2:00PM Water Cooler 4/19/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Is ISDS dead? No, multi-million lawsuits still on the horizon” [EurActiv]. “In just a few days, the European Union will go back to the negotiating table with the United States in an attempt to salvage the small possibilities to complete a transatlantic trade and investment deal (TTIP) before President Obama leaves office. During the 13th round of TTIP negotiations in New York next week, a key issue will be the controversial subject of how to resolve investment disputes.”



“Against Fortress Liberalism” [Jacobin]. Essential reading!

if anybody is looking for the Democratic tradition of Roosevelt and Johnson, surely Bernie Sanders is its heir.

Of course, liberal incrementalists rule out this kind of talk at once: don’t you know the Republicans control Congress? 1936 and 1964 are irrelevant precedents, because the central fact of our political lives is the dominance of the Republican Party.

In this view right-wing opposition is not to be dislodged, let alone defeated. At best, it is to be resisted from within the walls of the Democratic Party fortress known as the White House. “The next Democratic presidential term will be mostly defensive,” writes Jonathan Chait — no more or less than a ”bulwark” against Republican extremism in Congress.

This kind of “fortress liberalism,” to adapt a phrase of Rich Yeselson’s, is the dominant mentality within today’s Democratic establishment.

On the “wonks” vs. “activists” health care debate [Marcy, emptywheel], with an excellent followup by [Ed Walker]. Marcy:

In truth, the people the ‘wonks’ deem ‘activists’ aren’t actually stupid, or naive, or unicorn herders. Some of them are actually experts of longer standing than those writing in favor of Obamacare. Rather, they disagree about what acceptable costs are, as well as about whether it makes sense to continue pointing out that the US has an unbelievably ineffective healthcare delivery system with terrible outcomes that not only is immoral, but saddles our economy with a burden that other developed countries don’t have, making us less competitive in any industry not driven by this exorbitant spending. Yes, there is also a difference of opinion about whether it is more effective “activism” to set the goal where everyone agrees it should be — providing actual health care — or to instead set more moderate goals that also have the effect of naturalizing a particular ideology. But ultimately there is a real debate about policy here, and rather than use ‘activists’ to continue to set the bar on the most efficient way to provide the best health care, a lot of those close to Hillary would prefer they just shut up.

STFU has been the strategy for Establishment Democrats like the “wonks” from 2009 to today.

“This pattern of serial crimes at JPMorgan Chase and other Wall Street banks is why presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont can say with authority and conviction that the business model of Wall Street is fraud” [Wall Street on Parade]. “Hillary is also clinging desperately to the nutty proposition that the big banks didn’t cause the 2008 Wall Street crash, buttressed by the increasingly desperate sounding New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who some suspect may be auditioning for a role in Hillary’s cabinet were she to become the next President.”

“For a political movement [i.e., socialism] long confined to the fringes of American discourse, Sanders would seem to have done an enormous service” [The Atlantic]. “But as it happens, the real socialists—the ones toiling, lonely, in the trenches; the ones who never felt a need to temper their philosophy with a mitigating adjective like democratic, as Sanders does—are strikingly ungrateful. Puryear’s party, the PSL, issued a statement last August, when Sanders began to gain traction, tartly rejecting his campaign. ‘His program is not socialist,’ it noted.” True!


“More and more voters understand that the flow of dollars to both parties is what’s allowed billionaires to accumulate and stash their wealth while the middle class declares medical bankruptcy or goes deep into debt to pay college tuition — and so they’re quitting ‘the game’ [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News]. “When someone says that he or she abhors all the wealth in politics but that it’s more important to win elections than to fight the system, that person is a partisan, pure and simple…and not a progressive.” Yep. This is a very good piece from Bunch; read it all.

“Why We Don’t Need to See the Hillary Clinton Transcripts” [David Dayen, The New Republic]. “We already know that she gives priority of place to Wall Street.” Ouch!

The Voters

“Over three hundred people were arrested today, bringing the week’s total to more than 1,400 arrests including the Democracy Spring protests that began last Monday” [The Nation]. ” They are fighting to protect voting rights, to end the corrosive influence of big money on the political system and to force Republicans to confirm Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court.” Eesh, what’s a moderate Republican doing on that list? Really worth being arrested for?

Trump’s “firewall” of married white women [Bloomberg].


“The new 30-second spot is called ‘$27,’ a number that has become as closely identified with Sanders as 47% was in a negative way for Republican nominee Mitt Romney four years ago” [Los Angeles Times]. “The spot will debut on KGO-TV in San Francisco on Friday evening and on KCBS in Los Angeles on Saturday night, timed deliberately to coincide with Clinton’s major fundraisers with Clooney in both cities. The events have minimum asking prices in the tens of thousands of dollars.” Gee, it looks like Sanders won’t be folding his tent after New York, come what may.

New York

“New York Primary: Live Updates” [New York Times].

“6 things to watch for in New York’s primary tonight” [WaPo].

“This year, 52 percent of the Democratic votes are projected to come from New York City, which also wouldn’t be great for Sanders, who has been trailing behind Clinton among voters in the city. Sanders should be worried if the New York primary ends up with low voter turnout and a majority of voter participation from metropolitan areas; his polling numbers are highest among suburban areas and young, college-aged people” [Bustle]. “However, there might be one silver lining for Sanders: Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state has seen unprecedented online voter registration — nearly 41,000 people submitted applications between March 10 and March 20. Nearly half of these new voters indicated that they had never voted before. … If these voters prove the U.S. Census Bureau statistics wrong and have more than half of their [sic] eligible voters participate in the election, then Sanders could possibly win New York.”

“60,000 Fewer Democrats in Brooklyn and No Clear Reason Why” [WNYC]. Seems odd. I mean, you’d think the Democrat Establishment would want more people voting [snort].

“New York’s election laws are deliberately byzantine and hopelessly outdated. The State Legislature must fix them before its session ends in June” [Newsday].

“The rules in New York also favor Clinton. Sanders has, thus far, fared better in states with open primaries where independents are allowed to vote in the Democratic race. However, New York election law allows only registered Democrats to participate in the primary. Voters who wanted to join the party had to do so by last October, and new voters who wanted to register as Democrats needed to do so by March 25. Because of these rules, Sanders needs to win among people who were already members of the Democratic Party and were registered before he kicked off his campaign in the state” [USA Today].

“What is particularly outrageous to the millions of Independents that have been barred from participating in closed state primaries [like New York’s] this year is that all taxpayers pay for these primaries – and yet, only registered Republicans and Democrats get to cast a vote” [Wall Street on Parade]. Sounds like taxation without representation to me. Maybe somebody should sue?

The Trail

“Brad Deutsch, the lawyer for the Sanders campaign, wrote an open letter to DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz arguing that the Clinton campaign’s Hillary Victory Fund, the joint account between the campaign and various Democratic Party committees, “skirts legal limits on federal campaign donations.” The fund is made up of the Clinton campaign, 32 state Democratic committees, and the DNC” [Politico]. Readers will not be surprised by the footnotes citing to Politico and WaPo, since we have previously linked to them at NC.

Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook: “Instead of trying to convince the next generation of progressives that the Democratic Party is corrupt, Senator Sanders should stick to the issues and think about what he can do to help the Party he is seeking to lead” [PoliticsUSA]. Wowsers. It’s hard to know where to begin with this, but there’s the generational frame, the east assumption that the Democratic establishment is progressive…. Clearly, Mook can clutch his pearls with the best of ’em, but apparently some Democratic regulars are quite upset with this.

“What it’s like to phonebank for Bernie Sanders” [Real History Blog].

Clinton Email Hairball

“State Department, Judicial Watch reach agreement on depositions of Clinton aides” [The Hill]. “The agreement, which came Friday night, calls for sworn depositions from Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, her longtime aide Huma Abedin and information technology specialist Bryan Pagliano, who set up the server… Pagliano has agreed to cooperate with the FBI in its investigation of the email setup in exchange for immunity.” I can’t find out if Mills, Abedin, and Pagliano have separate lawyers not affiliated with ClintonLand, or not. Readers?

Stats Watch

Housing Starts, March 2016: “Data on the housing sector are slowing going into the key spring season. Housing starts fell a very sharp 8.8 percent in March to a 1.089 million annualized rate which is well below Econoday’s consensus” [Econoday]. But: “Be careful in analyzing this data set with a microscope as the potential error ranges and backward revisions are significant. Also the nature of this industry variations from month to month so the rolling averages are the best way to view this series – and the data remains in the range we have seen over the last 3 years” [Econintersect]. “The slowing of building permits this month is attributable to softness in multiple family dwellings.” On the other hand: “Starts and permits down and below expectations. I see this as removing any hope of any kind of sustainable growth. The traditional sources of private sector credit expansion- housing, vehicles, and general investment are continuing to decelerate when acceleration is needed just to replace the capital expenditures that were being generated by $100 oil. And even then GDP growth was modest, at best” [Mosler Economics].

Small Business Economic Sentiment, March 2016: “America’s skilled professionals are heading into April in a very positive mood. Based on a national survey of nearly 15,000 respondents, from plumbers to photographers, this group of American small business owner-operators is in better spirits than any point since April of 2015” [Econoday].

The Fed: “[C]onditions here at home paint a portrait of decelerating economic activity, visible through a variety of metrics” [Econintersect]. “The outlier, though, is continued employment gains, which have even accelerated while consumer spending growth slowed. This presents a puzzle to policymakers: If more consumers are working, and they are earning more, and they enjoyed a sharp drop in fuel prices, why aren’t they spending it?” Oddly, however, the article does not answer this interesting question. What am I missing?

The Fed: “What’s behind the March Spike in Treasury Fails?” [Liberty Street]. “Settlement fails in U.S. Treasury securities rose to their highest level in more than seven years in March. Among the netting membership of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), gross fails (the sum of fails to deliver and fails to receive) aggregated across all Treasury issues averaged $95 billion per day over the month, as shown in the chart below. That said, fails remained well below the historic high of $504 billion per day observed in October 2008 at the peak of the financial crisis.”

“[T]he success of AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. since 2013 in shifting customers into plans that force them to pay the full price for devices—and separate that cost from monthly service fees—has consumers holding on to their devices longer” [Wall Street Journal, “Americans Keep Their Cellphones Longer”].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 75, Extreme Greed (previous close: 74, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 68 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Apr 18 at 12:37pm. Finally we move into Extreme Greed territory. Break out the champers!

Health Care

“Analysis of UnitedHealth Group’s Premiums and Participation in ACA Marketplaces” [Kaiser Health News]. “If United were to withdraw from all states, 532 counties would go from having three insurers to two, while another 536 counties would go from having two insurers to just one. The net effect of a United exit would be that 532 more counties in the U.S. would have just one or two insurers on the exchange. Combining these counties with the 1,121 counties that already had one or two insurers would mean that just over half (53%) of U.S. counties would have one or two exchanges insurers.”


“In Maharashtra, where the sugar industry and politics are twined, drought is a manmade disaster” [Indian Express].

No government of the state — including that of the BJP-Shiv Sena between 1995-99 — has attached importance to issues such as water conservation, drip irrigation or rejuvenating ground water. Why?

Because government after government in the state has been run by those engaged in the gross misuse of water. In Maharashtra, they are called sugar barons, and they are large in number.


“Psilocybin, the mind-altering chemical that gives some mushrooms magical properties, can do more than induce trippy states. A new study finds that it reduces the sting of social rejection” [Los Angeles Times].

“Although laughter is a phylogenetically conserved vocalization linked to affiliative behavior in nonhuman primates, its functions in modern humans are not well understood” [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]. ” We show that judges all around the world, hearing only brief instances of colaughter produced by pairs of American English speakers in real conversations, are able to reliably identify friends and strangers.”

The Jackpot

“The Illicit Spelunker Capturing Underground Scenes at Chernobyl” (photos) [Atlas Obscura]. “[T]he most haunting aspect of Kupny’s already-haunting photos is the snowfall of tiny crystalline flakes that float through every scene of silent ruin lending the photos a deep-sea feel.”

“McDonald’s is preparing to experiment with an all-you-can eat French fries option” [Independent]. We’re doomed. Doomed, I tell you.

Our Famously Free Press

“New Republic Editor-in-Chief Gabriel Snyder is leaving the politics and culture magazine less than two months after it was sold to liberal activist and donor Win McCormack” [HuffPo]. Clinton held a $2,700-a-plate dinner at McCormack’s house in Portland, OR.

Class Warfare

“An Inline Response to ‘Wage Slaves'” [Rami Ismail].

“Adjusting to economic shocks tougher than thought” [Brookings Institute]. BWA-HA-HA-HA!! Stop it, Brookings! You’re killing me!

“The [life-expectancy] gap appears to be growing fast. The researchers, led by Raj Chetty, a professor of economics at Stanford University, analyzed more than 1.4 billion federal tax returns, as well as mortality data from the Social Security Administration, from the years 2001 to 2014. In that period, the life expectancy of the richest five per cent of Americans increased by roughly three years. For the poorest five per cent, there was no increase” [The New Yorker]. That’s jaw-dropping.

“What the great degree rip-off means for graduates: low pay and high debt” [Guardian]. Nice round-up.

News of the Wired

“How to build a speed-loving DIY Linux router from scratch” [Ars Technica]. Not just speed. Control over your software.

“Most of the Three Stooges’ films are perfectly free from topicality, and most have narratives that are barely coherent. For those reasons, the films have an almost unfair historical advantage over many other movies: They barely age at all” [Seven Days]. Sounds like macroeconomics! [UPDATE: The comparison even more on point than I thought. Seach the page for “Use the tools”.]

“Reporter’s notebook: Left behind in Attawapiskat” [CBC]. “I was chatting with someone and suddenly, a siren started. He instantly went silent. His head snapped towards the direction of the sound, no doubt wondering whether it was a signal of another tragedy.”

“Inuit Cartography” [The Decolonial Atlas]

“Only Obama Gets Game Of Thrones Screeners, So I Filed An FOIA Request For Them” [Refinery29].

“The First Roman Fonts” [I Love Typography]. Might tell you more than you want to know, but the samples are lovely!

“With particles that can exist in two places at once, the quantum world is often considered to be inherently counterintuitive. Now, a group of scientists has created a video game that follows the laws of quantum mechanics, but at which non-physicist human players excel” [Nature]. “[T]he work also suggests that the human mind might be more capable of grasping the rules of the bizarre quantum world than previously thought — a revelation that could have implications for how scientists approach quantum physics, says Jacob Sherson, a quantum physicist at Aarhus University, Denmark, who led the study. “Maybe we should allow some of that normal intuition to enter our problem solving,” he says.” But humans can’t grasp macroecomics! Oh, no!

“The enduring popularity of the Monkey King” [Ars Technica]. This is the Year of the Monkey! But can the Monkey King solve quantum puzzles?

* * *

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 (MK):


Poppies at the Getty Museum.

* * *

Readers, Water Cooler will not exist without your regular support. Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. If you enjoy what you’re reading, please click the hat!


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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. EndOfTheWorld

    Will the depositions of Cheryl Mills and Huma the Puma be made public? I meant that nickname in a nice way—she appears to be sleek, watchful, energetic, etc. like rhyming big cat.

    1. ekstase

      This is good!

      (This stuff is infuriating: “In Brooklyn alone, 63,558 Democrats have been inexplicably purged from voter rolls.”)

      At least in New York there will always be enough organized people to stage a real fight against vote stealing.

          1. nippersmom

            De Blasio is giving lip service to being mad about this. We’ll see whether he actually follows through on anything after the primary is over.

    2. Tom

      Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), the judge has delayed a decision until a hearing at a later date on the basis on standing. The state attorney general claimed these voting issues are a county matter — not a state matter. And so there will be a hearing at a later date involving all NY counties. This will be too late for today’s primary.

    3. cwaltz

      Update X3: CRITICAL 3:36 pm EST — “The lawsuit did not go as planned. Judge scheduled for a later hearing date “NYPrimary election lawsuit: Judge orders hearing 4 later date, instructs plaintiffs to name every single NY county as Defendants and give each county notice that they have to appear in court to defend their voter registration process (over 60 counties) NY Board of Election said they have nothing to do with the problems, are “not responsible for the counties” — per Jordan from TYT twitter account @JordanChariton — what this means is still slightly unclear, but keep voting and if you can, please try to SUE for your vote over signing off on a provisional with an affidavit. — I will keep updating as more info comes in so do check back.

      It appears it’s the exciting game of pass the buck.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Fool me twice.

        People here in California should sue now, and hope the ‘later date’ will come before June 7.

        “Be prepared.”

          1. jo6pac

            I’m in Calli and there is no way to make this happen. The demodog party here owned by dnc outright and tells the locals what to do.

        1. mk

          I saw a report on broadcast news and also heard on NPR and KPFK (Pacifica) here in the Los Angeles area that we have a problem with people who are Independents mistakenly registered as American Independents (conservative) with May deadlines for getting re-registered.

  2. ekstase

    Spelunking under Chernobyl? “Kupny and Koshelev had no formal permission to take their cameras and headlights on their days off and crawl into the sarcophagus,” Here is some crazy intersection of bravery and insane. Makes one ponder how much radioactivity it could possibly be worth to get those photos.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “to keep us out of unnecessary wars”

      Has kind of a different ring than “We came, we saw, he died,” don’t it?

      Clinton needs to counter with a “$666” campaign: “Keep Hell’s fires burning.”

      1. fresno dan

        Jim Haygood
        April 19, 2016 at 3:09 pm
        Another GREAT one!

        When hell is full, the Clinton superdelegates will walk the earth…
        When hell is full, the Clinton Goldman speeches will spew forth…

        Or come up with your own – it works on so many levels…

      2. different clue

        Or maybe “keep the fires of Hell burning.” Or . . “keep the Hellfire burning” In case they sound more rhythmic or scan better.

  3. grayslady

    Regarding attorneys for Hillary email cohorts:

    1) Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, Heather Samuelson, and Phillippe Reines are all being represented by Beth Wilkinson. Wilkinson, who is married to tv talking head David Gregory, recently set up her own boutique law firm. Previously, she was a partner with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind (which held a fundraiser for Hillary).

    2) Huma Abedin is being represented by Karen Dunn of Boies, Schiller. Dunn used to be a Clinton staffer.

    3) Brian Pagliano is being represented by Mark MacDougall of Akin Gump. Five of Akin Gump’s attorneys bundled more than $125,000 for Hillary.

  4. Jim Haygood

    As the Gipper used to say, “Well, there they go again”:

    It pays to have Clinton Privilege.

    New York election regulators seem to be looking the other way today as Bill and Hillary Clinton campaigned outside their polling location this morning.

    Video published by Reuters shows the Clintons posing for photos inside their precinct, as well as “greeting voters” outside the door.

    Campaign signs and stickers are clearly visible.

    Bill Clinton behaved similarly in Massachusetts in March.


    L’état, c’est moi …

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In a caucus, (as it might happen in some states) as a voter, can Bill (if he’s registered there) go into there and campaign, sorry, persuade other voters?

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      Someone claims to have witnessed Billy trip an elderly woman on her way to stand in line, and he neither helped her nor apologized. Indeed, he and the Mrs. slithered out as fast as they could manage.

  5. neo-realist

    What comes to mind re 60,000 fewer registered Brooklynites is a combination of native ones leaving the borough (priced out, seniors dying or moving to more cost friendly parts of the metro area or the country) and new inhabitants from other parts of the country (which the borough is supposedly getting a lot of) that haven’t registered (keeping in mind the youth enthusiasm for Sanders). Possibly some shenanigans too. Maybe somebody who lives around those parts might have better optics on what’s happening.

    from an expatriate Brooklynite.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is this another way foreign money is changing American democracy?

      60,000 residential units sold to absentee owners from Shanghai and South America?

      1. neo-realist

        As well as some famous celebrities and some hipsters w/ trust funds who think living in Brooklyn is the cutting edge.

        I’m sure there is some foreign money that’s come in, but from the optics I’ve seen visiting occasionally in the last few years, there are many new residents that I believe came from other parts of the country, particularly in neighborhoods which were overwhelmingly black in the past—bed sty and bushwick—that now have many white residents.

    2. nippersmom

      New Yorkers on a Sanders FB page are saying they have gotten court orders allowing them to vote. These are some dedicated people; one guy indicated he had to wait four hours for his signed document from the judge, but he got it and was able to cast his vote.

  6. Carolinian

    don’t you know the Republicans control Congress?

    Should one point out that the Dems controlled the House of Representatives for decades before a certain president named Clinton came on the scene? This ice cream cone seems to be self-licking.

    1. philnc

      The Democrats started losing the moment they began moving to the right. What amplified this was that they pretended it wasn’t happening. Coincidentally the numbers of voters who chose to be unaffiliated. Obama won them a surge of support in 2008, which was lost just two years later because the Democrats failed to rise to the occasion and be as bold as promised (“hope and change”).

      This may well be the last national election where the Democrats will enjoy an increase in enrollments. Given the establishment’s conduct I think getting most people to stick with the party is going to be an impossibly hard sell.

      1. RabidGandhi

        I’m just trying to estimate when it was that the D’s turned right. Was it when Carter attacked Nicaragua and smooched the Shah? Or was it when LBJ escalated the attack on South Vietnam and orchestrated the coups in Brazil and Uruguay? Or was it when JFK attacked Nixon from the right, claiming the US needed more nukes to fill a non-existent missile gap? Or when JFK almost blew up the world several times with his cowboy brinksmanship in the Cuban missile crisis? Or was it when FDR signed Executive Order 9066? Maybe Wilson’s Red Scare?

        1. pretzelattack

          i’m not sure when it started, maybe from the start, but it got noticeably worse after carter; on deregulation and on being complicit, at least, with warmongering.

        2. Carolinian

          No you can’t blame it all on Clinton, but his betrayal of the base with NAFTA and frustrations with his failed health reform promise certainly contributed to the 1994 debacle. Even in the 1980s there was still a genuinely progressive wing of the Dem party although they weren’t the ones in charge. The Republicans became the party of (bad) ideas because the Democrats had lost faith in theirs. The Clintons were figureheads for this new technocratic direction. Yes Carter was a big neoliberal but he was also opposed for that reason by many such as Ted Kennedy. Whereas after eight years of the Clintons the progressives that were left in the party were a spent force.

          It’s a depressing picture but some of us have a glimmer of hope that the American people will finally rise up and throw the bums out. It’s hard to see how we can survive four more years of the current mess as embodied by yet another Clinton.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            For the Repugnicants there’s no need to find a timeline, these have been core policies all along. For the Dems I think it wasn’t the private stuff that mattered (Carter’s Zbig-inspired adventures etc) but rather when suppression of the people versus the corporations became overt public policy. That’s Bubba.

        3. roadrider

          Or when JFK almost blew up the world several times with his cowboy brinksmanship in the Cuban missile crisis?

          This is total bullshit and if you actually KNEW anything about Kennedy or the Cuban Missile Crisis instead of spouting ignorant mythology promoted by biased Kennedy haters like Noam Chomsky you would realize that.

          Kennedy was the ONLY thing standing between the lunatics on the JCS who had been spoiling for a nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union since the fifties and who were barely restrained from launching the attack on Cuba on their own initiative. Kennedy’s blockade was a time-buying maneuver while he conducted back-channel negotiations with Khrushchev which ultimately led to a peaceful resolution.

          “Rabid” Ghandi – you chose your screen name well.

  7. pretzelattack

    anybody know how votes are counted in caucus states. iow, does the clinton popular vote lead depend on not counting actual votes in caucus states?

    1. Tom

      The popular vote includes caucus states. The issue is that turnout in caucus states is lower, and so it skews the statistics. That partially explains her huge lead in the popular vote. It also explains the nonsense statistics of “politifact” (more like “politifalse”) stating that the Sanders claim that he does better when turnout is high is false because he won states with an average turnout of like 20% and HRC has won states with an average turnout of 30%. They do not compare turnout to past years, and mix caucus and primary turnouts.

      HRC pulled the same nonsense about claiming a mandate because of her popular vote “lead” in the primary against Obama. There, she included Michigan and Florida who were disenfranchsied as an entire state because of DNC politics. HRC was the only candidate on the ballot in those two states.

    2. Jake

      pretzelattack, every state has its own rules. I can send along the Democratic party rules for the State of Washington if you like. Essentially the precincts meet and elect delegates who are pledged, though they are allowed to change their votes (yes, already confusing). Those delegates meet at legislative district conventions. At the LD convention they elect delegates to the county convention. If LD is larger than a single county then the LD convention coincides with the county convention. At the county convention they elect delegates to the Congressional District convention. At the CD convention they elect delegates to the State convention where they elect delegates to the National convention. Delegates are allocated by percentage of the votes, rounded of course, and must be also be 50% female and 50% male. At each stage if fewer than 15% of the votes go to a candidate (Hillary or Bernie for example) then that candidate gets no delegates. If a delegate does not attend (remarkably common, but consider that we started with over 19,000 delegates at the LD level) then an alternate of the same sex, pledged side and precinct is seated, unless there are none, in which the other sex but same pledge is ok, unless there are none in which case another precinct but same pledge is ok, unless there are none in which case any alternate from any precinct and any pledge state is ok. This happened to some Hillary votes and she lost what appears to be 2 or may 3 eventual state delegates this way.

      Confused? It was and is very confusing to many on both sides.

      1. pretzelattack

        thank you for your very detailed reply. one of the common clinton talking points is she leads the popular vote by 2 million or so-the unstated conclusion is that bernie is simply gaming caucus states to win, or that somehow he is defying the will of the people by continuing. i’ve seen some vote totals for caucus states, but i guess the question of how they come up with those totals is probably going to depend on the state.

        1. Jake

          The raw vote total in Washington was of course people who showed up at the caucuses, and since they took two to four hours you can imagine that there are not so many voting as might have voted in an open primary. Washington is probably not typical, it was very one-sided in Sanders favor, somewhere around 75/25, which is reflected in the delegate counts. You can see that the reason the national convention delegate count for Washington still shows many uncommitted delegates, as they are not committed until the cascading local conventions culminate in selection of national delegates, yet it is very easy to make predictions that are going to be close to the ultimate.

          Here is the official state party caucus delegate tabulation. And of course this is delegates, not votes for delegates. http://www.wa-democrats.org/caucus-results

          1. pretzelattack

            I’m sure the vote count is a talking point from the clinton campaign, it’s just hard to find information to refute it.

          2. Propertius

            In several counties here in Colorado, the venues were too small for many of the precinct caucuses. Several counties, including mine, set up one or two caucus “supersites” where several caucuses met in one facility. The thinking was that this would allow a lot of the paperwork and registration overhead to be handled by a single team. The result (just like in 2008) was that the supersites were understaffed and couldn’t register and direct attendees in a timely fashion. There were still hundreds of people lined up to get in when the caucuses concluded.

            It’s an absurd, antidemocratic system. It discriminates against shift workers, people with kids, the elderly, the disabled, or anyone who has to travel frequently for work.

      2. Propertius

        The rules are similar in Colorado. There are often a lot of no-shows – many people think they want to be delegates at their precinct caucuses, but then decide that there are better ways to spend a lovely Spring Saturday than being locked in a room with a bunch of politicians at their county or district assemblies. It’s usually even worse for State conventions, since there’s a lengthy drive involved for a lot of folks.

  8. different clue

    Just today I see in a comment at Riverdaughter The Confluence the following claim presented . . .

    “Something I found out today is that Bernie hired Revolution Messaging and paid them 10 million to get people to infiltrated blogs and social media. Now if you don’t know who Revolution Messaging is it was founded by a bunch of Obama campaign people. I KNEW I smelled something going on with the bros before hos crowd sounding strangely familiar on the internet.”

    and . . .

    Apparently they pay women less etc. etc. I checked out glass door on them.

    Can this be proven true or false? Because I suspect it will be important to know . . . given the claims about the Sanders campaign which will be based on the claim noted in this comment.

    1. Vatch

      I doubt that all of that money for Revolution Messaging was spent infiltrating blogs and social media. I’m sure a lot of it was spent on simple advertising. And the Sanders campaign has been paying a larger amount of money to Old Towne Media, another political advertising agency. Prime time TV commercials cost a lot!

      Do many corporations underpay women and generally mistreat their employees? Unfortunately, yes. Do these political advertising agencies treat their employees as badly as Amazon treats warehouse workers? Not very likely.

    2. cwaltz

      Heh, because we all know Obama is in the tank for Bernie.

      (rolls eyes)

      The Clinton conspiracy theorists make me laugh.

      1. different clue

        I would like to believe you are correct. Given the nature of the mortal combat to come over which nominee-wannabe conquers and destroys the other nominee-wannabe, the Sanders group should be very sure that this really is a Clinton Conspiracy hoax. If it is, they would be well advised to draw loud attention to it their own selves and follow on fast and hard with a bulletproof loud and proud debunking of the story advanced by those websites.

        Because if it turns out to be really true, in fact; then Sanders gonna have a lotta ‘splainin to do. And that would be bad for Sanders’s campaign.

        So I hope someone from fairly high up in the Sanders group looks into this and takes action at the realtime speed of politics.

        1. jrs

          How would you even know that they pay women less based on glassdoor? What kind of source is that? Not a reliable one as it’s a highly biased sample at least. It could be true is the most anyone can say.

          I’m also not so sure what would be so horrible if they did use Revolution Messaging. Ok if Obama used it that’s not a great sign. But on the other hand isn’t using it kind of not reinventing the wheel? It’s less ugly than taking money from dubious sources at any rate.

          1. different clue

            I didn’t check out glass door. One of the commenters at The Confluence wrote that.
            I forgot to put quotation marks around it to indicate it was a quote.

            I suspect Clintonites will be working very fast and hard to propagate these memes. If indeed there is no truth behind them, the Sanders campaign might want to decide whether it needs to respond fast and hard to stamp them out and smash them flat . . . while they are still small enough and new enough to be handled.

            Also, if there are Obamazoids among the founding elements of Revolution Messaging, might some of them be orchestrating black-advance hidden-hand ratfuckery against the Sanders campaign from within the Sanders campaign? Since Obama and Clinton serve the same social OverClass Masters, might there be a possibility that an Obamazoidal “Social Media co-ordination service” might contain hidden agents out to degrade and attrit the Sanders Campaign image through false-flag “Bernie Bro” Twitter Twattery in order to get numerous undecided people to hate the Sanders Campaign? Team Sanders should look into this and see if it merits their alert attention or not.

    3. nippersmom

      It’s projection. Clinton and her surrogates have been hiring trolls to infiltrate web sites and blogs (including Sanders FB pages). It’s pretty obvious to those of us who frequent those venues. Sanders has plenty of legitimate online followers; he doesn’t need to pay people to comment on social media, just as he doesn’t need to pay them to attend his public appearances.

      1. different clue

        As overworked as our blog-hosts already are, I don’t see how they can keep up with issues of ratfuckery on Social Media, let alone write blog posts about it. But perhaps you or other user-readers of this blog and of relevant social media sites could do some cut-pasting of parts of those sites to show specimens of Clintonite infiltration and contract-trolling?

        We are in a brain war of image-extermination, and the side which does not realize that . . . or thinks it is above such things and is too good to practice such methods, even if only defensively; is the side which will be image-exterminated.

        The future is zero sum. The future belongs to those who understand that the future is zero sum. Do the Sandernistas understand that?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          The future had better not be zero sum. That’s called The Jackpot. In fact, you could look at the 2016 campaign as a contest between the Zero Sum-ists (Clinton) and… [Whatever the opposite of Zero Sum is]-ists (Sanders). I mean, Medicare really goes grow the pie for everybody.

        2. MojaveWolf

          The future is zero sum. The future belongs to those who understand that the future is zero sum. Do the Sandernistas understand that?

          As a very committed Sandernista, let me say no I don’t buy that for a second. Life is not a zero sum game. We don’t have to live life like that. I don’t live my life like that. I want solutions that work for the whole planet and benefit as many as possible as much as possible while harming as few as possible as little as possible. That’s party of WHY I’m for Bernie.

          That said, there are some people I’ll be fine fine fine with harming for the greater good. =)

        3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          OK let’s say it is “zero-sum”, then I propose taking a very large sum from the 60 people who own 1/2 of the world’s wealth and distributing it to the planet’s other 7,211,341 people. It would go a long way.

  9. hreik

    It pays to have Clinton Privilege.

    New York election regulators seem to be looking the other way today as Bill and Hillary Clinton campaigned outside their polling location this morning.

    Video published by Reuters shows the Clintons posing for photos inside their precinct, as well as “greeting voters” outside the door.

    Campaign signs and stickers are clearly visible.

    link http://www.theamericanmirror.com/video-clintons-skirt-election-law-again-campaign-outside-ny-polling-place/

    1. Jim Haygood

      My understanding is that Hillary actually lives in D.C. now, while “Bill” hangs out in Chappaqua.

      Appearing at the polls together is one of those inconvenient duties that the image consultants said was a must.

      Chances are they showed up in separate cars. “Bill” probably had a couple of giggling groupies stashed in the back of his.

      1. hreik

        My understanding is that I cannot even wear a Bernie button to my location, iow, no campaigning of any sort, not just by candidates and their spouses.

        1. inode_buddha

          Yeah, what’s up with that? I heard the same thing but I KNEW the Clintoris would do this…

      2. optimader

        Well, whether or not Bill’s ticker can sustain groupies anymore, they both have excellent reasons to not stand the sight of each other.
        At the same time, they never deserved each others company more.

        1. Bas

          together or apart, it’s still working for them,they probably believe. After all, there’s the Clinton foundation. I won’t even go into the theories about Chelsea’s parentage…

  10. Paul Tioxon

    Nature, nurture
    Nature, nurture….

    The 3 Stooges in Half Wits Holiday: The opening lines.

    “I say environment.”

    Heredity is the very foundation of social distinction!”


    If anything, these films are smarter than than the people whose intelligence is based upon credentials or status, and look down at all popular culture, vulgar folkways, and not in the canon of eternal verities as simply worthless dead ends.

    In Half Wits, the Stooges show up as plumbers to repair something, only to be targeted as 3 missing links that will finally solve the age old Nature-Nurture controversy. A bet is soon made by the “gentlemen” from each side of the conflicting theories, and we know they are highly educated gentlemen by their distinct lack of vulgarity and their pronounced use of highfalutin dandy utterances. Of course, the profundity of this entire episode is lost on the kids, and only becomes apparent when you watch this after you too become a gentleman or lady with proper education. No doubt, an inherent contradiction that will lead to the complete collapse of slapstick comedy as a legit, valid genre. Unless we act now with a paradigm change. Any of you porcupines with the tools to change a paradigm?

  11. RW Tucker

    “Fortress Liberalism” has really become the donning of a victimization mantle by people who call themselves liberal. Following from that, the eventual enfeeblement of meaningful beliefs.

    The amount of whining and hand-writing going on because The Republicans stopped X from doing Y really just spirals out of control these days. It’s all becoming pitiful wailing. I’m no longer feeling sorry for Democrats about it. Every party faces an opposition. Buck up, buttercups. Learn to deal with it.

    Obama’s term will be remembered as a distinct lack of leadership on any issue. Where LBJ would have been throwing fists, Obama sat in the white house and managed by email.

    1. afisher

      Try reading about the history of the GOP starting with Richard Nixon through GWB – with emphasis on Nixon, GHWB and Reagan – all of whom committed illegal acts that could easily have been deemed “treason” with their win at all costs actions. Is HRC just like them?

      Only people who ignore history will refuse to admit that GOP routinely broke laws and then hid or foot-drag or refuse to fund investigations into their illegal acts.

      Remembering history or “hand-wringing’ over democracy being killed.

      1. Propertius

        all of whom committed illegal acts that could easily have been deemed “treason”

        Only by someone who hasn’t read Article III of the Constitution. People toss the word “treason” about rather too freely these days. I blame Anne Coulter.

        1. pretzelattack

          remember the october surprise? negotiating with the iranians to delay the release of the hostages wouln’t qualify? iirc there was another scandal involving nixon and somebody i recall being called “the dragon lady”. and then there’s the faked on demand evidence of wmd, used to justify an illegal war. the whole propaganda campaign helped along by chalabi.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Supposedly, New York city is Hillary’s best bet…better than Buffalo or Rochester.

    2. Andrew

      This article appears to be from 2013. (The good-natured character of the tweets were a tell; then I looked at the dateline.)

  12. Peter Pan

    I apologize if this has already been posted on NC. It’s about the ongoing Washington state Democratic caucus debacle.

    Be sure to look at the time stamp of the last tweet on this article.


    But wait there’s more.


    This lawyer isn’t too happy either.


    Glad I missed out on that clusterf*ck.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interesting the Seattle Times article. First, it mentioned suspected dirty tricks from the D party, then that was followed by someone explaining the difficulties with the volunteers supported process.

      “Antiquated caucus” way of going about it.

      Antiquated with peer pressure and influencing other voters – that’s like campaigning inside a polling station.

      I am surprised that no one has mounted any legal challenge so far.

      Fortunately, most if not all caucus states has gone Bernie’s way.

      I don’t think Hillary would dare to ask to re-do those as closed primaries.

    2. armchair

      Thank the stars that I was an alternate delegate. At our district caucus the alternates who weren’t “seated” were able to leave after a mere five hours. The alternates serve a critical role. If elected delegates don’t show-up the alternates fill-in for them, but if there are not enough alternates to fill in all of the no-show spots, then alternates for the other candidate can step in. This would result in converted delegates. Of course, every Bernie alternate was well aware of this and no one dared to leave until everyone was “seated”.

      The caucus system is unquestionably flawed, but there is a charm to it. While we waited, people could come up and give one minute speeches while the volunteers figured out who hadn’t showed up. I have never experienced anything like that. There is something charming about being political in public. Caucusing requires stamina. A primary by mail-in ballot is over in a flash. The primary takes away the emotion and the commitment.

      Of course, I got to go home after five hours. Something like 200 people had signed up to be elected as the 18 delegates to advance to the next caucus event. I knew, as I was leaving, that I was being spared many more hours of tedium. The thought crossed my mind, what if all of us had phone-banked for the New York primary? We probably could’ve made contact with about one-third of New York State.

      The thing about the Washington caucus is that they usually don’t matter, and usually the delegate switching doesn’t matter. The exception is 2008. Our chairperson said 2008 was a big mess too. I don’t know for sure, but I think you would have to go back to 1968 to find another campaign that lasted this long.

      My conclusion is that caucusing is a romantic version of democracy, but ultimately, they are too flawed. Caucus states should move to primaries and join the fight of closed vs open, closed polls, lines around the block, purged voter rolls and all of that. Okay, joking aside, primaries are probably better.

  13. inode_buddha

    Watching the MSM out of the corner of my eye via Google News (so I don’t puke) They are *so* eagerly handing everything to Clinton and Trump/Cruz, they just can’t wait to declare victory when the counting hasn’t even started yet *gag*

  14. TK421

    “In this view right-wing opposition is not to be dislodged, let alone defeated.”

    Sounds just like Saruman, rationalizing his decision to join Mordor.

  15. JTMcPhee

    “How to resolve investment disputes”?

    “Is a puzzlement,” says the King of Siam, working hard to “modernize” his realm…

    Any way to try to start an echo effect that produces the words “destroy the residue of democratic government” any time that “I…D…” phrase gets uttered/tweeted/typed? Because c’mon, that’s what it is, folks, as people here know but as so many who are about to lose any vestige of their “Freedom ™ and teabaggery sovereignty once the yoke of corporate servitude is clamped around their ineffectual necks remain unaware or seek the gratuities that Quislings and misleaders hope to get as a pretty poor pourboir for their subservience…

    What really motivates all of us humans? Pleasure and leisure? Comparative advantage over the next dude? The fun of torture, the thrill of homicide, the delight when a 1000-pound JDAM plunges into and demolishes what used to be pleasant apartments and garden balconies, a column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night? Now rubble, ripe for “rebuilding” on a shoddiest, company-town model?

    What might produce some kind of durable motivation, some lasting and compelling Prime Directive, that might point the whole shootin’ match toward survival of all, not just the self-defined “fittest?” An organizing principle that might borrow a hint from that eleemosynary formulation of the Golden Rule?

    Any learning to be had from this bit?

    Matthew 8:5-13New International Version (NIV)

    The Faith of the Centurion
    5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

    7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

    8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

    10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

    And then, of course, there is this deathless (sic) poetry:

    She should have died hereafter;
    There would have been a time for such a word.
    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    Resolving those disputes? How about let’s go back to trial by combat, my steelworker or farmer or even barista, against your silk-stocking international trade lawyer? I mean, with the militarization of monetization, the species is pretty close to that already, and as collapse and scarcity set in, Katie bar the door…

    What outcomes do we the ordinary people wish we could obtain from that political economy that used to be ours but now owns us and our stuff that our rulers now rent back to us, having “taken full legal and equitable title, fee simple absolute, ad infinitum?” Repeat, TAKEN.

      1. ambrit

        I think that you miss the point. Other ‘people’ resolve to kill us if we do not ‘bow down and make praise.’ Unfortunately, the ‘just ignore them’ argument assumes a sane social system that, at the least, encourages safety and dignity to all members. My admittedly jaundiced view of things no longer makes such an assumption. I’ve seen it argued that Neoliberalism is an ideological expression of Primitive Capitalism; Predation as the organizing principle.
        As the saying goes; “You can run, but you can’t hide.”

        1. Bas

          I have managed in my life to successfully put enough distance between myself and dangerous people. I was determined to do it, that helps, but I did have to make adjustments in my life to make room for sane people, who do still exist. Co-dependency as a norm is perpetuated by all media and bad boyfriends and bosses, and unfortunately, some teachers. I will not submit.

    1. Bas

      thank you, very interesting. I remember the subliminal images inserted on TV to sell products. In fact, I remember my fav TV detective, Columbo, having an episode (Double Exposure) on that which enabled the bad guy to commit a murder. Also, we have been told never to go to sleep to the TV, lol. It maybe made me get rid of my TV 11 years ago.
      Also, I used to wonder why, when I was driving down the road through Maryland’s Route 50 fast food corridors, why I would get uncontrollably hungry every day. But, my monitor? how do I find out if my monitor is doing this. I know I have an internet habit, but I thought it was just my personal weakness.

  16. Bas

    re laughter: I recall that in arguments with my 2nd spouse after a time I would start laughing. After polarity therapy, I realized that is was inevitable polar swing from seriousness to hilarity, but he got very irate and accused me of laughing at him. this was not the case. I hope this helps.

  17. JustAnObserver

    Re 2016: Did anyone see the Chris Hayes segment last night (*) where he showed those Sanders supporters throwing dollar bills at the Hillary motorcade heading to the Clooney kilo$$ fundraiser ? When he cut to the first person in the studio she – incredibly – tried to make out that it was all about misogyny and not, as was clear to anyone who’d got 2 functioning neurons, about the corruption of SuperPAC infected politics.

    The contortions of the Hillbot army in pursuit of moar Clintonism never ceases to amaze.

    (*) Yes I know its MSNBC but he does seem to have just a little bit more honesty than most of the others.

    1. Massinissa

      I guess its that she thought that they were calling Clinton a whore.

      Which, actually, WAS TRUE, lol. It just wasnt because Clinton was a woman.

      To be honest I can understand this among low information voters.

      “These people are insinuating shes selling her body for money! They’re misogynist!”

    2. different clue

      If one is going to take part in a dollar bill throwing protest, one wonders whether every dollar bill should have a dime taped to one end of it. That way, the weight of the dime would allow the dollar bill to travel farther and be better-aimed when thrown. And yet the dime would be light enough to not hurt anyone or anything when it made contact.

      And its poetic. “A dollar and a dime.”

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Wouldn’t a penny work just as well? And save nine cents? “101” is also poetic, besides being palindromic.

        I love creativity in protests, I always think it’s a good sign. So I love throwing dollar bills at corrupt Democrats. Apparently it irritates them. Good.

  18. ChrisPacific

    Classic false dichotomy from Robbie Mook.

    To the Clinton campaign: how about instead of trying to convince the next generation of progressives that the Democrat party ISN’T corrupt (and failing, as the polls indicate) you accept that it’s an issue and think about what you can do to help solve it?

    1. Jason

      Fun fact of the day: In gaming, the term ‘mook’ (drawn from Hong-Kong marital arts cinema) refers to a fungible low-grade thug working for the bad guy.

  19. Bas

    Trump’s married white women don’t realize that he keeps discarding women as they get too old to marry young sweet things? I give up

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      It’s probably made plain in their prenups?

      It would be discordant if he weren’t! serial married to avaricious climbers.

      It’s not simply a TV celebrity pwning two generations of pols doing it wrong. He’s not selling the same product. The only reason you’d want to have a beer with il Douché is because you really need a cheap Rolex.

    2. cwaltz

      I tend to think that Trump AND the women who marry him get exactly what they deserve. They want a wallet and he wants arm candy. It’s a match made in heaven.

  20. rich

    “Getting Things Done” – The Brother of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chair is a Major Lobbyist for Saudi Arabia

    With that out of the way, who runs the show at the Podesta Group? Well that would be none other than Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chair, John Podesta. Here’s a description of Tony Podesta from the firm’s site:

    Many people in Washington can tell you what just happened to you. Tony Podesta helps you change outcomes. From the halls of the Capitol to the agencies that operate the country, Tony draws on his unique mastery of how the nation’s capital works to navigate the policy landscape as Founder and Chairman of the Podesta Group. Dubbed one of DC’s “50 heavy lifters” by the Financial Times and “one of Washington’s biggest players” by The New York Times, Tony is recognized by his peers, the news media and decision-makers across the federal government as the man with the judgment and smart, strategic sense to get things done.

    Similar to Hillary, I have no doubt that Tony “gets things done.” The problem is who he “gets things done” for, and it’s not the American people. So who does it work for?

    Here are a few examples of Podesta Group clientele over the years according to Open Secrets: BAE Systems, BP, Credit Suisse Group, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, General Electric, KKR & Co, Lockheed Martin, Monsanto Co, Wal-Mart Stores and Wells Fargo. Of course, this is just a small fraction and you can examine the entire list here.

    All that said, lobbying for U.S. corporations is one thing. Lobbying for a barbaric monarchy with “classified” ties to the 9/11 attacks is quite another. Yet that’s exactly what the Podesta Group does. Once again, the Founder and Chairman of the firm, Tony Podesta, is the brother of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chair, John Podesta.


    1. Bubba_Gump

      Tony is also a disgusting troll-like human being — I assume from the influence of the dark side, sort of like the Emperor. He also has a taste for art that comes awfully close to kiddie pr0n.

  21. Cry Shop

    After being stripped and having a cigarette lighter repeatedly sparked near his genitals, the 14-year-old falsely confessed to stealing the bread. Two men with clubs came and dragged him off to the Brothers Home, a mountainside institution where some of the worst human rights atrocities in modern South Korean history took place.

    Even now, Choi weeps as he speaks of what happened there.

    A guard in Choi’s dormitory raped him that night in 1982, and the next, and the next. So began five hellish years of slave labor and near-daily assaults, years in which Choi saw men and women beaten to death, their bodies carted away like garbage.


    Sounds just like the US private, for profit prison and justice system (Yes, it’s all for profit. The police, DA’s office, jails all are run for the profit of the people who order them to fill the system with meat).

  22. Doug

    Under the Stats Watch heading: Why is employment going up while consumer spending is going down?

    It has to do with the ratio of full-time vs part-time workers. A lot of increase in lower wage, lower benefit under-35 hrs. per week jobs, while the number of full time, full benefit work is decreasing – not just in relative terms, but also in total numbers in some months.

  23. allan

    Voter hotline swamped with complaints

    A hotline for complaints related to New York’s presidential primary elections has already received more calls than it did during the 2012 cycle, according to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

    Schneiderman’s hotline received 562 complaints from 6 a.m. to 3:50 p.m., according to spokesman Nick Benson. Another 140 complaints were sent by email, Benson said.

    That’s more than four times the roughly 150 complaints the attorney general’s office received during the 2012 general election.

    The problems will be fixed in time for the general, no doubt.

    1. Bas

      oh and, it’s a good thing

      ‘It’s been a long time since there’s been a restructuring of the company, analyst Betsy Van Hees told USA Today.

      ‘As they forge forward, they need to pare down and invest in the right area. As much as I hate that – it’s terrible for people who are laid off that – for the investors its positive.

  24. Pat

    Just for the record, I predict the Mayor of New York is going to be sadly disappointed if Clinton does get elected. Between the family leave and universal pre-K I lost track of the things he think will be important to Mrs. Clinton.

    Although the 80 delegate bonus to the winner of NY is really going to make Sanders path to victory pretty impossible, it pretty much erases all the gains of the last month.

    1. cwaltz

      Personally I feel that if the “pragmatic” were all that pragmatic that they’d be backing Bernie by now. After all, most of us “idealists” backing Sanders are going to have absolutely no problem with the corrupt Democratic Party burning down after the primaries. As “pragmatists” they should back Sanders and save the Democratic Party from itself come November. It’s the “pragmatic” thing to do in the name of party unity.

      1. pretzelattack

        if i had ever had an inclination to vote for clinton, the way this election process is playing out would have extinguished it.

      2. farrokh bulsara

        I absolutely agree with you that I have no problem burning down the Dem Party after this primary. Indeed, I hope the Dem Party does NOT take the pragmatic path you mention. IMO, that would be a bigger victory than a Bernie win, which was never in the DNC prognostication from before Day 1. The DNC needs to eat sh*t and learn to like it, or go to bed on an empty stomach. Karma is a bitch.

      3. Pat

        I’m still gob smacked by the idea that Clinton will achieve anything if she gets into office. Even if I liked her, my realistic cynical self knows that a Republican House (and no I don’t think she has coat tails or that Trump is disliked enough to change that) is going to continue to oppose any decent policies she has (and with luck the ones that should be gifts to them) AND is going to spend the entire time she is in office calling anyone connected to her and her administration in for numerous investigations. And eventually one of them is going to stick.

        And that isn’t even dealing with the fact that there are people incarcerated for dealing with classified information as ‘carelessly’ as she did. And there is still a FBI investigation going on about that.

        Truly pragmatic voters would be rejecting her in droves because the baggage is too heavy and hinders any chance of effective governance. Forget the fact that her policies are far afield of much of what this nation really needs to happen.

        But apparently my state, and even my district, is filled to the brim with a bunch of illogical or ideological fantasists with not a pragmatic bone in their bodies. Because she is experienced, qualified and can get things done!

      4. Pat

        And yes, I will only feel a little sad when it becomes increasingly obvious that this is not just the year when the GOP destroys itself.
        I will feel much more pain for a country that will have to deal with more destruction and damage that will be wrought on an already ailing populace because the ‘pragmatists’ couldn’t face reality.

        1. ambrit

          “…the year when the GOP destroys itself.”
          I’m coming around to the theory that Trump is dragging the GOP closer to its’ true nature. The Republicans were always a party of economic Reactionaries. Now the social Reaction is making itself felt. Trump may not win, but he has already released the Djin of extremism.

      1. Pat

        Apparently in NY state the delegates are awarded by precinct but the winner also gets 80 delegates for winning the state. Bonus was my term for it. So not only will she get approximately 57% of the delegates by precinct, she will get 80 on top of that.

  25. allan

    3 to be charged in Flint water crisis

    Michigan’s attorney general will announce criminal charges Wednesday against two state regulators and a Flint employee, alleging wrongdoing related to the city’s lead-tainted water crisis, according to government officials familiar with the investigation.

    The charges — the first levied in a probe that is expected to broaden — will be filed against a pair of state Department of Environmental Quality officials and a local water treatment plant supervisor, two officials told The Associated Press late Tuesday.

    Human shields for Rick Snyder.

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