2:00PM Water Cooler 3/7/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, whenever I put on my yellow waders and post on Clinton it takes longer than I expect; so I’m putting up stats now, and I’ll return in short order with lots more!

UPDATE 3:30PM Now revised. Sorry again for the delay.


“The controversial TPP trade deal in two minutes” [CNN]. Sigh. It’s not a trade deal. Here’s how they frame ISDS: ” 10) The deal allows companies and countries to challenge another nation’s laws and rules that have the effect of limiting overseas companies from competing in their market. But U.S. critics say that could allow foreign companies to use the agreement to invalidate U.S. safety rules and regulations.” Note that left and right frame ISDS as a surrender of national sovereignty.


Republican Debate

“‘They ought to run a crawl along the bottom of the screen, [saying] ‘This is NOT a debate for junior high school class president’, Mr Springer told the Financial Times” [Financial Times, “Trump show too juvenile for Jerry Springer”]. O tempora! O mores!


This is awesome:

The Voters

Howard Dean to voters: Drop dead!

Oh, Ho-Ho! How could you?

“Judge: Wichita State statistician can’t have tapes to audit voting machines” [WIchita Eagle].

The Flint Debate

“All you had to do was watch Sunday night’s debate in Flint, Michigan, to realize Sanders isn’t nearly ready to quit” [Politico]. And you know that if Clinton had won, that’s what would have been splashed over Politico’s home page, and all the other Acela riders, too.

“Testy debate suggests Clinton and Sanders battle will continue” [McClatchy]. Well, that and what Sanders has said, and continuing support from his coalition, as measured by contributions, which means he can tell the DNC to take a hike.

Clinton said again she would release the transcripts only if all other candidates who have given paid speeches did. She also said that she stood up to Wall Street. “I have a record,” she said. “And you know what, if you were going to be in some way distrusted or dismissed about whether you can take on Wall Street if you ever took money, President Obama took more money from Wall Street in the 2008 campaign than anybody ever had.”

Sanders quipped: “Secretary Clinton wants everybody else to release it, well, I’m your Democratic opponent, I release it, here it is. There ain’t nothing. I don’t give speeches to Wall Street for hundreds of thousands of dollars, you got it.”

I don’t have to tell NC readers how weak that “quip” is. (And Clinton’s effrontery really is boundless, isn’t it? Then again, Russell Simmons agrees with her.)

“The Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders clash over the auto bailout, explained” [WaPo]. This is classic:

“I voted to save the auto industry,” [Clinton] said. “He voted against the money that ended up saving the auto industry. I think that is a pretty big difference.”

What Clinton said is technically true, but it glosses over a lot of important nuance, including the fact that Sanders is actually on the record as supporting the auto bailout. He even voted for it.

So “techically true” means false, thenk? It’s a topsy-turvey world! (Even leaving aside the idea that a died-on-the-wool Socialist would do such a thing.)

The Trail

“Clinton insiders are eager to begin recruiting to their cause Republicans turned off by the prospect of Donald Trump — and the threat of Sanders sticking it out until June makes the general election pivot more difficult” [Politico]. I have long held that Clinton does not want Sanders voters, and now I am confirmed in my view. Clinton wants moderate Republicans instead, for reasons temparamental (Goldwater Girl), financial (ka-ching), and institutional. Socialism and liberalism do not mix (even Sanders’ mild version of it). In addition, the Democratic establishment refuses to recognize that Sanders has broken their squillionaire-dependent funding model, and in consequence has gleefully stomped on youth voters (who needs ’em, anyhow?). It really is time for Sanders to start thinking about converting his campaign into a standalone entity that will continue beyond the election. What’s wrong with SFA (Socialists for America?)

“Clinton must make Elizabeth Warren her vice president” [Dana Milbank, WaPo]. Ugh.

“Over the next two weeks, Sanders campaign surrogates — and, in some cases, the candidate — will meet with local activists. The campaign has employed this strategy before, but surrogates and aides said now it will be more publicized. Sanders, according to two sources briefed on the campaign’s plans, will also be more specific about economic inequality and its effect on black communities in his stump speech” [Buzzfeed].

“Right now, when you look at the political revolution — it needs to be more intersectional, and his economic proposals need to be more more explicit on the ground and publicly,” the activist [who wasn’t authorized to speak for their organization] said. “The Clintons will exploit that. When he’s talking about it, he’ll give specific examples on the stump in ways he hasn’t before, is my understanding.”

We discuss intersectionality today. Note especially Appendix 1, where the Sander’s site’s Racial Justice page is presented as a model.

“The Seattle Times editorial board recommends John Kasich, Bernie Sanders” [Seattle Times].

“Andrea Mitchell Pulls the Mask Off Harry Reid” [Down with Tyranny]. How the “neutral” Reid delivered Nevada to Clinton.

“Hillary Calls for Michigan Gov’s Resignation an Hour After Her Spox Slammed Bernie for Same” [Mediaite]. Send in the bots! There have to be bots!

This could be the last time [Avedon’s Sidehow]. An excellent wrap-up of commentary on Super Tuesday.

“Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million donation to Newark public schools failed miserably — here’s where it went wrong” [Business Insider]. Maybe somebody should ask Cory Booker, before his VP aspirations become embarassingly open?

New York: “On the Democratic side, Clinton had a 21-percentage point lead over Bernie Sanders, 55% to 34%, the same as it was a month ago, the [Siena] poll found” [USA Today]. Sanders position on fracking will help him, but only upstate. Was Sanders “pragmatic” enough to offer Sharpton a suitcase full of cash?

Supreme Court Trench Warfare Watch

“Here are judges the White House is considering for the Supreme Court” [WaPo]. All acceptable to Republicans, none with a paper trail.

Stats Watch

Labor Market Conditions Index, February 2016: “The labor market conditions index, which is a broad composite of 19 separate indicators, fell back to minus 2.4 in February vs a downward revised minus 0.8 percent in January” [Econoday]. “Strength tied to payroll growth or the gain in the labor force participation rate are being offset by February’s drop in average hourly earnings and the decline in temporary help payrolls as well as declines in non-government data such as the jobs-hard-to-get subcomponent of the consumer confidence report or the jobs-hard-to-fill component of the small business optimism index. These results are a surprise [no they aren’t] and offer a different look at the labor market, one that would confirm expectations for no action at next week’s FOMC meeting.”

Employment Trends: “The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index – which forecasts employment for the next 6 months declined suggesting ‘that the rapid job growth in recent months is likely to slow down'” [Econoday]. Just in time for the election!

Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure, February 2016: “Americans’ daily self-reports of spending increased slightly” [Econoday].

Bonds: “The world’s biggest bond investors are leaving themselves with almost no room for error” [Bloomberg]. “More than $2.5 trillion of euro-area government debt all but guarantee losses for buyers. Traders are ramping up wagers on a selloff in German bunds as 10-year yields approach April’s record lows. And jitters in the market are at levels last seen during the stunning rout in European debt markets a year ago.” What could go wrong?

Commodities: “Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao jumped 19 percent to $63.74 a dry metric ton, Metal Bulletin Ltd. data show. That’s the biggest gain in daily data going back to 2009 and the highest price since June” [Bloomberg].

Debt: “As Russia’s economy falters, its citizens are sinking deeper into debt—and bill collectors are going after them with vehemence. In recent months, collection agents have been charged with assaulting debtors, vandalizing their cars, even destroying baby carriages parked outside apartments” [Bloomberg].

The Fed: “We are heading into the March FOMC meeting next week. The recessionistas are on the sidelines, waiting for data to turn in their favor. I suspect they have a long wait.” [Tim Duy’s Fed Watch].

“Arrogance at The Economist” [Economics versus Reality]. Say it ain’t so!

“New paper examines the details behind stock market ‘flash crash'” [Phys.org]. “The paper asserts that unsettled market conditions early in the day, combined with a huge sell order for the popular E-mini S&P 500 futures security by mutual fund manager Waddell & Reed helped trigger the sell-off. They point to and agree with a 2010 joint report by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission that came to the same conclusion.” Readers?

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 73, Greed (previous close: 71, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 54 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 7 at 1:22pm. Stalled in the mid-70s?


“High-tech ‘bazooka’ fires a net to take down drones” [BGR]. Can’t we give cops these? Or loogie guns? Which aren’t designed to kill?


“Dead Wood Brings New Life.” Quick, somebody tell the Democrats! [Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife]. “Hard to believe, but trees can actually provide more habitats for wildlife dead than when they are alive. Standing dead and dying trees, called “snags” or “wildlife trees,” are important for wildlife in both natural and landscaped settings, occurring as a result of disease, lightning, fire, animal damage, too much shade, drought, root competition, as well as old age. Birds, small mammals, and other wildlife use snags for nests, nurseries, storage areas, foraging, roosting, and perching.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“The First Time Texas Killed One of My Clients” [The Marshall Project]. Heart-rending.

Dear Old Blighty

“Forelocks at the ready, peasants. It’s time to Clean for the Queen. In honour of Her Majesty’s birthday, Tory politicians and major retailers have come together to encourage all good citizens to clean up their neighborhoods next weekend. Around the country, purple billboards, formatted in the style of those cloyingly awful “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters, urge the underclass to “spruce up your streets! vacuum your villages!”, as if Hyacinth Bouquet had suddenly been appointed Supreme Leader. The jolly press releases fail to mention that the reason the neighbourhoods got dirty in the first place is that the council cleaners were fired. Major sponsors of the event include McDonalds, Greggs, Costa and Kentucky Fried Chicken, who are hardly irresponsible for the mess” [New Statesman]. Maybe I should have filed this under Class Warfare, but then everything in Blighty is class warfare, innit.

Class Warfare

The New Yorker’s Alec MacGillis covers the carried interest loophole [The New Yorker]. I’d love to see this shredded, but I’ll just pick out one little gem even I can see:

After President Obama was sworn in, he was cautioned by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner not to go after high finance too hard. Geithner worried about imperilling the fragile recovery, and he wanted to coax financiers into accepting other industry reforms. Even so, by 2010, when the recession had officially been over for several months, congressional Democrats were talking about closing the carried-interest loophole with renewed seriousness.

Leaving aside the curious assumption that Geithner and Obama were acting in good faith, “imperilling the fragile recovery”?!?!? In January 2009? Four months after Lehman?

“And as the rich own a greater share of real estate, major cities like New York, Los Angeles and London are going through a kind of ‘resortification,’ familiar to posh beach towns or ski resorts, as their populations become more seasonal” [New York Times]. These are all wonderful cities that I love. Only a global elite as ruinously stupid as our own could crapify them.

“Marijuana Men” [Vice]. Out: Black felons from the neighborhood. In: White mean wearing suits. ‘Twas ever thus!

[The marijuana industry] is in a prime position to push for justice. As legalization spreads and the cannabis profit grows, Big Weed could lobby for convictions to be overturned, for charges to be vacated. But I saw no sign at the conference of anyone concerned with giving back, of leveling the playing field, of righting the wrongs wrought by the war on drugs.

“Those of us who don’t live in trailer parks or inner cities might think low-income families typically benefit from public housing or some other kind of government assistance. But the opposite is true. Three-quarters of families who qualify for housing assistance don’t get it because there simply isn’t enough to go around. This arrangement would be unthinkable with other social services that cover basic needs. What if food stamps only covered one in four families?” [New York Times]. “Throughout our history, wage gains won by workers through organized protest were quickly absorbed by rising rents. As industrial capitalists tried to put down the strikes, landlords cheered workers on. It is no different today. When incomes rise, the housing market takes its cut.” What, the Grey Lady is hiring Communists now?

“That $8 shirt seems like a deal, but it’s actually a huge problem” [TreeHugger]. “Fast Fashion” means near-slave labor, and a lot of environmental damage.

News of the Wired

“Are the Constants of Physics Constant?” [Scientific American]. “[U]nderneath all that change lies one number that connects them all and a number that has remain unchanged as far as we can see in the cosmos. And we don’t know why.”

“Half of inventions “arise unexpectedly” from serendipity—not direct research” [Ars Technica]. “The PatVal study also underscores that the biggest source of inspiration for innovators comes from clients or users, people who will actually be using whatever the inventors create. At the other end of the scale are academic and research institutions, which inventors credit with inspiring very few new ideas.” Note the confusion between “innovation” (business) and “invention” (industry).

Barnes and Noble shuts down Nook [The Register]. “The company says it’s trying to set up a deal with Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand ‘to ensure that you have continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books at no new cost to you; (emphasis added).” If only publishers had been able to arrange for paper to spontaneously combust after a set interval! Then they might have had a viable business model…

“For Some, iPad Pro Can’t Match PC Strengths” [New York Times]. By some, the Times means “anyone who creates final products using digital tools.” And I love my iPad pro — for sketching and photography and reading the Twitter. But not for serious work. I think Apple has this stupid concept that every user wants to be taking their hands off the keyboard to swipe and tap. No effing way. Of course, as Apple gradually crapifies OS X, I’ll have to go to linux.

“Ray Tomlinson, the man who put the @ in email, passes away aged 74” [TechCrunch]. The only character that’s also a preposition….

Then again:

* * *

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 (from a loyal reader who lives on the New Hampshire seacoast):

Fall alongside the Artichoke River, MA

Fall, alongside the Artichoke River in Massachusetts. Wow!

* * *

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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. JohnnyGL

    Re: Bonds (Bloomberg article)

    The only way that German Bunds might do right by investors is….1) if they STILL outperform stocks and/or 2) if the ECB goes more negative, which the article mentions. But the article didn’t mention the specter of deflation, which seems like it must be coming closer….of course, there’ll be some tremors along the way.

    1. JohnnyGL

      I almost forgot….those other countries in the EU probably won’t be able to hang on to the EUR in the longer term, so if you want an asset that may hang onto its value while the EU finishes the process of destroying itself for the next decade or so….Bunds are the way to go!

      1. ambrit

        Yes, be very careful. HC’s excreta is like the blood of those Alien monsters, molecular acid, dissolving the bonds of logic in all communication.

        1. RMO

          I think you would be better off with one of those suits you see in The Andromeda Strain. Even then… Maybe a pressure suit tough enough to allow the wearer to comfortably walk around on the surface of Venus?

  2. rich

    King: Superdelegates a corrupt tool designed to elect party establishment candidates like Hillary Clinton
    In no uncertain terms, this election — particularly the Democratic primary — is completely rigged.

    This weekend, while watching election coverage on Super Saturday — and again before and after the Democratic debate Sunday — I lost count of the number of times pundits and experts said Hillary Clinton has a nearly insurmountable lead against Bernie Sanders.

    Except, she doesn’t — or at least she shouldn’t.

    Sanders has won three of the last four contests.

    Overall, Clinton has won a total 12 states and Sanders has won eight. That means we have 30 states to go.

    In the 19 states that have voted so far, Clinton won 671 delegates.

    In those same 19 states, Sanders won a total of 498 delegates.

    Literally, Clinton has received 95.3% of the superdelegates and these individual voters have nothing to do with the actual will of the people in their states.

    It’s fundamentally ridiculous and goes against the most basic principles of a democratic election in which one person receives one vote.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A super delegate, for example, the governor of a state, he or she was elected in a general election. How does his/her vote total compared with the votes cast in a primary? Could an argument be made that he/she is representing more party members?

      1. Vatch

        The voters in such a state need to tell their super delegate governor or senator that they expect the super delegate to support the choice of the people in the primary. Few super delegates will want to do this, so it is very important that a large number of voters contact them. We need to hold their feet to the fire! I’ve already contacted my super delegates, and I hope others will do the same.

      2. sd

        Seems like a case where the unpledged superdelegates represent the 1% and the pledged delegates represent the 99%.

        1. Synoia

          The paper asserts that unsettled market conditions early in the day, combined with a huge sell order for the popular E-mini S&P 500 futures security by mutual fund manager Waddell & Reed helped trigger the sell-off.

          No, no, no. We all know is was a solitary trader from some semi detached house, in run down suburb of London who cased the flash crash.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Awesome. Letters to the Editor really work. Not only do locals read them — I remember getting a honk from a car and a thumbs-up when one of mine on the landfill appeared — Congressional offices read them too (because they’ve been vetted and curated).

          Still better than anything digital! I encourage all readers to follow JohnMinMN’s example!

          1. craazyman

            If a car honked when your letter appeared on a landfill maybe they weren’t on your side of the issue! bwaaaaaaaak.

            1. craazyman

              That was supposed to be funny by the way. It’s like something Groucho Marx would say to a distinguished gentleman at the Opera.

      1. TedWa

        MSNBC has me totally avoiding them. They keep showing the super delegate lead combined with her actual delegates, misleading viewers to think her lead is insurmountable when it isn’t. And then there’s a reporter, “Joy” I believe, who said did you hear Bernie saying that his first encounter with the difference between the races was in the 90’s! Totally ignoring his background and intentionally misleading viewers. Disgusting.
        Super-delegates have to vote with the will of the people, if they don’t democracy is dead. That’s always been my understanding of it..
        Go Bernie !

        1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

          I can’t stand the TV main-stream media’s attempts at brainwashing. There are very few sites on US affairs with the quality of coverage and critique I find here at NC, at least for me.

      1. rich

        Howard Dean’s tweet…Super delegates don’t “represent people”….is this a citizen united tie in?..hmmm…..we’re so screwed….can you see him jumping up and down when he tweeted it?

        I’ve never had a gag reflex problem until i started watching howard on morning joe….note: he’s not that super.

      2. Darthbobber

        Dean tells us nothing we didn’t already know, though when you come out and say it you’ve already lost half the effectiveness of this method.

        Auer’s letter to Bernstein probably applies here, when Bernstein ignited a firestorm by advocating at the level of theory what the Social Democratic Party had already been doing in practice for years, forcing them to condemn the theory while continuing the practice undisturbed.

        “My dear Ede, one doesn’t formally decide to do what you ask. One does not say such things. one does them.”

      3. Darthbobber

        BTW, what is the source of Dean’s superdelegate status, being a private lobbyist? Did that title of DNC chairperson emeritus they handed him on his way out the door confer superdelegate for life status?

        Because as far as I can tell, that’s his only remaining PARTY title.

    2. TomD

      There’s no point in worrying about superdelegates unless/until Sanders actually wins pledged delegates.

      It’s hard to imagine they would actually break with the vote in that case.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I disagree because they have given Hillary an aura of inevitability which would serve to depress challenger. Super delegates should be trashed for participating in such a vile system befitting the GOP.

        1. TomD

          I suppose the MSM reporting Superdelegates as if they’re set is pretty bad (note in 2008 the nytimes only reported pledged delegates).

  3. Synoia

    Readers, whenever I put on my yellow waders and post on Clinton it takes longer than I expect

    Yes we feel for you. Wading through a fetid, sewage laden swamp is laborious and unpleasant.

    You are forgiven :-)

    1. Jason

      Using a decent VPN for everything is rapidly becoming a must. It probably won’t protect you from the NSA, but it will do the job of protecting you from your own ISP.

      That you have to protect yourself from your ISP is becoming just one more part of the sad reality that is the modern United States.

      1. NeqNeq

        +1 to the VPNs.

        I would say Tor is about as good except that Google, Akami, and Cloudflare sites (cough NC cough) regularly block Tor exit nodes. Still, you get a little more hardening using Tor browser than other browsers (using defaults).

      2. bob

        “Verizon Wireless” Even if it were possible to use a VPN with a phone, it would still be affected. It’s a MITM (man in the middle) attack.

        The story talks about verizon wireless, not what would be called an ISP by most people- home internet. Fios, time warner, Comcast…etc

        Tor? Hahahahahahaha

        Jump right into that military intel briar patch, for security®.

        1. NeqNeq

          Umm… I am not sure if you confusing VPN with something else, but yes. Its trivially easy to use VPN with almost any smartphone.

          As for Tor: i agree that State sponsor surveillance is still a risk, but as noted above, the topic was ISPs (and i mentioned websites). When you use a phone, your carrier acts as the ISP.

        2. NeqNeq

          Oh and for those who might care…

          The header with your unique identifier can be scrubbed out when your using a VPN. Verizon only sees that you “went” to the VPN address…all sites you visit see you as coming from the VPN address. Neither the two shall meet without further snooping (which is not covered by the injection Verizon does…that we know of).

        3. Praedor

          A nit with Tor: it is GPL. It is NOT closed source and is NOT run by the government. They CAN’T put a backdoor on it and if they did, it would be found quickly as there are many “out there” who constantly test Tor out for vulnerabilities.

          1. Praedor

            You can get around such unmasking by running Tor on virtual machines. Check out Whonix, which sets up 2 separate virtual machines, one for the gateway and one for the client. Unmasking your tor session in these cases doesn’t actually gain the attacker your actual IP address, only your virtual IP address, which is usually something like 192.168.x.x or 10.0.x.x. Both are totally useless for unmasking your actual location.

  4. Pat

    Damn, I knew I should have gone through the process to remove the drm from my e books. I might have to look into doing that immediately. But first I should check how my couple of nook newstand subscriptions will be handled.

    Whew, I have time. That is in the UK. Still a good warning shot over the bow…

    1. Praedor

      Crap! I missed that article above and had to shoot back up to get to it. I’m not in the UK so it is not applicable to me (yet) BUT…I have already stripped DRM from most of my e-books (Nook AND Kindle) and now will definitely make sure I go through and strip the rest ASAP. No telling when the same situation will play out in the US too.

      I OWN the e-books I buy, damnit! I did NOT “license” them, I outright BOUGHT them. I don’t give a crap what their lawyers may say, I OWN them (and always strip DRM from them as soon as practical) – using Calibre.

  5. Benedict@Large

    “… But U.S. critics say that could allow foreign companies to use the agreement to invalidate U.S. safety rules and regulations.”

    One thing no one much mentions is that the TPP allows foreign corporations the ability to sue to invalidate regulations, but does not all local corporations the same. In this, TPP privileges foreign over local production, and ensures a race to the bottom on product place of origin.

    1. Gareth

      Perhaps abortion providers should incorporate in the Cayman Islands and then use the ISDS process to sue states that use onerous and nonsensical regulations to prevent the operation of clinics.

      1. hunkerdown

        National character exemption. Canada gets to keep its Medicare system as a human zoo.

          1. hunkerdown

            “A Party may exclude from patentability inventions, the prevention within their
            territory of the commercial exploitation of which is necessary to protect ordre public
            or morality, including to protect human, animal or plant life or health or to avoid
            serious prejudice to nature or the environment, provided that such exclusion is not
            made merely because the exploitation is prohibited by its law.”

            I thought I saw the word morality some place else in the TPP, but apparently, the IP chapter was the only place. Bad research on my part! In any case, beware the ratchet clauses and the enemies within, lest your health system become just “Canadian™” enough for the world market.

  6. NeqNeq

    Re Barnes & Noble

    Welp…guess this is a fairly painless way for people to learn about DRM and what “ownership” means in 2016.

    Although, if I am honest, the vindictive/ shadenfrued-seeking part of me hopes that the Nook owners who pish-poshed those of us who warned this scenario could happen get shafted during the re licensing phase.

    1. Vatch

      If I understand the article correctly, this is only happening in Britain. B&N is continuing to support the Nook device in the U.S. As for me, I’m an old fashioned paper and ink person.

      1. RP

        +1 for analog.

        Should they want to confiscate my reading materials, it will be necessary to go full Bradbury

  7. craazyman

    I see something called the “Artichoke River” but I don’t see any actual artichokes. Is this just acquifer politics or is it reality?

  8. flora

    re: “Clinton insiders are eager to begin recruiting to their cause Republicans turned off by the prospect of Donald Trump — and the threat of Sanders sticking it out until June makes the general election pivot more difficult” – Politico

    There were a few moderate (former) Republicans at my Dem caucus who decided to switch to D for the caucus so they could vote for Bernie. This is what they said. When asked if they’d vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination their answer was a flat “no.” If it’s between Hillary and Trump, they said they’d vote for Trump.

    1. Tony S

      Kind of interesting… today I received a Dem state party email telling us how awful Trump is, but that there’s “still time to stop him”, while praising the elements in the GOP who are trying to do just that. And challenging our R governor to “take a stand” on Trump.

      Now… why is it the Dems’ business whom the GOP nominates? And if Trump is as bad as all that, whatever happened to “never interrupt your enemy while he’s making a mistake”?

      Sounds like the establishments of both parties seem to have the same goal. Another mask ripped off?

    2. Darthbobber

      What makes them think the “Trump Republicans” will be that come November? I still recall his earlier threat to run as a 3rd party spoiler if the Republican establishment didn’t treat him with his version of “fairness.” Which I suspect is part of the reason they held off on turning the volume up this loud as long as they did.

      If even 15 to 20% of the hardcore followed him that would knock things into a cocked hat.

  9. Kim Kaufman

    “It really is time for Sanders to start thinking about converting his campaign into a standalone entity that will continue beyond the election. What’s wrong with SFA (Socialists for America?)”

    Yes, Sanders, and all the et als, need to think now about what’s next. Otherwise, there’s going to be a lot of bitter youngsters out there who aren’t going to vote and are going to continue to be disengaged and that’s not good. Everyone needs to stop focusing on winning the presidency, a figurehead at best, and start on how to start winning change in everything… from outside. Wherever that is or may be.

    1. flora

      I think a Sanders nomination would have a lot of coattails at the state level. Clinton won’t have any coattails down ticket.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Democrats are going to be quite upset when Hillary discards them for anti-Trump republicans. Hillary could oversee a bloodbath down ticket.

      2. RP

        In a primary where Henry Wallace is running against Richard Nixon, this may be one of the greatest contrasts of all. Hillary would be death for down-ticket Dems. Is there a record for fewest incoming freshmen of a party that wins that year’s Presidential election?

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        I’m not so sure. Dems seem to have a reasonable chance of a Senate pickup even without Presidential coat-tails.

        In the event there’s nobody acceptable at the top of the Democratic ticket, my best hope is for gridlock, either with a D president and an R legislature, or vice versa. Give either party control and TPP and the Grand Bargain will go through slick as a whistle.

        1. Praedor

          TPP, even the Grand Bargain, is a BIPARTISAN love affair. There are PLENTY of GOPers AND Dems who are willing, even eager, to sign off on TPP. There would be plenty of GOPers and too many Dems that would go for a Grand Bargain too.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The best laid plans of mice and men…

      We can’t predict the future, but we can always give our best today.

      I think it will be good to let the American people know about MMT, and the Democratic party, as it is structured, is not the solution, but a part of the problem, and the leadership from the White House is weaker than weak.

      “If you want to reach the Alhambra, you have to fight your way to it.”

      1. TomD

        You know, parties can be changed. The Democractic party went through 3 huge changes in the 20th century (first FDR new dealism, then expelling the racists, then Clintonion new Democrats).

        Trying to take control of the Democratic party seems a lot more viable than an actual 3rd party to me just because of all the infrastructure in place already.

    3. optimader

      What’s wrong with SFA (Socialists for America?)”

      if you want a political party crib death

    4. NeqNeq

      I am bearish on the economy in the 6-18mo span so my view is biased…but:

      I think that if you want to play the long game, you should be hoping for a few more good wins (to make the race tighter) and then have Bernie bow out. Say its for health reasons… Why saddle SocDems with a downturn AND a fairly evenly split congress?

      1. tegnost

        baloney. You and ewmayer should get together. There’s bad in the world, and good can never prevail over bad {/s}, let hillary take on trump because once in a while bernie doesn’t parrot your perfect answers, and bernie should give up because bernie winning would be bad for good… there’s likely to be a lot of “throw the bums out” in ’16….you don’t know what the makeup of congress will be. Give up, yourself, you know, for health reasons or whatever…

        1. NeqNeq

          I knew what i said would be controversial here at NC, but wow, that was a shotgun blast of incoherent and fallacious reasoning.

          The “good never prevails..” and “bernie doesn’t parrot..” statements are non sequitur (at best) and completely fabricated strawmen (at worst). Nothing I said remotely resembles such silly statements and I would call out anyone who did. So, here, have a match to burn them down.

          Regarding a significant change in the face of the legislature: Even if you believe that many of the current “bums” get tossed out, and I think some will, you cannot make the inference that either side will have a super majority. Moreover, you cannot also infer that the replacement politicians will be different in anything but name. So, as you so elegantly put it, “you don’t know what the makeup of congress will be”.

          Given that it is so early in the congressional races and the ease of band wagoning (merely to get elected), the reasonable premise to accept is that congress critters will look and act much as they have over the past 3-4 decades. Meaning neo-lib/con policy and small (or split) majorities. Combined with the willingness of D establishment to pull all manner of tricks to undercut a SocDem shift (as we have seen), it becomes a real possibility that SocDem policy will be blocked/blamed for any economic woe. Come the next election, voters will be told “see…we tried that and it doesn’t work!”……. which just means that future socdem policymakers have to re climb the hill.

          I say all this as a cash giving/card carrying Bernie supporter…. Just one who thinks irrational/ pep rally statements about the prospects for SocDem policies should be avoided.

      2. Massinissa

        Hahahaha ‘bow out’. No way. This goes to the convention. Which we know Hillary is going to win anyway, but thats fine, as you say, who wants to be saddled with the coming downturn? ‘Bowing out’ will make everyone think that Sanders was a sheepdog all along.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          It sure will. I don’t want to have to eat that much crow, and in a lot of ways the disillusion would be greater than 2009 (“Fool me once…”).

          Being saddled with the coming downtown is good if you know what a real stimulus looks like and you’re not afraid of putting bankers in jail.

    5. Llewelyn Moss

      I suggest something like “Equality Rebellion”. I just like the word rebellion. Hahaha.

      Of course the last movement got pepper sprayed, clubbed, jailed and fined by the NYPD Gorillas. Anyone remember OWS?

    6. different clue

      Maybe the Sanders group should think about this. In fact they probably should. But they should not do anything about it till after the nomination. To go “third party” now is to disappear off the majority radar screen entirely. They should use “fight to the floor” to recruit the most supporters first, strengthen and deepen and thicken all the organizational crosslinks among them, and then decide what to do when they have an idea how big and strong their movement really is.

    7. reslez

      There is an effort called Grassroots Select run by some of the volunteers behind Sanders’ hugely popular subreddit. I’m not sure how close the ties are to the official campaign but they are raising support and volunteers for Sanderites in other elections throughout the country.

    8. MojaveWolf

      The presidency is not just a figurehead. If it was no one should care who wins, including the horribly scary Trump, or the scarier-to-me-Cruz, or the long term disaster dooming the entire world of conservadems enacting Republican policies. Just for starters, see this:


  10. optimader

    “Half of inventions “arise unexpectedly” from serendipity—not direct research” [Ars Technica].

    Now depending on what is considered an “invention” ( penicillin, noble metal catalysts)?
    If physical chemistry innovations are included, I think that it is waaaaaaaaay optimistic that 50% of inventions are premeditated, no less that the underlying mechanism or “pathway” is understood..

    Inorganic chemistry? Catalytic materials for example.

    Organic chemistry? everyone has seen a video clip of the tireless pharma robot with a line of syringes dosing a matrix of ampules. Why do you suppose that is?

    Most of the real innovations are akin to the efforts of a persistent raccoon.

  11. ewmayer

    Re. Hillary’s artful auto-industry smear: Much as I despise the woman, I must say that if Sanders can’t effectively counter an obvious and easily-rebutted smear like this, he doesn’t deserve the nomination.

    I mean, really, “Mrs. Clinton’s allegation is once again a bug lie containing the tiniest sliver of truth, distorted into its opposite. She knows full well – and the Senate record will bear this out – that while I supported a credible rescue plan for the automakers, I was firmly against it being bundled with a much larger bailout for the corrupt banks which have donated so much money to her campaign” — how hard is that? Especially when he should have known going in to a debate in *Flint* of all places, that she would very likely attempt such a typically-underhanded ploy.

    Does anyone think she would get away with a similar stunt in a general-election debate vs Trump? If you can’t hold your own against such stuff from the likes of the mega-corrupt Hillary, how do you expect to do so playing high-level diplomatic chess against the likes of global players and master manipulators like the Putins, Erdogans and Netanyahus of this world?

    1. different clue

      Well . . . Sanders still has a few-couple months to show what he can learn about campaigning.

  12. For The Win

    As industrial capitalists tried to put down the strikes, landlords cheered workers on. It is no different today. When incomes rise, the housing market takes its cut.” What, the Grey Lady is hiring Communists now?

    The Grey Lady hires reporters, whom, other than a few name plates, don’t get paid squat. It’s this need for 2nd/3rd income that corrupts a lot of their reporting. Here, the concern is the owners will have to pay more for their slave labour if rents start to bump up from the bottom. As to communist, like Henry K., the owners prefer them and anyone else not buying their paper roasted alive, particularly if it can sell more advertising.

    That Grey Lady is no woman.

  13. another

    These are all wonderful cities that I love. Only a global elite as ruinously stupid as our own could crapify them.

    Please, using the word ‘elite’ takes the parasite point of view. Let them call themselves ‘elite’. The rest know that they are parasites. And they are not ‘our own’. We owe them nothing.

    1. RP

      Seconded. We owe them nothing but contempt. It’s the only thing the vast majority of them have ever or ever will have earned.

    2. different clue

      I keep thinking about the super tall shade-casting buildings just south of Central Park. I wonder if anyone could invent a kind of little suicide-drone designed to carry a drone-load of unremovable paint and fly thousands of them into thousands of windows of those offending buildings.

      Or what if a half a million people could all get hold of square foot mirrors and all learn to reflect beams of light onto a target . . . and then reflect their half-a-million beams of light onto the one same window of one of those buildings. And then another window. And then another.

  14. Darthbobber

    Times article on the ipad pro. No, you still can’t use a tablet for content creation beyond the roughest and simplest. The bulk of the companies that have limited positive feedback (and almost exclusively at the “brainstorming/roughing” level) are the kind that have fast INTRAnets.
    1) Lack of RAM
    2) Lack of storage space, forcing you to cloud-based solutions for large projects, (and transfer times become a bottleneck there for large files, even using 4Glte.)
    3) Lack of external monitor.
    4) Lack of keyboard.
    5) Lack of “industrial strength applications, (related to 1 and 2 above.)
    6) “Multitasking” in a meaningful sense virtually impossible.

    A nice research tool. And for content consumers, just fine. Content creation, at this point don’t make me laugh.

    If most of the above issues are addressed, what you’ll have is a laptop without a (supplied)keyboard. But doubtless, the ability to buy a proprietary one.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The plus is that with the Apple pencil, it’s wonderful for sketching and diagramming. I annotate photos and it’s really helped me see what I’m doing. The whole touch thing has a wonderful feeling of intimacy (but then I’m a guy who bought not only the first but the second Newton, which was in a lot of ways the precursor to the iPad).

      But the minus is as you say. Not for content creation (which, of course, proles don’t need to do). The amazing thing is that the Apple executives are acting like this is no problem, and gradually turning OS X into iOS, making it less reliable and worse from a UX standpoint. They must live in a bubble too.

  15. different clue

    About the word “intersectionality”. It has 7 syllables. Isn’t there a simpler word which means the same thing? Wouldn’t “overlap” do what “intersectionality” does?

  16. JoeK

    Wa-hay back in the good ole ’90s Prez Clinton signed the “salvage rider” which promoted further cutting of native forest by allowing lumber cos. to “take” any tree nearby or otherwise “associated with” (the wording IIRC) any dead or dying tree.
    One of the counter-arguments to this travesty was the point made above about snags and wildlife; it was snorted at. Yeah, first they ignore you, then they laugh at you….meanwhile forest systems are transformed into moonscapes or tree-farms.
    Reason 1,230,982 (+/-) no Clinton or anyone nearby or otherwise “associated with” him/her should be in a position of power of any kind.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s one of the problems with all this incrementalism crapola. It always creates more exceptions and opportunities for gaming. I can’t quite come up with the metaphor, but it’s like one of those lock and key things in molecular biology. The needless complexity is like the folds of a protein (??), and then all these chemical keys float up and unlock it.

      1. different clue

        ” Incrementalism is the trickle-down of politics.” A saying free-for-the-taking if anybody wants it.

        1. JoeK

          Someone somewhere thought seriously about the 3 stages of human adaptation and realised how easy it is to re-program most people’s minds. It becomes very apparent when you go to a vastly different but equally brainwashed society like, say, mainland China.
          Ani DiFranco addresses this forcefully in “Serpentine.”

          A salvage rider for politicians might be a good way of cleaning house–putting out to pasture rather than cutting down, of course, I’m not advocating violence; leave that to the Drumpfsters.

            1. JoeK

              It was a rider to some popular (of course) and completely unrelated bill that allowed the “salvage” of those “useless” dead/dying trees but more significantly of any trees unlucky enough to be in the vicinity of such. A stealth giveaway to the logging companies.
              Fires of course are a quick and easy way to kill trees, so not surprisingly the incidences of arson in national forests–just coincidentally in those areas lusted after by the logging cos.–increased dramatically.

  17. Daryl

    > This is awesome:

    Not knowing who this Russell Simmons guy is, I thought this was a joke.

    > Then again, Russell Simmons agrees with her.

    And I thought this was a joke. Then I read his twitter…well, good luck with that. I’m sure cracking down on factory farms is right at the top of Hillary’s list.

  18. allan

    5.5 million watch Democratic debate

    CNN reached 5.5 million with Sunday night’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, up from the last two Democratic contests but less than half of the audience for last week’s Republican contest. … Sunday’s event competed against a busy Sunday evening of television, including “The Walking Dead” and the series finale of PBS’ “Downton Abbey.”

    Surely this will earn DWS some kind of bonus

  19. ahimsa

    Interesting that the NY Times has changed how it displays candidates’ running totals of delegates. The focus is now on elected/pledged delegates and superdelegates are a footnote. Fair, but I am sure team Sanders would have preferred it a month ago!

  20. EndOfTheWorld

    Would be good for HRC to get Bernie to accept the VP slot. (1) the ONLY way she can get the Bernie supporters to vote for her, (2) Bernie’s coattails will help in Senate and House elections, (3) last but not least, the Republicans will think twice before beginning the impeachment proceedings against her—-they don’t want Bernie to be prez.

    1. mk

      I would not vote for Hilary even if Sanders ran as her VP. I would vote for Sanders if Hilary ran as his VP.

      I would prefer someone else to run as Sanders VP though.

      1. Praedor

        I’d only vote for a Hillary P, Sanders VP ticket if I was all but certain that Hillary would soon go down in flames to impeachment from any one of her many many criminals/unethical acts as Senator, SoS, or all around scumbag.

        Any prospect for a full term with Hillary at the helm and it’s a NO from me.

  21. RMO

    The “”Arrogance at The Economist” [Economics versus Reality].”” Is fascinating and the Economist article reads like it was meant to be arch satire. To sum up, the geniuses at The Economist looked at the VW/Audi behemoth, found that (surprise, surprise!) the Audi cars had much larger profit margins than the VW models and concluded that VW MUST drastically cut costs on VW branded vehicles in order to match the “luxury” division’s profit. The lack of comprehension of how reality works is breathtaking. In calling the Economist writers “geniuses” above I wasn’t being sarcastic. It actually takes a kind of genius to be that astoundingly boneheaded.

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