problem is she has no hope of improving her trust numbers. What is going to come out that is going to cause people to change their minds that they find her untrustworthy?

      1. kimsarah

        Sanders has a little more work to do to drum up Democratic voter turnout before he drops out and turns over all his supporters to Hillary to guarantee a big turnout for her in November.

        1. sd

          I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Sanders voters vs Clinton voters quite a bit the last few days.

          The people I know who are supporting Sanders aren’t really Democrats, but they are Liberals. And being a Liberal doesn’t automatically translate today into being a Democrat or for that matter, voting for a Democrat.

          And that’s the key part that I think the Clinton folks are not grasping. They are very tied to the party machine. I don’t think it’s occurred to them that Sanders supporters don’t care about the party machine, they care about Sanders ideas.

          1. jhallc

            I suspect I represent that comment. I’ve been a registered independent here in MA and probably fall into the social liberal/fiscal conservative slot. I’ve been known to vote for a republican or two at the state government level. My fiscal conservative side is however, more in line with Bernie’s call to reign in the finance industry and finally enforce the laws we have on the books. HIllary just doesn’t have the credibility in my book to say anything about getting tough with wall street. Way back, I had hopes the Tea Party would be a force for that until the Koch’s turned it into another political tool of the right. I supported Occupy Wall Street even though there were some fringes that probably were a little out of my comfort zone because I saw it as an egalitarian non-corrupted effort.

            I’ve never really gotten involved in politics beyond the occasional yard sign at the request of my neighbor. However, I’m now volunteering for Bernie working a phone bank and canvassing. Never did I see myself doing that. So yes, the DNC is missing something.

          2. Christopher Fay

            Hillary has gotten a couple of ties via cheating. I’m getting hard core and will vote Trump if it is Hillary vs Trump. Hillary might be stopped in her tracks if we finally get a worthy felony level investigation going.

            And let’s get the terminology correct, it’s Insider Delegates not super delegates.

  10. bob

    Google results-

    I remember how things are phrased, usually pretty well. If I go to look for something, I’ll include what I can remember as an exact string of words.

    I’ve had google tell me that those words don’t exist, in the phrase form, anywhere on the internet. Anywhere. The first search, without quotes usually keys in on one or two words, and tries to sell me something. After inserting quotes, nothing.

    How is Google not a monopoly? M$ wishes they had what google does. Android, google’s OS is the leader in the field, and they are pretty much the only search engine left.


    This should be a campaign issue. I don’t think there has even been a more powerful, and un-recognized monopoly.

    They are also slowly taking over the NOAA and NWS and other .gov sites. In order to get any page to display, you have to let google in. This past few weeks I’ve noticed they have completely taken over. You used to be able to get good access to weather data without google. Now, it’s mandatory. Want a forecast- “please allow java to talk to google.”

    .gov site, paying google, for something they’ve done very well for decades. I’m sure it will be unusable in another few months.

    *all weather forecasts and models are derived from data that NWS and NOAA aggregate. They may look different, but the root of the data is .gov. Accuweather, weather underground, the weather channel…just another way to get ads in front of people.

    1. hunkerdown

      That’s web developers doing that, not Google. Suits and their “diverse” clan of neolibertarians want their ad impressions counted correctly, so they integrate Google Analytics. Being neolibertarians and uninterested in the robustness of their work, suits and brogrammers either fail to complete “page” (i.e. app) initialization if GA doesn’t show up, or they specifically check it and leave the page unbuilt if it’s not there.

      Remember when those weather data resellers tried to demand the NOAA’s provision of weather data directly to consumers be defunded? Seems like we need search engines reclassified as a public utility, no matter what the WTO says on the matter.

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      Go to weather.gov, put in your zipcode, then bookmark it. Easy peasy. You get access to the real weather radars (multiple choices available) and satellite data. Much other information is on offer. Weather.com is a sham; it uses NWS data, mulls it around, spits it out at you, and in the process monetizes your eyeballs.


      enter zipcode



      1. tegnost

        absoluteiy true, most of those weather sites use weather,gov info, and when your area you can click on your location and get clear results and no advertising, just the probable weather conditions with, as you point, out multiple radar images. Also the forecast discussion (in the blue bar on the left of the page) has the forecasters reasoning and the various models used. Unysis if you’re really a weather geek…Stormsurf has been doing a weekly half hour el nino detail that is excellent too

    3. Moocao

      I have noticed some of the search result biases as well. I work as a pharmacist within a hospital, and I have used Google to search for new medications coming onto the market. Part of my job is to find out what these medications are and its benefit/risks. Recently I attempted to research into Sugammadex. The result:

      FIRST LINE: commercial ad: Merck’s website on Brindion

      1. FDA approves the medication – Dec 2015
      2. Merck newsroom congratulating itself on FDA approval of said medication
      3. Wikipedia (which, although useful, should not be a direct reference for any useful work)
      4. Brindion (sugammadex) package insert
      5. EMC website on Brindion (The eMC is managed and owned by Datapharm Communications Limited, known as Datapharm. We work with pharmaceutical companies, the NHS, and other healthcare organisations to provide good information about medicines.)
      6&7: Medscape indicating drug approval
      8. Sugammadex: a review of its use in anaesthetic practice. (Positive results, no mention on any ADR, Drugs the journal)
      9. Worldwide Experience With Sugammadex Sodium (AANA, positive review, not a study)
      10. Merck can’t get the sugammadex curse lifted, faces 3rd FDA rejection (negative review, financial analysis)

      I am looking for the following:

      1. Package insert. This is in number 4.
      2. FDA approval studies. I have literally 5 search results screaming at its approval. I have not seen a single article within it stating that “insert journal paper” is the reason why the FDA approved it. the FDA website indicated 3 phase III clinical trials are done to evaluate the medication, and 1 clinical study done to evaluate risk of anaphylaxis. No link via pubmed/medline/ovid on those said papers. Frustrating for someone like me. In addition, there is a risk of anaphylaxis according to the FDA. Did not indicate that it can be as severe as anaphylactic shock.
      3. No mention on why it took almost 8 years, with the exception of number 10 above, for the drug to be approved.

      It took me 1.5 hours to hunt down the FDA approval powerpoint, which at the time I am typing right now I have attempted 0.5 hours to find it again. Within the powerpoint, the 3 papers that the FDA utilized to review its approval can be found via titles.

      A separate google search via “sugammadex anaphylactic shock” was MUCH more helpful: all search results were relevant.

      TLDR: know what you are searching when typing into google, and utilize search words most likely to produce relevancy. It will take a lot longer than it used to.

  11. Steve in Flyover

    It baffles me why Democrats would even support Hillary for Dog Catcher, much less POTUS.

    Exhibit “A”: The E-mail server fiasco. Nothing is ever straightforward/ play it by the rules with the Clintons. I’m sure that she set it up because she/they felt they had something to hide, and were advised to set up a separate server by some scummy NYC/DC lawyer.

    Then, when busted, they get this stupid “Aw shucks, we’re just dumbshits from Arkansas” look on their face, and plead ignorance/blame it on the underlings.

    The Clintons have been doing this from Day 1, and will most assuredly continue to do so, if they get to move back in. Then expect 4-8 more years of sleazeball behavior, waving red flags in front of Republican bulls, and more arguments about what the “meaning of “is” is.”

    “Oh yeah, a buffer……..The family had a lot of “buffers”…..”

    Willi Cici

    1. James Levy

      No one who was not well known to the power brokers and money men has gotten into the White House since Carter in 1977, and everyone in Washington did their level best to get rid of him. Rodham Clinton is a known. She’s an insider. She can be trusted to hew to the conventional wisdom and not upset any critical apple carts. Sanders is a danger, and Trump is untrustworthy (although the idea that after decades of pumping millions into the coffers of both parties Trump is an “outsider” is laughable–he’s a loose cannon, not an outsider). therefore, the Democratic nomenklatura all want Hillary. She will not bring new faces to the table or allow the claims of those unapproved by the elite to have a hearing.

      1. ekstase

        It’s interesting to speculate whether they see a loose cannon as less of a danger than a leftist “danger.” I suppose they see Trump
        as manipulable, but what a lot of work that would require.

        1. Massinissa

          Hahahaha if they think Trump is manipulatable they dont know him very well. He may not be very smart but he has never been anybody’s puppet. And hes not so much a genuine outsider, than someone whose power base lies OUTSIDE the main party, which makes him doubly dangerous. The senate was never able to stop Caesar and his proletarian power base short of killing him.

          Not that Trump is Caesar mind you, its just they both maintained a power base outside of the political establishment.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Who will likely to be his, for example, secretary of state or treasury?

            Based on very little I have heard, I believe he’s not, has never been, a fixer-upper.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                She can’t be both the secretary of state and treasury.

                Who will be his economic adviser?

          2. HotFlash

            Hmmm. The Donald seems to be a narcissist, and in my experience (workerbee, accountant, consultant, volunteer orgs, life in general) narcissists are the *easiest* to manipulate. All you have to tell them, “Oh, that Plan A, that’s *such* a great idea you had!” And even if it had never crossed their minds before, all of a sudden they are committed to it.

            The Donald is going to need a lot of bodies to fill aaaaalllll those Cabinet and agency positions, and I am sure that lots of likely candidates will magically appear, just like “financial advisors” magically appear whenever some poor fool wins the lottery.

            I expect those people will be adept at working a narcissist.

              1. HotFlash

                Why should she do that? Right now, everybody is toadying to her figuring she’ll give them a sweet post. As to Bernie turning all his voters over to her, good luck with that! In the old days people would hold their noses, now they’ll vote Trump, Stein or not at all. Poor lonely Hills!

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      “Meet the fossil-fuel loving hedge fund billionaire behind Hillary’s surge” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News]. “At this point it should be fairly obvious that close relationships with hedge-funders and other powerful corporations is not a bug infecting the Clinton campaign. It’s a feature. But just who exactly is Clinton donor and Wall Street investor Marc Lasry?

      No surprises (sigh) but very informative and well worth the read.

      BTW, even though Lasry (HRC’s hedge fund buddy) claims to be against carried interest, he is absolutely not against extorting government. He and a couple buddies now own the Milwaukee Bucks and, with the help of the NBA home office, were able to extort on the order of $250 million from the city, county and state plus 10 acres of free land in downtown Milwaukee this spring for a new arena and ancillary development.

  12. Elizabeth Burton

    “On the growing, intentional uselessness of Google search results”

    Since using search engines is a fundamental part of my business (book publishing), I can support the growing uselessness of many Google results. And since my research is all over the map, I can clearly see when my results are being skewed based on previous searches. I’ve even put direct quotes from articles in well-read sources into the box, and the referenced article fails to show up in the top results. Indeed, I’ve had it happen even when I include the name of the source.

    As a result, I often have to do searches over and over using increasingly tighter parameter levels to get what I’m looking for. What makes it even more worrisome is the growing body of work that clearly shows the brainwashing effect those skewed results can have on people who aren’t searching for something specific, or who are undecided about something and go looking for additional information.

  13. alex morfesis

    Billary emailwatch…have not noticed anyone trying to connect nathaniel pearlman to lou perlman as being related although they are connected thru decamillis…it is bad enough platte river had any connection to david decamillis…lou perlman the mystery boyz touched men impresario from orlando that bank of americas top internal finance kyc investigation guy a former lapd detective with a politician wife testified he did not notice the 500 million missing in orlando…

    Just asking out loud…but hey…when a state court appointed high profile receiver in florida who claims to be fcpa dude happens to have the son of the manager guy at that little italian bank that had helped saddamit hoozsane launder a few billion dollars via that atlanta office working as the lead attorney investigating a non existent “ponzi” scheme…well…America…

  14. DakotabornKansan

    From way out here on Kansas prairie, there is much to enjoy in that winter scene of Rattlesnake Creek, Greenough Park, Missoula, MT.

    “The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.” – Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

    1. nippersdad

      Is anyone still of the impression that Obama is negotiating with Republicans? The R’s had to move so far right that they now have Trump as their nominee, just to make the Democrats look reasonable. Seems to me that that the duopoly has been working in tandem for a very, very long time now.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yes. Obama is a Republican in his heart, but Republicans hate Democrats, especially Democrats who want GOP approval.

        McConnell knows Obama will bash his head on the altar to Ronnie Ray gun, do the heavy lifting for the GOP, and attack the Democrats who might actually defend Obama. Yesterday, McConnell and the GOP were unreasonable, and today Obama has burned his legacy as such as it it. McConnell might not even care if their is a ninth justice. McConnell can even use this against Hillary.

        1. different clue

          Obama’s primary legacy concern is the money he expects to be paid after leaving office. His approach to nominating a justice will be to protect his future payoff legacy.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The worst part is Obama doesn’t grasp the big bucks didn’t roll in until after Kerry lost and Hillary became a viable White House candidate. We should be discussing the GOP challenge to Edwards’ reflection. The Clinton Global initiative wasn’t even founded until 2005.

      2. jgordon

        Trump is far to the left of Hillary. We are now at the point where Democrats are the right wing party, with identity flavor politics thrown in.

    2. James Levy

      That’s true of Kagan to an extent but I have to say Sotomayor is not a bad Supreme Court Justice and I think she has a clue about real people. Everyone who dumps on Obama conveniently leaves out Sotomayor, who may turn out to be his one solid appointment but nevertheless is one.

      1. Steven D.

        I’m sure if Soromayor were in the majority more often, Obama would be regretting his choice. People like Obama use identity politics to mask their neoliberal agenda. Soromayor apparently hasn’t gotten the memo.

        1. sd

          According to various exposes prior to her appointment, Sotomayer is (or was) known for being “pro-business” At the time, “pro-business” wasn’t viewed as derogatory.

            1. Pavel

              Or, more precisely, Obama’s overlords knew precisely…

              Does anyone think Obama actually makes up his mind about these appointments?

              1. Mo's Bike Shop

                Why not? I don’t expect O to venture beyond the pale, ever. Blair’s still going after his wind up key fell out. Top 1% is still a lot of people. Far easier to hash out differences in task force subcommittees.

      2. wbgonne

        Frankly, I haven’t seen much from Sotomayor other than tangling with Scalia on a couple of occasions. Yes, she seems to have a touch of humanity about her but she, like Kagan, appears to be a corporatist all the way. Just like Breyer. The only true “liberal” on the Court is Ginsburg and she is pretty beaten down by now. SCOTUS needs a dramatic re-alignment just to get back to the center, never mind to the Left.

    3. wbgonne

      Unbelievable. But not really, of course. Why, it’s almost as if Obama wants the Supreme Court to stay Right Wing. As long as Sanders has a fighting chance for the nomination then I hope Obama’s SCOTUS pick goes nowhere. Even with Clinton, I think we’d do a lot better than under Obama. Trump, on the other hand …

      1. Massinissa

        Oh please. Id rather Trump than Clinton. Trump is at least marginally more independent from finance than Clinton, who is already a bought and sold peon of our neoliberal masters.

        And I dont know whether she would be better or worse than Obama, but I wouldnt be surprised if after 4 years of clinton we start remembering the Obama administration as the good old days.

          1. Pavel

            Au Cointreau!
            (as someone once remarked… ?which film)

            I’m currently at Peak Frustration. I’m sure many others are as well. And apparently most of the Trump supporters are at Peak Anger…even more inflammatory, as it were.

        1. wbgonne

          I wouldnt be surprised if after 4 years of clinton we start remembering the Obama administration as the good old days.

          I hear you. But, really, a Democratic President nominating a GOP governor to a Supreme Court that is already the most conservative in American history? That’s pretty bad by any measure.

          1. Pavel

            What about serial Democratic presidents choosing Republicans to be their Secretaries of Defence? Or Petraeus as head of CIA?

            Not to mention Obama not firing perjurer Clapper as head of NSA?

            Remind me again why the Dems are so much better than the Repubs?

  15. allan

    Secret police? Virginia considers bill to withhold all officers’ names.

    … It started with a reporter’s attempt to learn whether problem police officers were moving from department to department. It resulted in legislation that is again bringing national scrutiny to the Virginia General Assembly: a bill that could keep all Virginia police officers’ names secret. …

    State Sen. John A. Cosgrove Jr. (R-Chesapeake) — citing that he knew many police officers and their families — said: “The culture is not one of respect for law enforcement anymore. It’s really, ‘How, how can we get these guys? What can we do?’ . . . Police officers are much more in jeopardy. There’s no nefarious intent behind the bill.”

    File under Big Brother is Watching You Trying to Watch.

    1. ekstase

      I see at the end that:

      “Forbes reached out to Koch Industries and Monsanto for comment and will update this story with any responses.”

      I cannot wait for their responses. I’ll bet they’re coming any day now!

  16. Soulipsis

    You mean, obstacles as in large numbers of people objecting to dying prematurely for profit?

    “The European Union’s trade commissioner told the multinational oil company ExxonMobil that a major free trade deal being negotiated with the US would help remove obstacles to fossil fuel development in Africa and South America, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal” [Guardian].

  17. flora

    re: Google search.

    My guess is that Google has started testing different search algorithms simultaneously instead of using a single, vetted algorithm for searches. Maybe they’re trying to develop better user focused search results, or better advertiser focused search results, or better 3rd party focused results. Then again, maybe Google is letting their AI development team our to play. ;)

  18. wbgonne

    Bernie Sanders will take it all the way to the convention. Here’s why. [Greg Sargent, WaPo]. I don’t always agree with Sargent, but he seems to be serious.

    “And young voters, according to one recent study, could matter a great deal in a number of key presidential swing states in the general election. If she does win the nomination, Clinton may not need quite the turnout among young voters in the general that Obama relied upon. But she’ll likely want to activate them in a big way, anyway. Clinton knows this. In a recent interview with Rachel Maddow, Clinton made sure to indicate that she is ‘focused on letting young people who support Senator Sanders know I get it.’”

    Later in that piece, Sargent explains:

    That could give Sanders some leverage later. Clinton will need to get all those young voters to start supporting her in big numbers. Even if turnout is down this year, Sanders — to a far greater degree than Clinton — seems to hold the key to engaging this constituency. He has somehow conveyed to a whole lot of young people that politics can matter in their lives. And remember, Democrats are betting on a new generation of young voters to give them a demographic edge that lasts beyond 2016.

    So you could see Sanders playing a role at the convention; in helping shape the agenda for the fall campaign; and in helping engage young voters, this time in preparation for the general election. As MSNBC’s Seitz-Wald reports, the Sanders camp sees such a role as a crucial part of his “political revolution.” Even if he doesn’t win.

    The Democratic Establishment expects Clinton to win the nomination but wants Sanders to deliver his voters, especially young people, to Clinton for the general election. Apropos your link re: the Democrats trying to figure out how to get money from Sanders’ supporters, the Democratic Establishment hopes to defeat and then co-opt Sanders. But the Democratic Elites want Sanders to stick around to keep his voters from bolting the Democratic Parry altogether, moving to the Greens or just into apathy.

    One other note, contrary to Sargent’s implication, there is nothing concrete (some hints perhaps) in Seitz-Wald’s report to suggest that Sanders in on board with what the Democratic Establishment intends. If Sanders does what Sargent and the others want him to do — lose and support Clinton — I very much doubt that Sanders’ voters will follow suit. What will happen instead is beyond my ken.

    1. Steven D.

      If Sanders doesn’t get the nomination, I wouldn’t begrudge him a pro forma endorsement of Hillary. But I would hope he acts as a thorn in her side on, for example, TPP. If her people say she doesn’t want to talk about it, he should feign confusion. Why wouldn’t the Democratic nominee want to talk about it?

      1. wbgonne

        IMNSHO: If it goes according to the Dem Elite plan, Sanders will hang around until the convention, during which he will get a prime speaking slot and will garner a few “progressive promises” from Clinton. In return, Sanders will be expected to endorse and campaign for Clinton and deliver young people’s votes and some non-corporate money.

        1. Pavel

          Sadly, I suspect this is not only the plan, but what transpires. We’ll see if Bernie has the guts to stand up against it. Given his hesitance in attacking HRC re the email/server scandal and e.g. Libya warmongering, I’m a bit doubtful.

      2. jgordon

        Trump loves talking about TPP and his disgust for it. If Sanders isn’t going to bring it up, Trump will. Don’t worry.

      3. HotFlash

        $$ sent to Bernie go to Bernie. If HRC gets the nom, I can always send $$ to the DNC — many, many small donations, one penny each. And one can always write in Bernie, or vote Stein (if she’s running) or Trump. I don’t like the man at all but at least he’s against the TPP. And I think he’s actually less likely to start a (nuclear) war than Hillary.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Clinton campaign reacted to Sanders’ attack on the last two D presidents (See above).

      Good work, Bernie.

      Keep it up…all the way to the convention.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Might as well cross the Rubicon after hearing about the possible Supreme Court justice nominee from Nevada.

          Go for it.

          This is a good moment to amend for not backing up the ‘he’s weak’ claim.

  19. Massinissa

    Talk about ‘conceding pre-emptively’, Obama wants to appoint a Republican governor of Nevada to the supreme cour!!


    Id rather the Republicans push it back til next year so they can select their own Republican. I checked out Sandoval, theres nothing ‘moderate’ about him. This is basically Obama coming out of the closet after 8 years and declaring hes a Republican and has been this whole time.

    Screw this. And the Dem establishment thinks we will settle for 4-8 more years of this with Hillary? Im tired of DINOs.

      1. Steven D.

        This is Obama’s wet dream. At long last, McConnell will pat him on the head and tell him what an impressive young man he is!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hillary is a lesser problem when compared to the establishment (in response to your ‘the Dem establishment thinks we will setttle….’ comment).

      Perhaps a new party…

    2. Daryl

      How very bipartisan of him. Better vote Hillary to keep conservative Republicans from choosing who the next SC nominee is…wait

  20. DakotabornKansan

    The celebration of ignorance:

    “I love the poorly educated! They are the smartest people, the most loyal people.” – Trump

    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

    Bernie Sanders represents my interests and values. His vision for what this nation can and should be is also my vision. His odds seem long given the corrupt Clinton/Democratic Party machine. The prospect of Trump winning the Republican nomination makes me very uneasy. Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. So I share Sagan’s foreboding of an America sliding into darkness – when so few representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when so many, their critical thinking in decline or totally absent, have lost their ability to knowledgeably question those in authority; when so many are no longer able to distinguish between what is true and what is fiction – will come to pass.

    George Carlin called it “the American okey doke,” where everyone is silenced by toys and gizmos. It’s an agnotological Armageddon, where reality dies screaming, the cultural production of ignorance, purposefully created by special interest groups working hard to create confusion and suppress the truth and manipulate the public.

    The gateway to fascism is ignorance and lack of education.

    “For men to plunge headlong into an undertaking of vast change, they must be intensely discontented yet not destitute, and they must have the feeling that by the possession of some potent doctrine, infallible leader or some new technique they have access to a source of irresistible power. They must also have an extravagant conception of the prospects and potentialities of the future. Finally, they must be wholly ignorant of the difficulties involved in their vast undertaking.” – Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If so many people have college degrees (or more) today, and yet, in America, ‘everyone is silenced by toys and gizmos,’ if Carlin was right, does it mean these people have no genuine education?

      I hope Bernie’s tent is big enough to love the poorly educated as well.

  21. hunkerdown

    Well will you lookee that, Apple’s walking back Error 53 and all their excuses about why it couldn’t be fixed. Of course, Apple playing Lazarus to dead Jesusphones doesn’t help us against the FBI’s coincident wheedling for truth serum.

  22. washunate

    On cashless society: I have been intrigued why this idea/phrasing has been gaining traction recently. Is there something going on behind the scenes that will cause a major change in banking policies in the near future?

    It seems sensationalist, but without a readily identifiable purpose as to why. The vast majority of the money involved in purchases went cashless decades ago, so there’s nothing new about it. Checks and credit cards were developed long before our contemporary digital payments systems, and even ATMs have been around for quite some time. Generally speaking, these noncash forms of payments and nonhuman forms of interaction have been good things, things people voluntary use because they are better than cash and better than waiting in line at the bank.

    If one desires more human interaction, why use government scrip at all? Actually invest in local relationships, the face to face kind not dependent upon legal tender.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      An ear for an ear.

      That would be barter exchange.

      Was it before or after ‘put it down that I owe you one ear on the tally stick?’

      It’s a mystery.

      In any case, today, with money, it’s ‘I will settle for X amount of money for one ear I lost.”

      You can pay cash or credit card (pending your limit).

  23. Skippy

    Oops…. seems nothing is off the cards…. as Trump has just exhumed Pat Robinson [Uber Christian Dominionism figure head] for a little TV hug and Media scrum….

    Skippy… if the best is left for last… watch out….

  24. Jeff W

    …achieved what every Democratic president since Harry Truman had attempted to put in place: quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

    Well, the merits of the Affordable Care Act (or lack thereof) aside, here, according to the Truman Library, is what President Truman tried to achieve:

    In his November 19, 1945 address, President Truman called for the creation of a national health insurance fund to be run by the federal government. This fund would be open to all Americans, but would remain optional. Participants would pay monthly fees into the plan, which would cover the cost of any and all medical expenses that arose in a time of need. The government would pay for the cost of services rendered by any doctor who chose to join the program. In addition, the insurance plan would give a cash balance to the policy holder to replace wages lost due to illness or injury.

    [Emphasis added.]

    And, in the 1970s, while Senator Ted Kennedy and others fought for a single payer health plan, President Nixon, who, IIRC, was not a Democratic president, proposed a health insurance plan—actually, not once but twice—that, according to pediatrician and health policy researcher Gary Freed, was “far more ‘liberal’ than what passed under the Affordable Care Act during President Obama’s first term.”

    1. flora

      I really like Taibbi. I liked this article….. except. Taibbi seems to consistently miss why people are gravitating toward Trump. Just like the rest of the MSM miss why people gravitate toward Sanders.

      “Trump is no intellectual. He’s not bringing Middlemarch to the toilet. If he had to jail with Stephen Hawking for a year, he wouldn’t learn a thing about physics.” – Taibbi

      Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar and passed NAFTA, damaging the economic prospects of working people. He repealed Glass-Steagall, setting up the financial predation of the 2000’s where people lost homes and retirement savings. Obama was the president of the Harvard Law Review. As president he cut unemployment benefits and continued the neoliberal onslaught against American workers thru outsourcing. The ‘brightest guys in the room’ are destroying Main Street and the guys on Main Street know it. So ‘Eff the bright guys.’ Trump is against the TPP and the TTIP and the other awful trade deals. He’s against cutting Social Security and Medicare. My take is that Trump’s supporters are trying to hold on to what they have left. Sticking it to the GOP establishment that sold them out just is gravy. Taibbi seems to miss that element of Trump support.

      1. flora

        I wrote “GOP establishment that sold them out’, but it was Dem presidents implementing GOP wish lists that made it happen, and the Dems are tarred with that now until they can reverse it.

      2. vidimi

        he frequently nailed the reason why trump has so much support in passages like

        Trump, though, she likes. And so do a lot of people. No one should be surprised that he’s tearing through the Republican primaries, because everything he’s saying about his GOP opponents is true. They really are all stooges on the take, unable to stand up to Trump because they’re not even people, but are, like Jeb and Rubio, just robo-babbling representatives of unseen donors.


        You will find union members scattered at almost all of Trump’s speeches. And there have been rumors of unions nationally considering endorsing Trump. SEIU president Mary Kay Henry even admitted in January that Trump appeals to members because of the “terrible anxiety” they feel about jobs.

        great article all around

    1. Daryl

      Imagine we summoned eldritch horrors from another world to write laws. And then imagine we ratified the TPP. But I repeat myself.

  25. MojaveWolf

    Before I read any further, MUST comment on this:

    “Hill Democrats are scrambling to figure out how they can capture some of Sanders’ magic — and his ability to conjure up campaign cash, seemingly out of thin air, from an apparently endless stream of supporters” [Politico].

    Dear Hill Democrats,

    Unless you become completely different people, you can’t.

    To elaborate: We have given Bernie money. We intend to give him more. If we had a lot more, we would also be giving lots to everyone who has thus far endorsed him. We do plan to give money to a couple of these early endorsers even tho we arguably can’t afford it, just on general principles.

    The rest of you: Hang it up. We hate most of you and think (most of) you are scum.

    To put it on a purely personal note, as I’ve said elsewhere, I think climate change is the most important issue, because unless we do something about it, everything I love in the world is going to die. I am not consoled by the idea that the planet MIGHT recover in a few tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years. Really, this doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better. The Republicans are pretending it isn’t a threat, and ignoring it, and their leadership will assure global destruction of hundreds of millions of humans and far worse for the nonhuman parts of the planet in an absolutely best case scenario. You agree it is a real threat, but intend to do far too little, and your leadership also assures global destruction of hundreds of millions of humans and far worse for the nonhuman parts of the planet in an absolutely best case scenario. Their leadership assures the working class will continue to get ground under with every greater struggles for ever smaller rewards. Your leadership assures the same. That we get a few more crumbs under you than them is meaningless to me. You are all toxic scum. If the vast majority of the DNC/DLC/RNC/non-political oligarchy all suddenly began bleeding from the eyes and died vomiting blood like the girl in Cloverfield, and no one BUT y’all had this happen, the vast majority of the voting public would, upon realizing the rest of us would not have this happen and it happened only to you, suddenly begin high fiving each other, democrats and republicans alike. THAT is how likely we are to give you money.

    Also, more people are developing better bullshit detectors. Fakery levels that used to work aren’t good enough anymore. Bernie has a 40+ year career to look at. A lot of you do too,

    Just a bit of advice.


    1. HotFlash

      Dear Ms/Mr Wolf, thank you for this! Glorious!

      And I agree that people are developing better bullshit detectors. As a friend used to say, he’d had his panic button pushed so much that it just broke. Catastrophic climate change is upon us and they just can’t scare us with that Supreme Court appointment crap anymore.

    1. allan

      Great link. A high point:

      … former Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary for policy Stewart Baker, now with law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP, according to the websites of their employers.

      Baker worked on the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Chinese PC and smartphone maker Lenovo Group (0992.HK) in 2014…

      The article neglects to mention that Stewart Baker also served as General Counsel of the National Security Agency (1992–1994) and makes regular appearances in the media defending mass surveillance.

  26. For The Win


    Some corruption for you to chuckle over.


    This woman was part of the Daley machine, just like her newest Boss. I figure Obama wants someone who can “remove” embarrassing documents from the archives, just like the Kennedy and Bush “family”mobsters did. She’ll also be good for steering contracts, just like she did in Chicago and later on in Baltimore.

Comments are closed.