2:00PM Water Cooler 2/29/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“New Zealand Says Laws To Implement TPP Will Be Passed Now, Despite US Uncertainties, And Won’t Be Rolled Back Even If TPP Fails” [TechDirt].

“A $15 billion lawsuit by the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline against the US government shows the serious threat to democracy posed by special privileges for investors, a new report has said. TransCanada is suing under investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to demand damages following rejection of the controversial pipeline due to its climate impact” [Transport Environment]. It can’t happen here


South Carolina

Readers, I should have a Super Tuesday wrap-up, but there were so much of interest in the South Carolina post mortems (partums?) that I focused on that. Please share on Super Tuesday in comments!

“Across the board, Sanders’ numbers have steadily increased among black voters throughout his campaign, typically climbing around 1% every week” [Carl Beijer]. “You could probably come up with all sorts of elaborate circumstantial explanations for this involving various improvements in Sanders’ platform, but this does little to explain the sheer consistency of his ascent. The simpler and more compelling explanation here is that Sanders started with relatively low name recognition among black voters, and that the more black voters get to know him, the more they like him.”


Whether that slow ascent is compatible with an insurgent campaign, I’m not sure. And from part 2 of the piece: “the name recognition gap is almost entirely explained by national media coverage” [Carl Beijer].

“[T]his year, much as in previous years, what we’re seeing is that the black vote acts as the bulwark of the most reactionary wing of the Democratic party, the right wing of the Democratic party, and its standard-bearer this time around, Hillary Clinton” [Glen Ford, The Real News Network]. “Well, we’ve been saying that the best thing that could come out of Bernie Sanders’ challenge to Hillary Clinton, and to the establishment of more corporate democrats would be a split in the Democratic party…. But that clearly, if that’s going to happen, is going to happen because of militancy and great frustration on the part of those new, young, white voters who are so excited about Bernie Sanders and will be very, very frustrated and maybe angry when his candidacy finally does dissolve.”

“In 1976, Ronald Reagan fought the GOP establishment all the way to Kansas City, and that set the stage for conservatives to take over the party just four years later. Remember, the same pundits who cluck about possible disunity among the Democrats are pretty much the same dopes who told us that Trump would collapse any day now” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer].


“Setting the Record Straight on Medicare for All: An Open Letter From 560 Physicians and Medical Students” [HuffPo] (582 endorsers, so far).

“According to Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a physician at the Montefiore Medical Center, Harvard Lecturer and CUNY professor: “The recent attacks on single payer reform by some liberal economists and politicians are mystifying. When I met with Hillary Clinton some years ago she acknowledged that single payer would be the cheapest and most efficient way to cover all Americans. Her only objection then was that single payer wasn’t politically feasible. Now she’s charging that the numbers don’t add up. And economists who once projected large savings from single payer, are now saying the opposite, without citing any new data. They’re playing political games at the expense of the truth.”

In other words, the Clinton personally, the Clinton campaign, and the Clinton campaign’s credentialled cronies are lying like rugs. Film at 11.

“Clinton talks of possibly decades-long occupations and orderly regime changes, yet somehow Sanders is the fantasist” [Marcy Wheeler, Salon].

The Voters

“There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully” [Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal]. “The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time. They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighborhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them—in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union—literally have their own security details.” I never thought I’d live to see the day that Nooners became a Communist. She concludes: “I don’t know if the protected see how serious this moment is, or their role in it.” I do. They don’t, and they don’t.

“The idea here is that if Bernie can win over young people of all stripes to social democracy, then given that political attitudes are pretty sticky over time, that will mean social democrats have a real chance in the near future as old people die and young people replace them” [Matt Bruenig]. Also a nice takedown of the vile Elias Isquith — future press secretary? — who helped orchestrate the Clinton campaign’s Huerta smear.

“Luntz’s poll found that young Americans are optimistic about both the country’s future and their own: 61 percent say the best days of the United States are still ahead of us rather than behind us, and 88 percent are somewhat, very, or extremely optimistic about their economic prospects. But they have concerns, too. Their biggest, in order, are “corruption,” “greed,” and “inequality'” [Bloomberg]. “President Obama is not their favorite political figure — Bernie Sanders is. Indeed, 31 percent said Bernie Sanders is the major political figure they “like and respect the most” — more than Obama (18 percent) and Hillary Clinton (11 percent).” True, Luntz is talking his book, since he wants work opposing this tendency. However, the link allows me to note my astonishment at (1) the visible self-satisfaction of the Democratic establishment at stamping out a youth revolt, and (2) resolutely refusing to notice that a small-donor driven campaign can compete nationally. Heck, the story of Congresscritters whining because of all the time they spend sucking up to rich people is practically a genre piece. So you’d think they’d welcome operative proof they don’t have to suck up anymore. But n-o-o-o-o-o-o. My conclusion: They like it. Here’s an example of the double-think going on in the Democrat hive mind:

[Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, attending a $2700-a-plate Clinton fundraiser] said he would also attend a Sunday evening rally at Memorial Coliseum featuring Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running second to Clinton in polls of the Democratic presidential race.

Hales shrugged when asked if Clinton’s closed-door visit would serve as a poor contrast to Sanders’ free rally. “Unfortunately you need to raise money,” said Hales, adding it was a chore no candidate can escape.

But Hales is going to a rally with a candidate who doesn’t need $2700 dinners! The contrast escapes both Hales, and the reporter.

Since Maine’s own Governor LePage is in the news: “So how did LePage win twice in moderate Maine? Simple: More Republicans turned out to vote than Democrats. The 2010 and 2014 elections were both low-turnout midterms, and Republican waves nationwide allowed fringe candidates like LePage to succeed even where they had no business doing so. If Democrats want to keep radical conservatives off their turf, they can’t shunt the blame onto others. They must solve the riddle of winning downballot elections for themselves” [Boston Globe]. Yes, the Democratic schtick of blaming voters for being stupid (or in slightly more sophisticated terms, “voting against their interests”) really is getting old. I’ll add two tidbits on 2010 that aren’t in the article: First, the 2010 election was a three-way between LePage (R, 38%), Cutler (I, 36%), and Mitchelll (D, 19%). If LePage were indeed the devil incarnate, as Democrats now say, Mitchell should have thrown her votes to Cutler, who would then have won. See under Iron Law of Institutions. Second, the outgoing Baldacci administration was demonstrably corrupt, as our experience with the landfill showed. It’s a party’s job to make the ask and win votes. If they don’t, they have nobody to blame but themselves. Democrats still don’t — or rather, won’t — understand this. Maine is also a big state, and much of its not that moderate.

“In the end, the activist was thrown out and we hear Clinton utter “Let’s get back to the issues.” That single sentence is how I feel most matters of racial justice play out for white people. When you are fully free (and acknowledged as fully human), you don’t understand the urgency of someone else’s desire to get free because you have never not been free. Whether you are the poorest white person in the backwaters of the Delta or Appalachia to the waspiest WASP in the northeast, to possess white skin in a society that normalized and centered whiteness is to hold a privilege that others see but often the holder of said privilege cannot see” [Black Girl in Maine].

“I define Black Twitter as a temporally linked group of connectors that share culture, language and interest in specific issues and talking about specific topics with a black frame of reference. And when I say “black,” that isn’t just limited to U.S. blacks, but blacks throughout the diaspora” [The Atlantic]. If you read Black Twitter, you will never see “Blacks” as a monolith ever again.


“Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has raised $36 million this month and is shooting to make it $40 million by midnight, his campaign said Monday” [Bloomberg].

“F.E.C. Tells Sanders Campaign That Some Donors May Have Given Too Much” [New York Times]. “Such glitches are common in political campaigns,” and the sheer volume of the Sander’s donations may challenge their systems.

And then there’s this:

The Trail

“Hillary’s Missing Speeches” [LA Times Progressive]. At last!

“American voters back Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont over Republican candidates by margins of 4 to 10 percentage points in head to head presidential matchups, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today. The closest Republican contender is Ohio Gov. John Kasich who trails Sanders 45 – 41 percent. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton trails or ties leading Republicans in the November face-off” [Quinnipiac].

“Unless the Democrats Run Sanders, A Trump Nomination Means a Trump Presidency” [Current Affairs]. “Trump’s political dominance is highly dependent on his idiosyncratic, audacious method of campaigning. He deals almost entirely in amusing, outrageous, below-the-belt personal attacks, and is skilled at turning public discussions away from the issues and toward personalities. This campaigning style makes Hillary Clinton Donald Trump’s dream opponent. She gives him an endless amount to work with. The emails, Benghazi, Whitewater, Iraq, the Lewinsky scandal, Chinagate, Travelgate, the missing law firm records, Jeffrey Epstein, Kissinger, Marc Rich, Haiti, Clinton Foundation tax errors, Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest, “We were broke when we left the White House,” Goldman Sachs… There is enough material in Hillary Clinton’s background for Donald Trump to run with six times over.” Actually, it’s the cattle futures that are the most obviously corrupt of all.

“The Clinton campaign has stuck, just as her critics charge, to a rather safe, barely left-of-center, utterly non-radical list of reform priorities. That’s true. It really is. But in her stump and issue-specific speeches, Clinton has referred to ways by which issues, such as Voter ID laws, gun violence, criminal justice reform, gender wage imbalances and the long unchanged minimum wage, directly and even more deeply shape and distort the lives of black and Latino Americans. The natural conclusion of that discussion is: ‘Here is what my policy will do for all of us, and here is what it will do for those Americans who yes, actually or disproportionately have it worse.'” [WaPo].

“The case against Hillary Clinton: This is the disaster Democrats must avoid” [Salon]. A very good summing up, worth circulating.

“‘For many Republicans, Trump is more than just a political choice,’ said Kevin Madden, a veteran operative who advised 2012 nominee Mitt Romney. ‘It’s a litmus test for character'” [WaPo]. Finding a Republican operative with character is like finding a Syrian moderate.

“Donald Trump Blames Earpiece for Declining to Disavow David Duke” ‘[New York Times]. Well, I dunno…. Then again, if I were Trump, I’d want my tech people to handle my earpiece, for the exact same reason I’d want my mechanic to service my plane.

A must-read on Donald Trump, Roger Stone, and Al Sharpton [Mark Ames, Pando Daily].

Trump picked a really bad time to go into the mortgage business [WaPo].

“Former CIA director Michael Hayden believes there is a legitimate possibility that the U.S. military would refuse to follow orders given by Donald Trump if the Republican front-runner becomes president and decides to make good on certain campaign pledges” [WaPo]. Entirely spontaneously, of course. Interestingly, the Brit political class raised the same spectre with Corbyn: “British Army ‘could stage mutiny under Corbyn’, says senior serving general” [Independent]. I wonder if Trump will be hit by a lone gunman, acting alone, but very conveniently leaving behind a diary?

Stats Watch

Chicago PMI, February 2016: “Another month of wild volatility for the Chicago PMI which lurched from solid expansion in January to noticeable contraction in February,” much below consensus [Econoday]. “[T]his report is closely watched and confirms other early indications of February softness, not only for manufacturing but for services as well since this report tracks both sectors. The good news in the report is that new orders have held over breakeven 50 which hints at better readings in next month’s report. Now the bad news. Production is down sharply, backlogs are in a 13th month of straight contraction, employment is down and in a fifth month of contraction, and prices paid are contracting at the fastest pace since 2009. The resilience in new orders limits the signal of damage from this report, but production and other activity look to have slowed in February following respectable strength in January.”

Pending Home Sales Index, January 2016: “[S]lowed in January, down an unexpected 2.5 percent” [Econoday]. “Today’s report is yet another disappointment for a sector that, despite high employment and low mortgage rates [***cough*** manipulation ***cough***], is getting off to a flat start for 2016.”

Dallas Fed Mfg Survey, February 2016: “The Dallas Fed’s general activity index came in at a deeply minus 31.8 in February vs minus 34.6 in January. New orders contracted a further 8.4 points in the month to minus 17.6 for their lowest reading since 2009” [Econoday]. “[I]n a rare sweep of weakness, all 17 current components are in contraction! The company outlook index is at minus 17.4 with a quarter of the sample saying their outlook has worsened during February. The latter is a telling reading and suggests very strongly, in line with all other anecdotal readings this month, that the factory sector, hit by weak exports and a weak energy sector, fell back in February.”

“Mervyn King: the eurozone is doomed” [Telegraph]. “The ‘only way’ to stop countries staring into the abyss of ‘crushing austerity, continuing mass unemployment’ with ‘no end in sight to the burden of debt’ faced by debtor nations is for them to abandon the euro.”

“Monetary union has created a conflict between a centralised elite on the one hand, and the forces of democracy at the national level on the other. This is extraordinarily dangerous” [FT, “Former BoE chief King predicts collapse of the eurozone”]

“U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew called on G20 members on Saturday to redouble their efforts to boost global demand instead of relying on the American consumer to drive growth” [Reuters]. “[Lew] also said the dollar’s strength was a function of a strong economy, and that the meeting had underscored that U.S. growth remained a bright spot in the global economy.”

“In the first decade of this century, America lost 56,190 factories, 15 a day” [In These Times].

Technical analysts worried about “bearish crossover” [Marketwatch].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 55, Neutral (previous close: 57, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 51 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 29 at 10:31am. Oh noes! Back to neutral!

Dear Old Blighty

“NHS: UK now has one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world, according to OECD report” [Independent]. “Hospitals are now so short-staffed and underequipped that people are also dying needlessly because of a chronic lack of investment. Staff are too rushed to improve levels of care that have in many areas fallen below countries such as Turkey, Portugal and Poland. Almost 75,000 more doctors and nurses are needed to match standards in similar countries.” Rule #2 of Neoliberalism.

“Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) are unprecedently ‘blank cheque’ powers, which allow a single council official to ban activities in public spaces within a matter of days, after a brief consultation with the police” [Manifesto Club].

Groves of Academe

“Carolyn Stefanco, president of the College of Saint Rose, cut 23 faculty positions and 12 academic programs. She won a prize for her efforts” [Inside Higher Education]. The award was for “disruption.” “‘Disrupter,’ a word native to start-up culture [!!], typically describes someone who balks at conventional wisdom and comes out ahead. A disrupter discovers newer, better ways to run businesses and manipulate industries.”

“Activism: Frustrated postdocs rise up” [Nature].


“The nation’s big consumer banks collected about $11 billion in overdraft fees last year, which accounted for 8 percent of their profits, according to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.” [New York Times]. Say, I’ve got an idea! How about a cost-of-doing-business fine?

“Former Judges Take On One of Their Own in Recusal Case at High Court” [National Law Journal]. “Virginia Sloan, president of the nonpartisan Constitution Project, recruited the former judges for the brief. “It was amazing how easy it was” to find judges who made the central point of the brief, she said. “It’s a collegial experience and one judge can have influence over the whole court, especially if it is the chief justice.” Or the senior judge, i.e., Scalia.

“Three former executives from Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) have been charged with contributing to deaths and injuries stemming from the triple meltdown in 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant” [Guardian]. “Their indictment on Monday marks the start of the first criminal action to be taken in connection with the disaster, which forced the evacuation of 160,000 residents, many of whom are still unable to return to their homes.” But our bankers have impunity.

Class Warfare

Interesting how “income inequality” — please tell me why “class warfare” isn’t more accurate — is now taken for granted at part of discourse on the Beltway [Robert Samuelson, WaPo].

[T]he CEA emphasizes the role played by “economic rents,” enjoyed mostly by highly profitable firms. An economic rent is a price or wage premium above what’s necessary for a company to sell its product or a worker to take a job. A company selling its gizmo at $50 when $30 would earn a reasonable return has a $20 rent.

Rents can result from market power (including monopolies), better products or technologies, favorable regulations and laws, import tariffs, corruption and much more. Rents earned by superior performance are defensible; rents created by preferential policies or industry consolidation are suspect.

The trouble is that rents are invisible and can only be inferred. In practice, they show up as strong profits and cash flows

“The evidence points to a clear decline in labor’s share of income following capital account liberalization (see Chart 5). Focusing on the medium-term impact, which can be estimated more precisely than short-term effects, labor’s share falls by about 1 percentage point in advanced economies and by about 0.6 percentage point in emerging market economies. As was the case with the Gini measure of inequality, these are big effects. The changes in the labor share have a standard deviation of 2.25 percentage points (that is, nearly 70 percent of the time, when the labor share changes, it does so by less than 2.25 percentage points). Hence, capital account liberalization is associated with large declines in labor shares” [IMF].




“Adults with incomes below $25,000 a year are about three times as likely as higher income people — 34 percent versus 13 percent — to say the health care they personally receive is only fair or poor” [NPR].

“As the candidates in America’s presidential race pontificate on the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots, the country’s airlines are busy segmenting customers between the haves, the have-lesses, the have-somewhats, the have-nots and, now, the have-nothing-at-alls” [The Economist, “America’s airlines are introducing a class below economy”].

News of the Wired

“What You Don’t Know About TripAdvisor” [Medium]. “TripAdvisor started in 2000 and built a huge following as a ‘trusted source of travel information.’ Once it gained a dominant share of the market, the number of fake reviews skyrocketed, resulting in multiple court cases around the world. But instead of taking measures to verify and guarantee the reliability of the reviews, they simply changed the ‘trust’ slogan to ‘the biggest’ and began making money as a booking engine, charging companies for preferential visibility, acquiring the booking engines like Viator to profit from the tours they supposedly recommend without bias, and pressuring companies to give up 20–30% of their sales in commissions for added ‘access to traffic.'” Ugly.

“Automating Amazon/Hotel/Travel Reviews (+ Human Intelligence Test (HIT))” [Another Word for It]. See above?

“For Cinephiles, Netflix Is Less and Less an Option” [KQED]. “Check out this 2013 Netflix PR video communicating that the company should no longer be looked upon as a massive movie library. What it really is, it says, is the “Internet’s largest television network.'” So long, “long tail.” Same deal with Google, if the crapification of their search results is any indication.

“An Oregon man who has spent more than 15 years living inside of a decommissioned Boeing 727 airplane converted into a home wants to build another in Japan” [Esquire].

“Easter Island Civilization Not Destroyed by War, New Evidence Shows” [Live Science]. “Thousands of small, sharp, spearlike objects scattered throughout Easter Island have long been presumed to be evidence of massive warfare that led to the demise of its ancient civilization. But new evidence from archaeological investigations suggests that these objects, called mata’a, were not used as weapons at all.”

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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 (Margrave):


From the famous Montreal ice storm of 1998. Look at the poor trees!

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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. Jess

    While it’s nice that the In These Times article documents the loss of American factories in the new millenium, unfortunately the piece is authored by the odious Leo Gerrard, prominent faux labor leader, faux progressive, and sellout suck-up to President Pinocchio and the Dem party establishment.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      I would argue he is about the best of the leaders of the old line unions, which admittedly is not that high of a bar. He has been one of the few consistent advocates for progressive trade policies. Also, unlike many others, he is actually elected by the members.

      1. Carla

        In my experience, very few union members are actually politically progressive… let alone union leadership.

  2. wbgonne

    “[T]his year, much as in previous years, what we’re seeing is that the black vote acts as the bulwark of the most reactionary wing of the Democratic party, the right wing of the Democratic party, and its standard-bearer this time around, Hillary Clinton” [Glen Ford, The Real News Network]. “Well, we’ve been saying that the best thing that could come out of Bernie Sanders’ challenge to Hillary Clinton, and to the establishment of more corporate democrats would be a split in the Democratic party…. But that clearly, if that’s going to happen, is going to happen because of militancy and great frustration on the part of those new, young, white voters who are so excited about Bernie Sanders and will be very, very frustrated and maybe angry when his candidacy finally does dissolve.”

    Awesome. BAR rocks.

  3. Lee

    “[T]his year, much as in previous years, what we’re seeing is that the black vote acts as the bulwark of the most reactionary wing of the Democratic party, the right wing of the Democratic party, and its standard-bearer this time around, Hillary Clinton” [Glen Ford, The Real News Network].

    Okay, I’ll bite. Why?

    If possible give me something I can use to counter the triumphal crowing of the Clintonistas over their winning the black vote. Maybe it’s my own white liberal guilt and history of having worked with the Black Panthers but I tend to view black support as a moral plus. I just don’t get black Democrats’ conservatism.

    1. grayslady

      To understand black conservatism you have to understand the influential role of the black churches–the AME and AMEZ congregations. I took a college course, Black Religion, back in 1969-1970, and I was fascinated how the history of the church during the years of slavery became the basis for the whole black social structure. Whether those churches continue to hold sway over young black people, or whether those churches are losing young membership, as are traditional Protestant and Roman Catholic churches, I couldn’t say. The point is that black churches are extremely conservative and are heavily evangelical. (Among Democrats, the biggest hurdle to gay rights has been the black church community.) There have been some truly progressive black Democrats–Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Cynthia McKinney, Keith Ellison, John Conyers–but, on the whole, black politicians quickly ease into a conservative mindset once elected, other than the token crumbs doled out to their (largely) black constituents.

      1. mk

        I heard young black adults talking about how christianity was used to screw black people over (specifically slaves) on our local pacifica radio station a couple of days ago. So good to hear they’re conscious of it.

    2. Brindle

      ” I just don’t get black Democrats’ conservatism.”—The Black Misleadership Class and the churches. Both are defenders of the status quo because their positions in the gravy train of patronage and dollars depends on keeping the status quo intact. As a white guy I don’t know how Black Dems come to their choices but I will guess that word of mouth from those in their communities figures prominently.

    3. Carolinian

      They probably don’t seen themselves as conservatives. After all Hillary calls herself a progressive. And among most of our elites being in favor of civil rights for blacks, gays etc is seen as sufficient to consider yourself a liberal or a member of the “liberal media.” This has been true for many many years. After all capitalism won history back in the 90s—-didn’t it?

      As for Sanders leading the youth to inherit the world, perhaps they need to get out and vote. I live a few blocks from a woman’s college and yet there was only one other voter–a young woman–at my polling place. Where were all her friends? She had Bernie stickers on her car….they could have ridden with her. In SC Clinton won with the black vote but the percentage of black voters went up to the mid 60s (our AA population is around 30 percent). I haven’t seen a detailed breakdown but it doesn’t seem that the wave of enthusiastic young voters is happening. Dem turnout is down in most of the contests so far.

      1. jhallc

        “After all Hillary calls herself a progressive”

        Depends on who she’s talking to!

        But, don’t forget many college students are registered to vote in their home states. Not saying that’s a major factor but, it does figure into the youth vote.

      2. grayslady

        You’re certainly correct about the influence of turnout. Thanks to the virtually useless Google, it took me about 30 minutes just to come up with comparison figures for the first three democratic primaries between 2008 and 2016. Here they are:

        Iowa: 239,000 caucus voters in 2008 versus 171,000 in 2016

        New Hampshire: 218,000 voters in 2008 versus 250,000 in 2016

        Nevada: 118,000 caucus voters in 2008 (25% were same day registrations) versus 84,000 in 2016 (17% were same day registrations)

        I noticed that in his Rochester, MN speech, Bernie specifically mentioned that turnout was going to be critical if he was going to win the MN primary; however, given the numbers above, I think he needs to be far more specific and urgent in emphasizing that turnout is the key to success.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          In SC primary, ~370,000 people voted in the Dem primary (if I read the Politico numbers correctly). That’s 7% of the states total population of 5M. Another lousy turnout (similar to Nevada).
          Not much Dem excitement this year.

          1. RabidGandhi

            What Llewelyn said.

            And here’s the WSWS (bold mine):

            The total vote in South Carolina primaries for both big business parties… was 978,000 in 2008 and 999,000 in 2016, but the balance between the Republicans and Democrats shifted dramatically. In 2008, 532,000 voted in the Democratic primary and 446,000 in the Republican. This year, only 361,000 voted in the Democratic primary while 738,000 voted in the Republican contest

            I.e., about the same number of 2016 voters stayed at home as voted HRC to landslide.

            These numbers + similar ones in Nevada make it hard to see much groundswell for a Feel the Bern Revolution. Most people don’t even seem to know who he is (thanks MSM!)

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Bernie taking on Obama would be as big, newswise, as Trump calling out Bush in South Carolina.

              He will likely gain votes he’s not getting now, and lose very few of those he’s not getting.

              That’s my hunch.

              1. wbgonne

                I don’t know. I’ve wished for a long time that Sanders would be far more aggressive taking on the Obama record. The pros include all the things you mention. Sanders would certainly garner corporate media attention and could conceivably force some genuine discussions of important issues in doing so. It would make Sanders exceedingly unpopular in DC, and that might matter to him.

                As to the electoral calculus, it’s hard to say. If Sanders attacks Obama — or is perceived to be, a low bar indeed– then he can give up on the non-youth black vote and, even there, I’d say it’s risky. That said, after tomorrow Sanders may be thinking about Hail Mary passes. I hope not. But I’m uneasy. I’m in Massachusetts and I just don’t sense much power in the populace.

                Frankly, after what Obama and the Democrats did with the hope entrusted to them in 2008, I am surprised that people have boosted Sanders to where he is. It appears — as Glen Ford says — this is due to young people. They seem to get it on policy. Why aren’t young people more engaged? I don’t know. I’m sure some are old enough to have been made cynical by Obama and the corrupt Democrats. And perhaps Sanders is just too much of a longshot to motivate people. Or maybe the corporate media freeze-out has worked. And maybe the lack of support from key Democratic leaders hurt.

                In any event, I hope Sanders does what you suggest. It would be good for the country. And it might even work politically.

            2. EmilianoZ

              Yep, the young are not half as enthused with the Bern as they were with Obama in 2008. They like their piper pieder.

    4. neo-realist

      Re the embrace by SC black democrats of Clinton, I hope to see the Sanders campaign invest in a serious ground game in NY and CA—at least as far as the black vote he should do so; in those states, he can expect a broader spectrum of intellectual and political black thought not available in the South that will not jump en masse for Clinton.

      1. Carla

        New York doesn’t vote until April 19 and California doesn’t vote until June. Both WAY too late.

        March 8 is Michigan.

        March 15 is Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Missouri, and North Carolina (quite different from South Carolina)

        If Sanders has not made significant headway by March 16, with ALL voters, not just African Americans, it’s really over for his candidacy.

    5. Uahsenaa

      Ford has made the argument a number of times, both on BAR and in appearances, that the calculus for black folk is not a matter of “do the candidate’s politics match my own” but rather “which party will protect me from the white supremacists (i.e. Republicans),” which means the perception of Hillary as the establishment candidate, the one the party in toto wants (or seems to want) to get behind, actually works in her favor. Bernie, as an insurgent or outsider in the Dem party, is a very real risk, if he can’t leverage the whole force of the party, and for African-Americans this is, quite often, a matter of life and death not a matter of will my healthcare/college be provided for me by the state. I’ll include a link as a reply, in case moderation purgatory gets me.

        1. ekstase

          From that article,

          “As Dr. West wrote:

          ‘Clinton has touted the fact that, in 1962, she met King after seeing him speak, an experience she says allowed her to appreciate King’s ‘moral clarity.’ Yet two years later, as a high schooler, Clinton campaigned vigorously for Barry Goldwater – a figure King called ‘morally indefensible’ owing to his staunch opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And she attended the Republican convention in 1968! Meanwhile, at this same moment in history, Sanders was getting arrested for protesting segregation in Chicago and marching in Washington with none other than King itself. That’s real moral clarity.'”

          Could you possibly have a clearer contrast between how these two candidates chose, from the outset, to direct their lives? Anyway, for my money, whatever the outcome of this election, Sanders made the right choices.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A matter of life and death.

        From where, we are talking about non-economic causes?

        From among African Americans themselves?

        From racist whites?

        From the police?

        Which is the number one threat?

        If the life and death matter stems from economic causes – lack of money for food, shelter, medical care – I would suggest Money Creation From the Bottom UP, Color Blind, Without Prejudice.

        The People’s Money is also a good way to break up the monopoly of Black MisLeadership mentioned above.

        A Constitutionally guaranteed check in the mail or into your account at the Fed every time new money is created and you don’t have to depend on your church leaders or representatives.

        Income inequality among all racial groups, up to a certain level (and we can create as much as want), will immediately disappear.

        1. Uahsenaa

          While I think black folk need to pay closer attention to the economic roots of racial oppression, as Ford would agree–that’s his argument, btw, not necessarily mine–I do think there are aspects of racial oppression that don’t conform perfectly to economic analysis and have their roots in a simple politics of fear.

          An example – there are two public pools (in the wintertime, at least) in Iowa City, a place whose populace prides itself on progressive attitudes, one near where I live and one downtown. Since the one by my house was having repair work done on the bulkhead, I had to swim downtown last Friday. The rec center was absolutely swarming with cops, not to actually investigate anything, mind you, or deal with something that had happened, they were present merely to be present, to be seen policing during open gym on Friday afternoon. Now, when basketball tournaments and volleyball tournaments and swim meets are held at the rec center by my house, I never see a single IC cop there, not one, yet every afternoon there they are at the one downtown “keeping the peace.”

          The primary difference between the two rec centers? It’s mostly black kids at the one downtown, and almost entirely white kids at the one by my house. I can’t think of an economic underpinning for being so palpably domineering–and, believe you me, you feel the weight of them watching you–it really seems to be driven by latent racism or racial profiling (which is racist) or some sense that, for whatever reason, you need to keep a sharper out for black kids than you do for white kids.

          Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, to be sure, but it very much feels like being “kept in your proper place.” After all, this is the implicit bargain TPTB offer to disenfranchised whites: you won’t get more money or the things you need to survive, but you will get to lord your status over the racial other, and there is no more obvious example of a pigheaded white guy on a power trip than your average PO in the Midwest.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            “I do think there are aspects of racial oppression that don’t conform perfectly to economic analysis and have their roots in a simple politics of fear”

            I agree completely; the idea image of a matrix of oppression appeals to me much more. (For example, the ideas that white working class people enjoy forms of privilege and at the same time are dying disproportionately early for economic reasons are not at all incompatible.) That said, I just don’t think we have a political language to express this; that’s why I crossed out “idea” and wrote in “image.” And I’m a blogger; I’m supposed to be able to figure it out. And I’ve been watching for the language and wrestling with it for two years, at least….

            1. Uahsenaa

              I would strongly recommend bell hooks’ Outlaw Culture, in particular the chapter titled “Love As the Practice of Freedom” linked below. She has a remarkable ability to turn conventional arguments on their heads and expose their blind spots, especially the blind spots leftists like to pretend aren’t there. Her overarching argument in that book, which is largely about critical thinking with regard to popular culture, is that a sense of oppression or exploitation that is ultimately self interested (with regard to race, gender, class, etc.) is also ultimately self-defeating, that true liberation only comes when you learn to see the oppression of others different from you in fundamental ways, from finding solidarity with them, and from learning a duty of care that extends beyond your immediate sphere of interest. It’s basic generosity: I learn to see what ails you so that you might learn to see what ails me.

              As bell hooks astutely observes, this is where arguments from relations of power, appealing as they are, completely break down: you cannot reasonably expect someone to aid you in your struggle against oppression if all you have in mind is to become the lord of your own fiefdom, and without that aid, without solidarity of will and purpose, the best you can hope for is to resist rather than transform or transcend.

              Anyway, she puts it more cogently:

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                Oh gawd more reading!!!!

                This seems to me (juggling with power tools here) where a intersectionality as a data structure breaks down: Either/or [enter identites here] is self-interested, ultimately clientelist identity politics. Both/and [enter identities here] is generous as you describe it. (The either/or vs. both/and dichotomy applies at the individual level, both inward and outward perception.)

                1. Uahsenaa

                  I would argue that the both/and principle works on the community level as well, since you have to remember what we are quite often talking about here are categories of interest. I remember when, as a graduate student, we went on strike at Michigan, many in the union had grown weary over the years to stage a walkout every single time we had a contract negotiation, that it was turning into little more than routine. Except, that year, there was major construction being done at the football stadium, and the construction workers struck in solidarity with us. I cannot say how important it was for all of us on the very bottom of the university teaching totem pole that another group of people, with no dog in the fight, went out of their way to say, “we see what they’re doing to you, and we won’t stand by while it happens.” It means the world, and it’s why I often get very pissy whenever people poo-poo the idea of solidarity protests. It may not matter to TPTB, but it does matter to the people who put their livelihoods on the line.

      2. Darthbobber

        But if Ford is accurate about this, then is he and Dixon’s “black misleadership class” a misleadership class? Or is it a faithful executor of its constituency’s attitudes and priorities?

        And Ford will then segue to “abandoning the Democrats” as an ostensible solution to this, without any terribly convincing case for why it would be easier, as opposed to even harder, to do it that way.

        There’s a step or two in the chain missing here, somewhere, and throwing in the word “dialectical” doesn’t make it go away.

        1. Uahsenaa

          Actually, dialectical helps to explain what otherwise would look like a chicken and the egg problem: which came first, the black bunker mentality or the black misleadership class?

          This debate is, in many ways, still the one we saw from Reconstruction and the Atlanta compromise. On the one hand you have DuBois, who saw a black elite as the guiding hand to lift African-Americans out of slavery and into a state of self-determination, the perversion of which is the leadership class or, as Dixon/Ford would say, “spokesnegro” who speaks down to black folk and supposedly “on their behalf,” all the while representing the interests of rich people. On the other hand, you have Washington, who believed that white patronage for black vocational education was the only way to make former slaves productive members of society, the modern day equivalent of which is the bunker mentality we see play out in the Dem party. If you’ve never read Invisible Man there’s a wonderful reading of the founder statue at Tuskegee, in which it’s not exactly clear whether the veil is being lifted or lowered down over the eyes of the huddled slave. It’s a beautiful encapsulation of what was originally meant to lift people up to self-determination actually backing them into a corner: support the cause, no matter how corrupt and self-defeating, or be left to the lynch mob.

          The black power movement upset this dynamic, because its mode of empowerment was from the bottom up, not the top down, and the Panthers’ free breakfast program was so widely popular and effective, because it provided a basic service to ordinary people that no one else would. Kids do better in school when they’re not starving, and kids who do well in school have more options when it comes to making their own choices about how to live their lives.

          So, in answer to your question about “abandoning the Dems,” the point is not whether it’s harder or easier but rather it’s the only way to break this cycle of interdependency that the black misleadership class both engenders and depends upon in order to remain in power and ride the gravy train.

          1. Darthbobber

            ‘I see black leadership as simply following the “line of least resistance” o this, because its far easier to “lead” your constituency where its already predisposed to go than to attempt to take it in a different direction. Which is what the great bulk of “leaders” actually do, not just black ones.

            “Look, there go my people. I must find out where they’re going so I can lead them.”-Anatole Frace

    6. NotTimothyGeithner

      Relevancy. The lateness of Sanders campaign aside (and many Hillary voters voted for her in 2008 based on their ages), the election was pitched as a chance to put a stamp on the national conversation. Why is the modern Democratic Party allowing South Carolina an option? Outside of Clyburn, S.C. Democrats haven’t sent jack to Washington. Hillary might reward loyalty.

      When Virginia Democrats were trying, one obstacle was convincing people their votes mattered. If Charlottesville, Virginia has a turn out of 70%, Democrats will lose state wide. If it gets up to 75%, Democrats win as its representative of a minor up tick in every city and county which adds up. Trying to get people to understand this is difficult. No one wants to vote for a loser.

      1. Vatch

        No one wants to vote for a loser.

        I’d rather vote for a loser than for a sociopath. It’s never possible to be certain who the sociopaths are, but some of them leave clues.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            It won’t be “barely good enough.” The basic idea seems to be that “We learned that hope and change is really hard, so now that we’re mature, we can settle for less.”

    7. Benedict@Large

      Let’s not make too much of this. Hillary won (by a healthy margin) a state she is certain to lose in November. No matter who the GOP puts up. In any realistic nominee selection process, input from states like South Carolina wouldn’t even be counted.

      1. cwaltz

        My personal feelings are the left should put up a fight everywhere but understand the limitations in the general.

        In an ideal world Sanders would have had a chance in SC. I suspect though they looked at the time they had to change minds and concentrated efforts elsewhere.

        On SC, where there is a negligible chance of taking those electoral votes I agree with them. However, I do have some concerns about the fact that it appears Bernie spent zero on advertising in Virginia for the primary. He needs to introduce himself to voters in swing states for the GE. He should be not only thinking of the primary but attempting to think ahead as a nominee.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          “the time they had to change minds”

          1% a week increase in favorables is nowhere near fast enough. Might be fast enough for the big states.

          * * *

          This, from BAR:

          the best thing that could come out of Bernie Sanders’ challenge to Hillary Clinton, and to the establishment of more corporate democrats would be a split in the Democratic party

          I agree. Some outcome from the Sanders campaign that creates an independent entity is the important outcome. Because the alternative is that Sanders was a sheepdog, and I don’t want to eat that amount of crow.

          1. wbgonne

            Because the alternative is that Sanders was a sheepdog, and I don’t want to eat that amount of crow.

            Whatever the end result, no crow eating required, IMO. Supporting Sanders was the correct course because fighting for what is right is always good. If Sanders flames out and tries to steer progressives to Clinton, then a new course may be in order.

    8. JohnnyGL

      Terrified of Trump!

      Bernie had been slowly closing the gap for months, but support for Clinton really spiked in the last couple of weeks as Trump racked up the wins. Once he started looking like he was for real, it appears southern Dems got on board the Clinton express.

        1. zapster

          That wasn’t clear right before SC. It’s getting blindingly obvious rapidly tho now.

  4. Vatch

    I love the transcript of Hillary’s speech to the Vampire Squid; it’s hilarious (hillaryous!)! There’re some very appropriate appearances of the word “parasitic” and even a reference to the Medicis! Hillary does so much cackling and waving of her check, we now know that she experiences genuine joy in being alive.

    One minor point: it’s not on the LA Times web site. It’s LA Progressive.

  5. grayslady

    “Hillary’s Missing Speeches” links to a spoof piece at LA Progressive, not the Los Angeles Times.

    1. hemeantwell

      A spoof? Dammit. At first it’s fairly plausible, similar to some of W’s oozings at white tie dinners.

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      Leave Hellery alone!!! She’s still thinking…

      “I will certainly look into it.” – HRC 2/5/2016

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Without my prescription glasses, I will see.

        “I see nothing. Where is sergeant Schultz?”

  6. Jess

    Under the category “I wonder if it’s just me, or have others experienced this?”: I have Time Warner Cable as my ISP. One of the features is a large window which displays the front page of 15 different websites — 3 rows, 5 across — that I visit on a regular/daily basis. For years NC was one of them. Then a few months ago it fell off and now I have to go to a search menu. What makes this interesting is:

    a) I did nothing (that I know off) to precipitate this change;
    b) Some of the 15 sites are also bookmarked so I really don’t need the redundancy;
    c) I’m on NC every day, often multiple times (checking in later for WC, and updated comments) but sites I use sparingly are still there, handy for me to click. I mean, come on, one of them is the old FDL/now Shadowproof site and I go to it maybe once a month.

    So, any ideas? Did Yves, Lambert, and DDay piss off someone at TWC? Are others with TWC (You have my sympathies) experiencing the same?

    1. HotFlash

      You don’t say which browser you are using, but I experienced the same thing after ‘upgrading’ my Firefox browser. Totally not on Time Warner, I am in Canada, so I suspect it is a Firefox thing.

      I finally was able to get NC and the other sites I want to stick to my start page by deleting the ones I didn’t want (upper RH corner of little box), then dragging the ones I did want to the place I wanted them and clicking the drawing pin (upper LH corner of the little box). Oh, and you have to hover over the appropriate corner to get the X and the pin to show.

      1. Jess

        Since I’m on Firefox, I guess I got the answer I was looking for. Anybody wonder why this would happen just because of an upgrade?

        1. grayslady

          I’ve had this happen on Firefox, as well. On Firefox, unlike the older versions of Opera, I think Speed Dial is a plug-in. If the plug-in isn’t upgraded along with the operating system patches, it goes haywire.

        2. hunkerdown

          That’s what petulant neoliberal organizations like Mozilla do when they can’t monetize something: hiding features from users who might want to use them, in advance of getting rid of them. Try Mozilla’s help page.

    2. EmilianoZ

      Same thing happened to me on Firefox. That was a bit strange because all the other websites I visit regularly were there. Only NC was missing.

      But that shouldn’t matter. It happens only when you open a new tab. But you shouldn’t need to open a new tab for NC. It should be your 1st tab, your homepage. It should be your permanent tab. You only create additional tabs for other websites.

    3. Jeff W

      Jess, enable your Bookmarks Toolbar by clicking View, pointing to Toolbars, and clicking Bookmarks Toolbar.

      You can stash NC (and your other frequently-used bookmarks) there on the Bookmarks Toolbar simply by dragging the URL (at the little globe on the left) to the toolbar. Unless you later disenable it, the toolbar is then always visible and makes your frequently-visited sites easy to get to.

  7. Vatch

    Clarence Thomas spoke from the bench for the first time in 10 years!! Maybe he has been possessed by the malevolent ghost of Antonin Scalia!

      1. HotFlash

        Oh, and speaking of Antonin, when I read that his host John Poindexter said that the St Hubertus guys hunted in medieval hunting costume, I though of this. And haven’t stopped laughing.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not some sort of folk remedy to prevent Alzheimer’s by talking?

      Did he pick up some advice from NC this morning?

      Thanks to Torsten, I am now thinking Trappist Monk-hood may not be such a good idea. Silence is not necessary golden in one’s golden years.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You know, people text and email, instead of phoning, a lot these days.

          That is not too healthy, as far as Alzheimer’s goes.

          The mouth is there for a reason…actually the vocal folds. The mouth is for loading and unloading food.

          “Don’t just sit there and read silently all day. Go talk to your plants.”

            1. cwaltz

              It’s actually kind of funny but I’ll talk to myself to remind myself of things. I’ll be in the grocery store and loudly proclaim to myself, “ketchup, garbage bags, toothbrush, etc, etc.) It’s nice to know that even though I look like a crazy person that I’m giving my brain exercise.

  8. wbgonne

    The 2010 and 2014 elections were both low-turnout midterms, and Republican waves nationwide allowed fringe candidates like LePage to succeed even where they had no business doing so. If Democrats want to keep radical conservatives off their turf, they can’t shunt the blame onto others. They must solve the riddle of winning downballot elections for themselves” [Boston Globe].

    Riddle?! There’s no riddle. People want progressivism. If the Democratic Party gives it — or tricks enough people into thinking so, a la Obama ’08 — then progressive voters turn out. If not, they don’t. After Obama betrayed progressives, progressives at least temporarily abandoned the Democrats. And it will happen again, perhaps leading to a permanent schism should the Democrats nominate Clinton.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I don’t even think it’s that. I can be scared into voting. I haven’t since 2008, but the issue is summer time and early fall volunteers. Too many people don’t just register and need to be hounded and shaken down. This is grueling awful work. People are nasty. No one will do it out of fear.

      If you are a first year in college, you need to look for a place in October, then it’s Halloween, oh you missed the election. Oh no, it’s 530. I don’t have kids. Where is the elementary school? First church of Saint Lucifer?

      I’ve chatted with Dave Matthews’ mother while phone banking some years back. She told me the only reason the DMB votes is Boyd Tinsley makes them and practically drags them to the polls or mails the absentee ballots. I don’t know about the other members of the band, but Dave did get into UVA and has a mother who is a Democratic activist. He still has to be hounded by his friend to vote. NPR Democrats don’t do this.

      1. Carolinian

        There’s an age thing too. Older voters are in the habit of voting because they’ve been doing it all their lives. Call it a “learned behavior.” In a country that cared about democracy everyone would be automatically registered and I believe some countries even force you to vote (didn’t I hear that about Australia?). One shouldn’t hold breath waiting for that to be true here. Maybe one reason we have the politics we have is that Americans are such lousy voters.

        1. hunkerdown

          The USA has such lousy elections, though. Standing in line for an hour or more just to say one’s non-binding piece isn’t necessary for any operational or technical reason, aside from the chain-of-custody issues. Perhaps it’s the secular Eucharist, and the “I Voted” sticker transsubstantiates into the body of Democracy™®© when you wear it on your breast.

      2. neo-realist

        DMB are a bunch of wealthy musicians who can have the life they want regardless of the administration in power. In their minds, they can afford to not care one way or another if not prodded.

        The fluky nature of the youth vote makes me think, if Sanders loses the nomination, does Sanders movement (primarily youth) die with it (and goes back to twitter, snapchat, tinder, instagram, etc)? Or does it continue to press for a more progressive democratic party? Does the Sanders activism wake up a desire among the progressives to fight the neoliberals for power in the party given the broad support for Sanders in the primary?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I think that a “youth organization” would be a tragic mistake, since it’s class, not youth (IMSHO) that’s not part of the “national conversation.”

          Since a youth organization would be tragic mistake, no doubt that’s what will happen.

          Incidentally, I live in a college town. Drunks aside, I have a very high regard many I’ve met in that age cohort. Earnest, hard-working, empathetic. The “you kids get offa my lawn” stuff is such nonsense.

  9. fakie wallie

    Lots of great lines in the Goldman-Sachs transcript! Hopefully having a satirical version that (is probably) worst case scenario floating around out there will pressure HRC to release the real-deal.

  10. Tony

    I suspect that the Clinton camp made a huge mistake by not releasing authenticated Goldman Sachs transcripts.

    Their refusal to do so left a hole that has been filled by the crude, inflammatory satire linked in today’s 2:00pm Water Cooler.

    Is the Clinton campaign so arrogant as to believe that the real transcripts won’t eventually come out? Probably at the worst possible time in the worst possible way.

    1. jhallc

      What speech? There are likely no transcripts because this was just a cozy little coffee sit-down with Hillary and an excuse to stuff her bank account with some cash. OK- paint me a cynic.

      1. HotFlash

        Invitees may record surreptitiously by cellphone. Mme Secretary usually requires a stenographer to record, although the record is her property (source, WaPo re Hillary’s rider for speaking engagements). Rest assured, there is a record of the speeches.

        1. jhallc

          I’m sure there was some sort of speech and given the huge ego we are dealing with I’m sure she wants everything recorded for posterity and the future “Hillary Library”. But, it’s not a bad attacking point to force her to reveal them. The old “Where’s the Beef?

          One does wonder why no leaked recordings. Those GS folks are closed society and I’m guessing anyone caught recording it would be shown the door immediately.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Crude? I thought it was pretty subtle! Perhaps some readers could attempt cruder — or subtler! — versions themselves… Just to show the possibilities….

  11. fresno dan

    “Former CIA director Michael Hayden believes there is a legitimate possibility that the U.S. military would refuse to follow orders given by Donald Trump if the Republican front-runner becomes president and decides to make good on certain campaign pledges” [WaPo]. Entirely spontaneously, of course. Interestingly, the Brit political class raised the same spectre with Corbyn: “British Army ‘could stage mutiny under Corbyn’, says senior serving general” [Independent]. I wonder if Trump will be hit by a lone gunman, acting alone, but very conveniently leaving behind a diary?”

    Too bad we didn’t have a military that could have disobeyed Dubbya’s orders….

    One could posit that Trump is….uh, anti anti war…uh, or pro anti war or anti pro war…or pro pro war – – who knows what he really is???? Asserts he was against going to Iraq but appears to be all for going back to………Iraq….

    My point was going to be if Trump was going to be consistent about not being in the mid east, is Hayden saying the military will disobey by just starting invasions on its own? Hey fellow grunts – we need more war!!!! Does that just work for MORE war, or do the soldiers get not to go as well???? Wonder what the neo cons would think of that….

    I can hear Hillary and Kerry now – “We didn’t vote on the military invading because that really is our PREFERRED position…not “invading” – – or “not invading” mind you…..just NOT voting one way or the other. Jeez, our past votes for Iraq slightly endangered our re-elections….and we can’t have that again! What an ordeal!!!!!. Plus all those silly people who tell us to vote our “conscience”….like we have one….”

    1. flora

      That Gen. Hayden comment reminded me that a General MacArthur tried ignoring President Truman. MacArthur was cashiered and ‘faded away.’

  12. Robert Dudek

    I thought it was generally understood that the demise of the Easter Islanders was mostly due to them cutting down all the big trees. Once they were gone, they could no longer engage in deep sea fishing. With a crucial food source compromised, their nutritional intake declined until their society collapsed. What was left was a few hungry scavengers by the time the Europeans found them.

    1. voislav

      This article proposes that there was no such demise and that Easter Island always had a constant, smaller population of 3,000 rather than a larger population of 15,000 that collapsed. This was subsequently reduced to a less than 200 by slavers, smallpox and tuberculosis in the 19th century.

  13. Steven

    I expect now to start hearing people point to the intentionally crippled British health service as proof that “socialized medicine” doesn’t work.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      The Germans lost both WWI and WWII and nobody says that the national military doesn’t work, let’s devote our national might to creating a society so advanced that all we do is make one scientific discovery after another that allows peaceful existence with wonderful weather, no disease or stress and a sustainable population based on the fixed, finite available resources of the planet. War always has a loser, but war is not abandoned due to the bad odds of terrible outcomes guaranteed by both sides, with no victor always assumed at the outset. Even the overwhelming US military produces undesirable, and unforeseen consequences, blowback, that while not a decisive military loss, is certainly producing structural change to the nation-state in the post 9/11 Terrorist hysteria. War doesn’t work, lets get something else to do with our spare time.

  14. DJG

    Interesting that Clinton appears to believe that a Southern Strategy of winning the most conservative states is going to lead to the nomination and to a presidency with some sort of influence. What could possibly go wrong? Meanwhile, my Facebook feed indicates that at the granular level the Hillary loyalists are already engaged in treating the Democratic Party as a private club with rules–specifically demanding that people vote for her because of various reasons, like that the fabled Bernie Bros are hurting everyone’s delicate feelings. As one of the commenters mentioned here a while back, she thinks that this is a job promotion, not a political campaign.

      1. ambrit

        And what does “the centre” according to H. Clinton look like to the rest of us?
        It is truly amazing to me that this current crop of politicians have made Dick Nixon look like a Socialist Paragon.

  15. rich

    It’s Not Just the GOP – The Democratic Party is Also Imploding

    The Sanders appeal is twofold. He is seen as unusually honest and consistent for someone who’s held elected office for much of his life, and he also advocates a refreshingly anti-establishment view on core issues that matter to an increasing number of Americans. These include militarism, Wall Street bailouts, a two-tiered justice system, the prohibitive cost of college education, healthcare insecurity and a “rigged economy.” While Hillary is being forced to pay lip service to these issues, everybody knows she doesn’t mean a word of it. She means it less than Obama meant it in 2008, and Obama really didn’t mean it.

    Hillary is the embodiment of a sick and detested status quo. She stands for nothing, is nothing, and a vote for her all but guarantees both murder abroad and oligarchy at home. I think a large number of Bernie Sanders supporters understand this and won’t be going off silently into that quiet voting booth to commit ethical self-sacrifice despite the terrifying prospects of a Trump presidency. I think they’ll stay home, but they won’t sit there passively. They’ll be seething inside, and many will renounce the Democratic party forever. Many rank and file Republicans already came to such a conclusion years ago, which is precisely why the nomination was wide open for a man like Trump to capture. Democrats will do the same, and before you know, political pundits will be tripping over each other to write about the death of the Democratic Party.
    It’s not only the grassroots anymore.

    Is Grayson throwing support behind Sanders,too?

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          I’m inclined to trust Grayson on his past record. Sounds like a NYT hit piece. Call me if charges are filed and some evidence of wrong doing surfaces.

          1. HopeLB

            I was thinking the same thing having become a fan of Grayson’s after watching him grill the Banksters on c-span. Marcy Kaptor was good too, pointing her finger and saying something to the effect of “We’lll get you”.

      1. Darthbobber

        Grayson has a past record of being a plunger and gambler on the market, and I recall a story 2 or three years back of him being defrauded of several tens of millions of dollars.

        Most of his “hedge fund” activities involve gambling with his and his family’s money and inviting friends to hop in. Note that Reid quickly asked him to drop out of the Senate race.

        Compare to my incumbent congressman, Chaka Fattah, who still shows every sign of running for re-election while facing a 26 count Federal indictment, with some counts virtually duplicating facts on which his son has already been convicted. Pelosi noted how “sad” this all was, and thanked him for stepping down from his ranking committee position while this matter was being resolved. Nobody in the Democratic leadership, to my knowledge, has even hinted that he should terminate his campaign.

        1. bob

          Sheldon Silver is still a super delegate for the dems in NYS. Can he vote from jail?

          Who am I kidding, he’s probably not even there.

    1. Kokuanani

      I hope Dems don’t stay home, but rather go to the voting booth to vote for down-ticket candidates, assuming there are good ones to be supported.

      I think it’s important to show how many “real Dems” are out there who refused to vote for Hillary, but who wrote in Sanders, voted Green/Labor/Socialist, whatever, and went on to do their civic duty by searching for and supporting worthwhile candidates down-ticket.

      I’m tired of this element of “hippy punching” — i.e., “those lazy ret**ds just stayed home.” I’d rather we make a statement that no, we came out, but we refused to support the Lesser Evil and put our efforts into electing those who would contain her.

      1. cwaltz

        I hope they write in or vote third parties. It sends a message to the two major parties and the moneyed interests that support them that we’re sick and tired of them and will not quietly and apathetically let them lead us around by our noses.

      2. different clue

        One hopes the Sanders campaign has the energy and people to draw up a hit list of Clintonite, Obamacrat and Free Trade Democratic Senate and House office-seekers to donate against and vote against.

    1. bob

      Decade ago-

      “DVD chain Blockbuster, which once operated 528 stores on Britain’s high streets, closed the last ones in 2013, pushed out by the rise of digital services such as Netflix. ”

      I gotta wonder about this bit, and if it’s good or bad. DRM being the uncounted power cycles. Also, DVD is not equivalent to netflix, A DVD get more content (literally, 3-4 times as much info, before soundtracks) to the TV than netflix does.

      Blockbuster was the sneakernet, often overlooked for it’s huge bandwidth capabilities. Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon. Cram it full of hard drives and it beats a T1. Redbox still shows it’s in use.

      The added DRM schemes cost money in power. Xbox’s use TONS of power, because they rely on physical disks being present. The disks could be copied, once to a local drive and then run much more efficiently using the drive, rather than physical disc.

      Netflix also uses DRM. I’d like to see the power consumption difference between a netflix drm stream and a straight avi or mp4 of the same resolution and sampling rate.

      Not sure if it’s better or worse, as far as “consumption” goes, but as far as the consumer goes, they’re getting less while paying more, and then having to add more power at home.

      Interesting subject I’ve only seen attempts at tackling.

  16. ewmayer

    Re. Medicare for all not being “politically feasible” — well of course it’s not politically feasible if you take it off the table a priori! So this is the kind of “pragmatism” Hillary brags about, and Obama exhibited in his secret price-gouge-assurance deal with Big Pharma to get them to support the Unaffordable Insurance (To Say Nothing of Actual Health *Care*) Act, erm, I mean the ACA. “We can do endless overseas wars and GDP-sized bank-cartel subsidies, but halfway-decent healthcare for all Americans? Pie in the sky fantasy, my friend – name one other nation on earth that has pulled that one off … now see, there is no point debating with people like you – I asked you to name one country that does this and you’re ducking the question by providing me with this long list of dozens and dozens. Next questioner, please!”

  17. kimsarah

    I only could stand reading about a third of the way into Hillary’s Goldman speech before I had to X it out. I couldn’t take any more.
    I have patiently withheld using this noun to describe her, until now. Whore. Big time.
    One golden nugget is this:
    “The effects prove themself. Under President Clinton — I like the sound of that!— America saw the longest, most prodigious reaming of the undesirable classes in our history, putting them firmly in their places. And they loved it! He felt their pain! And relished it! Because he was inflicting it!”


    “And I will too!”


    1. HotFlash

      Well yes, it was satire from the LA Progressive, but I am pretty sure the actual speech to GS was similar, but maybe didn’t actually mention slavery.

    1. Cry Shop

      The “efficiency” doesn’t mean energy efficiency, it just means catalyst efficiency. This has the potential to reduce the size of a reactor per volume of gas produced, but there is no indication it’s going to reduce the energy input. Many of those science or ecology sites either intentionally miss-represent the original findings, or don’t understand them, but either way they have an incentive to dish up click bate.

      This unfortunately creates a cycle of disappointment that “scientist’ over-sell, and here in this case provides an excuse to inaction on reducing one’s personal C02 footprint. Sometimes I wonder if they are not some diabolical scheme by the Koch Brothers to weaken the sense of urgency.

      1. optimader

        whoaa posted it as science ephemera, couldn’t resist the zeppelin humor.
        I am pretty familiar w/ the catalyst industry w/ respect to certain aspects of materials engineering.
        Incidentally, a fantastic industry for a young person to stake out a career. Really cant go wrong going forward. It’s the pixie dust that make processes more efficient and/or “cleaner”.

        As far as utilization of hydrogen as a transportation fuel, I am a long time skeptic as I’ve stated here in the past.

        1. Cry Shop

          Sorry, but I don’t remember reading anything you wrote before here, so I have no idea about your history of sarcasm in comments here. I’ll understand you better in the future.

        2. ambrit

          What? Zeppelins used hydrogen as lifting force. Counteracting the force of gravity counts towards transportation effort. (I know all about the helium business. America declared helium a strategic commodity and wouldn’t sell any to Germany, thus, Lakehurst.)

  18. Cry Shop

    Tokyo Electric Mafia: Don’t hold your breath on those convictions, nor on a real punishment. These guys are just part of a massive corrupt system. While working at one of China’s Nuclear Projects I was picked to join an WANO sponsored “peer review” of Fukushima. It was an unusual request because the project I was on used French technology and thus was placed under Paris WANO. The Japanese run their own WANO center, which in theory is suppose to coordinate for Asia. Both the Chinese and Koreans wanted nothing to do with Tokyo for their USA/Canadian technology plants, and it was not (just) about hard feelings from WWII.

    During the first exchange with TEPCO for the China based experts, held in China, one of the TEPCO team had tattoos that peeked out from his sleeve once. The style of Tattoos that one normally associated with Yakuza. He was on the team to explain TEPCO’s contractor control system. It was a hell of a shock to the French, American experts, but the Chinese in a private debriefing said they knew quite a lot about the penetration of the Yakuza into Japan’s nuclear industry.

    The peer review team eventually found a number of issues, including the placement of the back-up generators at ground level, but by then most of us knew the Japanese would have to have someone stepping on their neck before they would undertake anything that didn’t have a chance for the Yakuza to make a buck. The current IAEA/WANO system of depending on the will of the licenses and national safety organs to do the right thing can’t function here. Neither will a national judicial system in Japan where the Yakuza and the police/prosecutors cooperate as a matter of business result in safety.

    1. Ivy

      Yakuza in Japan, along with various other mafias around the world, perform extracurricular functions with varying degrees of cooperation or at least non-interference by their putative governments. There is some element of popular support for such arrangements that accomplish what their clients request. That business model has become more sophisticated over time, so is a far cry from the simpler immigrant shakedown/facilitator style that was prevalent in the US, for example. When systems don’t work as people want, sometimes they seek redress elsewhere, whether palatable to the general population or not. Greater transparency is desired, but not necessarily by all.

    2. HotFlash

      I understand that the yakuza are hugely into construction in Japan, perhaps like the Teamsters in the US? But please, sir or madam, what is WANO?

      1. Cry Shop

        Click on either of the first two links in the search page the following link brings up.


        For your future reference, try highlighting any term you’re not familiar with and right click (hold on Mac) it, there should be an option to search for that term in the pop-up. Also, consider to change your default search engine away from google.

          1. Cry Shop

            The point was sincere, but I guess the cynicism of having to go through what you do every day to put this post together must taint the view, that I can understand.

            It’s is meant as an instruction of a valuable technique, because I (and others) don’t always come back to check if there is a follow up comment, and the board doesn’t alert the user that there is a reply to an earlier comment (say via email – as Disqus, or Common Dreams, etc; can do). IE: It’s a good idea to build the skill to find the answer first, because a request for help may not be answered.

            For example, I did try to find an answer before I posted the following question in an earlier conversation, that question was not a simple click and see, but I still didn’t get an answer. That’s the nature of the beast.


            If the person could not figure out that a discussion about Nuclear issues in Japan containing WANO refers to the top link item World Ass. of Nuclear Operators, rather than a radio station, then I’m not sure that spoon feeding the link would help them either. It will be interesting to see if they even come back to see if there was a follow up to their question.

            As to expanding acronyms, It is a good practice, and I’ll try to keep it in mind.

        1. optimader

          Normal etiquette, particularly for special use acronyms like for World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) is to define on first use for clarity. Just say’in

        1. Ian

          Looks like it’s a fake, as cannot find on NyTimes. My apologies. Got the blood racing and over reacted.

  19. TedWa

    Wow Ian, that is excellent! Now I’m feeling much better about Bernie’s chances ! Seeing the ads and now a Warren endorsement – wonderful, Yuuge !

  20. bob

    Pictures don’t do that storm any justice. Sounds. The weight of all the ice on all of the trees meant lots of falling and “popping” trees. Closer to gun shots than a pop.

    Really freaky sounds, especially at night, with no power. “hope that’s not the tree next to the house…”

    It was like that for the rest of the winter, really. Don’t go under any tree, it may spontaneously explode. The first week was the worst, constant, huge pops and bangs…everywhere, constantly. Probably the closest ‘natural’ phenomenon to being subject to prolonged shelling/bombing.

      1. Darthbobber

        Well, when you let the guys in the robes and hoods set up tables and leaflet at your rallies, making no effort at all to distance yourself, I can sorta see how that might happen.

        And if you need to “look into” David Duke for more than 15 seconds to figure out whether you should disclaim his support, well what can a body say?

        1. cwaltz

          I’m not a fan of Trump. However, I will be positively shocked if the DNC doesn’t use this to accuse ANYONE who isn’t for Clinton as a racist(even if their reason for supporting Trump is to stick a finger in the eyes of the oligarchs.) I’m less of a fan of that.

          Identity politics have been used to divide the masses forever. Let’s all practice saying status quo.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            If racism is seen as a personal failing, then one’s vote will reflect that failing, or not.

            If racism is seen as systemic, then one’s vote might, or might not, help change that system.

            Personally, I think divorcing economics from racism is demented. The British slavers didn’t carry chests of gold with them to the African slave coast and trade for slaves on the beach; the financing was handled back in Liverpool, along with the insurance. Ferguson’s law enforcement for profit is paying off their bonds. And so on and on and on. One hand grasps, the other manipulates.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        That’s not quite it.

        Anybody who does not support Clinton will get slimed as a racist. So it’s a two-fer, leaving out good faith (which seems entirely reasonable). Fire up the Dem base, sheepdog progressives back into the Party.

        1. kimsarah

          Clinton and her supporters are definitely vindictive. They keep a big black book of enemies.

        1. cwaltz

          Try again. Some of the people who support him do so because he isn’t the choice of the oligarchs.

          By the way, might want to check the definition of the word fact. It doesn’t mean what you think it does. You’re confusing it with the word OPINION.

      3. marym

        This particular incident (at least according to that one link) didn’t seem to originate with supporters. The issues would be if the candidate initiated it (campaign denial in the link) for no security reason, he would the one appearing pander to supporters he assumes are racist and would approve; and whether the Secret Service is acting as a repressive political enforcer, not just providing security protection.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Their own college, too.

      And Trump sharpening the contradictions.

      My question: Secret Service is a Federal agency, controlled by the executive branch, i.e., by Obama. So where is he on this?

      1. ambrit

        I thought that the agents on the scene took their cues from the candidates apparatchiks. Why the Secret Service would agree to act as crowd control is beyond me. That should be someone elses’ job, someone not quite as specialized.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          But presumably there’s guidance about what should, and should not, be done. I would think the Secret Service tossing out peaceful protestors wouldn’t be part of that guidance.

  21. kimsarah

    Since Hillary and her team want to dictate the terms of a voter referendum on Barack’s record, let her have at it. Give her all the rope she needs, Bernie.

    Let her glorify Obamacare as the gold plan of the century, wonderfully corporate-written trade agreements, (pro-charter) school choice, environmental “protection” (fracking, offshore drilling, BP gulf disaster and EPA encouraging self-compliance), and slowing the destruction of Social Security instead of building on it.

    Also, the unconstitutional expansion of surveillance of Americans, accelerating the neocon agenda in the Middle East, making false promises to suit each audience, and getting along swell with Congress.

    She assumes Democrats want Barack III in the White House.
    Perhaps half of all Democrats want that. The other half have gotten wise to Barry and want no more of it.

    She incorrectly assumes all of Bernie’s supporters will jump on her bandwagon and give her a wonderful turnout in November.

    So please Bernie, help everyone out and show us why you’d be much different from Barry. I won’t mind if you bash Barry every time you get a chance. He’s a big boy. He can take it, as he coasts into his retirement at some golf course community.

  22. Darthbobber

    Corey Robin on Facebook today, with one take on Clinton’s choice of explicitly reactionary messaging:
    “Amid all the accusations that Hillary Clinton is not an honest or authentic politician, that she’s an endless shape-shifter who says whatever works to get her to the next primary, it’s important not to lose sight of the one truth she’s been telling, and will continue to tell, the voters: things will not get better. Ever. At first, I thought this was just an electoral ploy against Sanders: don’t listen to the guy promising the moon. No such thing as a free lunch and all that. But it goes deeper. The American ruling class has been trying to figure out for years, if not decades, how to manage decline, how to get Americans to get used to diminished expectations, how to adapt to the notion that life for the next generation will be worse than for the previous generation, and now, how to accept (as Alex Gourevitch reminded me tonight) low to zero growth rates as the new economic normal. Clinton’s campaign message isn’t just for Bernie voters; it’s for everyone. Expect little, deserve less, ask for nothing. When the leading candidate of the more left of the two parties is saying that — and getting the majority of its voters to embrace that message — the work of the American ruling class is done.”

    1. wbgonne

      Brilliant. We are being conditioned to the New Normal. Obama twists hope and change into Orwellian doublespeak and then Clinton comes in to harvest the cynicism.

  23. Dana Reay

    Re Lambert’s Water Cooler post “The Trail”,
    “Hillary’s Missing Speeches” [LA Times Progressive]. At last!”

    Oh,come on! Really?? I’m a Sanders supporter and I still don’t buy that HRC would be that openly fawning to her Wall Street tail-waggers! After the Romney “47%” speech fumble (2009), no shill for the 1%, and especially HRC, would be that foolish! This transcript of her supposed speech to the “Giant Squid” in 2013 is a fake.

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