2:00PM Water Cooler 3/22/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“The [TTiP] chapter [on Regulatory Cooperation] is also littered with vague, undefined concepts which – within a trade deal – could be misinterpreted in many ways. We counted more than 20 concepts in the latest EU text which were not self-explaining, such as ‘timely information’, ‘unnecessarily burdensome’ and ‘pre-normative research’. It will be a lawyer’s paradise” [BEUC].

“TTIP: Civil Society statement on the new EU proposal on Regulatory Cooperation” [Lobby Control]. “We consider it a threat to democratic decision-making and regulation in the public interest.”

“Who prevails could play out in a [TPP] process known as ‘Certification’. This is where the US Government refuses to ratify the agreement until it’s satisfied that other countries’ laws and practice are compliant with its interpretation of the agreement. It did this with the US-Australia FTA. The US forced Australia to rush additional amendments to its copyright laws, with only a few hours for public consultation and submissions” [New Zealand Herald]. “It’s ominous that the US pharmaceutical industry is intensively lobbying the US Congress about the importance of certification. Even more concerning is the support signified by influential Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. There’s also support from the US administration.”



“The only way to defeat Trumpism and its fake ideas is not to collectively punish his supporters — even if some are practitioners of rank racism and xenophobia — but to come up with some real ideas to improve the places where these voters live” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News]. And the only way to get that done is to make such policies universal (and inalienable, so concrete material benefits don’t drain out of the hole in the bucket that is institutional racism).

“The Great Unraveling: Your Thoughts” [The Atlantic]. I’ll just note this is Ron Fournier. Anyhow, you can write to him. Better Fournier than David Brooks, I suppose.

“Hillary and Trump give virtually identical speeches at AIPAC, get standing ovations” [Daily Kos]. So awesome.

“‘She sounds like Netanyahu’: Hillary Clinton goes extra hawkish in her biased, die-hard pro-Israel AIPAC speech” [Salon].

“WATCH: Bernie Sanders Skips AIPAC to Give Major Middle East Policy Address in Utah” [Haaretz].

The Voters

“The millions of new voters spurred by Donald Trump and other campaign myths, debunked” [WaPo].

“Most Republicans Feel Embarrassed by Campaign, Poll Says” [New York Times].

“What the Republican elites fear most of all is that the working class voters who have supported them in the past will come to realize that the solution is not the false promise of prosperity for all from tax cuts for wealthy “job creators,” or cuts to the programs the working class depends upon, but rather tax increases on those who have done so well within our economic system. The Republican elites are right to be afraid” [Mark Thoma, The Fiscal Times]. Possibly, though some data would be nice. Of course, at the Federal Level, taxes don’t pay for spending…

“More than 2,000 counties have voted in Republican nominating contests so far. Mr. Trump, the GOP front-runner, has won the lion’s share of them, some 63%. But Mr. Trump has won only 35% of counties that hold state capitals” [Wall Street Journal, “A Bright Spot for Ted Cruz: State Capitals”]. Rubio or Cruz won those.

The Trail

“The poll showed support for Clinton at 51 percent while Sanders stood at 44 percent. This indicates a substantially tighter race than the previous iteration of the same poll in late February, which showed Clinton leading Sanders 55 percent to 38 percent” [Talking Points Memo]. This in the face of an almost complete Sanders news blackout, and near-universal derision by the political class, who have declared the race over.

“Bernie Sanders is set to win several states. Will they be enough?” [Vox]. Well, that depends on how you define “enough,” doesn’t it?

“What’s Wrong With Bernie Sanders’s Strategy” [Joan Walsh, The Nation]. Nobody’s broken Walsh’s identity politics rice bowl yet. Somebody should. That’s what’s wrong.

“Bill Clinton knocks ‘awful legacy’ of last 8 years” [USA Today]. This “gaffe” — remember, “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say” (Michael Kinsley) — is getting a lot of attention. The Clinton campaign is trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube — Perhaps they could say the Big Dog “evolved”? — and on the Twitter, the line is that “the last eight years” have nothing to do with Obama at all, since, as we know, Obama can never fail. He can only be failed.

“Donald Trump’s interview with the Washington Post is totally bananas” [WaPo]. No doubt. Of course, the baseline for sanity at WaPo is pretty low, given how hard those scumbags and weasels waved their pom poms for war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan, war in Syria, war in Ukraine… [UPDATE And how could I forget Libya, and whatever the heck Africom is doing?]

Stats Watch

FHFA House Price Index, January 2016: “Home prices, which had sagged going into year-end, picked up in January based on FHFA’s index which rose 0.5 percent in the month” [Econoday]. “Given weakness in wage growth, home-price appreciation is more important than ever for household wealth.” Wages aren’t wealth, by definition. Idiots! And: “The housing depression continues” [Mosler Economics].

PMI Manufacturing Index Flash, March 2016: “[P]oints to no significant pickup” [Econoday]. “Respondents in the sample continue to report declining demand for energy equipment, the result of low oil prices, and subdued demand for exports, the result of weak global demand tied with the strength of the dollar. A drop in pre-production inventories is a key negative in the report, hinting at a weakening outlook for future business. Destocking is also underway for finished goods which are also on the decline.”

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, March 2016: “This is the strongest reading since April 2010 and shows the greatest month-to-month change in the report’s 23 years of data” (although it’s a small sample) [Econoday]. “One regional report is only one regional report and one month is only one month, but this report does confirm the strength in last week’s Empire State and Philly Fed reports and, unlike this morning’s manufacturing PMI, points to new momentum for the manufacturing sector, momentum that may raise talk of easing headwinds from exports and energy equipment.” And: “Of the three regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, all are in expansion” [Econintersect].

Industrial Production: “The Federal Reserve Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization report declined -0.5% for February on mining and utilities. More ominous is an annual -1.0% decline. January was revised to a 0.8% monthly increase. The G.17 industrial production statistical release is also known as output for factories and mines [Economic Populist]. “Total industrial production has now decreased -1.0% from a year ago.” Manufacturing up; mining and utilities down.

“What’s Up with Wage Growth?” [Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco]. “[W]e show that changes in the composition of the workforce propped up wages during the recession, despite a significant increase in labor market slack. As the labor market has recovered, this pattern has reversed. We find that cyclical components, such as the entry of low-wage workers to full-time jobs, have combined with secular components, specifically the exit of higher-wage retirees, to hold down recent measures of overall wage growth.” In other words, a two-tier economy.

Shipping: “For the first time in living memory the global dry bulk fleet is set to contract significantly this year, [according to] Khalid Hashim, the veteran managing director of Precious Shipping” [Splash247].

“Oil Industry Group Claims Copyright On Oil Pricing Data, Gets Twitter To Delete Tweets” [Tech Dirt].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 78, Extreme Greed (previous close: 78, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 73 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 22 at 12:15pm. Still putzing around in the high seventies. C’mon, guys!

Our Famously Free Press

“Inside Jacobin: how a socialist magazine is winning the left’s war of ideas” [Vox]. That Jacobin is getting a Vox explainer is so meta I can’t stand it.

Dear Old Blighty

“Corbyn, more than most politicians, is innocent of marketing tricks, behavioural economics and the darker arts of persuasion. And yet he benefited from the focusing and salience effects whilst his supposedly more PR-savvy rivals failed. Perhaps this is one more data-point in favour of John Kay’s theory of obliquity – that our goals are often best achieved when pursued indirectly” [Stumbling and Mumbling]. Fun read!

“Is it possible to become bored with hopelessness?” [David Graeber, The Baffler]. “There is reason to believe something like that is beginning to happen in Great Britain. Call it despair fatigue.”

“The curious tale of £22bn NHS efficiency savings” [BBC]. “They argue that the purpose of the five-year forward view planning was to model different assumptions about the level of productivity gains that could be delivered.” Oh, bullshit. The purpose was to gut the NHS.

“The sugar tax tightens Britian’s social straightjacket” [CAPX]. “There are few instincts more fundamentally illiberal than the drive towards preventative policymaking.” Cf. ObamaCare’s “wellness” programs, a scam I should take the time to look at.

Health Care

“The Price Effects of Cross-Market Hospital Mergers” [NBER]. Important paper on consolidation, shows how hospitals increase their leverage over insurers.

“Why venture capital firms are pouring money into health insurance” [Modern Health Care]. “But widespread consumer dissatisfaction with dominant carriers and the Affordable Care Act’s new marketplaces for individual plans has created an opening for innovators to come up with alternative approaches and has primed investors to take a chance on what they’re pitching.”


From #WorldWaterDay.

“Breaking Delhi’s water mafia: how access to clean water got political in India” [Independent]. What they need is an Uber for water! Oh, wait…

“According to a WaterAid study published Tuesday, water saps more than half of the meager earnings of many of the world’s poorest while those in developed nations spend only a fraction of their incomes on water” [Los Angeles Times]. “Globally, diarrheal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation kill about 315,000 children annually and are the second biggest child killer after pneumonia. An estimated 50% of malnutrition cases are linked to chronic diarrhea, the [WaterAid] report says.”

“An estimated three out of four jobs globally are dependent on water, meaning that shortages and lack of access are likely to limit economic growth in the coming decades, the United Nations said on Tuesday” [Reuters]. “As climate change contributes to rising sea levels and extreme weather, at least one in four people will live in a country with chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water by 2050, the United Nations estimates, making it more important to focus on expanding rainwater harvesting and recycling wastewater.”

“Sustainability: Transfer project cannot meet China’s water needs” [Nature]. “As its limitations become clear, the SNWD [South-to-North Water Diversion] project might well mark the nadir of big-engineering solutions to China’s water problems.” Chinatown… In China! Very illuminating article.

“The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo River has been considered the most endangered river in North America and one of the most endangered rivers globally for a long time” [IIASA]. “Problems include drought and water scarcity, the degradation of water quality, loss of river habitats, and over-exploitation of groundwater. The water allocation regime between the US and Mexico is over a hundred years old and not adequate any longer. It consists mainly of allocating transboundary watercourses and facing environmental issues within a fragmented structure.”

“The world’s coal-fired power plants use enough water to meet the basic water requirements of 1 billion people, according to a Greenpeace report released late Monday. Making matters worse, 25 percent of the world’s coal-fired power plants — there are about 8,400 already, and an additional 2,700 planned — are in areas where freshwater is being used faster than it is replenished” [HuffPo].

“Draft restrictions for Panama Canal shipping because of El Nino-related drop in water levels” [Splash247].


“Everything has a price. Everyone can be bought. We assume this principle is endemic to modern life — and that accepting it is most obvious to the impoverished. Except all over the world, people are defying it for a greater cause. That courage may be even more contagious” [Guardian]. Lax Kw’alaams reject a billion dollars for a pipeline, put Trudeau’s climate plan to the test. Fine words butter no parsnips!

Class Warfare

“A recent study found that U.S. universities’ costs could increase to a total of $24 billion from $4.3 billion for courses currently taught by adjuncts, if union targets for higher pay are met” [Wall Street Journal, “As Adjunct Professors Unionize, Debate Sharpens Over Cost to Schools”]. So fire some administrators. I bet you could hire ten adjuncts for one fully loaded Dean, and you’d eliminate corporate sabotage of university institutions, too.

“Fast-food CEO says he’s investing in machines because the government is making it difficult to afford employees” [Business Insider].

“How Sunday stopped being special for the American worker” [WaPo]. When workers became consumers, maybe? Anyhow, another screw job from Walmart.

News of the Wired

“As The New York Times says, one of the most striking aspects of the [Bataclan] phones is that not a single e-mail or online chat message from the attackers was found on them. That seems to be further evidence that they knew such communications were routinely monitored by intelligence agencies. But rather than trying to avoid discovery by using encryption—which would in itself have drawn attention to their accounts—they seem to have stopped using the Internet as a communication channel altogether, and turned to standard cellular network calls on burner phones” [Ars Technica]. “If they think you’re technical, go crude; if they think you’re crude, go technical.” –William Gibson.

“Boaty McBoatface: What You Get When You Let the Internet Decide” [New York Times]. And so what?

* * *

Readers, I still need to fix my fershuggeneh contact form! Hopefully noting that fact publicly will serve a lash and a spur to my endeavors. (Meanwhile, thanks to readers, who already have my email address, who sent in images of plants!)

See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (Mrs. Mop):


Mrs. Mop writes:

Here’s a beautiful picture of an ancient tree growing in Parque Almendares in La Habana, Cuba. Parque Almendares is a huge wild urban jungle located in El Vedado (Habana).

The name of the tree is Jagüey, or “arbol de judas” = the tree of Judas because, in Cuba, this plant symbolizes betrayal and ingratitude, since it tends to grow into other plants’ body to support itself, and, in doing so, forcefully embrazes and entangles those plants until they become completely strangled and die.

* * *

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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. Left in Wisconsin

    Apologies for repeating a comment I just made on Links but Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC last night not only portrayed Warren’s attack on Trump as coordinated with HRC’s pivot to Trump, but also as an explicit Warren audition for HRC’s VP slot. It makes sense to me. Bill and Hill don’t really care who is VP while Bernie and Liz can claim they got something substantial in return for their support of the ticket.

    Of course this is all premature – go Bernie – but wondering if others feel the same.

    In the same vein, it seemed clear to me last night that MSNBC is now comfortable that HRC has the nomination locked up and has shifted into “be super-nice to Bernie” mode. They even ran the first 15 or so minutes of his Arizona speech last night for no particularly good reason.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      It is time for Bernie to start planning his exit strategy to take his Berners and start a new party — in June after the final primaries. The Damnocraps have cheated and sabotaged him at every turn. Seriously, what is the alternative? Regardless of final delegate count they will never let him take the nomination from Hellery. The fix has been in from day one. They will tell him to kiss Hellery’s ring and endorse her. And for what? To Spend his final days in congress being a ‘token progressive’ to the Neoliberals. C’mon Bernie, this is an FDR sized moment, seize it.

      1. James Levy

        Sanders would have to think two things in order to do what you suggest he do: 1) he would have to think that he had some kind of chance to win (at 73 the added stress of 5 months of endless campaigning without a party apparatus to support you would be killer); 2) he’d have to believe that a President Trump would not be seriously worse than President Clinton. I don’t know what he thinks about either of those things. You may be absolutely sure, but I give the man the benefit of making up his own mind. I do think that such a move would reunite the Republicans in a hurry, as it would almost guarantee them the White House, and Republicans love power even more than Democrats (and the DLC types love them some power).

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          The historic opportunity is starting a third party that works for the people. Winning the presidency in 2016 would be a cherry on the cream pie if that can also be achieved. Like a I said, does he really want to spend his final working years being the ‘token progressive’ in a Neoliberal party?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hillary thinks she’s got Britain in the pocket and turns towards Donald (US-Russian Non Aggressive Pact) Trump.

      “Go easy on Bernie. A few scares here and there will do. Ship all my Panzer divisions the other way.”

  2. Jim Haygood

    Why Bernie couldn’t deliver his foreign policy speech at AIPAC:

    To be successful, we have also got to be a friend not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian people, where in Gaza unemployment today is 44 percent and we have there a poverty rate which is almost as high.

    So when we talk about Israel and Palestinian areas, it is important to understand that today there is a whole lot of [unemployment] among Palestinians and that cannot be ignored. You can’t have good policy that results in peace if you ignore one side.

    Peace will mean ending what amounts to the occupation of Palestinian territory, establishing mutually agreed upon borders, and pulling back settlements in the West Bank, just as Israel did in Gaza – once considered an unthinkable move on Israel’s part.


    Offering sensible, balanced points like these inside the AIPAC hatefest would have earned jeers for Bernie, if not a hail of shoes thrown in his face.

    1. James Levy

      Shoes in the face would have hurt Sanders, but I can’t see how it would have hurt Trump, who could pin them on his chest as another badge of honor for being a “straight-talking maverick”. That he didn’t tells us a lot about what he’s afraid of and what he really is and is not prepared to do.

      1. Carolinian

        Here’s what he said back in December.

        Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition on Thursday, Donald Trump once again demonstrated how he is not your typical presidential candidate.

        “You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,” Trump told members of the Sheldon Adelson-funded hardline pro-Israel lobbying organization.


        What’s different is that the nomination is now more than possible and that AIPAC is a much bigger deal. Perhaps Trump, like Sanders, should have just skipped the whole thing. He probably feels he has to fend off a convention challenge by getting at least some establishment support.

        1. Yves Smith

          Trump is nowhere near as rich as he pretends to be. He’s got absolute max $300 million in liquid assets, and maybe only $70 million liquid. All the free media he is getting is as godsend for him. Unlike Bloomberg, there is no way he could finance a campaign on his own.

          1. craazyman

            Do you think he should move back to Queens and rent a room above an auto body shop? That could save him a few hundred bucks a month for sure.

            He could hang out with the dudes from Pakistan who work the lifts and the welding machines and chill out after work on folding chairs by the streets. I’ve seem them myself, when I walk around there on summer afternoons, their women dressed up in reds and greens, long cotton dresses that look like smocks or something a nun would wear. But they’re bright with life instead of black.

            That would be strange, for him to do that. It could be like in War and Peace when Natasha Rostova finds herself as a war refugee without realizing that she even is what she is and rises above it with such grace you’d think somebody just made it up and wrote it down, that was how unnatural it was. But probably not! hahahahahah. it’s always hard to say. But you’d think people would consider something like that just to see what it would be like — living for a while above an autobody shop in Queens I mean not becoming a war refugee. Those are the people that I’d trust the most, because at least they wonder. That’s a start.

    2. Ranger Rick

      He should go all the way and suggest the unthinkable option: that Israel give the Palestinians full representation in the Knesset. Let’s make a deal!

      1. Jim Haygood

        That’s what happened in post-apartheid South Africa … and likely will happen in Israel too.

        No U.S. politician (not even Bernie) is prepared to go there. The ‘two-state solution’ serves as a sanitized version of the popular 19th century notion of deporting black people to Liberia (or somewhere) to preserve the U.S. as a white European nation. (Note how that rhymes with the formulation of Israel as “a Jewish state”).

        1. JohnnyGL

          There’s a few knowledgeable commentators that have come to the recognition that a 2 state solution is impossible. Only a 1 state solution is possible at this point. Then the country of Palest-israel ends up looking like S. Africa does today or lots of other incredibly unequal developing countries.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You stake out an extreme, extreme position and you will look magnanimous making a tiny concession.

          Trump wants to build a wall.

          “I will put in a few gates to allow traffic. I give in a little and now, what is your concession?”

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            Trump’s not really going to build a wall. (1) It’s my understanding it would screw up the wildlife that naturally goes back and forth, and might have unforeseen consequences in this regard. (2) If it’s just a physical wall, they would tunnel underneath it. —– But they could do a better job of enforcing the laws that exist.—–Trump is primarily a showman, so he throws out these ideas which will never actually fly if and when he gets elected. He’s a wild card—nobody knows what the hell he’ll do as president. But a lot of us still prefer him over HRC. If Bernie goes down in defeat, I say: “Let the (Trump) show go on.”

          2. craazyboy

            Who needs a wall when we have self driving cars and jeeps, drones, army robots and twitter to keep our borders safe?

            1. NoOne

              I suppose many people know that a wall already exists at many places along the US-Mexican border.

              Here’s Nogales Az- Nogales Mexico


              Here’s Tijuana:


    1. Light a Candle

      thanks for posting that link to the polling analysis. It ain’t over until it’s over!

    2. JohnnyGL

      After the 15th, I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel. He needed to keep it closer in states like FL. The mountain looks too steep. He could have used a couple of wins in the rust belt to keep it closer. Ohio was a real dagger after the elevated expectations of MI.

      He’s got a shot, but it’s a long shot. We’ll see tonight if he’s got real legs. A win in AZ would be a statement win. He needs to sweep all 3 states, preferably by large margins.

      1. hunkerdown

        Did you miss the Democrats Abroad win? 69%-31%. Only 9-4 lead in delegates, but that Americans located outside the propaganda zone are better than 2:1 for Bernie is a powerful message that those inside shouldn’t ignore.

      2. participant-observer-observed

        AZ Berner voters on fb are reporting widespread voting irregularities blocking voting w poll station computers showing those who switched from independents to dems as Republicans or missing.

        See Bernie Believers fb page for lots of updates from all over the country.

        1. pretzelattack

          this is really pissing me off. the rigged primary process, the media blitz wall against sanders, the huge dark money edge, all this isn’t enough, now they have to stoop to nixon level dirty tricks.

            1. Barmitt O'Bamney

              I wouldn’t care if Hillary were able to win it “fair and square” without election rigging: she simply must not become President. Must. Not. If she beats Trump or whomever, we’re guaranteed that TPP passes. TISA and TTIP also pass. And if those pass then you and 320 million other US citizens will no longer have a country except in your memories. There is then no more sovereign democracy, anywhere, period, and that’s forever. The End. Other candidates might also deliver the same outcome, but with Hillary it’s a lock.

              Even an outright Fascist might be more survivable -long run- than Mrs. NAFTA.

          1. readerOfTeaLeaves

            Agree completely.
            The entire West, including CA with 12% of the US population all by itself, have not yet voted, and yet we are told ‘it’s over’. That’s just insulting.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If they don’t call penalty on what you are doing, you keep going.

          All successful professional athletes know that.

          1. frosty zoom

            are you sure? from dollary’s aipac speech:

            I have given suck, and know
            How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.
            I would, while it was smiling in my face,
            Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums
            And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you
            Have done to this.

    3. craazyboy

      I’ve been wondering what happens if Bernie wins, but nobody knows because the media didn’t cover it?

      Will we have to pull up the Super Bowl schedule so it happens on Inauguration Day? Will we keep referring to Congress as a “lame duck session” forever?? What if somebody asks, “Who’s President nowadays?”. In the media, I mean, so we know someone was curious about it. How do you come up with an answer to that one?

      1. craazyman

        I never thought of that but you’re right. Nobody would know he won. The media could pretend somebody else is president and who’d know the difference? A cynic would say it already works like that and they might be right. For me, i’ll just pretend that Bernie is president anyway. I can pretend that right now, in fact. How would I even know i’m pretending! It could be real but the news is all fake, so it only seems like pretending but in fact it’s really how things are. I don’t care if he’s not the candidate or even the consensus president. lots of things the consensus believes aren’t true. Why shouldn’t who’s president be one too?.

        1. craazyboy

          I guess we could take the lock off the WH front door and let them all move in and fight it out there the next four years. ‘Course Cheney would show up too, so someone would have to do a gun check at the front door. Cable TV could always film it and make it a sitcom like West Wing or something. Then we’d still know what’s going on.

          1. craazyboy

            They should call the sitcom “The Patriot Act”, and the filming would be approved by the NSA so everything’s legal, of course.

        2. Ulysses

          This may be the most epistemologically sophisticated comment it has ever been my fortune to read here at NC! What if all of us could be like the Demon that Stanislaw Lem describes in the Cyberiad, able to construct real worlds, far more pleasing than mere transitory daydreams that vanish with the jarring honk of a passing taxicab?

          “We want the Demon, you see, to extract from the dance of atoms only information that is genuine, like mathematical theorems, fashion magazines, blueprints, historical chronicles, or a recipe for ion crumpets, or how to clean and iron a suit of asbestos, and poetry too, and scientific advice, and almanacs, and calendars, and secret documents, and everything that ever appeared in any newspaper in the Universe, and telephone books of the future…”

          I think you’re on to something here, extract your own reality from “the dance of atoms” and live free of worry and stress. Unnecessary stress, caused by the tyranny of random accident that we too often accept as “reality.”

          1. craazyman

            It works until a man buys a drill and a pick up truck and drives around looking for a hole where he can get lucky. Then you need a real hole and you can’t make one up or use your own. hahahahahahahahahahhahaha sorry. Yves post about the oil bust just cracked me up. I couldn’t help it, it was like watching a western movie in my head with cowboys and drillers and rigs and trucks. It all happened in my mind so fast I couldn’t help it, then I just wrote it down.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              This is much better worked out, but I’ve always had in mind the metaphor of poking through the painted canvas of a Potemkin village. One little hole, if the wind is right, becomes a tear.

  3. Pavel

    God forbid Sanders criticise Obama in even the most subtle or diplomatic way… then when the Big Dog Bill says the last 8 years have been an “awful legacy” he is only referring to the Repugs, or something.

    BTW Lambert what a great photo… is that a Ficus by any chance? I’ve seen similar trees — spectacularly — in Hawaii (or Hawai’i :) and more recently in Palermo. Amazing trees, but rather insidious in their roots and invasions…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why get into the ring when you have decided to handicap yourself before the fight?

      You have to define the problem and its causes…. not just subtle jabs at Obama’s weaknesses, much less failing to backing up your previous claim.

        1. ambrit

          When I was a kiddler in Nassau, there was a big banyan tree in the play yard of the kindergarten. It was so much fun to climb around in.

  4. Frenchguy

    Once you are able to get past the Trumpian way of speaking, I have a hard times getting what is so bananas about his Wapo interview. He can’t be more anti-interventionnist than that (music to my ears) and he obviously wants to build a lot of new infrastructures (also a good move).

    1. Jason

      There’s the part where, when asked about dealing with ISIS, tactical nuclear weapons, and Syria, he changes the topic in a very abrupt and clumsy way.

      1. Frenchguy

        True, the guy’s not a natural at changing topics and he seems a bit out of its depth here and there but I have seen worse from experienced politicians (not often ok). Not saying the guy’s great but I was expecting a bit more fireworks from this interview given the “bananas” tag.

    2. jrs

      Well the vast majority of the interview isn’t even about foreign policy. But yes it is the typical Trumpian way of speaking, ie everything can be taken back, everything you think you heard you actually misheard or isn’t what he meant. Gaslighting in other words.

      So his foreign policy doesn’t sound extremely interventionists from that no (and that is more than you can say of many of the clown car who are warmongers if ever I’ve seen them), but again he doesn’t even like to talk about what his foreign policy would be, he says that in the interview himself. So the best we can do is judge his appointments.

      Although he does say in the interview he doesn’t believe in climate change. Not that so called people who believe in climate change like Hellary are going to do any better (Bernie hmm hard to say), but there you have it. Unlike foreign policy he is clear on that point.

  5. Alex morfesis

    Billary, obama & the larry summers bearhug…
    Remember when beria…
    I mean valarie jarret, was all noisy about summers but somehow he fell off the bar stool and ended up in the dustbin…did the former commander and thief just throw a brushback pitch…to keep hillary from getting bearhugged…

    8 yrs…hmmm..so if gorby and yeltsin dont fold and gore doesnt arrange for silly cone head valley to be handed newly declassified technology in his “invention of the internet”…oops sorry…arranged for the drop off of taxpayer funded computer code in san jose garages…no wait…allow former govt employees who worked in buildings that dont and never existed…oh never mind…legends make for much more amusing narratives than the facts…roll the tape & pass the popcorn…

  6. allan

    Ride to the Bottom: U.S. energy workers hit hard by company stock bets [Reuters]

    Nearly 15 years since Enron’s collapse decimated the retirement accounts of its employees, hundreds of thousands of U.S. energy workers remain precariously exposed to big, concentrated bets on company stock in their 401(k) retirement plans.

    The slide in oil prices to their lowest levels in over a decade wiped out several billion dollars of retirement wealth in the energy sector in the past year. The losses may prove temporary for companies that successfully navigate the crisis, but tens of thousands of employees of struggling firms may see much of their nest eggs gone for good.

    You can’t make an ownership society omelette without breaking some nest eggs.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      In an “economic downturn,” “wealth” is not destroyed, it is transferred.

      No idea who said that, but truer words were never spoken.

      1. John Merryman

        It isn’t destroyed because it never really was there in the first place. The “transfer” is making sure that what was there, flows to those in the knows, when the cloud of promises fades.

  7. aletheia33

    “The millions of new voters spurred by Donald Trump and other campaign myths, debunked” —
    link is to story in LA Times, not WaPo.

    but see also in today’s links: ”Donald Trump will (almost certainly) never be elected president. Here’s why.” WaPo (opinion piece).

  8. diptherio

    Re: Boaty McBoatface

    …the contest became the latest in the Internet’s long, storied history to end up with social media users gleefully offering ridiculous names to government-funded projects.

    The initiatives are often hilarious but don’t often succeed.

    I assume that last sentence refers to the government-funded projects, because the names are a resounding success. Imagine if Mountain Dew had a flavor named “Diabeetus” and Chuck Norris had a bridge named after him (you don’t walk on the Chuck Norris Bridge, the Chuck Norris Bridge walks on you!). How would that not be a better world?

    We should name every government agency and program through internet poll. Imagine the possibilities…we could add scare quotes to the C”I”A, for just one.

  9. Prufrock

    Even a day later, I LOL when I think about the Vox explainer on Jacobin. I read both regularly, and fall roughly between the two. This paragraph in particular is great:

    “Jacobin also does a better job than most left-wing publications at engaging with mainstream media outlets. Take Ackerman’s recent long piece critiquing Vox’s coverage of Bernie Sanders’ single-payer plan. You can have problems with that piece, but it spoke Vox’s own language. It cited the same kinds of studies, used the same kinds of graphs, worked in the same vernacular. It didn’t simply condemn us as sellout neoliberals (which … fair enough) and move along; it engaged with the arguments on their own terms.”

  10. perpetualWAR

    Why is everyone on this blog writing Bernie off already? I do believe Yves explained that he would be the winner after the 15th.

    Looks like the entire West Coast, including California, will be going Bernie. Or does the West Coast simply not count?

    1. diptherio

      Why is everyone on this blog writing Bernie off already?

      That’s not my read on the tenor of sentiments among the commentariat. Two victims of confirmation bias here, I suspect.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        I want Bernie to win but I believe even if he winds up with more real delegates, the superdelegates will not switch over to Bernie. The only way he will be the nominee is if an indictment comes down, IMHO, or maybe if Comey resigns in disgust.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Go big.

      Be bold.

      The clock is winding out, and the other side is playing prevent defense to run the clock out.

      Miracles do happen though.

    3. hreik

      I don’t think people are writing him off. I, one of his ardent supporters who has been phone banking and will GOTR (register voters) and canvas, (and I’m an old woman), think his path to the nomination is very narrow.
      Given that, and the interference and sabotage by the other side (MA, where the big dog interfered with people getting to the polls, NC where students voters were turned away and misinformed, NC where the sabotage and shenanigans were nasty (link: https://pplswar.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/did-hillbots-infiltrate-and-sabotage-the-sanders-campaign-from-within/ , Ill, where students voters were also turned away)…. it is very unlikely. The Clintons don’t like to lose. They will do anything to win. And they remember every slight. She has no core, nor he. Craven, vulgar, soulless. Power / money hungry.

      As Bob Herbert so eloquently said here

      The Clintons are a terminally unethical and vulgar couple, and they’ve betrayed everyone who has ever believed in them.

    4. MojaveWolf

      Not everyone. Definitely not me. I still say that if people don’t let the constant drumbeat of MSM propaganda convince them to stay home, he sweeps past her on June 7th & wins the convention fight.

      I share your frustration though. Tons of articles saying the 15th would be his low point and after that he starts catching up. What happens after the 15th? A whole bunch of people suddenly start wanting to give up or plan exit strategies. Highly annoying, incredibly frustrating, downright infuriating, but that’s why the DNC set up the primaries the way they did–doing everything possible to give whoever is the most conservative candidate the best chance to get ahead, build momentum & declare the race over in their favor before half the country had a chance to vote.

      That sort of propaganda/set-up only works if people let it. Hopefully no one out west lets it. He definitely helped himself at the town hall last night. He kicked ass, and Hillary was horrible. The one take away from her part was that she doesn’t like Trump and she is itching to attack Iran.

      Hopefully not everyone fell asleep during her mostly conservative non-answers to softball questions. Bernie was generally awesome, & had tons of energy despite campaigning all day, It was mostly foreign policy, supposedly his weakness, but he gave by far the best answers of anyone. Not a close call (unless you, too, are itching to launch more wars in the middle east, in which the race for your vote clearly has narrowed to a contest between Cruz & Hillary, with Cruz having the added bonus of sounding kinda excited when he talked about nuclear explosions in the air over the US)

      The West Coast counts. Washington gets us west coasters started on Saturday. I’m counting on your predicted blowout there. =)

    5. dk

      I’d rather examine and start strategizing for the most likely worst case, than relax in anticipation of a better outcome.

      I’m switching to Dem to support Bernie in the local primary, and eking out time to phonebank.

      But I actually think that a strong and effective post-Sanders grassroots org (BernRoots? just hope they don’t try to shovel “People’s” into the name) might accomplish as much, and more durably, under a Hillary presidency than under a Sanders term, since the establismentarians could be forced into giving ground to protect their investment in Hillary, rather than feeling free to harass and ignore a president they never wanted and expect nothing from. And oligarchs aren’t above assassination or other sabotage.

      And I would love nothing better than to be completely wrong in this. But it’s just silly not to think ahead. And happy outcomes don’t require as much preparation and fortitude. I’ll worry about what could go wrong, not what could go well.

      Who makes these changes?
      I shoot an arrow right.
      It lands left.
      I ride after a deer and find myself
      Chased by a hog.
      I plot to get what I want
      And end up in prison.
      I dig pits to trap others
      And fall in.

      I should be suspicious
      Of what I want.

      – Rumi (tr. Barks)

    6. craazyboy

      I haven’t seen poll for CA. Is Bernie really beating Hill there? The Team Blue is strong in that state.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          The politics websites are reporting Mar 22 as Hillary extends lead by winning Arizona. But actually Bernie picked up a few delegates on her overall by annihilating her in Utah and Idaho. Obviously they are all trying to suck up to the anointed one.

  11. ProNewerDeal

    With the 0bama meeting with Cuban leader R. Castro in the news, I was curious on a question that IMHO is potientally most relevant to most USians: will medical tourism be legal in Cuba?

    I searched & found this 1 yr old article

    AFAICT, it appears that if you visit Cuba under 1 of the approved reasons, you can “off the record” get healthcare while you are there. If somehow a USian tourist was “busted” by USian Fed Gov (USFG) official, it does not seem that they would be “in trouble” or a “charged with a felony” as if say they were caught with cannabis in non-CO type states.

    This seems to be another policy that is subject to “Presidential/Exec Branch whim”, similar to how the current Exec branch instructs the DEA to not prosecute state-legalized cannabis retailers in CO, but in Jan 2017 a new President could instruct the DEA to charge felonies to said retailers. Similarly, perhaps medical tourism in Cuba, apparently unofficially decriminalized now in a “gray market” now, is subject to change based on Presidential Whim in Jan 2017.

    Is my understanding correct here?

    BTW, 0bama said on his Cuba policy “the existing policy has not worked. If something does not work for 50 years, it needs to be changed”.

    OK 0bama, you get 1 prop (not “props” in the plural) for your Cuba policy, but why don’t you apply that logic to your killing of MedicareForAll, or your continued Corporate Welfare to the Military Industrial Complex? 0bama = Hypocrite = Doucheus Maximus

    0bama noted he met with Cuban dissidents. I would like pro-MedicareForAll USian dissidents to be able to meet with the Canadian PM Trudeau, or even Cuban Pres. R Castro, & then have said leader complain loudly (as 0bama on Cuba’s human rights) on US’s barbaric human rights atrocities on restricting healthcare, killing MedicareForAll, & thus killing 30K+/yr USians, a figure orders of magnitude worse then the murders from the Terism Boogeymen Du Jour that 0bama/BigPol/BigMedia continuously cry about.

  12. DJG

    Thanks for this column and comment: I’d call Bunch today’s must-read:


    “The only way to defeat Trumpism and its fake ideas is not to collectively punish his supporters — even if some are practitioners of rank racism and xenophobia — but to come up with some real ideas to improve the places where these voters live” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News]. And the only way to get that done is to make such policies universal (and inalienable, so concrete material benefits don’t drain out of the hole in the bucket that is institutional racism).

  13. DJG

    Bill Clinton and the eight years of horror that he has had to endure: There are two problems with the Clintons. First, dynasty. Which is inherently anti-democratic. Then there is Bill. What does HRC plan to do with him for the next four years? Make him co-ex-now-revived-president? Bringing back his zombie policies? Or, my suggestion: Ambassador to Kiribati. Then turn off the embassy Wifi.

    By the way, the HRC fan club adores Bill. They are a virtual Theodora and Justinian.

    1. Dr. Robert

      I’ve been seeing a lot of Byzantine references relating to this election lately. Which is odd because, well, no one ever makes Byzantine references. Just the other day I read someone saying Sanders supporters are all Monophysites, as much sense as that makes. Maybe there’s something in the zeitgeist?

      1. pretzelattack

        next red vs blue chariot races. where the clinton rep has a rigged chariot a la ben hur.

      2. ambrit

        “And then the two manifestations of the Neo Pneuma are subsumed under the radiance of the Pantosylitis. Saint Calvin has expounded the thesis that the manifestation of the Pantosylitis is effected through Materialist Grace. Since then, Icons of Saint Calvin have always been defined as one Troy ounce of gold.”

  14. DJG

    I read the Clinton AIPAC speech because Mike Daisey, the monologuist and social critic, posted it. As expected, there was the incantation of bombing Iran. And I do mean incantation, since no one in their right minds wants a third or seventh land war in Asia for the U S of A. (I’m okay with invading Iran, so long as Chelsea Clinton is made a second lieutenant in the force that takes Tehran.)

    But what was even more bizarre was the evocation of the Pride Parade in Tel Aviv. The logic being that Israel, land of Pride Parades (especially in Jerusalem, as is well known–those Orthodox can’t get enough of Pride Parades) couldn’t possibly be oppressing people. Further proof of the Democrats using gayfolk as a litmus test.

    1. DJG

      [For your benefit, I leave in the cue to applaud]

      And it’s why we cannot be neutral about Israel and Israel’s future, because in Israel’s story, we see our own, and the story of all people who struggle for freedom and self-determination. There’s so many examples. You know, we look at the pride parade in Tel Aviv, one of the biggest and most prominent in the world.
      And we marvel that such a bastion of liberty exists in a region so plagued by intolerance. We see the vigorous, even raucous debate in Israeli politics and feel right at home.

  15. gonzomarx

    Sanders wins Democratics Abroad vote in Israel and worldwide

    Sanders received 69 percent of the vote, as opposed to Hillary Clinton’s 31%. In Israel, Sanders won with 249 votes, while Clinton received 160.

  16. But Darling

    Bill Clinton’s “gaffes” on the campaign trail seem like deliberate winks at constituencies Hillary can’t openly court. Monday’s gaffe (“We hate Obama too!”) was a pitch Hillary herself will never be able to make to Republicans alienated by Trump and Cruz – a more natural Clinton constituency than the Sanders crowd, anyway.

  17. Massinissa

    Big Brussels bomb attack a couple hours ago, like 2 I think from the time of this posting. Will probably be in links tomorrow morning.

  18. barrisj

    Honestly, I am at a complete loss as to why so much blogtime, teevee time, and other mass media coverage
    of the annual besprechung at AIPAC is even justified…all of the parsing and “analysis” of inane platitudes that one has heard year after year, from the usual suspects, and having the same newsworthy merits as the ritual Groundhog Day observations…SMH.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      Yes, I myself pay no attention whatsoever to AIPAC, and Bernie was correct in not blessing this money-grabbing group with his presence.

      1. polecat

        I want to know just how many of our esteemed dual-citizen congressional & representative folks attended this AIPAC confab ??

    2. Jim Haygood

      When half of Congress, several administration officials, and most of the presidential candidates attend a lobbying event, it can’t be written off as an irrelevant sideshow.

      This lobby has announced that it intends to increase its funding from $3 billion to $5 billion a year. And it is likely to succeed in getting most of that amount.

      Interesting point to ponder: why was a foreign leader, Netanyahu, allowed to address AIPAC conference by video link from Jerusalem, while American presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was not allowed to address the conference by video link from Salt Lake City?

  19. Lee

    “Is it possible to become bored with hopelessness?” [David Graeber, The Baffler]. “There is reason to believe something like that is beginning to happen in Great Britain. Call it despair fatigue.”

    I took this most interesting article in a rather personal direction.

    Some years ago I had a bout of severe depression pursuant to divorce. I recall the moment it lifted, sitting on my back steps head in hands when it occurred to me that billions of people, if they suddenly had my problems instead of their own, would think they had died and went to heaven. Now, I have bouts of despair related to a chronic debilitating illness that began ten years ago. And still there is joy in small things. Not wanting for food, shelter, more or less adequate healthcare, and various amenities including but not limited to reading and occasionally commenting here are the material foundation for these small joys.

    OTOH, it is neither right nor fair that my modest level of comfort and security is denied to so many of my fellow citizens and that beyond these borders my tax dollars make me complicit in mass slaughter and dislocation.That shit just pisses me off. And who knows what form my anger might take were it not for my modest comforts and physical limitations. For now I just make modest donations here and there and remain open to those enjoyments that present themselves. I will have to leave to others the more forceful and kinetic expressions of disquiet with the way things are.

    1. HopeLB

      Do not underestimate the impact of your angry feelings and reflections upon the great human nexus! Thanks!

      1. aletheia33

        seconded. the pen is mightier than the sword is not an old canard for no reason. the voices of people who cannot do much are needed every bit as much as others’ actions in the street. anyone dealing with even a ”slight” disability can say a great deal to move others. for one small example, on the bernieforpresident subreddit sometimes people write in and describe their tough situation and say “i phonebank this much, if i can do it, so can you.” this has moved me to action.

        and let’s not forget that a people’s movement/revolution of any kind is based in the collective actions of many people who on their own are pretty much helpless. i imagine such a movement must welcome all the weaker ones with open arms, not set up expectations of everyone becoming superheroes in service to the cause.

    2. Ulysses

      Very powerful comment! Expressions of disquiet don’t need to be forceful to be effective. I recall a certain bully who loved attention back in my junior high days. As it turned out, all it took to get him to start behaving better was for everyone to ignore all of his antics, intervening only to prevent injury.

      Non-compliance and non-participation can be effective forms of dissent!

  20. EGrise

    “But widespread consumer dissatisfaction with dominant carriers and the Affordable Care Act’s new marketplaces for individual plans has created an opening for innovators to come up with alternative approaches[…]”

    Sigh…there’s that word, so once again I reach for my revolver.

    1. MojaveWolf

      Bernie was awesome. Called out the KSA for being sponsors of terrorism and for not respecting women’s rights, among other things. Only candidate who acknowledged that Israel was imperfect (Trump, btw, was easily 2d best on ME affairs; he tried to have it both ways, but one of the ways was being a neutral arbiter ‘tween Israel & Palestine)

  21. NoOne

    if you believe we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us
    Bill Clinton

    As president, …. I’ll defend President Obama’s accomplishments and build upon them
    Hillary Clinton

    So her argument is that if we elect her, she can give us 8 awful years too? For once, I actually believe her.

    1. rich

      Tuesday, March 22, 2016
      Hillary Clinton’s Orders to Rig an Award for David Rockefeller

      From the released Hillary Clinton emails (via Wikileaks). She writes:

      David Rockefeller Sr has asked to see me. I’d like to do when I’m in NY or if there is a State Dept award we could give him for his citizen diplomacy esp in Latin America–could you run traps on that idea?

      And this:

      Have you heard from Carlos Slim about a date for a mtg?…

      The Putin conf about tigers in Vladivostock 9/11-19


      for the little people?

        1. ambrit

          He’s the biggest oligarch in Mexico, and a ‘vital asset’ for the American Neoliberals continued neutering of the people of that country.

  22. JohnB

    I’m reading this excellent interview with Michael Hudson at the moment:

    In it, Hudson touches on corporate stock buybacks and how they have been used to help loot pension funds, and this got me Googling on that topic, which led me back to discussion of CalPERS elsewhere on the Internet, and how their mismanagement of fund money has fed into the buyback boom.

    I remember reading Yves’ frustration at readers inattention at some of the more technical articles surrounding CalPERS and such, and I think this angle – how public pension funds are being looted in this manner – is a good thing to focus and expand upon in more detail (despite it having been done so before already), as it seems a good narrative and area of focus, for motivating readers interest, and drawing in wider attention to public pension funds and learning about them.

    Lately, I’m interested in the topic of public and private pension funds – even though I was less so before – and I am interested in hearing more about this kind of thing, especially interested in hearing more about whether private pensions are a worthwhile investment (though am in Ireland here), and whether it is better to e.g. prioritize a house and mortgage (to deal with the tyranny of compound costs first…) over starting a pension (where any virtue of compound interests may be negated).

    I know that is delving too close to the realm of personal investment advice for this site, that’s not what I’m saying the site should post about, but that is one good motivating factor for taking an interest in such topics – and it’s an area I (and probably many others) don’t know enough about – so it could be an additional good way of drawing reader interest.

      1. JohnB

        Ya saw that post, was a good one in the direction of what I was talking about :) Public pensions are very well covered here, though when I’m debating with someone on the merits/demerits of Private pensions, I come up a bit short on knowledge of the pitfalls.

  23. Pat

    While I have little hope for my actual precinct as it is the home to the donors who have given Clinton the most money, I do have hopes for a great showing in NY itself. With little money, little organization and little press Zephyr Teachout (go Zephyr) took a huge chunk out of Andrew Cuomo. And since I consider Li’l Andy to be one of Clinton’s acolytes and natural successors I KNOW Bernie has that base to build upon. I could be wrong, but I will not be surprised if Clinton loses one of her apparently several home states.

    So I’m another one who recognizes that the path is narrow and even that narrow path is riddled with Clinton land mines. And I still think that Bernie can do it and become not just the nominee, but the President of the United States. After which we can hopefully banish Hillary, Bill and Chelsea along with their faux charity to a far less lucrative life outside the public eye to have their history properly written by others. Or even better they have one last public moment – trial and conviction for their influence peddling, before fading into the private prison system they helped foster. But even if the Clintons do not get the ignominious future they so richly deserve, I do believe we can have the President that we the People do deserve.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” (Matthew 7:13).

      Also, Sanders is sound on fracking, Clinton isn’t. That should win Sanders upstate. What I don’t know is whether the Deblasio machine can deliver New York City (or even if there is such a machine).

      1. Ulysses

        Bernie needs a large turnout to do well here. Lots of people, who normally don’t vote in primaries, must be persuaded to make the effort. On the bright side, two of the five U.S. zipcodes that have raised the most money for Bernie are in New York. One on the upper west side of Manhattan, the other in Ithaca and Tompkins County.

  24. McWatt

    My Blue Cross insurance just increased 12%. This after two previous years of double digit increases.

    What is up with that?

    1. craazyboy

      Looks a tad high relative to Janet Yellen’s inflation target, but probably nothing to be concerned about. Take two aspirin and call your doctor’s answering service in the morning.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      ACA never actually addressed the flaws of our Healthcare system which amounts to for-profit monopolies are insane. Yes, this is going to cause Team Blue major problems.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Political parties can’t fill chapter 11 or 7 to discharge their voter debt or broken promises.

        Sort of like student debt, in that sense.

        And thus, all the more reason to start new parties…no old obligations to worry about.

        Let the legacy parties blow up.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      The CEO needs a new set of solid gold golf clubs. Why?

      (Actually, BCBS could also be being muscled by consolidating hospitals on costs; see the NBER link.)

  25. TedWa

    From Arizona: We’re hearing a large number of complaints and reading numerous reports about problems at polling places around Arizona.

    First off, if you are in line waiting cast your vote PLEASE STAY IN LINE TO VOTE.

    Even if there are issues at your polling place, you can submit a provisional ballot — and that ballot WILL BE COUNTED.

    We can’t thank you enough for voting. And as Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party, I am deeply committed to ensuring the integrity of our elections.

    So if you had a problem voting today, I want to hear about it. Please fill out a short form notify us of what you experienced.

  26. Plenue


    “They see the Democrats pushing the candidacy of the banker-crony-crook Clinton, and the only alternative is the full-socialistard “I am from the US government and I am here to help” Sanders who seems to be stuck in some sort of Great Society time warp. (There may be governments that get socialism right; the US government will never be one of them.)”

    Wow, get a load of the condescension dripping off of this guy. He’s also wrong, since the US has several highly successful socialist programs, that continue to endure despite decades of sabotage.

    1. TedWa

      The rich are living in a socialist society where the Fed Reserve shares the wealth with them, but not us, ever.

      1. Plenue

        There are millions of people in this country who continue to benefit from, and even barely survive off of, the battered and bloody, but still enduring, remnants of the New Deal. Orlov can sit there and sneer all he wants, but the reality is that the United States can and has successfully done socialism. The disintegration of those systems is due to deliberate sabotage by people ideologically opposed to their very existence.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Many successful socialist (or otherwise) programs, I believe, are those that are universal…everyone is in it.


      Social Security – could be more successful when everyone is in it…merging all pension plans into one.

      Conscription (when it was in use) (socialist program or otherwise) – another success story.

      The Income Tax – (socialist program or otherwise) and can be, again, more successful when everyone is in it.

    3. jrs

      The problem is mostly that the U.S. did not implement many programs in that Great Society time, long ago the rest of the world got single payer, got 4-6 weeks vacation etc., and it was really in the nick of time as that was in retrospect the historical moment. I can’t say it won’t come again (ha if humanity survives another decade at this point), but it won’t be easy.

    4. hunkerdown

      Despite whatever other good sense and keen observations Orlov might have, he’s still a conservative. It’s possible to respect him for his perspicacity and ignore his blind spots, since he’s not in any position of power over us.

  27. allan

    Goldman Banker in Document Leak Case Avoids Prison [NYT]

    A former Goldman Sachs banker who pleaded guilty to taking confidential documents from a source inside the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was sentenced to probation on Tuesday, bringing to a close an episode that embarrassed the bank and the New York Fed alike. …

    The episode illustrated the blurred lines between Goldman and the New York Fed and raised new questions about Wall Street’s so-called revolving door.

    Before joining Goldman in 2014, Mr. Bansal spent several years as a regulator at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Despite the appearance of a conflict, Mr. Bansal’s boss at Goldman assigned him to advise one of the banks he previously regulated.

    “Despite” ? NYT, you’re killing me.

  28. Jim Haygood

    Some mild, cautious observations from the Israeli statesman Netanyahu:

    They seek to impose terms on Israel in the UN Security Council. And those terms would undoubtedly be stacked against us. They always are. So such an effort in the UN would only convince the Palestinians that they can stab their way to a state.

    For the last five-and-a-half years, President Abbas has refused to sit down and talk with me even for a minute.But that doesn’t mean he’s been silent. He has helped inculcate a new generation of young Palestinians with murderous hatred for Israel.And my friends, this incitement has deadly consequences. Palestinian children are taught to stab Jews.


    Sounds like Southern governors back in Jim Crow days, going on about how black males just want to rape and defile white women.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Will humans in the future be wiser than us and find a way to peace, and how will they view their past (our present)?

  29. Garrett Pace

    Felt the Bern at the Utah state caucuses. Turnout in suburban Salt Lake county was much higher than usual, and much higher than the local party machinery was ready for. Plenty of voters did not turn out with their voter id, suggesting they were first-time caucus-goers. Which bodes well for Senator Sanders I suppose.

Comments are closed.