2:00PM Water Cooler 4/7/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“The Diet started deliberations Tuesday on a Pacific Rim free trade deal, with the ruling parties looking to have it ratified and related legislation enacted during the current session ending June 1” [Japan Today]. “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc wants the Diet to ratify the pact and pass the necessary bills before the House of Councillors election this summer, while opposition parties are arguing that initially promised tariff protection for Japan’s five key farm products including rice, beef and pork is insufficient.”

“Momentum for Pacific Trade Deal Sapped in Election Year” [New York Times]. “John Engler, the president of the Business Roundtable, which represents executives at some of America’s largest companies, points toward May — after the big Rust Belt primaries have concluded but before the summer political conventions — as the point when legislative preparations for the trade deal’s approval can accelerate.” Once those smelly proles are out of the way….



Filing this under policy because climate activists keep getting Hillary to butcher unscripted interactions on the trail:

Readers, does Clinton’s response even make sense? FWIW, I doubt whether fracking is seen as the greatest thing since sliced bread in Pennsylvania; and New York banned it. Clinton’s bad on a big grassroots issue that a lot of activists in two key states are involved in.

The Voters

“Our Martha’s Vineyard Democrats like to talk about inequality. It makes them sad, but it’s also a problem they have almost no desire to tackle” [Thomas Frank, The Baffler]. “Not only does it not touch them personally, but their instincts, their inclinations, and their deepest unspoken convictions tell them it isn’t a real problem to begin with. People get what they deserve out of life—or, rather, they will get what they deserve once we have ensured everyone’s equal access to the SAT—and for a person with a grade-school education to complain about the hardships of minimum-wage work is the purest sort of folly.” “Martha’s Vineyard Democrats.” I wish I’d said that. “You will, Lambert. You will!”

“In the combined results of all 21 states with exit polls, Sanders has won a remarkable 71 percent of voters under 30—an even higher percentage than Obama attracted against Clinton in 2008” [The Atlantic]. If only they had done their own research!

Young people have repudiated the campaign of Hillary Clinton in overwhelming and historic fashion, with Bernie Sanders winning under-30 voters by consistently absurd margins, as high as 80 to 85 percent in many states. He has done less well with young African-American voters, but even there he’s seen some gains as time has gone on. And the energy coming from the pre-middle-aged has little to do with an inability to appreciate political reality” [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone]. More:

Instead, the millions of young voters that are rejecting Hillary’s campaign this year are making a carefully reasoned, even reluctant calculation about the limits of the insider politics both she and her husband have represented.

For young voters, the foundational issues of our age have been the Iraq invasion, the financial crisis, free trade, mass incarceration, domestic surveillance, police brutality, debt and income inequality, among others.

And to one degree or another, the modern Democratic Party, often including Hillary Clinton personally, has been on the wrong side of virtually all of these issues.

Very much unlike Obama’s “hope and change” schtick in 2008, Sanders’ lengthy speech is rich in policy. I would have wished for Sanders to take up Clinton’s remark that young voters “should do their own research,” and the talking point that Sanders is deceiving them. He should really defend his voters here! Perhaps in the debate.


“Sanders benefitted both from the demographics and from advantages over Clinton in excitement, inspiration and perceived honesty alike. He won particularly broad support from men, 63 percent – better than anywhere save New Hampshire and Vermont – while splitting women evenly with Clinton. He won liberals by 18 points, and they made up a record share of the state’s primary electorate by a wide margin. He won whites under age 45 by a huge margin, with 78 percent support, among his best results in this group to date. As in other Northern states – but not in the South – Sanders also ran competitively among nonwhites younger than 45, winning them by 56-43 percent” [ABC].

New York

“Two Guys From Brooklyn: The Bernie Sanders Interview by Spike Lee” [The Hollywood Reporter]. This is a really sweet, good-natured interview. On policy:

LEE: What do you have to do to get the older generation of African-American votes? You’re like the new guy on the block. You’ve got the young Hispanic, African-American, you got it. But the older generation, black folks, they know the Clintons 20-some years.

SANDERS: We’re doing phenomenally well with all of the young people — white, black, Latino, you name it, Asian-American. And we’re getting killed, frankly, not just with older African-Americans but also older whites, older Latinos. It’s the weirdest thing in the world. And what really bothers me is I spent half my life in Congress helping to lead the effort for senior citizens: We led the effort against cuts to Social Security — we want to expand Social Security; we took on the drug companies who are doing terrible things to elderly people. You know seniors are cutting their prescription drugs in half. So we have a lot of work to do in terms of reaching out to seniors, not just African-Americans, but seniors all across the board. We’re figuring out how you get the message out there.

Monmouth poll: “Currently, 52% of likely Republican primary voters in New York support Trump compared to 25% who support John Kasich and 17% who will vote for Ted Cruz” [Monmouth].

The Trail

About that math…

What Clinton said [New York Post]

In separate campaign stops and interviews, Clinton questioned Sanders’ competence, credentials and commitment to gun control.

“He hasn’t done his homework” on reining in Wall Street or curbing gun violence, Clinton said on MSNBC.

Hours later, she bashed the Vermont socialist for promoting economic plans that “just won’t work because the numbers don’t add up.”

“In a number of important areas, he doesn’t have a plan at all,” Clinton told AFL-CIO union members at a rally in Philadelphia. “You got to know what you want and you got to have a plan for getting it or people aren’t going to get the help that they need.”

Caught on a hot mike talking to a supporter after the speech, Clinton revealed concern that her campaign isn’t catching fire. “We’ve got to get the energy going,” she was overheard saying.

What Sanders said (and in Philadelphia, PA, mind you) [ABC].

“Secretary Clinton appears to be getting a little bit nervous,” Sanders told a crowd of thousands at a rally at Temple University in Philadelphia. “She has been saying lately that she thinks that I am quote unquote, not qualified to be president. Now, let me, let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton, I don’t believe that she is qualified, if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest donations.”

He added, “I don’t think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don’t think you are qualified if you have supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement which has cost us millions of decent paying jobs. I don’t think you are qualified if you supported the Panama Free Trade Agreement, something I very strongly opposed, and which is as all of you know, has allowed corporations and wealthy people all over the world to avoid paying their taxes to their countries.”

“[On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Clinton was directly asked whether Sanders is ‘qualified’ to be president, and she hedged. “I think that what he has been saying about the core issue in his whole campaign doesn’t seem to be rooted in an understanding of either the law or a practical ways you get something done,” Clinton said” [NPR].

Anybody who’s had to put on their yellow waders and process Martha’s Vineyard Democrat-style faux polite, passive-aggressive bafflegab knows what Clinton said adds up to “not qualified.” So as far as this headline? “Sanders’s incorrect claim that Clinton called him ‘not qualified’ for the presidency” [WaPo]. Not buying it. Incidentally, “quote-unquote” signals irony, not direct quotation. But then, we expect WaPo to be an irony-free zone.

Despite the WaPo working environment, this is interesting [Greg Sargent, WaPo].

Bernie is not just running against our whole political system. He’s also running against a single opponent — Hillary Clinton. And so he’s struggled with a tension at the core of his candidacy: how to berate her for not joining him in breaking with a corrupt system that is fundamentally failing us without seeming to attack her personally as a willing and eager participant in (and enabler of) that corrupt system and, by extension, as inevitably disqualified for the job.

Sargent’s use of “disqualified” is more elegant and precise than Sanders’ “unqualified.” That said, and as we’re seeing, Sanders is a brawler, as I’ve said before; so if he thinks “unqualified” is the best way to open another cut, then I won’t second guess him.

“The Trump campaign is planning a meeting on Capitol Hill next week with lawmakers who have endorsed the Republican presidential front-runner, in what will be the first in a series of regular sessions as the campaign begins to expand its Washington, D.C. operation, sources tell ABC News. One source described the congressional outreach effort as “the natural growth of the campaign” leading into the general election, despite a recent string of setbacks, including the Wisconsin primary” [ABC News].

Cllinton Email Hairball

“Since the beginning of the Clinton email scandal, the nation has been subjected to a political and criminal defense generated smokescreen. The Clinton campaign has attempted to make the public believe that she is not guilty of anything because the information on her very unprotected server was not “marked as classified” or “classified at the time” [USA Today]. “The applicable statute, 18 USC 793, however, does not even once mention the word “classified.” The focus is on “information respecting the national defense” that potentially “could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” 793 (f) specifically makes it a crime for anyone “entrusted with … any document … or information relating to the national defense … through gross negligence (to permit) the same to be removed from its proper place of custody.” A jury (not a Democrat or Republican political administration) is, of course, the best body to determine gross negligence on the facts of this case.” The paper that goes under the door in every hotel room in America….

Stats Watch

Chain Store Sales, March 2016: “Chain stores are mostly reporting weaker rates of year-on-year sales growth in March than in February which hints at weakness for core sales in next week’s retail sales report from the government” [Econoday].

Jobless Claims, week of April 2, 2016: “Jobless claims are holding at record lows, pointing to a lack of layoffs and ongoing strength for the nation’s labor market” [Econoday]. “Labor is in short supply and employers are holding onto their workers tightly.” Or, given that half of job switchers end up making less, people are terrified. And: “Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Again Worsens. But Still the Longest Streak Of Claims Under 300,000 Since 1973” [Econintersect].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of April 3, 2016: “Despite a slowdown in spending and soft wage growth, consumer confidence measures are mostly holding steady” [Econoday].

“Data collection practices, criminal background checks and forced arbitration policies were among the areas of Airbnb’s fine print that were tweaked as part of the San Francisco housing rental site’s updated terms of service” [International Business Times]. “The changes — announced last week and taking effect in May — bolster Airbnb’s ability to compel users to forfeit key legal rights, some of which are at issue in an ongoing court battle. They also refine its ability to marshal users’ personal information for deep background checks, targeted ads and other undisclosed business enterprises”].”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 69, Greed (previous close: 76, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 73 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Apr 7 at 11:29am. Wild gyrations!


“[Kevin Johnson’s other legacy [besides a downtown arena, ka-ching] is something I call KJ Inc. It’s a particular way of doing public business, and it’s also a political machine: a blended network of nonprofit auxiliary organizations, political cronies, and paid city staff, powered by unlimited donations from downtown developers and corporate benefactors” [The Baffler]. In other words, Kevin Johnson is a Democrat (besides being a member of the Black Misleadership Class).


“As I said in yesterday’s column [here], we shipping industry people no longer even think that this is wrong. Tax dodging and regulation dodging are second nature to us. Laws and regulations are to be got around. We are relaxed about the improbable origins of the cargo that we carry – I have been to Macau, and I have failed to find any cotton fields there, but I have shipped a good deal of cotton that was said to have been grown there, and you, gentle reader, have done much the same yourself” [Splash247]. I wonder how many other obscure industry verticals have opinion columns this cogent….

“The financial globalization that began in the 1970s has not produced an efficient global financial market with a few gaps and holes. The gaps and holes are the market” [Crooked Timber].

“As McClatchy reported Tuesday in a lengthy story set in Wyoming, the Cowboy State has roughly one registered company per every 4.5 residents. In response to criticism in 2006, the state began requiring that registered agents who incorporate companies keep contact information for companies. Several agents with whom McClatchy spoke said it is not their job to know who the true owners of companies are” [McClatchy]. I’m betting the only criminal charges in the whole affair are filed against small fish.

Dear Old Blighty

“Over the past five years, a staggering 17,571 “compromise agreements” or settlements were signed by council workers, according to an investigation” [Express]. “Staff received a jaw-dropping total of £226.7 million from the settlements, a figure which includes both enhancements and statutory payments.”

Guillotine Watch

Not sure how this is going to work out if we lose the West Antarctic Ice Sheet….

Then again, IBGYBG….

Class Warfare

“A Very Very Brief Intellectual Autobiography” [Corey Robin, Crooked Timber]. I think Robin’s autobiography matches up with a lot of other people’s. Note the distinction between the liberals and the left!

“Human Sacrifices May Lie Behind the Rise of Ancient Social Status” [Smithsonian]. Ancient?

News of the Wired

I guess I’m just not wired today. Readers, seen anything really horrid today in the wonderful world of IT?

* * *

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:


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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. Massinissa

      Because you know, the ‘individuals’ who Puerto Rico owes money to are more important than the individuals actually living in Puerto Rico.

  1. gary headlock

    I can’t believe she’s having trouble getting people excited with a campaign platform that amounts to “settle for some minor scraps”.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A more People’s president would live in a log cabin, on the back yard of the White House.

        I can’t tell you how inspiring that would be (though there is still a lot more to be done, for sure).

        “When I travel, I live in a tent. That’s how I got elected.”

          1. sleepy

            Not sure if memory serves me here, but didn’t Gaddafi actually set up his tent somewhere in NYC when he spoke at the UN?

                1. Massinissa

                  I would like it even more if, in the event of a Clinton Trump election, to see Hillary bring it up. “I brought Muammar Gaddhafi to justice (eyeroll from crowd). Donald Trump helped him set up his tent.”

    1. nippersmom

      “While we send you/your kids off to war to line the pockets of our friends in the MIC.”

    2. Brindle

      “settle for some minor scraps”.—I had an image of Hillary throwing stale Pepperidge Farm croutons at her not so passionate supporters at the end of a rally.

      1. Synoia

        I have an image of one of Hillary’s interns (unpaid) doing the throwing after she has left the stage.

          1. Bev

            Throwing more than bread crumbs:

            About Wisconsin Primary numbers:

            A Preliminary Probability Analysis of the Wisconsin Primary
            Richard Charnin

            This is a preliminary analysis of the Wisconsin Democratic primary exit poll and recorded vote discrepancies.

            Bernie Sanders had 563,127 votes (56.5%) and Hillary Clinton 429.738 (43.1%). But the early exit poll indicates that Bernie most likely did even better.


            The probability of the 9% decline from Sanders 68% exit poll share to the final 59% is 2.05E-09 or 1 in 487 million.

            Given a) the 7.9% discrepancy between Sanders’ 56.7% recorded 2-party vote share and his estimated 64.6% exit poll share, and b) assuming a 3.0% exit poll margin of error, there is a 95% probability that his True share was in the range 62-68%.

            The probability is 97.5% that he had at least 62%.

            The probability of the 7.9% discrepancy between Sanders’ estimated 64.6% poll and 56.9% vote share is P= 1.14E-07 or 1 in 8.7 million.


            We need to get rid of those evidence-free/hiding e-voting, e-scanning machines owned by the abusive right. Caucuses are head/hand counted which is open evidence but must be counted by several people as a check. Many primaries use evidence-free/hiding e-voting, e-scanning machines. See the difference below. Get rid of those machines:



            Sanders Average Vote Shares: 66% in 12 Caucuses; 41% in 20 Primaries

            Look at the enthusiasm and draw of large numbers for Sanders


            Bernie Sanders Overpacks Philadelphia Arena as Pennsylvania Poll Shows Him Surging (LIVE)
            Nathan Wellman | April 7, 2016


            Clinton’s Crumbling, Bernie’s Surging and a ‘Political Revolution’ Could Be in the Offing
            Something’s happening in the presidential campaign

            by: Dave Lindorff

            Philadelphia — Something “YUGE” is happening in the Democratic presidential campaign, and perhaps in the broader American body politic. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but like that feeling of your neck hairs rising off your skin as a big thunderstorm approaches, you know it’s big and it’s coming.


            What was astonishing in all this was that there had been no long build-up to the event. No advance news reports, no posters, no organizations arriving with buses. It all seemed to have come together via social media in a day’s time.


            what even Bill Clinton could draw:


            Bill Clinton: ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protesters Are Defending Murderers and Drug Dealers (VIDEO)
            Tom Cahill | April 7, 2016


    3. anon

      She is so deeply rooted in identity politics and her proposed policy tweaks reflect that. Maybe it’s too long, but perhaps it should be “here’s some trivial scraps for working women with minor children! Yay! End of history! Everyone else, you can pay your rent and medical bills with your white privilege.”

  2. Jim Haygood

    Germany’s flagship TBTF, Deutsche Bank, is down a harrowing 4.5% today, while gold (a traditional refuge from monetary chaos) is up 1 percent.

    A spectre is haunting Europe …

    1. ambrit

      I’m thinking that Europe in Marx’s day isn’t the same as Europe today. Even there, differences of opinion exist; see Ukraine, the Baltics, Turkey.
      (What set off today’s sell off? Freeport McMoran, my surrogate for the Commodities Producers Index is down big this morning. This companies gyrations recently remind me of the theory about building volatility leading to a major break.)

      1. Synoia

        This companies gyrations recently remind me of the theory about building volatility leading to a major break

        That’s no theory. It is proven math.

    2. Massinissa

      There are multiple spectres haunting Europe, IMO, and not all of it is socialism/communism.

      Neo-Nazism and its far right bedfellows are haunting parts of modern Europe too.

      Im a Marxian, but ive never really believed in Marx’s assumption that Communism would win out in the end eventually.

      1. Skippy

        Reminiscent of tales about everyone running from some ev’bal into the church…. only to have it set on fire….

  3. ambrit

    Guillotine watch: That should be, “..when we lose the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.”
    I’m suddenly wondering if NASA is actively planning remedial action to ‘save’ the Cape Canaveral launch facility? (Ever seen the Vehicle Assembly Building up close? Big is an understatement.)

    1. jo6pac

      Well since we use Russian rockets maybe we can rent some time at the new Russian launch site going on line soon.

  4. James Levy

    I think the “she’s not qualified” line is really going to hurt Sanders in NY. First, it will bug feminists on the fence. Second, it will annoy anyone who thinks that “credentials make the man” or that “if I went to Yale I’ve got to be talented and deserving” (basically, the entire NYC metro professional/managerial/professorial class). I know a great many people get a kick out of sticking it to Clinton, but the point is to beat her, not embarrass her. The media will hammer at this one relentlessly. It will be the one damned thing that people will hear that Sanders said. All the context of Clinton saying it about him, and why he says she is not qualified, will be expunged. This was a major, major blunder by sanders.

    1. Massinissa

      I see it a different way, but still agree its a bad line.

      It almost is like when you see a kid tell another kid he/she is stupid, and the other kid replies, “No, YOU’RE stupid!”.

      I dont feel like attacking Clinton on her qualifications is really a good strategy, if anything it gives her attacks on him more credence.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To be fair, a nice guy like Bernie is not very good at attacking people.

        He needs more practice.

        I will try “you’re a warmonger,’ next time.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Take a page from Trump’s playbook (gasp!) – you do it often enough, people just move on from your mistakes.

          They will not remember (unless it’s really egregious).

            1. rich

              Clinton can push, but Bernie can’t shove.

              Anyway, maybe Bernie’s wrong regarding HRC’s qualifications.

              She is dishonest, power hungry, and accepts payment for services.( rendered or to be in future)…if you want the status quo, HRC’s the way to go!!


      2. Jeff W

        I see it a different way, but still agree its a bad line.

        I agree, also, entirely—it’s like back-and-forth negation “You are!” “No, I’m not, you are!”

        In a sense, Sanders is saying most of the political élites are “unqualified” to be President because (1) their “judgment” (really, their neoliberal/neocon premises) leads to unfailingly disastrous results and (2) they are corrupted by money in politics—and Clinton certainly falls within that category. That’s actually not an indefensible critique but stating it the way Sanders did makes it sounds as if Clinton is uniquely unqualified (which she might also be but it isn’t an argument that Sanders is making). If Sanders had, as he more typically does, employed a bit of implicature—“Let me say what a person ‘qualified to be President’ would not do…” and left it to the listener to draw whatever reasonable conclusions he or she could from that, he might have been on better ground.

    2. nippersdad

      I disagree. If it is made an issue in the media, he will do just as he did in last nights’ speech; point to the trillions spent on lost wars and a pernicious Wall Street cabal that only gets bigger the more it is “regulated” by such as Clinton. They pay taxes too, and are watching the people with the pitchforks. Obama won’t be there much longer to stand between them, after all.

    3. Jim Haygood

      If I can get hold of a press pass and a fistful of blotter acid, I’d like to head down the Acela to the City of Bernbrotherly Love to pen a reprise of Dr Hunter S Thompson’s masterwork — Revenge of the Hildebeest: Fear and Loathing in Philadelphia.

      Given the Clintons’ penchant for dirty tricks, you know it’s gonna be an ugly, squalid, and potentially violent scrum, regardless of which candidate gets the nod. It’s a decadent yet resplendent “sunset of the empire” scene not to be missed, particularly with the aid of drugs to enhance the saurian features of many attendees.

      “We are Saurian, an independent video game focused on recreating the Hellery’s Creek ecosystem of 66 million years ago through the Unity3D game engine.”

      “The Saurians were a species of intelligent lizards. By the mid-2270s, Saurians were serving in Starfleet.”


      1. aletheia33

        “If I can get hold of a press pass and a fistful of blotter acid, I’d like to head down the Acela to the City of Bernbrotherly Love to pen a reprise of Dr Hunter S Thompson’s masterwork .”

        you know, you should think about really doing that. no irony intended.

        speaking of which, is lambert going? we must fund him for that, if $$ is an issue.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I would love to, but it’s a bit early and I’d need to think about where to go. I would also need to think about a smart phone, for photos (because holding up the iPad in the middle of a scrum would look dumb).

          It seems clear to me that the convention proper has been placed in the midst of a giant parking lot far away from the center of town for very good reasons. Therefore, action would be elsewhere. But where? (Starting a new organization at the Constitution center, for example, would be fun.)

          1. aletheia33

            sounds like you fully expect some real action, perhaps even a scrum. hmmm.

            i really hope you will go. if i owned a smartphone i would lend it to you.

            but i bet nc readers can raise enough for you to buy one. it’s great that you know philly so well. but after all, this will not be the end of the action. we will need you to go out and around, and report.

            let’s start the fundraising for it now.

    4. Jerry Denim

      “it will bug feminists on the fence”

      Yep, totally agree. Clinton has the right resume but the wrong record and values. She is lacking in judgement, character and ethics. I think the good ole fashioned “unfit” for office label is better. I said so already in a post further down. She takes dirty money from dirty people for dirty deeds so unfit is a better and a more accurate adjective. Feminists and Hillary Clinton can’t accuse Sanders of sexism with ‘unfit’. She’s got experience no doubt, it’s her record and her character that’s the problem.

      1. Yves Smith

        I don’t agree. The sort of “feminists” who would be offended are ones close to Hillary’s age who are pretty tribal and already Hillary voters. I’m ten years younger, and my cohort wanted to fight on the same terrain, same rules, as the boys. We found out later that that is a pipe dream but my cohort just wanted a fair break. Younger women have different frames, but per the Madeleine Albright gaffe, telling them all good girls hang together is just offensive.

        Put it another way: later work-oriented women are more individualistic. And I gotta tell you I know tons of women who are viscerally offended by Hillary, not just for her corruption, but also for riding Bill’s coattails and acting as if she has any independent meaningful accomplishments post graduating from Yale Law School. Even her career at Rose Law Firm depended on her access to the governor.

        1. Beth

          Since I am Hillary’s age, I can say that those of us who went to work in traditionally male fields, were trying to gain traction. Overall, the first wave of women promoted were advanced if the males did not expect them to rock the boat or be an independent voice. The next wave worked hard and outperformed to get a leg up.

          For the most part, this second wave did not lend a hand to the women under them but often felt in competition with other women, knowing there would be only a few to move up. They made it on their own & did not get as high as the first wave, who were only window dressing. It took another ten years for women to begin to rise on their own merits. Not that everything is equal even today as evidenced by the mocking Yves gets once in a while from visitors to this site.

          Most of the women who broke this mold had family ties, connections the rest of us did not have.

          My analysis of the wealthy women of my age who are supporting Clinton is that they are vicariously living through Hillary as a way to feel they arrived on their own–w/o their spouse.

    5. cm

      If Obama can get elected twice as President with basically no qualifications AT ALL, then the whole “qualification” meme is just blowing smoke.

      1. nycTerrierist

        So true. He was always a cipher. A neo-liberal Trojan horse with the right brand image.

        1. Gareth

          Obama is the best political BS artist I have seen in my life. Give the guy credit. He even gave me one of those Chris Mathews style shivers up the leg once and I still feel so ashamed. I was a bad, stupid dog.

          1. sleepy

            You know, I voted for him once in 2008, but when I actually saw him in Ames, Iowa at his very first rally after he announced he was running, he wasn’t particularly good at speechifying. A number of folks there said he hit all the right buttons, but they’d heard it all before.

            Apparently he got better with practice.

            1. Gio Bruno

              Well, He came to my town in ’08, after meeting with Oprah, and it was perfectly clear to me that he was a bullshitter. (After his speech he ducked behind the college library to light a cigarette, I was standing nearby and his stealthiness was apparent.)

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Still can change it to ‘Obama is not qualified and you are unfit.”

        Two birds, one stone.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And when he lands on the other side of the Rubicon, he can add: “Obama is weak, and you’re weaker.”

    6. Titus Pullo

      I guess you haven’t seen the #SheSoQualified on Twitter. Plus her attempt to wave the bloody corpses of the Sandy Hook victims imploded as well. I think the politics of outrage is a pretty cliche form of politics that people tire of quickly. The demographic categories you list are people who will be voting for Clinton regardless. It is the people who can afford in time and attention to take these “outrages” against Clinton personally.

      Most of the Bernie voters, frankly, don’t have time or energy for this crap, in their lives. They know Clinton isn’t a victim, but that they, their friends, families, and co-workers are the real victims. I don’t know how explicit that is around the country, but everyone in my local underclass doesn’t care the supposed slanders of Sanders might hurt Clinton or her supporters fragile fee-fees.

      The point is to embarrass her and embarrass her supporters for supporting her for the flimsiest of reasons. Clinton’s candidacy should be an embarrassment for anyone who claims to care about the needs of working people, the poor, the sick, the young, and the elderly. These meritoracrats that support Clinton and parrot the mainstream shibboleths fed to them by cable news and the new york times should be embarrassed for sacrificing the future of generations on the planet because radical change is too hard and too scary.

      But I have opinions, however caustic they may be (and because I don’t want to see or experience mass death caused by humanity’s hubris, which granted is a function of my being born a citizen of the USA).

      1. aletheia33

        “The point is to embarrass her and embarrass her supporters for supporting her for the flimsiest of reasons. Clinton’s candidacy should be an embarrassment for anyone who claims to care about the needs of working people, the poor, the sick, the young, and the elderly. These meritoracrats that support Clinton and parrot the mainstream shibboleths fed to them by cable news and the new york times should be embarrassed for sacrificing the future of generations on the planet because radical change is too hard and too scary.”


        1. EndOfTheWorld

          Bernie has been too nice to her at the debates. This last debate Bernie has to hit her and hit her very hard. The main thing he has going for him is he’s not a crook—he’s not on the take. It’s almost unheard of, and the average Joe just assumes he’s probably a crook like all other politicians—-he just hasn’t been caught yet. I hope he wins NY, then keeps on winning.

          1. hidflect

            If he can, make it there..
            Then he can make it, anywhere..
            It’s up to you, New York, New Yooork…

    7. jawbone

      WNYC’s intro to the 4 PM news summary presented Bernie as starting the “unqualified” tiff, and Hillary just responding to him. Making Bernie the instigator and Hillary the wronged person.

      Thumb on the scale? Or mere mistake? This was the very first thing mentioned leading into ATC.

      Gotta say usually they’re pretty much on the ball.

      Hill and Bernie will probably make like kinda nice to one another and at the very least watch their words a bit more,

    8. meeps

      James Levy @ 2:45 pm

      A stronger defense for Sanders would have been to tout his 35? years in elected office fighting for seniors, the sick, students, kids on food stamps, veterans, the 99%. His track record establishes that he’s qualified in the ways that matter to people right now. He’s considered to be an effective legislator despite his long tenure as an independent politician. His history is the metric that’ll beat Clinton every time. The contrast between them is enough to let the truth do the biting.

      1. RMO

        I’m still amazed that Clinton and her supporters get away with the line that she knows how to be pragmatic and get things done whereas Sanders is a hopeless idealistic dreamer. I really knew little about Sanders when the campaign started except for things like his vote against the Iraq invasion. Since then I have made a point of learning about him (and learning more about Clinton) because even though I’m Canadian and don’t have a vote, the election is going to have a significant impact on me as a citizen of a “dispensable” nation. As far as I can tell Sanders has an extensive and very solid list of accomplishments in his years in politics and has actually accomplished a hell of a lot. On the other hand, I can’t think of any significant accomplishments to credit to Clinton except for the disastrous warmongering she carried out as Secretary of State.

        1. meeps

          RMO @ 10:58 pm

          Yes! I cringe whenever ‘she gets things done’ passes without a thought as to what those things have been. The idealistic dreamer part is also infuriating because some here have lived our whole lives without represention by anyone in government (Bernie is slightly right of where I stand, for example). It’s an attitude of superiority that dismisses an obviously large constituency — unbecoming, most especially for a leader.

          It’s heartening to know you care, dear northern neighbor. (:

    9. Lexington

      I can’t help but feel that this comment may reflect some unconscious classism.

      I agree with Yves that for people whom identity politics is paramount they were never going to vote for the old Jewish white guy who is so far outside of their cherished establishment that he probably needs to show credentials to the Capitol Police to avoid being forced to use the staff entrance – or being carted away for vagrancy.

      Same goes for the entire NYC metro professional/managerial/professorial class. Which plank of his platform do you think appeals more to them, the promise to break up the TBTF banks (i.e. the institutions that create most of their wealth) or the promise to soak the rich (i.e. them) to pay for social programs they don’t need or want? Aside from a few cranks and eccentrics these people are no more likely to vote for Sanders than turkeys are to vote for a traditional Thanksgiving. Fortunately contrary to what you might have seen on TV most denizens of NYC actually don’t inhabit $1.5 million co ops in midtown Manhattan. And outside of NYC these people are more akin to aliens people have only read about in the pages of Amazing Stories. Which is to say NYC is no more representative of the state as a whole than London is of Britain, or Paris of France.

      If anything Sanders has been too cautious and respectful. His cachet rests on being the anti Clinton, and to the extent he holds back for fear of further offending people who are already offended by his politics he plays into her hands by undermining his credibility with his own base and failing to consolidate it around a clear alternative to her program of politics as usual.

      Which is exactly why they are trying to make “tone” an issue in the campaign. How dare Sanders do anything to draw attention to the differences between himself and their candidate! Doesn’t he see that the more ordinary people realize that he is offering something materially different from the interests Clinton represents the more likely they are to support him? It’s dastardly and underhanded pandering to weak minded peoples’ basest instincts!

        1. Lexington

          Oh sorry, I wrote this in rely to James Levy @ 2:45.

          I think it’s in the right place but that comment generated so much discussion it can be hard to follow the alignment of the nested replies…

          1. James Levy

            I was born in Brooklyn and grew up my entire life in Nassau County (the one due east of Queens on LI). Most of the professionals I talked about do not live in Manhattan, they schlepp in on the Long Island Railroad or work in the back offices along Route 110 in Suffolk, or they are doctors in local hospitals or have law offices or private practices or teach in the middling universities in the area. They are not wealthy but they value education and credentials. Many might vote for Sanders for ethnic and ideological reasons. But they will not have time, or be given by the media the opportunity, to parse the meaning of Sander’s slight to something that they value most highly. My wife and I sacrificed hugely to rent a house in Syosset to send our kids to a first class public school so that they could go to MIT and NYU, respectively. That MIT degree got my daughter 2 $80,000 a year offers straight out of school. Sorry if I’m evil, but I wanted that for my girl. I don’t want her to struggle the way my wife and I struggle and feel guilty if we stop at a gas station to get a cup of coffee in the morning because the budget is that tight. Call me what you will, but I, too, value education and gaining degrees like Clinton’s from Yale Law. I have a Ph.D. and it didn’t come cheap. The books I wrote took enormous effort. So I stand by what I said: pissing people off by attacking their values for no reason, when there are 1000 things you can attack Clinton for with cause, is just plain stupid.

    10. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m not so sure. I’m a stiletto man myself, but Sanders took out a sabre and slashed. But maybe that’s the only thing that will get the message through.

      What Sanders has done, finally and gently, is raise the issue of the opportunity cost of Obama’s incremental approach, which Clinton shares. The conventional wisdom is that Obama is loved, his policies were excellent, all problems are due to mean Republicans, etc., and therefore that questioning Obama’s record is political suicide. But is it really? Again, look at this chart from Quinnippiac:


      If Sanders asks the question: “Are you better off than you were before the recession began?” Clinton voters answer yes, but as the chart shows, as do exit polls, others don’t. Is a “base” composed of older bourgeois feminists and the Black Misleadership class really not rather narrow?

  5. Massinissa

    About Clinton laughing, maybe its just me, but Ive always felt she has a habit of laughing when she feels uncomfortable. So the reason she laughed at that activist, IMO, isnt because she thought it was funny, but because the comment made her feel deeply uncomfortable because she knew any reply would be lose-lose.

    But I might be wrong and she might have thought it was a genuinely funny question. Its hard to tell with someone who hides behind masks as frequently Hillary does.

    1. nippersmom

      You may be correct, but if so, the inability to overcome the nervous laugh reaction would not exactly be a great characteristic in someone who aspires to be the so-called “leader of the free world”. The president gets put in much more uncomfortable situations than being asked a question she/he would rather not answer by an activist. Is Clint0n’s response to a crisis or other stressful situation going to be to chuckle?

    2. TedWa

      It was the same laugh used when she was talking about Ghaddafi, We came, we saw, he died and…
      a belly laugh. Cold, cold cold.

      1. Beth

        TedWa, could you give me that link again. Is it for real? I had a Clinton supporter tell me that it was photo-shopped.


    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The spoken word vs body language.

      Many have said it’s all about the mind, the brain…policy positions, all the rational stuff.

      Sometimes, it’s your body language.

      Did you sweat before the camera?

      Did you walk off the stage and mingle among members of the audience?

      Which color was your skirt?

      The shape of your underwear?

      But let’s not confuse it with a beauty pageant.

      1. pretzelattack

        the laugh seems consistent with her lack of concern for people in general, as opposed to being cosmetic like earthtones!

    4. jawbone

      My first reaction to the Hillary video was that it sounded way too much like Obama’s line at one of his health insurance profit protection plan Q&A; “Oh, there’s the little single payer supporters” to someone trying to ask a good question about why not Medicare for All Improved.

      Will Bernie’s comment about “unqualified” hurt him in NY? Well, he sure doesn’t seem like the Senate Repub candidate who crowded her during one of their debates during her run for the Senate, but, who knows?

      WNYC’s intro to the 4 PM news summary presented Bernie as starting the “unqualified” tiff, and Hillary just responding to him. Making Bernie the instigator and Hillary the wronged person.

      Thumb on the scale? Or mere mistake? This was the very first thing mentioned leading into ATC.

      Gotta say usually they’re pretty much on the ball with local reporting.

      Hill and Bernie will probably make like kinda nice to one another and at the very least watch their words a bit more.

      Ah, just heard a more detailed report on the “unqualified” tiff, making it clear Hillary did not use that word, but did diss Bernie big time. Well, I heard the last part, so not sure how fully they covered Hillary’s negative comments about Bernie’s competency, etc.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        She didn’t use the word. Martha’s Vineyard Democrats are far too genteel, by which I mean backstabbing, passive-aggressive, and sneaky, to do such a thing.

        But that’s certainly what she meant, unless she feels that not doing one’s homework qualified one for the Presidency. Right?

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          If the question is asked three times and you spew a lot of verbiage but don’t say, “Of course he’s qualified,” then you have answered the question.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Adding, the sequence is clear:

        1) Clinton leaks “Unity after Sanders is defeated” policy (now that primaries are closed)

        2) Immediately all sorts of nastiness begins, with surrogates doing Sandy Hook, and Clinton personally assaulting Sanders’ qualifications

        3) Sanders counterpunches.

        Whether the punch is solid remains to be seen. Remember, though, that it’s the political class, and in particular the Democratic nomenklatura, that’s clutching its pearls and heading for the fainting couch. We have yet to see how voters are reacting. Personally, I’m glad the issue of Obama’s performance is coming out in the open. We’ll see how many there are like me.

    5. Kim Kaufman

      I have seen this reaction used before. Someone caught in a lie or obvious “compromise,” laughs as if it’s the silliest thing in the world. It’s probably a more effective deflective tactic than denying, lying or straight answer. It is what it is: dishonest.

    6. tony

      Unlikely. She laughs when she is called out on her lies. It’s a reframing tactic. She is often the centre of the attention, so when she laughs at the attacks like they were silly and ludicrous, it makes onlookers perceive the question as silly. When it succeeds. See here:


      Her laughter is used as a proof of how silly all these attacks at her are.

    7. reslez

      The laugh is deliberate. It’s been focus-grouped to hell and back, I guarantee you. The Laugh distracts the audience from a truly damaging line of questioning which she can’t or doesn’t want to answer. It also heaps ridicule on the person asking the question while making her seem “warm” and “relatable”. Your basic two-fer. Bonus points if the person asking is a young hippie type! We can’t let the Left think anyone takes them seriously…

  6. lambert strether

    One might ounter-argue that what Sanders says has the great merit of being true.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        That’s a very good Billmon tweetstorm (as they do tend to be). If I might summarize/reframe:

        The ruling class is in the midst of a slow-moving legitimacy crisis, since for them legitimacy is based on meritocracy [gag, spew]. To question Clinton’s qualifications is to question the legitimacy of the ruling class itself.”

        “My god, man. She went to Wellesley!” And so forth.

        1. Skippy

          As noted before –

          “As the sociologists Stephen McNamee and Robert Miller Jr. point out in their book, “The Meritocracy Myth,” Americans widely believe that success is due to individual talent and effort. Ironically, when the term “meritocracy” was first used by Michael Young (in his 1958 book “The Rise of the Meritocracy”) it was meant to criticize a society ruled by the talent elite. “It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit,” wrote Young in a 2001 essay for the Guardian. “It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others.” The creator of the phrase wishes we would stop using it because it underwrites the myth that those who have money and power must deserve it (and the more sinister belief that the less fortunate don’t deserve better).

          By overemphasizing individual mobility, we ignore important social determinants of success like family inheritance, social connections, and structural discrimination. The three papers in Perspectives on Psychological Science indicate not only that economic inequality is much worse than we think, but also that social mobility is less than you’d imagine. Our unique brand of optimism prevents us from making any real changes.”

    1. DJG

      The expression that struck me in Terry Castle’s California romp, as reported in the London Review of Books, is “two-term First Lady.” That’s a very chilling assessment of Clinton’s qualifications. So maybe “unqualified” won’t work, largely because we have all been told that we are unqualified, but another formulation will get to the point. Bernie has been in the Congress for 27 years. She’s a two-term First Lady who listening-toured into the Senate and then went into the mediocre Cabinet of Rivals, where she is a high point compared with Penny Pritzker and Arne Duncan.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Loved the piece, but sadly Castle still came across as a weirdly besotted Clinton fangirl.
        I guess Prof. Castle is too busy to follow politics very closely, but I was disappointed, she seems to be totally driven by identity politics and has no clue about Clinton’s actual doings.
        I expected more from such a deft writer.

        And I might add, when I saw that Corey Robin responded to Castle’s piece, I thought for sure he would
        call her out as a good writer but a political idiot. Oh well.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          “weirdly besotted Clinton fangirl”

          I thought that was meta, and that Castle was pretending to be a Clinton fangirl.

          Castle is the daughter of British parents, but lives in California. It was as if she was trying (sorry, Richard Smith!) to do the Brit thing, but didn’t quite have the chops any more, being out of practice.

  7. Jerry Denim

    Unqualified, disqualified, whatever. I’m happy to see Bernie go after Clinton. Let the war begin. A lot of Bernie’s fans love him for his saint like qualities while many of Clinton’s supporters see her Machiavellian instincts as a selling point so I can’t say how this will play out. Bernie has a halo that is going to get tarnished but Clinton has way, WAY more vulnerabilities in the ethics, judgement and values department. By going negative and slinging some mud of his own Sanders may finally get some of his messaging in the press, but the press is universally aligned with Clinton against Sanders so once again who knows? Me personally I like “unfit” as in Hillary Clinton is a dishonest crook who is ‘unfit’ for public office. Call it what you like but she takes dirty money from dirty people for dirty deeds. Unfit seems about right to me.

    1. Montanamaven

      Yup. In a fundraising e-mail from the Sanders campaign, they said that Clinton was deploying a “new strategy” called “disqualify him, defeat him,” and “unify the party later.” “That seems par for the course with the Queen of Chaos, as author Diana Johnstone calls her in a new book. The Clintons remind me of the Buchanans in “The Great Gatsby”; careless people who go around breaking things and lives and then have other people clean up their messes. From welfare reform to student debt to Honduras to Libya, lives are smashed to smithereens. Careless and unwise, this former ’60’s Goldwater girl has the audacity to question the 60’s civil rights activist Sanders Democratic party credentials. Well you’re actually right, Hilary. He’s not the new kind of Democrat that slithered out of the bowels of the Democratic Leadership Council headquarters whose main goal was to become as rich as the Republicans in Washington. So, if I were Sanders I’d make no bones about it. He’s here to try and salvage this dead donkey one last time and then “Cue the Revolution”.

      If indeed the new strategy is to tear apart the Democratic Party and then try to piece it together again, it may end up like Humpty Dumpty and this time all the Queen’s horses and all the Queen’s men won’t be able to put the pieces back together again. And that’s a good thing.

      1. farrokh bulsara

        Absolutely agree. The minimum outcome is the destruction of the Dem Party as we know it. And that is a very good thing indeed!

  8. Clive

    Re: Florida’s “Le Palais Royal”.

    Is that a real faux waterfall made out of reinforced concrete I can spy in that aerial photo? And is that a genuine fake Greek temple you’ve got in your garden?

    Stay classy, Fort Lauderdale.

    1. Clive

      Oh no! Quell horreur! I just clicked on the link and was distraught, nay, bereft, when the realty website propgoluxury cruelly told me “Sorry, this property is no longer available”.

      I may never get over the disappointment. I’m obviously doomed to continuing my humble existence in my current one Walmart town.

        1. Jess

          Actually, if anyone could afford it, the Playboy Mansion would be a great place to live. Too bad, aside from someone like Hef and a few entertainment celebrities, the only people who can probably afford it got their money through illegal, or at least, unethical, methods.

        2. optimader

          IIRC, Yves suggested something along the lines of bring your HazMat suit when you take a morning tour w/ the realtor. And brace yourself for the retinal burning Mr. Burns character in the loosely tied robe admiring his porridge out by the pool.

          1. B1whois

            I suspect there are bathrooms for the many amenities like the pool house, Game House, Tennis Court, grotto and God knows what else.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It can’t possibly match Diocletian’s mansion at Split.

      We can’t build palaces like that anymore…something like a million square feet.

      1. TedWa

        I wonder why it says land size N/A? Is it possible that the land is rented or they’re not selling the land? Strange

  9. ScottW

    There are a litany of reasons to vote for Bernie over Hillary, but one of my top rationales is a vote for Hillary is an affirmation that money in politics is inevitable and good. It requires a belief the power elite must control policy and any changes will be dictated by them. It requires a belief the People serve at the pleasure of the rich and powerful.

    Personally, I believe the Clinton Foundation is knee deep into bribery. I know–it requires “intent” of trying to influence policy, or “intent” to be influenced by money. But only in Clintonland can belief be suspended that giving and taking hundreds of millions was not done with the intent to influence specific policy decisions by Hillary when she was Sec. of State. Her supporters refuse to address the issue of being bought and paid for because there is no answer other than concluding that is just how politics works.

    I don’t hold out much hope Bribery charges will ever be filed, or she will be indicted for intentionally putting classified material (or top secret) on her private email server. So all I have left is my vote. And if I vote for Hillary, how do I express opposition to everything she and Bill stand for? How am I not seen as the “mandate” she will claim if she wins?

    I hold out hope Bernie will prevail, but if he does not, I will vote third party, or if allowed to, write in his name.

    Voters who say they will vote for Hillary no matter what if Bernie is not nominated are endorsing everything Hillary and Bill have done in the past. They are agreeing money controls politics and accepting hundreds of millions from special interests over the years is acceptable. And in the end, they will get absolutely nothing in return for their vote because they will vote for her no matter what.

    1. hreik

      could not agree w you more. This from Chris Hitchen b/f he died about Hillary.

      the late Christopher Hitchens did: “Mrs. Clinton has the most unappetizing combination of qualities to be met in many days’ march: she is a tyrant and a bully when she can dare to be, and an ingratiating populist when that will serve. She will sometimes appear in the guise of a “strong woman” and sometimes in the softer garb of a winsome and vulnerable female. She is entirely un-self-critical and quite devoid of reflective capacity, and has never found that any of her numerous misfortunes or embarrassments are her own fault, because the fault invariably lies with others. And, speaking of where things lie, she can in a close contest keep up with her husband for mendacity. Like him, she is not just a liar but a lie; a phony construct of shreds and patches and hysterical, self pitying demagogic improvisations.”

        1. jhallc

          I’ve always maintained that Bill and Hillary were the model for “Frank and Claire Underwood”… except she’s Frank.

          1. optimader

            Frank is power hungry, backstabbing murderer, with a well practiced charismatic insincere sincerity. A chess player that has continued to have some heartfelt empathy for “the little people” when circumstances allow.

            HRC has all of Franks worse qualities with none of the charisma or a demonstrated aptitude that would favor the game of chess. Heck, she cant even calibrate a dismissive laugh.

    2. pretzelattack

      it doesn’t count because they didn’t inhale the money. of course neither did wall st types snorting coke off $100 bills. for the most part.

  10. smedley

    I’ve been freeloading here for some years (through no fault of my own, of course) but now i’m able (also through…) to kick in a few bucks to this guy that’s provided so many fine insights, both here and at corrente, But I really don’t want to wait for the *fershuggeneh* to work itself out. I have this odd little niggler in my old head about paypal. Can you smart people advise?

    1. hreik

      I used to feel the same way about paypal. It’s fine now. I trust it. Just my 2 centimes.

    2. nippersmom

      We’ve been using paypal for years for a variety of transactions at different venues and have never had any issues.

    3. curlydan

      I don’t like PayPal, but I don’t let them store my info and don’t register an account. Not sure if that does any good, but it makes me feel slightly better.

      1. smedley

        thanks to you both for the replies. I’ll give it a shot. (if i come back here as Borat or somesuch, it’s me. really.)

      2. Greg

        I buy the Visa/MC cards at the grocery and have them load it with whatever amount seems appropriate for my needs.

    4. human

      I still use paper checks and mail cash on occasion (the expressed fears about doing so notwithstanding), when appropriate.

      It is all about starving the beast. Why give up a percentage when you can actually incur a cost?

  11. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding today’s real estate listing “Le Palais Royal”, reminiscent of Versailles, I agree that it surely must be the water. I first noticed this factor back in 2014 with another billionaire’s listing, marketed with an Italian name “Palazzo d’ Amore”, rather than French, and the comp was a home in Flint, Michigan, which obviously has its own water issues (albeit quality, not quantity):


  12. nycTerrierist

    “a dishonest crook…she takes dirty money from dirty people for dirty deeds”

    good summary. voters can decide whether this candidate is ‘fit’.

    I’d say she’s fit to be shunned from public office.

    meant as reply to Jerry Denim @3:11

  13. sleepy

    Re the USAToday article on the emails and classification–

    I don’t doubt that the cited statute applies, but I was always under the impression that at least 22 emails sent from her private server contained classified information that was copied in whole or in part from classified info sent via the appropriate government server.

    As such, Clinton’s legal defense that those private server emails were not classified when sent was true, but a meaningless technicality. When it was found that they contained classified info, they were immediately classified as such. And that’s the reclassification thing she hangs her hat on,

    As a related matter, I wonder what shady operation she is running her legal bills through? Could she be that brazen even at this late date?

    I also wonder if her increasingly negative campaign strategy indicates that she knows something is coming down the pike, Panama, the FBI? After all, the best defense is a good offense, right?

    1. uahsenaa

      Clinton has no defense, not really, only the ages-old two tiered justice system can protect her. Hillary Clinton is unlikely to go to jail or even step foot in a courtroom, for reasons of being, as they say in finance, “systemically important” or TBTJ. If Sec. Clinton were, say, a junior staffer, the culprit would already be locked up in a federal prison.

      Clintons play the crony game, weaving their interests throughout various levels of various institutions so completely that it’s almost a greater headache to untangle them than to let them get away with murder. That’s why Sanders’ strategy is so genius, even if he loses, because it makes the cronies sweat.

  14. Watt4Bob

    OK, I’ll bite;

    Terrible IT.

    I’ve been experiencing a couple of new wrinkles in the war Microsoft is waging to force us all to adopt Windows 10.

    1. It looks as if MS has depricated Win7 by interfering with our ability to download, install and use applications in Win7. I’m getting errors that state something to the effect;

    “Unable to access … insufficient rights…see your administrator”

    This situation can stop very basic necessities, like installing/updating Adobe Reader, or accessing training Webinars (which require installing temporary client software.)

    2. I have multiple users reporting that Windows 10 installed itself spontaneously as if it was an automatic update.

    #2 results in different outcomes, sometimes the Windows recovery system can roll back the install, and sometimes it is necessary to re-install Win7 from scratch.

    You can’t tell ahead of time which is the case, so wasted time…

    Someone should remind MS that a lot of their machines are used in business environments that require reliable functionality so that people can do their jobs, and money may continue to flow.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Which brings up another issue…

        In the not to distant past, one could ‘Google’ symptoms, and find Microsoft’s best answers to any problems you might be experiencing with their products.

        The results of Google searches on issues relating to Win7, Automatic Updates and the full-court press to herd us all to Win10, reveal weeks-long silence from MS, with the real answers coming from the efforts of hackers, ultra-motivated individuals, probably responsible for lots of machines.

        The gall, the naked exercise of power, and the insane impact on the processes of business, for instance, indicate a depraved indifference etc, etc …

        1. hidflect

          A lot of info is being contained in forums that doesn’t seem to be caught by Google. I have found searching inside http://www.sevenforums.com/ to nearly always answer my issues.

          “Unable to access … insufficient rights…see your administrator” is usually an issue if you’re using a work laptop or desktop. It’s locked down by policy. Otherwise, enable the administrator account. See the site above for that.

    1. Bas

      Many businesses refused to upgrade from XP, so MS is forced to support them. Our U.S. govt is one of them.

      1. Watt4Bob

        It wasn’t their refusals, there were no refusals involved, big businesses and organizations pay for extended support, and pay through the nose, it’s built into the system, and they know the rules ahead of time.

        They can’t adopt as fast as small organizations, but they can afford the big $ Microsoft charges to extend support for defunct operating systems.

        They pay up, and their glad to do it, then they just keep on keeping on the way they did yesterday.

        1. Bas

          That’s not the way I heard it, but OK. They can’t afford the time and headaches involved in the debugging MS’s new versions, that is for sure.

      2. JCC

        Not completely true, at least as far as the DoD is concerned. The majority of the systems were upgraded at least 3 years ago,if not 4 years ago to Win7. Those that weren’t upgraded 2 years ago had to submit plans as to why not (all cases had to be justified by software necessary to a specific required operation that would not run on Windows 7) and when they would fix it.

        Additionally the Govt has paid a small fortune to MS for extended support, and MS was more than happy to oblige them.

        In the area I work in with well over 6000 desktops and servers, I am only aware of 2 or 3 of these still running XP. Those that aren’t already running Windows 10 – at least 5% – are now running Windows 7, OS X El Capitan, or Red Hat.

    2. inode_buddha

      And crap like that is the reason why I met the Penguin way back in 1998… and yes I do all the usual desktop tasks with it, day in and day out. I haven’t looked back.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Most of the security folks I deal with do the same, but we all have to deal with Windows because of its ubiquitous presence in business.

        I have also considered teaching my kids to install Ubuntu, not only as a more secure alternative, but to give them an inexpensive road map to replacing their equipment if necessary.

        They love their Apple machines, but with a used lenovo laptop, and Ubuntu you can be back in business for $300 or less, rather than $1200.

  15. tony


    Bill Clinton shut down BLM pretty effectively. The racists are loving it. I have newfound respect for the Clintons’ political skill. First you pander to blacks, say Bernie knows nothing about race issues, and once the South is behind them just discard African-Americans knowing full well they have no place else to go. They just keep getting away with it.

    1. pretzelattack

      as they treat liberals, who should consider themselves lucky to vote for a dino.

    2. Waldenpond

      Everyone knew they’d bring up their policy history that is discriminatory towards minorities and it was always going to be Bill, but it makes a person physically cringe when it happens. The Clinton’s.. fighting for the heart and soul of white conservative voters.

  16. EGrise

    “Human Sacrifices May Lie Behind the Rise of Ancient Social Status”

    Hey, they’re just being pragmatic and making the hard decisions. Getting things done. Art of the possible and all that.

    Someone willing to make the tough calls is eminently qualified for deification coronation president.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Human sacrifices still exist today.

      It’s just not so, er, instantaneous.

      The executioner makes you suffer a long time before it’s over.

      1. DJG

        In the memoirs by Alain Danielou, the musicologist who lived in India from the 20s to th 60s, he mentions hearing of human sacrifices while living in Varanasi in those years.

        So some may still be “instantaneous.”

  17. ScottW

    Bernie’s difficulty attracting older voters in larger numbers is multi-faceted, therefore, difficult to address with a single message or strategy. I believe older Hillary voters support her over Bernie for some of the following reasons:

    1. They consume their news through the mainstream press so they haven’t heard much about him until recently. Conversely, they do the same with Hillary so every scandal is viewed as a republican witch hunt.
    2. The believe in the Democratic brand, are loyal and see Bernie as an outsider who is not helping the party.
    3. They believe the mainstream press mantras Bernie is unelectable (so we will have Tump), his policies will never pass and he is way too far to the left.
    4. They want to see a Women president in their lifetime.
    5. They see Bernie’s younger supporters as spoiled, naive and hopelessly idealistic.
    6. They have benefited economically off the status quo with good jobs, pensions, healthcare, debt free education, a house with lots of equity and lots of spending money.
    7. They are cynical, believing money will always control politics and policy. The power elite will always be in charge.
    8. They are comfortable voting for the lesser of two evils because they have been doing so for decades.
    9. They don’t want to be reminded they “sold out” and watched as the world for their children and grandchildren became more difficult.
    10. Bernie seems too old.

    I doubt Bernie can ever garner 50% of the senior demographic for the above reasons, but I think his strategy needs to be more emotional than intellectual. Showing lots of gray and bald heads of parents and grandparents who want a better world for their children and grandchildren might move some people into his camp.

    1. curlydan

      Great list. I think the older “voters” have bought more into the system as you mentioned. I think the many older, non-voters who might be more inclined to an anti-establishment message may have opted out of the voting system over time.

      1. hunkerdown

        If comments at Salon and elsewhere are any indication, people in their sixties (“Boomers”, maybe) are all up in this fray, and some are even fighting against the status quo. But, I can’t honestly say that Salon is representative of much but ambition.

        Black Agenda Report’s “Sports Bar Politics and Corporate Duopolies” peers at the history of party systems from the angle of a permanent “white” vs. “non-white” party system:

        Donald Trump has pumped up the volume to a (Queens-accented) rebel yell, stripping away the GOP “establishment’s” pretenses to civilized bigotry. Trump reckoned that the Republican masses wanted a real White Man’s Party – so he’s trying to give them one.

        Such overt misbehavior threatens the post-civil rights ruling class consensus on race and the maintenance of political hegemony in the United States.

        Which slots right in with Billmon’s Storify “Not Qualified“, attacking the sacred sham of “qualifications” and technocracy pretending to replace the same old class interests with a “big tent” but in fact reproducing them under a new rationale..

        1. JCC

          I must be living in some sort of a bubble. Mainstream Media aside, as someone in my early 60’s I’ve heard the overwhelming majority of my friends near my age preferring Sanders, including the women.

          Anecdotal, I know, but at work – where politics is normally avoided – it seems to be about 50/50, Sanders/Clinton, of those close to my age.

          Oddly, to me anyway, those in the approx. 35 to 45 group seem to prefer Trump overall.

          Whatever the preference, the “politics as usual” establishment is losing favor among just about everyone.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Free college tuition and not student-debt jubilee (but lower rates), I wonder if that gives an impression he favors those ‘spoiled’ kids over not-so-young-anymore, student-loan laden working or retired/not working serfs?

    3. TK421

      11. They will be dead long before fossil fuels bring about the end of human civilization.

      1. Waldenpond

        Yup, for some. My mother smirks and says, ‘I’ll be dead’ when you point out that Clinton will go after SS/MCR. I reminded her her grandfather lived to 95, her mother to 87 and her father to 97.

    4. Debbie Harris

      Those Young Turks voting for Bernie have never paid a dime in taxes and have no idea how the economy really works. Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are in the billionaire class. Do you really want to punish innovation and entrepreneurship?

      1. Yves Smith

        Oh, really? You’ve just shown you are unfit to comment on the economy.

        First, young people most assuredly do pay taxes. Even with high youth unemployment, most still work and pay income taxes and FICA. Even those earning low incomes pay sales taxes and property taxes through their rents (the landlord sets his rental price to cover his costs, including his property taxes).

        Second, you listed billionaires, not “innovators”. Buffett is an investor. Microsoft did not develop its OS but licensed it. Gates got to license that OS to IBM because his mother sat on the board of a charity with a key IBM exec. Excel and Word were imitations of other programs (Visical and WordPerfect). I can’t comment on Visicalc, but WordPerfect was hands down better than Word, and a later spreadsheet, Improv, is light years better than Excel. But as Betamax attests, the best technology many not set the standard.

        And as for Facebook? “Innovation” has become a badly abused term. Recall that Paul Volcker deemed the last innovation in the financial services industry to be the ATM, and dismissed all the cleaver deal structures and derivatives that financiers try to pass off an innovative. Your praise of Facebook rests on the premise that Facebook makes a meaningful positive addition to society as a whole. I don’t buy that. It does not meet the Volcker ATM test. The only way one can argue that it’s innovative is in the way it is being used by the surveillance state. And you tell me with a straight face you regard that a plus and something you want to more of?

        1. bob

          Obviously, you ” never paid a dime in taxes and have no idea how the economy really works”.

          Complete non-sequitur anyway. It’s very much along the lines of people who don’t own property shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

          I’d be most curious in “how the economy really works”. Any chance we can get some elaboration?

          I’d bet Debbie couldn’t write more than a paragraph on the subject, and most of it would be demonstrably false.

          Calling Debbie….

          1. rich

            A lot of billionaire dimes rolled away., debbie….while the less fortunate were forced to pay and suffer….maybe those young turks supporting Bernie aren’t turkeys?

            Let Me Tell You About the Very Rich

            The Panama Papers highlight, with painstaking clarity, that austerity is not a shared sacrifice.

            But as the Panama Papers appear to show, the very wealthy play by an entirely different set of rules than the average person when it comes to paying taxes.

            That means any discussions about the direction of various government budgets are now going to play second fiddle to a more urgent debate about rampant tax evasion by the upper echelons of society. It also heightens concerns about inequality that have driven the post-crisis debate. How are governments supposed to fund themselves if those who can most afford to pay taxes are most able to avoid them and do so with impunity? And how are voters supposed to expect their taxes to be well-spent if many of their political and business leaders are themselves wealthy tax evaders? After all, tax avoidance and evasion by Greece’s elites played a significant role in making the country the indebted basket case it has become.

            The sense of social imbalance is reinforced by the perception that a revolving door between government and the private sector, particularly in banking, ensures the rules are rigged in favor of corporations to the detriment of individuals and taxpayers.
            One ideal scenario is that the revelations become so damaging to financial stability that it forces a massive rethink of global tax havens, which, by some estimates, top $20 trillion, an amount larger than the entire annual output of the U.S. economy.


            1. bob

              Mitt bragged about paying 12% on the campaign trail.

              Who pays ONLY 12%?

              But, again, it’s giving them the frame.

              “But his 12% is bigger”….yes…that’s how math works. We’ve been under a regressive taxing system for so long we’ve forgotten the point, and now can’t even do simple math.

              All beyond the point. Voting and “ownership” of the republic belongs to The People, all of them.

        2. August West

          Is Debbie the troll a repub or democrat?? I’m confused. Rather, she is confused.

          1. Massinissa

            Is Debbie the troll a repub or democrat

            Does it matter? Theyre sort of same when it comes to wealth worship

        3. TomD

          A tangent on this as a tax paying youngish person. I was talking politics with a very conservative colleague of mine, and he dismissively asked how more money could the average person afford in taxes. It was an interesting question to think about. I didn’t have my response when he asked, but later I checked and I’m paying about 90% of my monthly federal income tax over again to my Obamacare health plan. So you could essentially double my taxes, and if it included health care, I’d come out the same.

          1. bob

            By responding that you pay taxes, you’re reinforcing the belief that only tax-payers count.

            That’s not the law, and hasn’t been for a long, long time. That was called progress.

            Don’t buy the framing. Mock people like this relentlessly.

            I do like the analysis though. And I believe that if most people knew how much more they were being paid, via health insurance being provided by their employer, that they could see it too.

            Yes, they’re not “getting” the money. Wait a minute, it’s kind of like a tax then, isn’t it? Only, most people know what they are paying in taxes. Not for Health Insurance.

        4. Buffalo Cyclist

          Also, people under the age of 25 do not qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. So, yes, young people do pay income taxes.

        5. clinical wasteman

          This (i.e. the first reply by Yves) will appear in the dictionaries of the future under: RIPOSTE (perfect, comprehensive).
          Among other things a welcome reminder of what used to self-evident, eg. superiority of WordPerfect and the regressive character of F*cebook and most of ‘Web 2.0’ (i.e. off-web enclosure of online data — thanks Lambert by the way for the recent note on Apple and the abolition of the url). At Mute magazine 15+ years ago we used to talk a lot about “the anthropomorphization of humans by computers”, meaning “interactive” software requiring you to act like a Focus Group’s idea of a person. Or a presentable Face. Fickgesichtbuch’s one (borrowed) “innovation” was to make that an obvious reality so quickly that within a few years we could give up trying to explain our convoluted theory.
          Meanwhile, I suspect I’m not the only one here who has found that having no money is an excellent education in “how the economy works”.
          And, speaking as a living typo-generator, allow me to add unironic delight in: “cleaver deal structures”.

        1. cwaltz

          Oh those lofty “jahb creators”, they and only they are fit to comment on the economy. It’s not like the market has these things called a resource market or consumers, only the capital class or financiers, matter.


        2. bob

          I meant to say…

          Don’t ask what you can do for your country; ask what your country can do for your billionaire.

          Hillz- what are your billionaires asking for? How can we help?

    5. Jeff W

      I agree with all your points.

      I think points 1, 3 and 8 are really key—basically, Clinton is the safer “known quantity,” Bernie is the “unknown” with the scary “socialist” label attached to his name. Electability, rather than policy, is the main issue. I’ve had conversations with people in their ’60s and ’70s who make just these points. (I’m in my late ’50s so I am not so far off from them.)

      It’s as if these people are the proverbial “slowly boiled frogs”—they seem not to realize just how far the Democratic Party has moved from its New Deal principles to neoliberal, corporate ones and view the “inability” to get anything even remotely progressive done as normal—Hillary (and surrogates like Paul Krugman), with their talk of “realism” and “pragmatism,” are speaking directly to them. It’s a very cramped, defensive, status quo view of politics.

      I’ve wondered if the better strategy is to go at the “electability” issue—the senior demographic might regard Sanders as “unelectable” (against all the evidence) but it could be that saying Clinton is even more unelectable based on her extremely high unfavorables might work. But that might be too intellectual and not emotional enough (and it’s an argument that the Sanders campaign itself would be loath to make).

      1. Yves Smith

        Your sample is not at all representative. A poll showed that voters rate ‘electability” low on their criteria for choosing once candidate over another. Older people of means overwhelmingly favor Hillary. It has nothing to do with electability. They don’t want to say they are voting to protect their economic interests.

        1. bob

          It’s great watching them squirm when questioned. It’s normally some very ugly shit that comes out of their mouth defending their “interests”. Like Debbie above- suggesting that only people who pay taxes should be allowed to vote, or be called “citizens”, or allowed to eat at the same counter….

        2. Jeff W

          Thank you—that’s good to know. My very small sample might be skewed—they really seem to think that Clinton is the “safer” electoral bet—but maybe they, too, are just rationalizing their own economic interests.

          1. bob

            Unless they are the .01% neither the GOP nominee, nor hillz, is going to “represent” their interests.

            Brainwashing people into believing this used to be a GOP specialty. Hillz takes another of their tricks.

            I still say she is and has been the GOP pick for prez.

        3. Buffalo Cyclist

          The only demographic that Hillary won in NH were people who make more than $200k and, I think, those over 65.

    6. sleepy

      I’m 65. Different states and cities are different in their demographics, but in small town Iowa where I caucused the Sanders side was about half and half old and young, while the Clinton side was mostly middle-aged–in their 40s and 50s. Maybe they fondly remember the Bubba years, but are too young to remember the big social thinking of LBJ.

      The big difference was that the Clinton folks were dressed like well to do repubs, while us Sanders folks whether 20 or 70 were the slobs in cheap jeans and scruffy sweaters, lol.

    7. Mark Alexander

      I had an email exchange with my mother about this. She’s a youthful 83 and a long-time die-hard Democrat, and, alas, a Hillary supporter. She never mentioned the things on your list, though I suspect that 1, 2, and 4 are big factors. Instead, she kept saying that (a) Bernie’s positions aren’t “nuanced enough” and (b) that Hillary has lots more experience.

      To me neither of these things is obvious. What is nuanced about “we came, we saw, he died” when it comes to foreign policy? What about Bernie’s long experience in politics, starting as mayor of Burlington? I think my mom has been influenced by Hillary’s obvious intelligence and ability to rattle off lots of facts and figures. I keep trying to tell her that knowledge is not the same as judgment, but I don’t seem to be getting anywhere with that.

        1. cwaltz

          It’s kinda odd but I see a pretty good number of older working class Republicans with respect for Bernie. They may not agree with him on everything(health care or college tuition) but they do seem to admire him as principled and willing to fight for what he believes. They even give him some props for his position on trade.

    8. ChetG

      About 35 years ago – when I was living in Queens, NY, I went to a political office (whether Dem or Rep makes no difference, I suspect). While I was there, a head honcho was instructing all the little old persons (LOPs) in the room to get signatures on a petition. One LOP who received copies asked, “What is it for?” The head honcho yelled that it didn’t matter what it was for – just get the signatures.
      I would suspect many LOPs (the core electorate) would vote exactly how they were told to vote.

    9. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s a good list, but I don’t think #6 is is anything near universally true. “Pensions”? “Health care”? Huh?

      It would be nice to see a breakdown of over-60s who support each candidate, by class and region.

    10. crittermom

      I’m exasperated each time I see the figure showing Bernie is losing among my age group!
      This is what I see as the main reason:
      “6. They have benefited economically off the status quo with good jobs, pensions, healthcare, debt free education, a house with lots of equity and lots of spending money.”
      This is exactly the way I observe it from those in my age range (60’s), except those that I know are voting Republican!
      While they want some change they say they’re tired of politicians (therefore, Trump).
      They don’t want any change that might endanger that which they’ve worked so hard to obtain.

      Time & again if I mention my (wholehearted) support of Bernie, they lash back that as a Socialist he’s going to tax the hell outta “us” & “give it to those too lazy to work”. Aarghhhh…..

      These may be folks making $80,000 yr & up, but that’s the only (contorted) message they see from Bernie in their (blindered) eyes.

      I wish Bernie would address this, letting folks know he wants much better for ALL of us & will only “tax the hell” outta those at the very top (such as in closing loopholes enabling them to pay much less–or no taxes–compared to the 99%)

      Many in my age group completely fail to see that message so are staunchly against him. Bernie needs to get that message across if he wants their support.
      My efforts to tell them otherwise have fallen on deaf ears.

      My next plan it to disable their cars come election day… ;)

  18. curlydan

    Bank Overdraft Fees…for the Guillotine Watch?


    “New federal data reports that banks charged consumers $11,178,407,000 in overdraft fees in 2015. Customers three of country’s largest banks paid almost 46 percent of those fees. JPMorgan Chase tallied $1.866 billion, Wells Fargo finished with $1.631 billion, and Bank of America levied $1.628 billion. Those sums do not include the costs of any extended overdraft fees that might have been additionally debited.”

    1. August West

      And that is why Jamie Dimon is richer than you and I!! The great transfer of wealth continues…….Sad thing is people are living paycheck to paycheck bearly getting by, they know that they maybe messed up and accept the ridiculous fees charged by these banks and don’t fight back. A form of Stockholm syndrome? Where is the CFPB in all of this?

      1. crittermom

        Is anyone else experiencing this?
        Some banks are now refusing to even give change for a $20 bill unless you have an account there! (And we’re not talkin’ TBTJ banks, either) I’ve experienced it myself. I was flabbergasted.

        I continue to bank where I had for 20 yrs, back in the state where Chase stole my home since the only bank near me now is 50 miles away, where I went to get change.
        I’m a crafter & needed change to do a show (5’s & singles). They refused me & sent me to a gas station to get it! (Uhh…….if ya can’t get change at a bank, then where?)

        In addition, some (many?) now charge a fee to cash a check drawn on that bank unless you have an account there. (Over $5 for an $8 check) What?!

        A friend told me they had that same experience at another bank in another state, so it’s not just this one bank I mentioned.

        I’d thought a check drawn on a bank was considered “legal tender” if the money is in that bank to back it. When did this all change?
        Even my bank of 20 yrs is now merging with another small rural bank & “considering” implementing that. (which of course means they will) *moan*

        I’m questioning if this is legal on their part? Could this be legally challenged, before it goes any further, or is this a “new norm”, too?

        1. crittermom

          I found the answer to my question regarding cashing checks.
          It only took me over 3 hrs with calls to the CFPB, USA.gov, SEC, & finally the Federal Reserve.
          Apparently it’s perfectly legal for a bank to charge you whatever the hell it wants if you don’t have an account with them.
          Cashing a check or even making change is a “service” they can charge you for.
          I could find no limits on those charges, if there are any, but at this point I’m tired of researching more.
          As the Fed Reserve told me, banks are in the business to make money.
          I responded that was painfully obvious–a billion fold.

          I was born too late. This is certainly not the American I grew up in!

  19. optimader

    ….does Clinton’s response even make sense? FWIW.

    It doesn’t for a normal person, but in the context of a psychopath, yes, I think it does.

    Not understanding what constitutes an appropriate response is a hallmark of a psychopath.

    HRC I think sincerely doesn’t get what’s wrong w/ accepting bribes and would naturally offer a cranky pissed off retort, a consistent thread from her well worn out indignant evil cabal rap.

    She has presumably been coached just because you are asked a question by one of “the little people” doesn’t mean you have to answer it, better to keep the powder dry, not offer up potentially adverse sound bites that are “hard”, potentially engendering sympathy for her target questioner.

    So her response is to not intelligently engage because she will probably get it wrong. She has proven time and again charisma is not her strong suit, lying is. Therefore, offering up that inappropriate and insincere , non-sequiter cackle-laugh that come off sounding, well a bit insane. ( Maybe a lot insane?)

    1.)The HRC Laugh;
    2.) Closely follow with the pithy, dismissive, deflection so the questioner cant get in a word edgewise….eg:”read the article, blahblah…” (read as: “you are uninformed”)
    3.) Quickly loose eye contact and ignore the target individual.

    That’s the formula when you are guilty, don’t get it and therefore are puzzled what constitutes an appropriate (non-damaging) response.

    that’s my 2 cents on this pattern BTW, if I produced cartoons soundtracks ( or opposition commercials) I would be all over sampling that.


    Three decades of these studies, by Hare and others, has confirmed that psychopaths’ brains work differently from ours, especially when processing emotion and language. Hare once illustrated this for Nicole Kidman, who had invited him to Hollywood to help her prepare for a role as a psychopath in Malice. How, she wondered, could she show the audience there was something fundamentally wrong with her character?

    “I said, ‘Here’s a scene that you can use,’ ” Hare says. ” ‘You’re walking down a street and there’s an accident. A car has hit a child in the crosswalk. A crowd of people gather round. You walk up, the child’s lying on the ground and there’s blood running all over the place. You get a little blood on your shoes and you look down and say, “Oh shit.” You look over at the child, kind of interested, but you’re not repelled or horrified. You’re just interested. Then you look at the mother, and you’re really fascinated by the mother, who’s emoting, crying out, doing all these different things. After a few minutes you turn away and go back to your house. You go into the bathroom and practice mimicking the facial expressions of the mother.’ ” He then pauses and says, “That’s the psychopath: somebody who doesn’t understand what’s going on emotionally, but understands that something important has happened.”

    Hare’s research upset a lot of people. Until the psychopath came into focus, it was possible to believe that bad people were just good people with bad parents or childhood trauma and that, with care, you could talk them back into being good. Hare’s research suggested that some people behaved badly even when there had been no early trauma. Moreover, since psychopaths’ brains were in fundamental ways different from ours, talking them into being like us might not be easy. Indeed, to this day, no one has found a way to do so.

    “Some of the things he was saying about these individuals, it was unheard of,” says Dr. Steven Stein, a psychologist and ceo of Multi-Health Systems in Toronto, the publisher of the Psychopathy Checklist. “Nobody believed him thirty years ago, but Bob hasn’t wavered, and now everyone’s where he is. Everyone’s come full circle, except a small group who believe it’s bad upbringing, family poverty, those kinds of factors, even though scientific evidence has shown that’s not the case. There are wealthy psychopaths who’ve done horrendous things, and they were brought up in wonderful families.”

    1. TK421

      That’s very interesting, but psychopaths are often charming, aren’t they?

      Would making a joke asking if Nicole Kidman learned about mental disorders right before she divorced Tom Cruise open this website to a lawsuit?

      1. optimader

        That’s very interesting, but psychopaths are often charming, aren’t they?
        Charming to some, creepy to others. We do know Michael Moore and Dick Morris dig her!

        I don’t wonder too hard about whether HRC would club them like baby seals and put them in shallow graves if it would guarantee her spot at the podium on Inauguration Day?

        Would making a joke ….open this website to a lawsuit?
        Surely not if you use the Socratic Method and state it as a question!

    2. Carolinian

      Thanks for this. I was going to suggest clinical insanity as a possible explanation.

      As for her revival of the “ready on day one” mantra from 2008–we know she’s ready…and fear it. When she says she “knows how to be president” we know exactly what kind of president she’s talking about.

      1. optimader

        As for her revival of the “ready on day one” mantra from 2008

        Whenever I hear that HRC sound bite I get a metallic taste in my mouth.

        …And we know how well that worked out for her last time.. What’s that apocryphal definition of insanity again?

        1. Watt4Bob

          What she really means is that she’s been wearing that shock-collar for so long, that her bosses no longer have to push the button, she’s completely trained.

          She doesn’t understand that her statement is an embarrassing admission, and she doesn’t feel ashamed to admit it.

          If she had any friends, they’d be embarrassed for her.

  20. Lee

    Panama Papers related but the very term is geographically and jurisdictionally misleading.

    For research, we pretended to be crooks and terrorists and tried to buy shell companies. The results were disturbing.

    “The result I found was startling. It was much easier to set up a company without having to prove my identity in the United States and other “onshore” countries than in the offshore havens. One firm in Wyoming not only offered to sell me an untraceable shell company and a bank account held in the name of the company, but also suggested I pay for one of their employee’s Social Security numbers to further obscure the trail. In contrast, tax haven-based firms were much more likely to insist that I sent a scanned, authenticated copy of the picture page of my passport before they would do business.”


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You think the bad guys might exploit that?

      Is this at national security level now?

    2. cwaltz

      I wonder if the fact that some of these companies are essentially SELLING SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS could have anything to do with how one ends up on a terrorist watch list even though you aren’t a crook or terrorist.

      Scary stuff.

  21. B1whois

    This my first time seeing a “progressive Republican” candidate for the House (from Missouri) support Bernie. I hope he can inspire more of the same. Of course he’s youngish. Of course I don’t agree with him on everything, but that’s always true. Anybody else see candidates like this?


    Plus, I like his name, Nathan Clay. I apologize if this posting is inappropriate, I mean only to inform and discuss.

    1. sleepy

      I don’t see anything but a fundraising page by an online fundraising operation telling people how rally.org can be used for their fundraising . No info on the candidate at all.

    2. grayslady

      I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t use his full name. Is he trying to be a movie star? The guy’s real name is Nathan Clay Bradham. He’s from Rolla, MO and is running as a Repub probably for the same reason Obama pretended to be a Dem (better chance of being elected). Based on his Bernie-like platform, he seems to be positioning himself as a populist. Looks young enough to have just graduated. That’s all I could find.

  22. Debbie Harris

    If Bernie gets elected, I am concerned that after all these enthusiastic people vote and go back to their lives, nothing gets done. NOTHING. The hopey/changey thingy for which I voted in 2008 and 2012 has been very disappointing, especially given the administration’s explanation that “that is all that can be accomplished with the tools we have”. Nothing that Bernie proposes can be accomplished with the political system we have now. Raising taxes on the rich: a non-starter. Free college is a dream. And the “billionaire class” will not sit back and wait for Bernie to attack them. I would rather have a wounded Hillary who wants to accomplish things than an idealist who is a nihilist and will not accept anything less than 100%.

    1. August West

      The hopey/changey thingy for which I voted in 2008 and 2012 has been very disappointing, especially given the administration’s explanation that “that is all that can be accomplished with the tools we have”.

      Ummm, you are describing a Hillary Clinton administration. This is why I will NOT vote for her. What makes you think anything with her will be different from Obama? In fact Hillary defends incremental politics. She has made it very clear the she will build on Obamas woefully inadequate policies.

      1. bob

        Debbie appears to be hurt. Debbie also likes binary reasoning. Either I’m going to win the lottery tonight, or I am not. 50/50.

        Since Debbie got hoodwinked last time, she’s going to vote for the more ‘pragmatic’ opposite this time.

        Go ahead, ask the boss for a raise….he’ll cut your paycheck. It’s textbook abused person psychology- “don’t do anything to upset hillary or she’ll take it out on us! And we will deserve it.”

      2. August West

        Clearly this is not a time when we need incremental politics. Frankly, I am tired of people who say we can’t have the policies Bernie proposes. If not now, when? As Bernie says these are NOT radical ideas. I think what he says is correct, that with the American people backing him he can get stuff done, especially if he can get Citzens United overturned. When did we become such Eeyore’s?

        1. cwaltz

          The part that pisses me off is this narrative that our kids can’t have two more years of education because of cost. Where were these people when it came to DoD funding? They sure as heck don’t seem to worry about cost when it comes to F-35s or Abrams tanks.

          1. Yves Smith

            Yes, we can always find the $ for the next bombing run in Iraq. And for some bizarre reason, you can infer the ginormous size of the black ops budget on top of the budgetary stuff. Cynthia McKinney was after the $2+ trillion the Pentagon could not account for as of then.

        2. bob

          This is just giving very ugly politics a voice.

          Should we also consider, then respond to, intelligently, people who argue for taking away people’s right to vote? No.

          That used to be pretty universal. I think it still is. Too many people voting isn’t the problem. People like Debbie, and the candidates and policy one liners that they support are.

          Beaten and bruised, but still staying with the “safe” choice. It’s pragmatic, after all.

    2. ShamanicFallout

      You should be much more afraid of what Clinton would do and not what Bernie won’t do.

    3. Pat

      Debbie, here’s a question for you. What do you think will happen if Hillary Clinton gets elected? I’m deadly serious. If people think it is a bridge too far for Bernie to win the nomination, believe me it is a moon shot for Democrats to win the House. Even if the Dems get the Senate, it will be a minimal majority – no where near sixty votes. So you have a weak Dem senate and an obstructionist House, with the right to investigate. IOW, there is not a chance in hell that Hillary gets anything done that has to get through Congress either. And unlike Bernie she and/or her entire staff will be spending days in hearings. Because there will be endless investigations and a very probable impeachment. They want her head on a pike. And yes, they will be going for it.

      So what incremental changes will she be able to make? How will her administration be able to even change the conversation or the parameters of the discussion? And other than continuing to be a war mongering ass, what will she do with the limited powers she does have? Will her DoJ be going after voter disenfranchisement or will it be largely missing in action as per Obama? Will they spend their time trying to expand police powers or trying to stem the rampant police abuse problems we are seeing? Or even better spend a whole lot of time on medical marijuana? How about Treasury, will it be trying to expand enforcement of Dodd -Frank or like Obama actually limit it?

      Will Bernie get single payer or tuition free public college education in the first term? No. Will his priorities make a big difference in Treasury, Justice and Defense? Yes. Will his use of the bully pulpit change the parameters of the conversation? Yes. And will he actually have more time to try to find ways to enact his agenda because he isn’t trying to make sure he doesn’t get impeached? Do I have to tell you?

      You have to remember that Clinton has no fewer challenges passing her agenda than Bernie does, except possibly in areas where most of want her stopped. So the only likely way she is more effective than Bernie is by passing globalization Trade Agreements, getting entitlement reform and starting more wars. I for one would prefer not taking the chance of having to live with the results of her greed, ambition and perfidy. But if you have thought of all this and getting something done regardless of how disastrous that ‘something’ would be is of primary importance to you then there isn’t much any of us can say.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s why the institutional outcomes of the Sanders run are actually more important than the electoral outcome.

      This is a multi-decade process.

    5. aab

      If you’re serious and not a troll, I have good news for you. The administration’s explanation is dishonest. Since the Clintons came to power, the Democratic establishment has actively worked to prevent progressives from running for any national seat, and allowed only corporate-friendly candidates, which generally also means conservative. They even recruit Republicans, and sometimes force them onto Democratic constituencies even when the local party members actively try to resist. The Clintons and Obama (along with Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, etc.) CREATED the corporate-focused, Blue Dog Democratic majorities that have refused to pass Democratic legislation even when the party controlled both houses and the Presidency. That’s why they insisted they had to pass the ACA with 60 votes instead of getting rid of the filibuster. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was caught protecting Republican congressional allies and blocking Democratic challengers. The party has forced a former (very recently former) Republican as a challenger to Alan Grayson in the Florida Senate primary. They tried to stop Lou Vince in California, even though he’s a former marine and cop who can flip that district. But he’s in favor of universal health care; can’t have that.

      There are Berniecrats running all over the country, using his funding and social media networks to be able to run against establishment candidates in the primary. People like Tim Canova, running against Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and currently neck-and-neck in fundraising with her because of Act Blue and Bernie energy. They are making tremendous progress. If we elect Bernie, we may or may not be able to flip the House and Senate this year. But he’ll be able to put progressives in charge of the DNC, DCCC and DSCC, and we’ll do it in 2018. Voters DO NOT LIKE Blue Dogs. Even when they get elected in a wave election (like 2008), they can’t hold their seats, because they vote with Republicans and block Democratic policies. If you want a Republican, you vote for a Republican. If you don’t like the Blue Dog, you stay home. And so membership in the Democratic Party has continued to shrink over the last 20 years, and seats, houses and states have been lost. But the Democratic establishment doesn’t care, because they stay fat, happy and in control, delivering to banks and corporations. It’s the Iron Law of Institutions in action.

      We can change that. Obama wasn’t a victim. He was a perpetrator. Goldman Sachs was a big donor for him. He was installed as to protect them from the pitchforks. He admitted as much. That’s why no real change, no real banking reform, no prosecutions, and Obama pushing like mad for the TPP.

      It doesn’t have to be like this. If we can take back the Democratic Party, we can change the system. It’s possible, despite all the corruption. It’s worth trying. So if you’re not just concern trolling, vote for Bernie and vote for any Berniecrat or real progressive you can.

  23. DJG

    One of the reasons that it obvious that Obama was just grandstanding about tax avoidance is that many of his colleagues at U of Chicago law school and economics department (which are conjoined) teach that tax avoidance is a positive good. And he certainly knows that students are taught that, even though he was so busy writing all of those articles about constitutional law that made his reputation…oh.

    1. sleepy

      He was an adjunct. I’m surprised the dean didn’t use that on me when I complained about my lowly adjunct pay.

      “See, just hang in there and you too can be president one day!”

  24. reslez

    Hey Lambert, I was admiring your very classy top hat and I wonder if there’s a way to set up a subscription style donation to Water Cooler? I really enjoy Water Cooler and want to support it. Maybe you could set up a separate page where something like that is available and point us to it? Just wondering.

    1. diptherio

      When I first read that headline, I thought it said “Private Investors Eagerly Enter Addiction Treatment,” and I thought, well good for them! ’bout time they recognized that they have a problem.

    2. rich

      This should read: More PE$ enters Addiction treatment b/c this is an old story/theme.

      Clinics like this one on Topeka Street in Boston can be lifesavers for addicts trying to kick heroin or other opiates. Reports of heroin overdoses and deaths are on the rise as cheap and potent versions of the drug — sometimes laced with the pain medication fentanyl — flood the market. Governor Deval Patrick has declared it a public health emergency.

      Bain Capital sees opportunity in methadone clinics
      For Bain Capital, it’s also a potential profit opportunity.

      The Boston-based private equity firm recently took over Habit OPCO Inc., the largest chain of substance treatment facilities in Massachusetts, with 13 locations from Boston to Springfield. Bain paid $58 million to acquire the for-profit centers through CRC Health Corp., a California company it has owned since 2006. CRC Health is the biggest provider of substance abuse treatment and behavioral health services in the country.

      Heroin and prescription drug addiction is “a giant problem in Boston; it’s a giant problem across the country,’’ Habit OPCO charges patients $135 a week for methadone treatment. That includes daily doses of liquid medication, access to doctors and nurses, therapists, and other services. Some people have private insurance; others use Medicaid, the government program for low-income people; or they pay cash.

      Many patients take methadone, an opiate that’s safer than heroin, for months or years. It doesn’t cure addiction, but relieves withdrawal symptoms and allows many people to function and work without getting high. While Habit OPCO follows up with patients, it’s often hard to know how their recoveries will play out over the long term.


      This CPA’s armed camp of addicts How this man with his explosive bursts of rage brought his sober business into a sleepy condo and put the residents on lockdown.

      The board voted the condo’s owners into debt — owed to a company created by Bailynson. His Bok Lending II charged 24 percent interest on a $1.5 million loan to make badly needed improvements. The result: a monthly assessment that easily reached thousands of dollars a month and that would quickly dwarf the value of apartments that sold for less than $20,000.

      Good Decisions became the first of two sober home communities raided last year by an FBI task force investigating allegations of insurance fraud, patient brokering and kickbacks in Palm Beach County’s $1 billion drug treatment industry. No charges have been filed.


      They’ve figured a way to annuitize the vulnerable once again….many cpa’s ,lawyers, doctors, etc in on act with front men.

  25. Kim Kaufman

    ““I don’t think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. ”

    Not just that she voted for the war but that she admitted she did not read the National Intelligence report supplied to congress before the vote. Scott Ritter recently wrote a piece about how he tried to get a meeting with Clinton before the vote to brief her and her office blew him off, would let him anywhere near the Senator. That, to me, makes her completely unfit to be President and Commander-in-Chief.

    1. Pat

      But, but, you have to put that in context. It will be different if she IS President. I mean you know she had to be ready to run for President and voting against authorizing the invasion of Iraq was a political future killer! You have to remember what was important then! But once she has the job she can actually consider the evidence, well at least in her second term.

      IOW, I completely agree. If only because we will never know what is important to Hillary Clinton after she gets the job, we can only know that whatever it is will never be put aside to do what is right, what is best for the American people, or best for the world if there is a conflict.

    2. Donald

      For partisan Clinton supporters this doesn’t matter. I have to think much of the outrage expressed by such people during the Bush years was partisan baloney. If they actually felt it was wrong to start an unjustified war that killed hundreds of thousands of people there is no way someone like Clnton would have a prayer and she would be regarded with contempt whenever she bragged about her foreign policy experience.

      Yet there she is, in the lead, and with millions of enthusiastic supporters. I am not saying they are all hypocrites, but a lot of them surely must be suffering from severe cognitive dissonance.

  26. allan

    3D printers vulnerable to spying [Science, subscr. req. for full article]

    The signals that 3D printers shed render them vulnerable to attacks, scientists have discovered, raising the potential for a new form of intellectual property theft. A simple audio recording—possibly even one made by a smartphone—can be enough to reverse-engineer a 3D-printed object, a new paper that will be presented 11 April shows. From the sounds the device emits while printing, an attacker can recreate the source code that contains the shape of the 3D-printed object. The new method does not reveal the printer’s temperature or other settings that affect the material of a 3D-printed object. But attack models might someday be enhanced by targeting thermal profiles and electromagnetic radiation as well as audio emissions, the researchers say.

    File under News of the Wired Police State.

  27. ewmayer

    Re. Readers, seen anything really horrid today in the wonderful world of IT? — Not how ‘IT’ this qualifies as being, but Mish had a piece yesterday which I fwded to Yves (by way of my reply to Mish) … did not appear in today’s Links, so here it is:

    End of Forex Exchange Fees Via Bitcoin-Like App? What’s the Downside? | MishTalk

    My reply:

    Hi, Mish:

    Pardon my skepticism – and I see you also are not buying the “free” hype – but I am failing to see the “disruptive innovation” here, nor any real legitimate (as in, non-scam-oriented) innovation at all. My Fidelity Visa has offered low-cost worldwide ATM withdrawals for ever and anon – see the Foreign Transactions section of this PDF.

    And if one has a Fidelity Cash Management Account, things are even better (I grabbed this from here):

    “All Fidelity ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Fidelity® Cash Management Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using a Fidelity® Visa® Gold Check Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Visa®, Plus®, or Star® logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited from the account. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.”

    Sure, fees imposed by the ATM operator can be high, but it is trivial to allow multiple ATM operators at places like airports, i.e. to allow the beloved “free market” address the cost problem. I don’t recall ever having a more eye-popping ATM fee overseas (mostly in Europe for me) than here in the good ole Land-of-The-Free-however-subject-to-certain-fees-and-surcharges.

    If there are no (or an insufficient number of) ATMs at a given major airport – and I would be interested to hear some stats on this – that is a problem with the business management of said airport, not with retail travelers’ being gouged by global forex markets.

    So again, not seeing what “problem” this latest business arrangement “solves”, except perhaps that of insufficient scammage and skimmage under the current market structure for the Barclays PLCs and Goldman Sachses of this world. Tying such bread-and-butter global banking utility functions to a vehicle – since calling it a “currency” is not accurate – like Bitcoin, whose “ecosystem” is run by unregulated dubious “exchanges” – remember Mt. Gox? – and whose current valuation is subject to huge fluctuations and rigging by the exchange operators and a small number of dominant “miners”, to say nothing of the vagaries of capital flight out of China – what could go wrong?

  28. Wat

    I have grown to enjoy Water Cooler a lot, but I seldom find the plant antidotes inspiring. Have you considered clouds? (natural water coolers)

    1. B1whois

      Just put a plant in the foreground of a beautiful cloud/Sunset shot and bingo – you got it!

  29. flora

    “People get what they deserve out of life—or, rather, they will get what they deserve once we have ensured everyone’s equal access to the SAT—and for a person with a grade-school education to complain about the hardships of minimum-wage work is the purest sort of folly.” “Martha’s Vineyard Democrats.”

    ah yes. Social Darwinism updated for the 21st century by the “Martha’s Vinyard Democrats”.

    1. bob


      Flying on an airline? So passe. Get your own jet and never wait for security again. Have your limo driver pull right up to your jet. Slaves to carry you up into the plane are extra, but who doesn’t need more people?

      1. Cry Shop

        Better yet, get elected to high office, and either get the free pass through, onto your own fleet of 747’s payed for by the shlubs.

        Every time Obama goes golfing in Sunnyland, California, which is almost every weekend now, he takes three 747’s with him, two of them are suppose to serve as decoys…. This from a president who says he’s trying to reduce the USA’s carbon footprint. Almost no cabinet member of the US government takes commercial flights, ever. First class is for the rubes.

        1. bob

          I’d bet the lobbyists, and their paymasters outnumber the pols 1,000,000 to 1 in subsidized, private air traffic, even with the prez, and his cabinet. Been to an airport lately?

          It’s been a pretty common way to bribe pols too, private jets. So, it’s probably not the best idea to go into gov if you want to be shuttled around in a private jet.

    1. farrokh bulsara

      An illegitimate Shillary nomination (coronation) will not go unnoticed. The revolution is happening regardless of Bernie winning or losing the D nomination. Same goes for the Repugs if/when Trump is denied.

  30. Cry Shop

    On “Our Martha’s Vineyard Democrats like to talk about inequality. ”

    This isn’t just about social Darwinism, the rent collecting segment of the upper class, (and that is most of them now that the USA is a financial and not a manufacturing center) inherently know that any increase in their happiness has to be built upon the increased misery of the poor. This is particularly true of those in the areas of the 1% to 0.01% that habituate Martha’s Vineyard, the greater the pool of poor, the more cheaply they can buy goods and services to make their life more of a luxury. They have a self-interest in keeping a large supply of poor, and not just plain poor, but insecurely employed poor, as Crittermom pointed out in a thoughtful comment on an earlier Water Cooler.

    The increase in the number of services like day spas, personal trainers, are all an indication that wealth is being concentrated. The people who provide these services are highly dependent on the good grace and whim of multiple bosses, how frightening that must be.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Actually, Martha’s Vineyard is the ideal future, from a labor market standpoint. A whole island of servants, who have nothing to do during the “off season,” and so are desperate for the return of their masters.

  31. jjmaccjohnson

    Dukes County where Martha’s Vineyard sits is one of the poorest traditionally in Massachusetts.

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